Zillow’s latest online move was predictable and fully anticipated by many. And yet there are those who continue to believe that Zillow, whose founders shook up and virtually destroyed the traditional travel industry model with Expedia, will never succeed in dismantling the much more powerful real estate industry.
Zillow.com’s real estate “divide and conquer” strategy couldn’t have been launched at a better time. The real estate industry is hurting, and faced with current market conditions, agents will cling to any advantage that they can get – even if it means hitching a ride with the wolf that’s about to eat them alive.
Of course, it’s not all Zillow’s fault; competing technologies are eroding the MLS on a daily basis — sites that encourage the free-flow of information and force agents to leverage more important skill-sets such as local knowledge, negotiation skills and an understanding of the legal issues that surround successful real estate transactions.
The truth is, the traditional real estate model with the MLS as the mothership is already dead in the water. And if you don’t believe it, you’re probably over 50.
So watch the next chapter of the new world unfold as the real estate industry begins to utilize this new service, and in so doing, unwittingly accelerates the demise of the hand that’s fed them for so long — the MLS.
From Condo Metropolis: 12.8.06 – Inman News – Where Technology and Real Estate Connect.