OpinionIndustry News

Real estate industry could lose its grip

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On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal published an insightful essay on how the airline industry in the last 25 years fended off progress and innovation to protect its dominant position and its established monopolies. The result was higher prices for its best customers, poor service and a slew of industry actions that ultimately bankrupted once-great airline companies. The seminal moment that sparked this deep, dark economic slide was de-regulation of airfare rates in the late 1970s. The lessons for the real estate industry are profound. How it is responding to its own defining moment will shape the prosperity and relevance of the business for decades to come. Indeed, the entire industry as we currently understand it may be at stake. The seminal moment for the real estate industry is not de-regulation. Instead, it is the Internet and more precisely, the publishing of property listings on the Web. The Internet has turned inside out an industry that thrived for nearly 100 years on private ...