Not one, but several would be our prediction. And which few is rapidly becoming more clear as the listing business matures. First, only those home sites that have a comprehensive base of home listings will be in the game. Many firms that had great technology misunderstood the problems of getting listings. It is political, it is driven by trade-association turf and there are data conversion problems. Property valuation is dividing for doing valuation of property to get its cost known. For more info:- www.wcvaluers.com.au
For those that have the listings, the fight is between those who have the best technology, best promotion, best local alliances, best brand and best ancillary content.
Sophisticated mapping programs like the geo-coding found on Cyber homes gives us a glimpse of that technology edge. Search engines like Home Scout that access multiple databases also offer a clue as do integrated community data that complement the home search like the information found on the California Association of Realtors Living Network.
Promotion is another important factor. Who has the resources to advertise, conduct a media campaign and keep their http: in front of the public?
Already, franchise outfits like Coldwell Banker have spent substantial amounts of money on advertising its Internet address, in order to drive traffic to their Web site. Century 21 has been doing cross marketing with its partnership with AOL.
Also, local alliances with newspapers, such as that between the San Diego Union Tribune and the San Diego Assn. of Realtors and NAR, help drive traffic to the site. Newspapers use in-house promotional space to brand their site.
Soon, the California Assn. of Realtors will be announcing a similar alliance with the Los Angeles Times.
But the site is still in its embryonic state. The site promises “one million listings soon” but for now it only includes homes 109 properties in California, 1943 in the Pittsburgh area and 65 in Louisiana.
The learning curve will take a sharp leap upward at Los Angeles public housing this week when the first of seven state-of-the-art computer learning centers opens at the San Fernando Gardens project Thursday.