“They are no longer relevant to consumers seeking real estate contact information,” said Corrie Holiday, a broker manager with ReMax Chay Realty. Inc.
Yellow Pages is among those players, announcing a new digital service it’s rolling out after acquiring the ComFree/DuProprio (CFDP) Network, a platform that connects homebuyers and sellers.
The service, YellowPages hopes, will boost its profile as a key player in the digital real estate market as they look to extend its reach by offering a platform that seeks “to empower consumers and help them save money.”
According to a YellowPages release, “demand for comprehensive and cost effective real estate services continues to grow.”
And because the CFDP is the fourth most visited network of real estate properties in Canada and Quebec's no. 1 real estate site, holding a 17 per cent share of the province's listings market, the phone services company has reasons to be optimistic.
Gurinder Sandhu, executive director of ReMax Ontario Atlantic Canada, said that while digital real estate services will continue to gain traction among consumers who are looking to technology for solutions, agents are taking the opportunity to grow with technology, instead of against it.
“They may assist people who won’t want full-service agents but at the end of the day, agents are becoming better at picking up the skills they provide – being a trusted advisor, deciphering data, being a negotiator and being hyperlocal in your approach,” he told REP. “These are all things that digital sites cannot do from beginning to end.”
At the same time, others feel as though this’ll be another digital service made to devalue the services an agent provides.
“The internet has brought about a false sense that buyers and sellers think they know everything,” said Debbie Wilding, a Brampton-based real estate agent, told REP recently.
A wave of new digital services designed to make the home-buying process easier is drawing criticism from agents concerned the offerings undermine their businesses.