At the GAR, one size does NOT fit all!
Check out this listing of Berkshire Hathaway’s for 81 Round Hill Road. Go ahead, click the link, then come back. What’d you think? Oh, you didn’t sign in, give them your email address, home phone number and financial information, so you couldn’t break the barrier? Too bad, but obviously, if you aren’t willing to do all that you’re not a serious customer, so screw you.
For decades, Greenwich realtors ran blind ads in the Friday real estate section of Greenwich Time. Nice pictures of homes, with no information on price or address. Buyers were expected to call the listing broker to ask, whereupon whoever was on “desk duty” would worm out their name and number so they could try to sell them something; if not the advertised house, then anything else the agent might know of. This method of advertising had nothing to do with serving a broker’s clients, and the honest brokers would confess that. It was about driving traffic to the broker, and the seller be damned.
The Internet, Zillow, Realtor.com and even the occasional blogger destroyed that system and made information readily available to anyone. Realtors hated it and, here in Greenwich at least, they’ve struck back,locking their listings behind fire walls, creating self-expiring links, and wiping out property histories. They’re trying to hold back the tide.
The real estate industry is so anti-consumer it’s shocking. Look at the “buyer’s representation agreement”, for example, which was enacted into law as a means of protecting buyers. Realtors took over and transformed what was intended to be a one paragraph agreement: I’m the buyer, you’ll represent my interests, not the sellers, into a multi-page binding contract, locking the buyer into a realtor’s clutches for six months, even a year, barring him from working with any other broker and promising to turn over all financial data the realtor might demand. Who signs this thing, except for the naive and the stupid?
So now they’re doing it again,locking your property behind their doors, restricting the number of people who can see or learn about your property, and selling you a bill of goods about how this is “effective marketing”. Effective for them, yes; you’re getting it up the rear end.