Who owns the real estate industry?

source: Property Professional Magazine
  1. Estate Agents did not ‘save the industry’, the internet did. The internet prevented the industry from eating itself with its monopoly action that provided preferential treatment to some in the print space. The internet provided smaller independent estate agencies and new startups to thrive, by providing them with an easier entry to market…and it simplified the home search experience for buyers.
  2. Although property portals are seen as ‘Unrelated business interests’, I’m actually quite sure many buyers and sellers will find value with the simpler way of finding a home or agent on one website. In fact, property portals are one of the core elements of the real estate transaction although some agents feel they are held ransom. Buyers are doing more of their own homework and in many cases, now exactly which homes they want to view. It is unfortunate though, that portal monopolies do command heavy fees in return for leads. Some of the top portals will provide 80–90% of leads to agents. So reduce the dependency and start innovating. Invest in different ways of attracting leads and invest in your own website. It’s quite amazing to see how the portals dominate Google SEM positions, while many agencies, including big franchises, have it within their power to compete with that on a hyperlocal level. Opportunity lost.

You had control of print, what happened then?

I wonder why the industry failed to take advantage of their print monopoly years ago, and not invested and continued to push an industry owned portal when the internet arrived in the 90's? Maybe no one had the vision? There were attempts, but you need absolute focus, an awesome team with a vision and lots of cash to make it work. You also need buy in from everyone in what I believe is a fragmented industry. The real estate industry supported and allowed portals to grow and 20 years later people are complaining and even suggesting going back to print!…

I hope some estate agents in South Africa share my view and see the opportunity. The time has never been better to start disrupting, are you going to be part of it?



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Adriaan Grové

Adriaan Grové

I’m the CEO of www.entegral.net, I love working with my remote team to solve real estate problems. Questions everything.