“Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate” is a refreshing read. I feel the tension between Realtor’s need to maintain control of information, and the internet’s tidal force to democratize it all. Buyers and Sellers used to approach us, the gatekeepers, for access to our sacred MLS (Multiple Listing Service), but over the last ten years sites like Zillow have eroded that barrier, and continue to challenge assumptions held in our industry. This book tells of those changes as well as practical up-to-date tips, like, why you should never use the word “unique” to market a home.
So what is the role of Realtors now that the sun is setting on an era? After reflecting on “Zillow Talk” and my own business I see three things of value we still have to offer moving forward:
Facilitating a Process
Buying or selling is unpredictable and emotionally draining, for example: when unexpected things come up on an inspection report. Inviting clients into a process tames the impulse to fight or flight. It allows them to own their own decisions, and in the long run minimizes buyers remorse, and regret from making decisions out of a state of emotional upheaval.
There is a long tradition of predators in the world of real estate. Good laws attempt to lessen the number of those cases, but nothing replaces a person in your corner who you trust to help sniff out those types of people.
Bringing a stranger into your home for remodel or repair is nerve-wracking, and the same goes for lining up mortgage financing. Agents who have personal relationships with related tradespeople and service providers create a team culture, and makes you feel like you’re not at it alone.
I imagine there are more to be added to this list, but things that I once assumed were clear necessities, like seeing a property before purchasing, have become a bit ambiguous now.
I recommend this book to anyone thinking about real estate. It’s thought provoking and honest. Check it out here: http://www.zillow.com/zillowtalk/