Artur has opinions - be it on ongoing real estate evolution or why history and its lesson are important. He speaks up on local real estate market (San Francisco Peninsula) as well as on social and political events and processes impacting us all.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Public Access to SFAR MLS Goes Away

You might have heard the news from San Francisco Association of Realtors (SFAR) that starting in 2007, they will disable public access to the San Francisco MLS. Bill Quick sent an entry to the San Francsco Real Estate Blog entitled "Unintended Consequences, Dead Ahead". Bill pointed out that "It is an old internet maxim that information wants to be free. I don't know if that is necessarily true, but I do know that whenever parties have attempted to improve their performance by instituting secrecy and gatekeeping, they've generally accomplished exactly the opposite".

What do you think? SFAR does seem to understand that what real estate clients are saying is: "We like to do our research first, before we commit to an agent. Once we know what we want, we will look for an agent and contact him or her. Until then, we would like to do our search ourselves and be an agent independent." How do I know it? Because I listened to the presentation of Leslie Appleton - Young, Chief Economist of California Association of Realtors (CAR). She talked about the newest Trends in Buyer and Seller Behavior by Robert Kleinhenz & Sara Sutachan a research carried out by CAR. New research clearly says what Internet customers want. Therefore, I agree with Bill Quick - SFAR is in for surprises! What do you think? SFAR MLS might loose a lot of traffic to the and other sites!

By the way, in the same research, clients clearly said that they would like to use agents. However, they want to do their Internet research first. Finding the right agent is part of the research. Also, as I pointed out in my previous entry (MLS in Turmoil), clients want MLS to move in the opposite direction - to provide more consolidated data across traditional MLS boundaries. Big Brokers (REMAX, Coldwell Banker and others) noticed this and are demanding it from the MLS. SFAR will be meeting their requirements in the Quattro project. If the public is demanding better, agent independent data from Big Brokers, why would they agree to go directly to agents? They know that it is possible. Or Big Brokers and MLS think that clients will go back to where they were in 2002? I wouldn't count on that. Zillow and Trulia are clearly showing that more choices are coming.

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Subscribe to ARTUR'S ATTITUDES posted by Artur Urbanski @ 3:13 PM  0 Comments Links to this post