Allen Brothers Houston Real Estate

Attempts to Delegitimize Real Estate As a Profession Will Ultimately Fail

May 6th, 2011 5:23 PM by AllenBrothers Realtors

A trend in online home marketing (with services such as Zillow.com that began during the real estate crash of 2008) has sparked a passionate debate between the do-it-yourself elitists of this country and the real estate industry, calling for a mass elimination of all real estate professionals - a phenomenon we are as unlikely to witness as the mass elimination of the common grocery store.

Let me explain where I’m coming from. I will gladly admit that I am defending my own profession as I write this, and I’m also happy to admit that the real estate profession as we know it is probably destined to transform into something completely different in the years ahead.

It is not doomed to the same fate as the printed newspaper or the travel agent, however. It is not headed for some sort of extinction. Why? Because the core service provided by a good real estate agent is not something you can simply bypass with the use of online databases and pricing algorithms, as the do-it-yourselfers would have us believe.

The DIY cynic believes that realtors came into existence by monopolizing data – nothing more, nothing less. If this kind of data had been available to us 100 years ago, there would be no such thing as a real estate brokerage today; a home purchase would simply be a two-way transaction involving the buyer and seller haggling over the sales price like two people at a garage sale haggling over used jeans. What a utopian vision! How could it have ever been otherwise? Now that the floodgates of information have exploded into the public domain, we can all make this vision a reality in no time, saying goodbye to the obsolete real estate agent and instead buying software that will do it for us.

Or can we? A vital service cannot be monopolized in this country. Sure you can cook your own dinner, but your freedom to cook has not threatened the dining industry. Restaurants have probably been selling you expensive meals ever since you started getting an allowance. An argument could be made that in this analogy, “doing the cooking yourself” in a real estate transaction will probably save you many thousands of dollars; much more than the fifty dollars you blew eating out. By this reasoning, why isn’t everybody bypassing the realtor and “cooking their own” real estate closings?

There is no need to explain all the vital skills a good Realtor brings to the transaction. If our industry didn’t come into being by monopolizing data in the first place, then our industry will not perish now that online databases rival the Multiple Listing Service (which they don’t, by the way). Another blog can explore this popular myth.

 

 

Posted in:General
Posted by AllenBrothers Realtors on May 6th, 2011 5:23 PM

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