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A Marketplace for Public CMAs

We all know homeowners want to know what their homes are worth, particularly if they are selling or planning to sell soon. We know how they get the answers to that question. They either look at Zillow, ask knowledgeable friends in the industry, get an appraisal, or they contact an agent and request a CMA.


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We all know homeowners most definitely do not want to give agents and brokers their contact information to determine what their home is worth (the consumer pain point Zillow identified a decade ago, and built their early audience with). But, as I said thousands of time while I worked there, a Zestimate is a starting point. It’s NOT the same as a CMA by an agent who has visited the home and knows the area. If you want to make real decisions, you should talk to a professional.

We all know a personalized comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to determine a home’s value.

What if agents/brokers…here’s a shocker…gave homeowners exactly what they want? Instead of homeowner needing to inquire by giving up an email address and/or phone number, what if CMA’s were delivered to owners proactively, with no strings – or contact information – required?

Yes, it’s a leap of faith to do custom work for someone who you’re not sure is serious. But most of you spend some time marketing – why would you not spend some of that producing CMAs, and leaving them online as breadcrumbs back to your website? Homeowners would appreciate you demonstrating real value without requiring anything in return – and I’d bet they’d be more likely to contact you when they are actually ready to sell.

Has anyone taken a real crack at enabling CMA’s to exist publicly? It would be pretty damn interesting for pre-market homes, and Make Me Move listings – and, certainly, for sale by owner listings. Over time, agent’s accuracy could then be measured against selling prices…exactly the same way Zillow’s Zestimates are.

Of course, public CMAs is playing the long game; which I’m guessing is the reason this doesn’t exist.

PS: I bet, if the members of an an entire MLS worked collectively to blanket every home in the area with a custom digital CMA free of charge, they could end up with a compelling consumer offering that just might attract some of those currently browsing home values on Zillow. Any MLS’ have the guts to try it?

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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