Trulia and Zillow showed that it is possible to develop huge database of homes and provide information which previously was thought possible only to be available in MLS. The fact that customers rapidly embraced both companies demonstrated that MLS is not the only panacea in real estate and can be competed with. You can read more in the following post: http://activerain.com/blogsview/136134/Who-Started-the-Real (Who Started Real Estate Revolution?)
Zillowâ€™s valuations can be quite a bit off in many markets. Some consumers understand this and others do not. Data integrity for listings still is greatest through MLSs. This results from the policing of data updates and requirements for timely submission of new listings through MLSs in order to retain membership. Listings submitted to other sites, including Trulia, can have errors since agents do not have direct access to enter updates. Some data is submitted by third party vendors such as a publication submitting data from ad copy that may be dated.
Including all itâ€™s imperfections, these data sites are great for consumers. These sites fill a need that was left void by MLSs across the country. Restrictions, sometimes anti-consumer restrictions, tie the hands of Realtors who might have a desire to provide access to information to consumers.
Sites such as Trulia and Zillow responded to consumer demand for information and services that were not provided from within the real estate industry. Voices is one of the best things to hit the real estate industry. It will be interesting to see how it develops and matures in the future.
Despite all the information that has now landed in the hands of buyers and sellers, the interpretation of this data is still best achieved with the guidance and advice of full time dedicated Realtor.
" The FTC and Justice Department had engaged in 15 investigations over MLS policies that block exclusive agency property listings from public display on the Realtor.com and some other public-facing property-search sites".
As these sites start to open the public to more access of listings and everyone with an idea creating a new listing service. It seems like this is just the beginning. Those that think things will ever be the same might be in for a shock.
With success comes responsabilty and the sites will soon see that creating accurate models and continued improvement will either see them prosper or just open the door for the next big website.
It is a wonderful time for real estate professionals, some see a negative in progress as others see oppurtunity. The fact that you see all these questions on trulia and new forums for discussion should be confirmation that a Realtors expertise will always be needed. Sure these sites make it easier for the public, but they cannot fullfil all of a realtors Expertise.
Realtors will always play a role in the industry no website can replace them, and i like that other sectors of the economy meaning technology are helping us think outside the box and allowing us to reach more people.
Better informed buyers/sellers raises the bar in our industry. Bring it on. Let's keep us all growing!