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Is the Post-Internet Real Estate Search Experience Better or Worse?

Brian Boero from 1000Watt has alluded to a theme in previous writing (I can’t remember the exact post though to link to):

The post-internet-enabled real estate experience is worse than before.

He mentioned that again on an Inman Connect panel I saw last week in San Francisco. Greg picked up on it as well.

There are two big components to the “real estate experience”: the search process, and the transaction (which I’m not discussing in this post).

Prior to the internet, your search experience was either walk/drive around town and look for lawn signs or, talk to an agent who knew everything on the market. You may have looked at several homes your agent manually curates for you.

Today, you likely search dozens of websites, several mobile apps and look at hundreds of listings. Perhaps you look at two dozen homes in person with an agent.

Bottom line: buyers have access to exponentially more information (which is great) — but they also spend considerably more time looking at homes (not necessarily a good thing).

You used to talk to an agent because you couldn’t get any information without one. Now, you talk to an agent because there is too much information available, and you want someone to filter through the crap and give your relevant, curated, personalized advice.

Is today’s real estate search experience really that much better than it was prior to the internet? (it’s worth noting Inman Connect included a panel called “How the Media Flunks the Truth Test: Confusing the Public for Clicks“)

I still firmly believe the future of search is super simple, curated search (see here and here).

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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