It’s Time For A Change…

I’m a big fan of analogies.  So much so that when the words, “it’s like…” come out of my mouth, I can see my wife fighting back the urge to roll her eyes and run the other direction.

So when this video popped up on the BI Blog a few months back, I thought it was pure genius.

The basic premise of the video is that the advertising world hasn’t changed to meet the consumers’ needs.  Advertiser is disconnected from the Consumer and continues to shove old methods down the Consumer’s throat.  The pinnacle moment (for me, at least) comes when the Consumer says, “I’ve changed…and you haven’t.”  But the pompous Advertiser still doesn’t get it and blurts out, “I want it to be like the old days” as Consumer storms out of the restaurant.

Though I’m not an advertising exec (nor do I play one on tv), it seems as though the advertising industry and the real estate industry have a lot in common. The introduction of the internet (along with some other factors) has changed the landscape in both industries.  In advertising, success used to be determined by ‘investing’ money into clever print campaigns and catchy  Super Bowl ads.  The more eyes, the more money, the more successful the campaign.  However, new media outlets (web, social media, video gaming, etc) has thrown a wrench into the ‘old’ model.  

The successful real estate brokerage used to be the one with the most agents and the most listings.  If a brokerage controlled the information, inventory, and people, they were a juggernaut that couldn’t be stopped.  In the past, the industry was dependent on brokerages and agents running the show. They held all of the information.  They controlled the transaction.  They set the rules and did things their way.  The consumer played a much more passive role and completely depended on the brokerages for everything.  It was a broker-centric and agent-centric world.  

Then the internet came along.  At first the changes were small.  But after a while we started to see the impact.  MLS books became a thing of the past – the MLS went online.  Brokers and agents began to develop simple web sites so consumers could do their own searches.  Counties began posting tax records online.  Information became freely and readily available for the average person.  With a few hours of research online, that average person could all of a sudden become extremely knowledgeable about real estate in a specific city, town, or neighborhood.

The industry had shifted.  The internet democratized the information so that the consumer no longer played a passive role in the real estate process…the consumer was now in the driver’s seat. 

But most of today’s brokerages are still yearning for ‘the old days’ and have been slow to adjust to this shift.  Many are still doing things the old way – hoarding information, not investing in technology to help their clients, putting out pathetic web sites with archaic home searches and no real information. 

That’s where Nest comes in.  We understand the industry is changing and we’re embracing it.  We know ‘the old days’ are over and the consumer’s needs and wants have changed…so we’ve adjusted. 

Every aspect of our business is based around one simple question: does this benefit our clients? 

That one question led me to develop our company belief system.  But it also led me to thoroughly analyze what a real estate web site should be.  So as the foundation of Nest, I set out to develop a web site that provided buyers and sellers with the tools they needed to be an active and educated participant in a successful real estate transaction.  Based on my experience, buyers and sellers wanted a) flexible home search options and b) real information.  So, that’s where I started:

  1. Nest Home Search: Everybody searches a different way.  Some search by price, some by location, some by the number of bedrooms, some by schools.  So we’re offering all of the options.  Whether you want to search by neighborhood, county, area, school, price, MLS number, beds, baths, garage/no garage – you are in control.
  2. Real Information:  One of my biggest pet peeves with real estate sites is the lack of ‘real’ information.  They’re full of ‘fluff’ – lots of text, but nothing substantial or useful.  We’ve changed that.  We have real descriptions of over 175 area neighborhoods – all with pictures and many with video tours.  And that’s just the beginning.  We’ll be expanding those options as well as providing in-depth market reports by county, neighborhood, school district, etc.  So, whether you own a farm in Keswick or are looking to buy a home in Crozet, you’ll have the tools to be educated.

This web site is just the beginning.  As the industry and the real estate world continues to evolve (and yes, it will), Nest will be out in the forefront – looking for new ideas to improve our services and for better ways to serve our clients.

So hold on tight.  It’s going to be a fun ride.

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Posted in Charlottesville
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