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Real estate’s deep disconnect

Industry needs partners to help it reach online consumers

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SAN FRANCISCO–The real estate industry is experiencing a deep disconnect, and the proof is obvious. Unlike in other industries, consumers are fairly consolidated, yet real estate professionals are very fragmented. Additionally, consumers are online, but the real estate industry hasn't kept up with that move. "Old habits die hard," said Mike Long, CEO of Homestore. Long presented those and other views Thursday morning at a discussion of "The future of online real estate," at Inman News' Real Estate Connect 2004. "I think we as an industry need to be having a very dynamic, deep talk about the future of online real estate," Long said. Homestore operates, which he said is the most visited real estate site on the Web. Long presented various statistics to back up his view of the growing disconnect, including numbers that show 71 percent of consumers are online, yet 96 percent of real estate advertising dollars go toward offline ads. At one point, he showed the act...