Industry News

Consumers don’t want to be ‘captured’

Realtor Notebook

There are plenty of Web sites out there that have free home searches on them. Some of the sites mention "free" more than once. I have been doing some research, and I am not finding any sites where I am expected to pay money to search for homes. I wonder why so many sites use the words "free home search." Is it someone's idea of transparency? Some Web sites have free home searches on them but to get to the free home search the user must fill out a form. They want a name, e-mail address, phone number and often have a short survey that includes questions like: "Do you have a lender?" and "Are you using this site for buying or selling?" I don't understand why people fill out the form when they can go most anywhere on the Internet and find a "free home search" where they can search without filling out a form. My theory is the people who fill out the forms are not savvy consumers. Why give up privacy to shop online? doe...