Zillow under fire from Realtors

Brian Brady has a really interesting post on the recent “cease and desist” order from the Arizona Board of Appraisers. Read it here. I wrote a brief note on it here. Of course the Blogosphere has been buzzing the past week on this topic.

Brian makes a very good point:

Confident Realtors and lenders know that you, the consumer, have a brain and intend to use it while you pay us the fees we earn. Many of us feel we’re worth what you pay us. I just hope you do.

I couldn’t have said it any better. The Internet has threatened every business out there. If it hasn’t threatened your industry yet, it will sooner or later. Lenders faced a similar threat with the arrival of outlets like Lendingtree.com and rate quotes from Bankrate.com. I guess lending has always been a slightly different beast.

So, do Realtors really have to be scared of this “Zillow” thing? I don’t think they really have to. Real Estate is a very touch intensive industry. Even if consumers get information on Zillow, unless they really have a desire to go “FSBO” or buy without an agent they have no other choice.

The issue then becomes one of managing expectations. Specifically on price and value. This means Realtors will have to sharpen their people skills and do more homework. In other words they will need to be constantly learning, adapting, improving and upgrading their skills. After all, hasn’t that always been the key to success?

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