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The Plan to Save Real Estate. A Flawed Plan from the Beginning.

I saw the following quote from Greg Hague (the architect of the Plan to Save Real Estate” campaign) on Inman:

Sellers count on us to sell their homes… yet we (as an industry) don’t control any major website where buyers search for homes. This is bad for us AND our clients. We need a website designed to sell our listings, not use our listings to sell leads. We need a website that doesn’t display inaccurate valuations next to our sellers’ asking prices. We need a website where agents who haven’t seen a home can’t advertise next that home (like it’s their own listing). And we need a website where we call the shots, not tech execs who have never sold a home.

There’s one thing I’m absolutely certain of: Greg has never built a successful consumer website/app/audience.

You know what buyers care about?

Finding a house.

You know what they don’t care about?

Which agent listed that home.

Props for the effort, but this initiative to build a consumer portal is a complete waste of time and technical expense. I feel bad for everyone who ends up funding the campaign because I’m certain significant money will be spent building a website….that no consumer will ever find.

But, what do I know…

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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  • You may be right regarding the fact that no one may find this website, but I do believe he is right regarding the long term plans of Zillow. They are not in the best interest of realtors, brokers and brokerages. Nor should they be.

    There is a good quote on Inman in one of the comments “complacency is a poison taken one drop at a time”.

    I often wonder if the leaders of the large franchise companies really, in the most deepest recess of their hearts, believe that their companies and Zillow can truly co-exist long term – or better yet can be successful together. If the answer is no … then what are they doing about it?

    • “then what are they doing about it?”

      There are plenty of products/strategies they could implement — but rebuilding Zillow (aka nationwide portal) isn’t the answer unless they can actually figure out a differentiator consumers care about.

  • Eileen Romito

    Drew, I couldn’t agree more. No matter which side of the table I look at this from – as a licensed agent, or as someone who works in real estate tech – it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Now, let me start with – I think Greg has only the best intentions. That said, if you want to take back the industry, you need to take back the consumers. When Greg answers the question “Why are you doing this?” and his answer is something along the lines of “Real estate has provided a great life for me and my family. I have a great home in Arizona… etc etc”, I just can’t see how it’ll work.

    If you want to take back the industry, you have to take back the consumers, which means your answer to “Why are you doing this?” needs to be something like “Because the industry is broken and inefficient for home buyers and sellers and I want to make it better”. Not “I want to fix it for US”.

    Now, he does have this lingering mention of some “unique feature” that will be more appealing to consumers than any other website ever. I’ll hold any further comments until I see it.

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