Agents divided over impact of digital services

by Jordan Maxwell24 Jun 2015
Yet another online real estate tool has entered the market attempting to fill the gap between agents and sellers as digital real estate services continue to boom.

Home Contender is the latest in a new wave of tools designed to make the selling process smoother, and while many protest the effectiveness of such websites, some are applauding the technology for evolving the industry and forcing change.

“I’m a fan of sites like this because it’s creating conversation and change in the industry and the status quo for agents,” said Nick Karadza, a broker of record with Rockstar Realty, told REP. “Agents should always focus on what they do best, and sites like this don’t bother me because I tailor my business based on service not price, which is what I think worries a lot of agents.”

“The industry is so old school. Everyone wants to protect their turf, that I understand, but someone will always come along and try to break the mold. Some have bad business models, but there’s a lot of opportunity there so it’s important for agents to focus on what they do best.”

The comments come following a series of digital services that have been making their mark of late. Following the closure of Zoocasa, Yellow Pages recently released a new service, while FeeDuck, another online tool, just recently expanded nationally.

Now Home Contender is looking to make an impact for the homeowner, providing an efficient way to list a property and find an agent ideally suited to their needs. It creates a marketplace where multiple agents have the chance to pitch the client.

The website gives sellers power and shifts the onus onto agents: as opposed to sellers approaching agents, they put up their listing and sit back while offers from agents come to them.


  • by Scott Simmons 6/24/2015 12:17:03 PM

    It's not just the agents that are old school.

    Have you ever wondered why we need all the boards we have. In the old days they printed the MLS books, recently they did data uploading and taught courses. Now courses are on line and most agents do their own data uploading. The cost of all the boards is born by the agents in way of fees. We should look at combining all board in each province to one board for each. What kind of benefits do they provide in this era? Could one mega board service each province?

    The next logical thing to look at is storefront retail brokerages and monthly cost for such services. I personally do not see any benefit and opted out years ago.

    There is also the fact that agents are still doing costly print advertising.

    Our industry looks to an outsider as a plump old school money making machine that is primed to get knocked off. Maybe we need to trim the fat and become leaner.

  • by RealtyPoint 6/24/2015 12:43:02 PM

    I took a quick look at and all I see are 10 agents in Calgary offering their servives (rather, buying leads) and yes, I know that is their only market for now.
    For a site that first started posting to their blog January 2014, they aren't gaining much for traction.

    Just another example of an online lead generator looking at the commissions of home sales and trying to pick the pockets of realtors.

    Yes, I know, there will always be a paying client/realtor for these types of services, but they don't build a business. They simple lower the common denominator.

  • by Matt 6/24/2015 1:20:52 PM

    I agree with Scott on a few points, and think agents should be focusing on their skills and what value proposition they offer. I know mine, as do so many others, and I think those that do aren't scared or worried about every time some other "miracle" service pops up. You know the saying "if it's too good to be true?", and "you get what you pay for" ? There's some truth to those, you just have to show it.

    If a consumer thinks that the cost of a REALTOR is too much, they have several options...the market is open to competition. I'm not scared of it, and I don't think any other agent that is good at his/her job is either.

    (now let's just wait for the troll to come make his comments...)

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