Those who “Keep it LOCAL” will ALWAYS win

Zillow Termination of RealTracs Public Data Feed Represents a Change for BETTER

When Real Estate Agents throughout Middle Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, and Northern Alabama checked their email this morning, we saw a press release from Stuart White CEO of Realtracs Solutions our Multiple Listing Service Provider announcing the above decision of Zillow.

I say “KUDOS” to Stuart White and Realtracs for continuing to advocate for the best interests of our LOCAL industry and LOCAL Home Buyers and Sellers.

The minute I knew the news had “broken” I knew that InmanNews would pick up on the story, so I wandered over there and found their article here:

Zillow balks at taking ‘intentionally degraded’ listings from MLS

The Inman News story does a decent of describing the scenario on the surface – A description of the landscape which is useful for basic understanding, but it falls short on conveying the significance of the issue.

This is an important (and not new) “conversation” because, as the quote below from the inman article points out. the current way is not working so well.

“In another survey by stock analysis firm PAA Research, 49 percent of 400 agents surveyed said brokers should offer limited information in syndicated listings with a link back to the broker’s site. Just over a fifth of respondents, 21. 4 percent, said brokers should end syndication of listings to aggregators, and 7.6 percent said brokers should delay syndication of listings to aggregators. Only 21.9 percent said the system worked fine as is.”

Brian Copeland is an iconic figure in the local Nashville Real Estate Market (and Beyond) who is a rabid student (as am I) of all things pertaining to Real Estate. He is always one of the first Professionals in our market to speak when things go wonky, and he often does so on our REALTOR Facebook forum and/or his blogsite residing on his website at Http:// . When the news broke that Zillow was acquiring Trulia in July, the fear amongst Real Estate Sales Professionals was REAL and palpable. Brian wrote what I consider to be a brilliant post to remind his colleagues and the general public to keep all of this in proper perspective. Check his post out at this link and especially his final comments about the “True Value” of a REALTOR:

Will the Zillow Acquisition End Your Business?

“Our true value is being a cumulative, quality professional through education, advocacy and relationships.  This is why none of the professionals I respect are fearful of mergers and industry change.  Their foundations are so strong, no matter what implied storm is about to hit, they will not only survive, they will thrive.” Brian Copeland

Without going into the specifics about “Syndicating listing data” to these mega websites, I want to focus on the core of the conversation . . . what MATTERS most to REALTORS and Home Buyers and Sellers.

  • Real Estate is LOCAL!
    • No one knows your market better than your LOCAL Real Estate Sales Professional who drives the streets daily and physically walks through hundreds of houses every year.
    • These professionals know the nuances of your neighborhood.
    • They know of any significant “Environmental Concerns” such as new developments (Commercial and Residential) that may impact House Values and Marketability.
    • They are engaged in the Schools and the Local Politics and serve as advocates for Home Owners.
  • Accuracy and Reliability of information is critical
    • None of the National Internet sites have ALL of the information about ANY market.
    • The information they have may be partial, therefore their Valuation estimates are not based on complete data (They create complex “algorithms” to compensate for these gaps in information)
    • Do you want to base your largest financial decision on “Extrapolated Data from partial feeds” or REAL Data Interpreted by a local professional?
    • National, Regional, and City trends and statistics are seldom directly indicative of what’s going on in a specific neighborhood
  • The “Value” of the REALTOR is higher than ever (IMHO)
    • Pre-internet, REALTORS “owned” ALL of the listing data, and a big part of their value proposition was that Home Buyers and Sellers would HAVE to work with them to have access.
    • Many thought the sky would fall when the internet arrived . . . That the public wouldn’t need the REALTOR any more because they could do their shopping online.
    • None of those fears have proven to be warranted because the REAL value of the REALTOR has very little to do with the control of the data.
    • The real value of the REALTOR centers around advocacy, interpretation, strategy, negotiation, knowledge and execution of the process of completing a real estate transaction.

So . . . I (and many other well-informed Real Estate Brokers and Sales Professionals) CELEBRATE Zillow’s offer to Terminate our RealTracs Public Data Feed.

With all of that noise out of the way, we know that when a Home Buyer wants to know more information about a property that’s offered for sale, they will “Google” the address and will now have a much higher likelihood of landing on the website of the LOCAL Listing agent who knows the House and the neighborhood and can provide ACCURATE and TIMELY information about the local market.

All of this is especially relevant in the Middle Tennessee market where the inventory of available homes is egregiously low (near extinct) so accuracy, timeliness, and SPEED are essential for Home Buyers and Sellers to “succeed.”

Those who “Keep it LOCAL” will ALWAYS win in the long run.

There now – I said it!

I welcome any and all feedback and/or inquiries concerning any of the above.

Feel free to call me at 615-568-2123, email, or comment below.


Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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