One of my favorite locations as a little girl, was a lumpy couch beneath the bookshelf. I loved this spot which was nestled in the corner of the living room. I discovered that if one lay down on the couch (which had no arm rest), and let ones head dangle over the edge for a period of time, you could actually begin to imagine yourself walking on the ceiling!
It was an oddly invigorating and imaginative past time especially when it staved off the hunger pangs while waiting for lunch preparations to be completed.
The beauty of childlike play & mental wandering is the openness to developing a different perspective on things. You see, everything looks very different in the real world when you can mentally walk on the ceiling!
In some ways the discussion that will be covered in this series reminds me of those years when I developed the capacity to imagine life upside down & see opportunities in a very unique way.
When you dare to think about real estate in this way...all sorts of new possibilities emerge! How would the real estate industry change if we developed a broader capacity for RE-Imagining?
Let's talk TV...
When TIVO took the television industry for a rapid ride in Re-Imaging TV without commercials, networks had to make some critical decisions. They had to choose to admit the truth that...their world had changed & would never be the same again.
The industry stood at a significant crossroad. They could have ignored the consumer, but instead they choose to do something very different.
The major networks responded with some innovative thinking...they chose to mine the pearl from their own oyster...putting their HIT TV shows on websites like myspace.com. This allowed consumers to watch TV at will & for the networks to reap the benefit of advertising to very focused TV viewers who wanted more of their favorite shows!
It occurred to me that it might be interesting to turn things on their head so to speak, & RE-imagine what the real estate industry would look like if....the MLS systems responded to their clients with the innovations that have delivered TIVO, Amazon & E-Bay.
This is Part 1 of a 3 Part Series...
What Would Happen if America Cast the Vote?
What would happen if suddenly everyone could rate a listing on-line? For instance, give it a two thumbs up or down based on criteria such as the following: how the home showed, pricing, marketing? We do this all the time on Amazon.com and E-Bay and it has been remarkably successful in revealing gems & duds.
Would Ratings Hurt or Help?
Would homeowners have an incentive to price their homes correctly because they knew that good RATINGS would bring them a faster sale at a higher price? How would this affect the "buzz" around a well priced & effectively marketed listing? Can you imagine home sellers contacting others to advertise their home's "Great Listing" rating on-line? Talk about viral marketing at a whole new level!
What if a real estate agents performance was also available for everyone to see? Comments would be a source by which consumers could evaluate the real experiences with various agents. Could this be abused. Absolutely. But agents would also have a direct opportunity to counteract negativity & falsehoods. Agents would have the ability to monitor in real time and respond in ways that could turn even negative situations into "teachable moments" Competent agents do this type of thing all the time! Remember we're still talking about an MLS...so comments in dispute could be deleted...just like on a blog!
What Would Happen if Consumers Received ALL Market Data?
Since we're still in the world of "imagination" How would most MLS systems change if we stopped pretending that the good old days of "being guardians of information" may still somehow magically reappear & accepted the fact that there will not be re-runs anytime soon?
What if MLS systems took control of defining how Sold data was disseminated rather than allowing 3rd party providers to cull the information & display it; sometimes failing to re-constitute it accurately? What if MLS systems delivered "Live Feed" for all their data? This might succeed in enabling the following:
- Re-Imagine: the Creation of a much better educated & therefore more Realistic Consumer. A home seller could now see all the comparable homes, not just the ones selected in advance by the real estate agent. There would be more Value in the discussion with the real estate agent because consumers would see much more clearly why it was important to have a correct evaluation to determine which data was pertinent to their transaction and which was not.
- This Value Added benefit would be available on an opt-in basis to consumers . It would not simply be available when they were in the selling process but at the time when this education is MOST CRUCIAL...the 6-12 months prior to making a decision to buy or sell property.
- Consumers might be willing to pay a subscription Fee for this service, which could be tailored to reflect the quality & the frequency of the updates desired by the consumer. For instance, data which could be incorporated in a full blown appraisal would be charged differently than for instance notification that the home on ABC street sold for X amount.
Stay tuned for Part 2
Picture courtesy of Bohman's photostream on flickr
This blog post was originally titled Re-Imagined...What if the MLS functioned like TIVO, Amazon or Ebay? It was originally published in 2007. I just came back from a 2 day seminar in which discussion focused on the emerging issues facing the real estate industry. It made me think about this series written almost 2 years ago.
The "Oldies But Goodies" Series re-examines thought provoking topics that have been shared on the All About Grand Rapids Real Estate Blog over the past two years. Some of the posts were Featured Posts on the Active Rain Network, and some are not. When appropriate, additional commentary will be added to provide relevance and insight
Lola Audu, is the Designated Broker & Owner of Audu Real Estate. Our company specializes in helping people buy and sell homes in the greater Grand Rapids, West Michigan area. You can contact us via e-mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 616-791-0511. Thanks for visiting our blog. Here are links to some of our most popular posts for you to enjoy!