After sitting for some time and thinking about all the recent changes in not only our economy but more so the real estate market, I thought why not just throw the “let’s just see” rope out there and take a look. So, I typed on-line real estate into Google. Here were the Top 5 finds that came back at me. Follow along and let’s review their significance in not only to each other but also as a group. I found the total picture rather interesting to say the least.
Zillow-Was founded in 2005 and created by two former Microsoft executives and founders of Expedia Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink, This mega database of available homes, apartments, mortgages and more seems to encompass anything property related. For the buyer or seller who does not want to pay a commission, it is clearly an option for them to list it themselves. Free, fast, easy and demographically available through a now widely known and published site… Well, it would certainly be thumbs if they really knew what they were doing. Red Flag, it is still real estate and unless you are a lawyer or extremely well versed in real estate laws, I would error on the side of caution and use the site as a possible means of locating a desirable property and then requesting the help of a local agent to take it from there.
Was founded in Seattle Washington in 2004. They have a unique business model in comparison to other on-line Realtor’s. Redfin employs its own agents and pays them a salary. The saving grace for consumers is that each agent is reviewed by both the buyer and seller after each transaction. Keeping it simple in both structure and costs allow Redfin to maintain a unique and rewarding business model that appears to be working quite well for them.
Launched by the National Association of Realtors in 1995. Realtor.com is their official site. Working in much the same arena as Zillow and Trulia, it is an MLS, house, apartment, mortgage everything property based site. The saving grace once again is that you can actually find out who the property is brokered with and set up or request a showing. There is some personalization to Realtor.com’s aspect.
Founded in 2005 by Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen, two frustrated apartment hunting guys, Trulia found success in the San Francisco Bay Area because of so much misinformation and outdated information that was floating around in the “available” rental pools. The company’s model and initial foundation was carefully planned and laid out in a spectacular fashion that ultimately took this company to the top in very little time. They began trading on the NYSE in 2012, certainly not a small feat to shortly later sell for 3.5 billion dollars to none other than its competitor Zillow.
Offers a crisp, clean and clear site. It is not filled with the pomp and glitter than can become overwhelming and confusing. The sections for MLS listings and Foreclosures are separate boxes. There are options to ask any questions you may have pertaining to real estate, inquire about classes and more on this site. Clearly a simple and classic example of what should be expected over what is typically delivered.