Brands, whether they are large, small or somewhere in between, have to continue to innovate in product lines as well as the marketing message behind those products. Through a brand’s product line, product can keep companies relevant, especially with changing youth, or useful with consumers who make up the major purchasing demographics.
The real estate industry is one of those industries who seems constant innovation in the home search process, auctions and opnline buying / selling of property, online property estimates, and how agents / buyers / sellers interact with each other during the process. One item that large online brands have had to deal with is criticism of online property values – Zillow calls them Zestimates.
In the real estate industry, the online product consistently seen across agent websites is the IDX. Not familiar with the term IDX or internet data exchange?
Maybe it was advertised in a more familiar fashion; home search buttons and property email lists. This essential product has given the real estate broker away to provide an additional product line to their real estate services while capturing prospect’s info. IDXs allow users to search for homes freely yet the property seller hasn’t had many choices on where and how to receive a similar benefit – a instant property estimate.
Many companies within the real estate industry are continuing to evolve or spawn from crowdfunding initiatives. Recently, Inman.com reports the following 3 stories.
Fundrise, real estate crowdfunder, raises $31 million: Real estate crowdfunder Fundrise has bagged $31 million in a funding round that represents one of the largest in recent memory for any early-stage tech startup in the real estate space.
The Series A funding round also marks the latest vote of confidence in real estate crowdfunding, the practice of pooling money from investors online to purchase properties. In March, Fundrise competitor Realty Mogul nabbed $9 million in funding. [SOURCE]
UpNest lets real estate agents offer rebates to compete for homebuyers: LessThan6Percent, a matchmaking website that lets real estate agents pitch their services to home sellers, has launched a sister service that will allow agents to compete for buyers by submitting suggested rebate offers.
UpNest, which officially launched in California and Washington today, suggests to agents the size of the rebate they might offer after analyzing the online forms buyers fill out when they sign up for the site. [SOURCE]
Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, said on a quarterly earnings call: “We think that agents will view online impression-based advertising in the same way they have traditionally viewed lead referral economics, which is to say that they’re willing to pay up to 40 percent of their commission to the channel that provides them with a customer.” The company freaked out when an Inman News reporter wrote that Zillow was shifting its ad model to a referral scheme. While the reporter probably went too far, some sort of referral charge is where I believe things are headed, whatever you call it or however you parse it. But it is more complicated than a business model. [SOURCE]
Brands cannot, regardless of size, cannot remain in a time-warp and expect to stay in business. Releasing better and stronger products are critical, essential, and necessary to be a factor in evolving market places while simultaneously creating synergies with existing product lines. Products and services have to change to fill demand, close gaps in current service models, and that produce products that people want to use.