If “dancing is the vertical expression of a horizontal intent,” are Zillow’s MakeMeMove listings and Proactive House Hunters already doing the IntentCast dance?
In real estate, “IntentCasting” is simply telling others your home buying or selling intentions and inviting responses. As the image above shows, Zillow recently reported “148,000 MakeMeMove listings and contacts to owners up 132 percent over last year.”
That caused Zillow to include “home stalking” or what we call Proactive House Hunting, on their short list of 4 Real Estate Trends for Summer 2013, sandwiching it between two problems: slim pickings and bidding wars. That’s significant because Proactive House Hunting and IntentCasting are the arguably the solution to low inventory, blind bidding wars and more!
The blogosphere and major new stories have linked Proactive House Hunting to homebuyer’s desire to avoid bidding wars, including a recent LATimes headline which read:
IntentCasting could change the frame of reference for homebuying forever. Image a real estate marketplace where everything is potentially for sale at the right price. Instead of being limited to what’s actively on the market, a real estate ecosystem where homeowners can signal their intentions will introduce a new word phrase into the housing industry: “Intention Inventory.”
Imagine if anyone who MIGHT sell their home in the next two months to two years (or even ten years) had the ability signal their intentions to potential homebuyers? “Intention inventory” would precede and supercede ACTIVE MLS listings.
Housing inventory would expand overnight, pocket listings would nearly disappear because intentions would be transparent, and the number of potential homebuying opportunties in the Intention Inventory would dwarf the Shadow Inventory (distressed properties currently working their way through the foreclosure process).
Last week, real estate pundits gathered in San Francisco to ask, “Where will the real estate industry be in 5 years?” Zillow’s prediction made me cheer:
— Bill Wendel (@RealEstateCafe) July 10, 2013
Without understanding what Open API does at the technical level, it’s still possible to envision what an open real estate ecosystem could enable. For fun, imagine how the real estate industry might be organized if the present MLS system did not exist? Then enable that marketplace with Personal Clouds — instead of predictive analytics — where buyers and seller can manage their own digital identity and express their intentions to buy or sell and interact with or without full-service or fee-for-service real estate agents.
Significantly, IntentCast signaling is two-way:
- Homeowners who are not actively marketing their properties can still express a willingness to sell via an IntentCast, even if they are not working with a traditional listing agent or the Realtor-controlled multiple listing services (MLS).
- Similarly, by IntenseCasting, DIY homebuyers can preempting listings agents and the MLS to create their own homebuying opportunities and minimize transaction costs.
This emerging “two step” suggests that consumers are making up their own IntentCast steps until VRM app developers and Personal Cloud vendors automate the dance floor so, to paraphrase Doc Searls (author of The Intention Economy), homebuyers and sellers can broadcast or narrowcast their “intentions in a secure, private and trusted way, outside of any vendor’s silo.”
With Zillow pointing to an open real estate ecosystem by 2018, turbo-charged by open APIs with data and new functionality, doesn’t that make the $1 trillion dollar per year real estate marketplace look like an attractive dance partner? We think so, that’s why Real Estate Cafe wrote a Real Estate or “reVRM Minifesto” in 2010 and more than 1,000 people have already flipped through our version of the future on Slideshare.
The question is whether Zillow’s prediction will attract attention or whether DIY homebuyers and sellers will continue to “dance like nobody’s watching?”
If you’re a DIY homebuyer, what can you do now? In high costs housing markets like Massachusetts, the ability to avoid the 10 hidden costs in the reactive home hunting process are compelling, so schedule appointment to learn why MSN Money recently asked if homebuyers should try proactive house hunting.
Footnote: The dancing metaphor in this blog post was inspired by Doc Searls post, “Which CRM companies are ready to dance with VRM? on ProjectVRM. You can learn more about IntentCasting, Personal Clouds and VRM — Vendor Relationship Management — by visiting that site.