When the headline “Freeing ‘captured’ homebuyers” arrived in my email two weeks ago, I thought the real estate industry had just discovered VRM: Vendor Relationship Management (see series of videos above for an overview). But scanning the article quickly, it became clear the author was just repeating a tired rant against national lead management companies “capturing” home buyers and reselling them to local real estate agents for a referral fee. Ironically, 3.5 years earlier, the Realtor’s chief technology officer had a better insight into the radical re-thinking necessary to reorient the industry from attracting attention to responding to intention.
As discussed in a blog post entitled Is Real Estate ripe for VRM? following the Realtors annual convention last year, some real estate innovators are already building VRM-like applications. What might the future hold? Join the conversation at VRM+CRM 2010 tomorrow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society by (1) following the Twitter hashtags #reVRM and #vrmcrm2010, or (2) commenting on or adding to this preliminary list of idea starters The Real Estate Cafe has prepared to kick-start conversation about VRM’s potential role in the residential real estate industry. Here are ten of our favorites ideas about how to retool the real estate industry with VRM. What are yours?
1. Sellers will be able to search buyers as easily as buyers currently search listings. (See comments received / Discuss)
2. Everything is for sale (at some intended point in the future) for the right price. (See comments received / Discuss)
3. Already into a “post MLS” world. For every home on the MLS, there are two units in the shadow inventory. Only half of units in MLS selling, in some markets, one in three. (See comments received / Discuss)
5. Buyers will be able to sign into open houses, and transfer their buyer profile or homesearchID by “bumping” their smart phone. (See comments received / Discuss)
6. Fourth parties, like locally initiated homebuyer club, will aggregate and deliver savings to buyers and sellers. (See comments received / Discuss)
10. Buyers will be able to manage and release their listing clickstreams so sellers, including distressed sellers, auctioneers, and leanders or government agencies with foreclosures, can invite them to bid on properties. (See comments received / Discuss)
15. Fourth parties will develop platforms to certify trust worthiness of real estate professionals based on terms of service, eg. No conflicts of interest because brokerage prohibits dual agency. (See comments received / Discuss)
18. Geoloco apps, augmented reality, and smartphones / mobile devices will enable real estate consumers to connect at hyperlocal level and engage in meaningful conversations that translate into more informed decisions and savings opportunities. (See comments received / Discuss)
22. Decisions to buy and sell homes are preceded by a continuum of intention that can be expressed through VRM tools and informed by VRM apps (eg. think “farecast” of buying & selling based on local supply / demand factors, seasonality, annual absorption rates, unsold inventory). (See comments received / Discuss)