Monday, May 14, 2007

As David McWilliams Might Say.....

...Yes, but what has all this to do with Dublin Property Prices? :) Well perhaps technology is going to enable everyone to get better market value estimates. Looking at online information about US property re-possessions and the prices they are securing, combined with price decrease information on Zillow, house hunters are going to have much more powerful information when it comes to negotiation. So what does this mean for the real estate agent? Services like Trulia are going to not only expose historical house prices, prices in this area, prices for houses like this in other areas, but will also make predictions about when will be the best time to make an offer on this house. See Farecast for an example of this working in the airline industry. ReadWriteWeb do a great job of illustrating how the ability to see this kind of information as a chart is going to bring business intelligence to the masses. Need to buy Sterling for an upcoming trip to the UK? Don't buy it now (fool!) set up a "Farecast for currency", that is tied to your travel schedule. If companies like Prosper and Zopa can allow people to lend to each other, why can't US and UK citizens swap currency? So you have 500 Vodafone texts and someone else has 300 O2 Texts on account, but they can't be used cross network? well trade them! Of course, people will need to get these kinds of alerts by phone, and be able to execute them. So what about the Real Estate Agents? The Sunday Business Post reported yesterday that Irish Real Estate agents spend about 40m Euro a quarter on advertising, and that they are obsessed with being number one in search engine results. Local real estate agents pay more than broader based national ones for click-through. The younger the real estate agent, the more they understand the power of the internet in the buying process. Yet, surprisingly few are using simple click to call, broadcast sms, and voice to get generate leads. 20 click through might cost around 600 Euro. Yet, slow to take up click to call? I believe the future for Real Estate agents will be knowing how to create a new position in the emerging information value chain. The old strategy is decaying beneath them. Perhaps it will emerge as a mix of Stockbroker and Lifestyle consultant. If anyone has any thoughts on this I welcome your comments.

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