What if I told you that your use of IDX is about to be severely limited in a world where agents have been left to compete with the likes of Trulia, Zillow, et al within Google? It’s true if a rule up for debate is solidified next week in DC.
If you haven’t read this post, you should do it now- don’t let the already 240 plus comments overwhelm you, stick to the post.
Now that you’ve read that post, and have some understanding of what’s going on, what you need to know is that this greatly impacts all of our ability to compete in the global community if other local boards pick up this ruling and adopt it in your local city- and they will. We already know that our local MLSs/Boards compete with us for use of keywords and key terms in our local markets, and this power grab only solidifies that you will inevitably be buying your own leads back from someone else without a single drop of compensation for your hard work.
The ramifications are absolutely endless, but a few examples of the immediate impact are those folks who have spent several years building local community blogs around their niche markets, use craigslist, or allows any search engine to index and promote all local listings within their site, could be forced to cease or risk penalty- there are so many more examples, I cannot list them all.
All is not lost
This issue is huge, and unfortunately a few Realtors have been drug to the forefront of this issue to defend your use of Google as a tool to promote listings, and they’ll soon be on their way to DC to stand before the committee, the question is, will you stand with them? I know Agent Genius readers will, but what about your friends?
Here’s what you can do NOW
- Read the thread of comments to the post for suggestions (some are as follows)
- Bring this post to the attention of your local board leaders
- Email, blog to fellow Realtors with this link and ask them to weigh in with their thoughts
- Simply trackback with excerpt to this post with this link
- Call MIBOR and ask them to reverse or suspend actions until NAR can fully weigh their decision on ‘scraping’ – MIBOR CEO Stephen J Sullivan (317) 956-5000 x237 or email here email@example.com (be professional)
- Email Cliff Niersbach firstname.lastname@example.org and politely ask Cliff to please reconsider the Google is a scraper issue.
- Go to DC if you can and attend the committee hearing on this issue to lend support.
- Have a look at local issues in committees now locally and get on committees that you feel you can add expertise that is forward thinking- help them!
I realize that we all wanted at one time to keep MLS data in the MLS, but that fight was lost (and in some cases given up freely), however, what you must now understand is that that train has left the station, and your only ability to compete with those same media companies is being threatened.
We thank all who will participate, and want everyone to know that we believe that issue can be resolved, but it will take your constructive voice to make it happen.
If you have further suggestions, drop them in the comments, if you know of a way this will impact your business, drop it in the comments.
Blog about this issue on your local blog, let us know in comments, we’ll link to you in this post.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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