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"Brad Inman Interview 1999"


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10/1/99 Interview with Brad Inman

Inman News Features
5335 College Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618
Biography

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Update on Prognostications

  1. Inman's expectations three years ago for the acceptance of the Internet, the increased productivity of Realtors® and the ultimate benefit to the public have come true, but everything has happened much faster than expected.
  2. Consumers can not only search effectively on the web, but can also dynamically do other things on the web that were never predicted.
Web-caused Transformations

1. The web today is making real estate clients ever more powerful and confident and better prepared to ask tough questions; the Realtors® who figure out how to work with this new breed of client will be the big winners.
  1. Broadband technology is liberating the "e-agent" from traditional methods; the new e-agent deals directly with the confident consumer in cyberspace from a centralized technology post instead of physically traveling around with laptop and modem.
  2. Because real estate business has been so good, agents who are not utilizing technology to the fullest have survived, but the period of forgiveness is about to expire - those who don't adopt technology will be out of business.
Breakaway Technology

  1. Online listing presentations will be the norm - 50,000 have already been done on HomeGain; in such an environment, consumers control the decision process, asking for information when they want it and making their own choices.
  2. The image of the house in the broadband era becomes the front end of the transaction and a total virtual experience of the property - databases of relevant information open automatically throughout the tour; the online tour replaces the open house as the point of decision making.
  3. HomeGain aggressively applies the concept of dynamic matching to real estate services; a potential client presents his or her profile anonymously and service providers (from movers to agents to lenders) propose a bid on the business of that consumer.
The Success of HomeGain

  1. HomeGain is generating lots of business and lots of consumer benefit; more than 2,000 homeowners are signing up per day; they love the anonymous nature of the site and the information they get to compare what different agents have to offer.
  2. More than 40,000 online listing presentations have been given by agents, and most of the proposals are being read by consumers; to attract the consumer's interest, agents should be sure to include complete information on their professional history.
  3. Realtors® who are selected by home sellers who have done their due diligence via HomeGain have the confidence of the seller from the outset of the relationship; trust does not have to be built during the time of critical decisions.
  4. Better decisions on pricing and strategies to sell the house tend to be made when the seller is willing to defer to the agent's professional judgment; starting from a position of trust expedites the transaction.
The Center of the Real Estate Transaction

  1. Making/keeping the Realtor® the center of the real estate transaction is an irrelevant philosophical argument; as a practical matter, the real estate decisions are being made by buyers and sellers; being consumer-centric is in the best interests of real estate professionals.
  2. The consumer, who pays all the costs, is and should be the center of the transaction; what is most important is that consumers get every piece of information that can be made available, presented in a sensible way, so they can make a smart decision and realize the value they deserve.
  3. Real estate professionals and technologists should see themselves as allies of one another who can win through innovative cooperation; combining their respective areas of expertise creates huge value.
What Is on the Horizon

  1. XML is a great technology innovation that creates the ability to pull up multiple data fields
  2. instantly and brings a common standard to the delivery of data, but its success is only as good as those who execute it; the people using XML have the potential to change the real estate world.
  3. Look for progress in reducing the cost of the transaction and making it more efficient; people are likely to be buying, selling and refinancing more houses because the process will be a lot easier.
  4. Factors involved include establishing a common platform, digitizing all documentation and disseminating more and better information through virtual imagery; consumers will take control of the transaction in a way that they benefit directly.
Tips for Using HomeGain

  1. Fill out a complete profile when you register on the site - registration is free; you will get leads instantly.
  2. Engage the consumer with a complete, full, robust proposal.
  3. Be cognizant of "the Inman Rule:" Buy as much technology as you can. Half of it will not work, but the half that does will make you twice as efficient as your competitors.
Personal Favorites on the Web

  1. Yahoo! offers something new every day; it is a dynamic portal of the web.
  2. For daily news: local newspaper; CNN, MSNBC.
  3. For financial news: CBS Market Watch, The Financial Times of London, Fortune, RedHerring.com, Reuters.
  4. For breaking technology news: Cnet.com; latest research reports: Jupiter Communications.
  5. 5 Utility sites: Southwest Airlines; Federal Express; Microsoft.
Contact Information for Brad Inman:

(v) 800 775 4662
(e) brad@inman.com
(w)www.inman.com