Search No More
(Why I’m Contemplating Removing Search from My Site)
Here’s the thing. The times they are a-changin’ in the real estate world. The Multiple Listing Search (MLS) was once the historic bastion of a realtors information curation. A realtor would input what the buyer was looking for, like the neighborhood, garage, bathrooms, price range, etc. and then send that specifically curated list of recently listed properties to them.
Why even near the end of the 1990s all this detailed information was in books that the agent would dig through to find just what the buyer wanted. The computer information age has changed all of that. Though it is quicker to curate, it is not without its issues. For example, the Boulder and Denver MLS are no longer sharing data. An agent either uses one or the other or has to input data from one into the other. Some realtors have both engines on their site, others choose one over the other. There is not a set standard.
The change with the biggest impact is the Information Data Exchange (IDX) which has enabled Zillow, Realtor.com or Redfin to have and share the very data the realtors have been curating for every buyer. Their websites and apps are just a laptop or phone away. The Boulder ReMax app (Check it out here), I have to say, is one of the strongest out there.
Searching for a property is now easier than ever, and the buyers are used to scrolling through sites and finding what they want. Often times I’ll find that the very information I’ve put together for them in an email, they haven’t even looked at, and then they send me a list of the very same properties that they searched for and found themselves.
I’ve realized that this curated list is redundant and irrelevant. People want and like to search on their own. They enjoy that “hunt” and can see pictures and specifics right there in front of them. My time is much better spent in working with these buyers after the search, to get them into the neighborhood, the price point and the home that they want.
Sure, there are still folks who want me to do the curating for them and I will happily put that list together. On my site though, I’m seriously thinking of removing the property search bar, which has become so standard that every realtor’s site has one. I’d rather have curated content, like blog posts explaining the Boulder/Denver area market fluctuations . Or share a link to a story I found informative on how to build the equity in your home for resale.
I’d like to hear what you, the home buyers and seller, think of this move. Are there enough real estate search engines and apps out there, that you would rather get more in-depth market and property information from me? Share your thoughts in the comments below.