Listing my Chicago condo for sale last week coincided with a Classified Intelligence report (sorry no direct link available) which examined the latest marketing and advertising patterns of real estate agents. The report concluded many interesting trends about Realtors. Most notably the report showed a reduction of print ad spending while increases in online spending. An article by Kate Kaye highlighted the same report and explained that while overall advertising spending by real estate agents is increasing the bulk of the spending is on their own Web sites. Andy Beal believes the online spending is going to the creation of blogs.
What does this all mean? There is huge opportunity for a company looking to offer tools for real estate agents, buyers and sellers. A prime example of this is the recent explosive rise in popularity of Zillow and its Zestimates which have already almost become a household term. Furthermore, there is a HUGE opportunity for a blog platform for real estate listings. Wait, isn't there a product already doing this? YES, thats right, edgeio!
"Edgeio is an excellent tool for syndicating out listings. Edgeio is an aggregation of listings for real estate and other categories. With the influx real estate agents getting into blogging for the sole purpose of posting listings Edgeio can also act as a blog platform for agents."
Edgeio currently displays over 227,000 real estate listings. Edgeio fits perfectly with the trend of web site development spending being made by Realtors since edgeio can crawl and aggregate listings from regular web sites and blogs at no cost to the Realtors.
Google Base also is positioned perfectly for the online web site trends of Realtors. Sam Sebastian of Google recently conveyed that his team is going out to educate Realtors about Google Base. They are explaining how to get listed on Google Base by just creating and submitting a simple feed of Web site contents to Google Base which places items accessible as results directly via Google search results.
Bottom-line: Real estate hunting is solidifying itself as an "online" activity as Realtors have been spending more on online ads and their Web sites so there is a huge opportunity for real estate related sites and online services. Ultimately, products like edgeio and Google Base could threaten paid inclusion sites like Move.com and Homescape among others.