Imagine a company that combines all the satisfaction of a trip to the DMV, with the pricing, comfort, and customer service of the airline industry. That’s what Realtor.com is to us real estate agents.
Let me put it this way– a really, really bad day for me would include:
- Waking up on December 23rd and realizing that I need to go stand in line at the Post Office to mail all of our gifts
- Follow that with a trip to the DMV to register my car–long line, wet floor, perfectly timed lunch breaks…
- Then, it’s off to the dentists office for a root canal
- And just to make things perfect, my wife tells me we have tickets to the musical “Oklahoma!” that evening (Sorry, but I just don’t understand the concept of the musical- so this is a form of torture in my book)
I’d rather repeat this series of events like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day than deal with Realtor.com for one extra minute.
Why do I dislike this company so much? Well, for starters they charge way too much money to us Realtors for “enhanced” listings. The company teases us by offering to list our properties “for free”…but I can only upload one photo. Most brokerages worth anything choose to upgrade their listings on Realtor.com so that they can upload more pictures, change the text, add Virtual Tours, etc. And the fun part is that the more successful I am, the more Realtor.com will charge me for this service.
The folks at Realtor.com have had real estate agents over the proverbial barrel for many years due to the fact that their site draws soooo many visitors every month. It is (was?) considered by many to be the go-to site when it comes to finding real estate listings.
But all that is changing with the advent of sites like Zillow, Trulia, and local sites like Real-a-Save. I happen to think that our website here at Real-a-Save is better than Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com. We have all the listings, updated constantly, in an easy-to-use interface, and we don’t demand that you sign in to use our site. If you’re in the market for Denver real estate, or want to peruse Boulder real estate listings, then you will be hard pressed to find a better search feature than ours at realasave.com.
My point is that regional companies like Real-a-Save are making a play on the big dogs like Realtor.com. Our search feature is better, we’ve got more information, we’re nimble and able to add features that our customers want on very short notice–so we’ve got you covered locally. Sites like Zillow and Trulia have the national exposure and growing name recognition that Real-a-Save does not have (yet), and so they present a national alternative to Realtor.com.
As more and more people turn to websites like Real-a-Save locally, and Zillow, and Trulia nationally, Realtor.com becomes less and less of a must for us agents. There may come a day very soon when my clients really don’t care if their homes are on Realtor.com…as long as they’re on Googlebase, Yahoo Real Estate, Trulia, etc. The list of new, cool listings sites grows daily. How long can Realtor.com remain relevant? How long can they continue to charge such outrageous fees?