Questions to ponder

It was a great time on the Internet yesterday.

Obviously hard at work, I read this on Facebook.

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So, I went and read the rest of Bob’s blog post.

I don’t know Bob well, but I have a friend that held a similar position and found the same difficulties. A guy who worked for another large publisher. His task was to build relationships with MLSs in order to gain the all-important direct data feed. Like Bob, he also hit a point where he felt it best to go do something else.

But Cohen’s Facebook post caused me to stand up and close my office door and really ponder what this means.

Let’s rewind.

You have Zillow and Trulia struggling to compile data feeds and it’s a major uphill climb. Then overlay Cohen’s question “…could that [publisher dominance] bubble implode if the market (brokers/agents) come to their senses…?”

So we have this pause in the action as the proverbial irresistible force meets the immovable object. I spent the next few minutes messaging Matt on the subject. Really just waxing philosophic. I do that a lot. Cohen is a great sounding board, FYI.

Then last night while reading some Seth Godin I had an epiphany and I need your input.

Now here are my own questions to you:

1) How exactly does the “broker/agent” come to their senses… and behind what common set of interests?

2) Who will stand up and leverage that power (source data)? Does the broker see this as NAR’s job or is NAR pointing back to the broker?


2 thoughts on “Questions to ponder

  1. Thanks for the kudos Bill. Regarding your second question, the word “anti-trust” will surely be on everyone’s lips. One other thing – just to be clear, I’m not naive – it could turn into bloody war if the publishers go “disruptive” to hang on to their lifeblood data. This is not as simple as brokers deciding they don’t like the current way of things and *poof*, everything changes.

  2. I feel bad for the publishers lol. Like realtors they need to show the client a value proposition. So far the large majority of agents/brokers are not seeing it. The mistake both of these publishers made was thinking that the client was the end user consumer. Who pays nothing to access the data. The client is the realtor who pays for the exposure and other service bundles the publishers provide. So since the data is already the agent/brokers and there are many many ways to assemble and publish the data, each of the publishers needs to ask what can we do for the “PAYING” realtor and NOT so much what the needs of the non paying consumer is since the only way to recoup the investor dollars is through agent services. They thought they had a right to the data and in order to make money are realizing it may in fact have to be a privilege.

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