It's easy to forget that major home search portals are in the business of selling your real estate clients, leads and prospects an alternative to your real estate services. They are not providing home search to the masses "out of the goodness of their heart", they are multi-billion dollar businesses that make money by ensuring home buyers and sellers do not use you or your realtors but either their paying realtors (Zillow) or their discount realtors (Redfin). And every person that uses them is potentially thousands of dollars out of your pocket!
Major home search portals are in the business of selling your clients and prospects an alternative to your services....and every person that uses them is potentially thousands of dollars out of your pocket!
It's no secret that most every person starts their home buying or selling process on these sites but just because they start there, does not mean they need to stay there. The problem is that real estate brokers and real estate agents are unable to provide a similar, high quality experience that these sites offer. IDX websites fall drastically short on features and the real estate MLS primary delivery is antiquated emails and web portals that have the look and feel that is 20 years old. But the major missing link for real estate brokers and agents is being able to provide a comparable mobile real estate search to replace Zillow or Redfin. According to NAR, over 95% of all home searchers are using online tools with over 75% stating they used a mobile device or tablet. And the best mobile experience is hands down on an app*.
Over 95% of all home searchers are using online tools with over 75% stating they used a mobile device or tablet
Real estate apps are designed to work directly with mobile operating software creating the most user friendly and efficient mobile experience, unlike mobile websites which are just resized for a mobile device. Real Estate apps provide enhancements like Push Notifications, Direct Impression Branding, Easy Sharing, and Direct Chat among others. This is why the major portals like Zillow and Redfin dominate this market and continue to push mobile to the masses.
So what do you do? Sit back and continue to allow these major sites to cash in on your hard earned work? Or do you fight fire with fire and provide your real estate clients, leads and prospects with real estate agent apps to gives them the experience they’ve come to expect but in a safe ecosystem controlled by you. It's not as far out of reach as you think and companies like HomeStack have been arming brokers and agents with custom mobile apps to protect their clients and leads for over 10 years. Check out HomeStack to learn how a building real estate agent apps can give your real estate brokerage or real estate team an edge in the fight against Zillow and Redfin.
- Clarke Kress, CFO & Director of Finance Admin, LinkedIn