What Canadian agents can learn from the Zillow-Trulia merger

by Olivia D'Orazio06 Aug 2014
The Zillow-Trulia merger in the U.S. has several American real estate agencies calling for the end of days. But just as traditional American Realtors are picking up and getting on with business, so too can Canadian agents learn from one of the biggest real estate mergers in recent history.

Will Caldwell, a contributor to Inman, wrote that the merger will provide a much-needed push to Realtors who have become stagnant. “Agents are now forced to market themselves beyond the gatekeepers to the MLS and become local data and homeownership experts,” he says. That’s a great lesson that those of us north of the border can learn.

Many of those lessons come down to positioning yourself as an expert, which B.C.-based agent Doris Gee – who has been in the industry for more than 26 years – says is crucial to longevity.

“I’ve been in the business a long time,” she tells REP, “and I focus on a [small] area. If you want the business, [you’ll position yourself as a local expert].”

For rookie agents, Gee says it’s important to become a fixture in the community. “Lots of exposure will help,” she says. Gee also points to the importance of agents becoming homeowners themselves before they can help guide others through the process.

“You have to know what you’re talking about,” she says. “If you try to convince someone to buy, but you don’t even own yourself, that’s pretty difficult.”

As for a merger making the Canadian MLS nearly obsolete, Gee says she doesn’t see that happening any time soon.

“The MLS is pretty powerful,” she says. “Everyone relies on it and Realtors are pretty used to it… If you want to sell real estate, you go to MLS.”

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