With the economy in the dumps, the sub-prime mess screwing over most of my buyers, and the gasoline price taking a bigger chunk out of my budget, I was heartened by all of the NAR's victories in our settlement with the DOJ.
You can fight City Hall. You can fight City Hall. You can fight City Hall. And win. And win. And win.
"We're from the Government, and we're here to help you." My sleep was great. Why count sheep, when you can count victories?
At first, the night like any other night. I was still basking in the glory of all the NAR's victories in our settlement with the DOJ.
I was particularly happy, the NAR could now keep those pesky Search Engines away from our listing data. I didn't like the way those companies like Zillow.com and RealEstateABC.com come up with a virtual CMA in about 10 seconds. It often takes me hours. Just because their computers were bigger than mine, doesn't mean I'm irrelevant. Size doesn't matter. Right? I won't have to go back to selling used cars, will I? I'll just go over my "But Zillow says..." objection handler script a couple more times.
But, before I woke up, my NAR dream settlement had turned into a Realtor's nightmare:
It was announced today that Google, after winning "Internet Map Wars" by buying Pictometry, was going to focus on Real Estate.
I vaguely remembered back in the early 2000's, when the NAR was in negotiations with Google to provide the NAR's Real Estate Search. But the NAR's demands to conceal their data, on the Hidden Web, conflicted with Google's stated vision to: "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".
But now Google, with the NAR's victory settlement over the DOJ, had to join every local Association of Realtors with an MLS to get all the listings on Realtor.com. Google said, "The $500,000 we paid to join all 900 US MLSs cost a lot less than the $1.65 Billion we paid for YouTube. "Pocket change", said Sergei Brin and Larry Page. "Hardly a rounding error".
"In the past, to avoid copyright infringement claims, we had waited for Brokers to push their listing data out to Google Base. Why wait? We're brokers now. The NAR says we have to be. We don't even need traditional agents."
"A Google Computer can do the work of a thousand agents. The money we save by doing our CMAs in 5 seconds, we can pass on to home buyers. Our Google Computer Agents (GCAs) don't need as much gas as the traditional agent, either. Our budget for E + O insurance is less for computer agents too."
"We only wanted to be a Real Estate Search Engine working with Brokers, providing them with free exposure of their properties and free advertising. The NAR's victory forced us to become a Real Estate Broker in all 900 MLSs, and to actively sell Real Estate. We didn't want this. We really didn't want to do this, but the NAR made us do it", said a spokesman from Google on the condition of anonymity.
Move.com, Realtor.com and the NAR.org were not available for comment.
Although Google would not comment, sources close to the matter said Google would first use their great computer, search and Internet dominance to start an MLS-Only listing service called GMLS. Google next planned to get into discount brokering with, Google Discount Broker (GDB), referred to as "Redfin-On-Steroids".
"Google Real Estate (GRE): Great Real Estate always starts with GRE."
"Googled Your Home Lately?"
No! No! No! Not Google. Not Google. Anybody but Google.
I'm glad it was just a nightmare. It wasn't Google. It was never Google.
It was Zillow!
Posted by: Cliff Jacobson
Adapt Or Die!
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