Foosball, Zillow and Trulia are not of the devil

Foosball, Trulia and  Zillow are not of the devil.  The post title is a play on the quote from Mama in the 1998 movie “The Waterboy”.  (Don’t worry if you did not catch the quote, it is one of Adam Sandler’s intellectual type flicks)  {Telling on my movie taste here:  if Adam Sandler or Jackie Chan are not in the film, it could be suspect}  Some real estate professionals may think organizations such as Trulia and Zillow are “bad for business.”  The real estate business as we know it is live and well and God bless Zillow and Trulia for joining the fray.   Here are five observations from this grizzled real estate broker.Zillow App

1.  Home buyers and sellers love Zillow and Trulia:   Regardless of your opinion of data integrity, value accuracy, etc., there is no disputing that millions of buyers and sellers are using the apps.  They must have some type of value, otherwise people would not download them.  Judging from my experience it is not entertainment value.

2.  Robots are robots:  Regardless of the power of third parties to influence our customers, they do not have the relationship with local people.  Licensed real estate agents do.  Hint to agents: focus on relationships.

3.  Zillow and Trulia provide value:  Recent friend of mine used “Make Me Move” application with Zillow.  The buyer that responded had agent representation, so he called wanting me to represent him.  Zillow is not representing anyone regarding their “guess” to square footage, or their “Zestimate” of value.  My license is still on the line with my measuring tape in hand and on the “ground”.

4.  Agents provide value:  We are paid well for our knowledge,  skill, and trust in relationship in context of fair dealing.  My most recent listing is 12 years old.  The owners purchased a new 2,400 square foot home for $300,000 in 2000.  Over the last decade the owners finished the entire second floor, which added space to a new total of 3,800 square feet.  There is no data that Zillow can pick up that “justifies” a price of $465,000 for the original 2,400 sqft home.  That is local product knowledge delivered by a licensed pro.

5. Whip’em fair and square:  Groaning agents over competition bore me!  Trulia is a huge wordpress blog that strategically uses agents across the country to add value to it.  Stop!  Build your own blog and put a hurtin on Trulia and Zillow.  Reclaim your territory and bring the fight to your neighborhood.  One million Realtors or two million licensed real estate agents far out number the assets of Trulia and Zillow.

Zillow and Trulia are not of the devil.  They are products of what current consumers are demanding in knowledge about real estate.  Start a blog, get a Twitter account and let’s serve our customers well!