Why aren’t real estate brokers like travel agents?

Brad Stone

You would think the Internet would have doomed the real estate industry by now.  Or, as it has done with the travel industry, at least wounded its denizens.

A long piece on the Bloomberg Businessweek site explores the phenomenon, which has defied most expectations.

Headlined “Why Redfin, Zillow and Trulia Haven’t Killed Off Real Estate Brokers,” the article by Brad Stone notes that the kind of electronic marketplace that has decimated classified ads and taken the swagger out of car dealers “hasn’t dented the fortunes of real estate brokers.”  He continues: Continue reading

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To paraphrase Richard Nixon, ‘I am not a spy!’

Alan Chesterman, CEO

It is hardly a secret that many consumers think of us brokers as thieves, liars and assorted other unsavory characters. But spies?

Alas, it seems that we’ll have to contend with that false appellation as well, thanks to the arrest of 11 alleged Russian spies.

I’ve written before about the disgracefully low threshold for becoming a real estate agent.  Proof: 18 percent of the alleged spies, who apparently failed to compromise U.S. national security over the years, are said to have claimed careers in real estate.

Anna Chapman, not

One of the suspects, who goes by “Anna Chapman,” lists herself Continue reading

Hard to ignore, VOWs face uncertain future here

Boston-based CondoDomain, a Web-based discount real estate brokerage, is now a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, offering offers a VOW (Virtual Office Web site), reports the Real Deal. That means that customers who log onto the company’s New York site can browse through the listings in REBNY’s database, which is far from comprehensive.

CondoDomain founder and  told the Real Deal that the appearance of VOWs in New York City has opened the floodgates for new companies like his to penetrate the lucrative New York City market.

“The VOW will lay the groundwork for companies like ours to come in and compete,” CEO Anthony Longo told the publication. Continue reading