Thursday, September 22, 2011

Advantages and Disadvantages of using

There has been a buzz about the online sites that now give consumers property sale and value information, that has historically been the domain of real estate agents.  I hope to give my reading of the site's strengths and weaknesses, based on my knowledge of these continually evolving sites.  Without any preference or order - here's my take on

As of March 2011 claims to have 12 million unique visitors per month and 57 million total visitors.  Ofcourse like all statistics, these numbers cannot be taken at face value - but in relation to other websites it is considered No.1 with respect to traffic.  The most important feature of this site is that is is run by the National Association of Realtors - which makes it THE official site for real estate listings.

1. It has the most accurate information compared to any other free website.  The information in the MLS listings is updated quickly and regularly to give the consumers the most accurate information pertaining to homes for sale or rent.

2. The App is the most popular among real estate apps.  The interface is good - and it has good supportive features - for example, it gives Open House information within a certain radius around you - which makes it possible for buyers to make impromptu and unscheduled visits.  No poring over websites on Sunday mornings or relying on newspapers. 

3. has started giving an estimate of home values - previously only available on Zillow. which is a very popular feature with comsumers.

1. The "Ask a Realtor" feature is not the most efficient.  There is no location element to it - so your question can be answered by a Realtor living in a different state with different real estate laws.  Trulia does a much better job of getting consumer questions answered by connecting them with local Realtors.

2.  All real estate websites sites rely on Realtors for revenue generation so they can provide the content for free to some point one has to question how unbiased the information will be.  Agents spending money on the site will get better page rankings - are able to showcase their listings better so if you are yearning for an 'organic' search there is some lack of clarity.  The agents that buys the most advertising on the site will have the opportunity to have their listings rank higher in the searches.

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