BrokerageIndustry News

Real estate debate: High touch vs. high tech

Newcomer, veteran argue future role of Realtors

NEW YORK -- Some common labels land on various breeds of real estate companies -- such as "discount or "traditional" -- that seem to stick even though they don't quite fit, said panelists Monday during a session at the Real Estate Connect NYC conference. The terms can result in adversarial connotations, including the perception of an uneven playing field that pits newcomers against a backlash from industry veterans. While the labels may be misnomers, new low-cost business models can still feel friction from established companies and organizations, said Glenn Kelman, CEO for Redfin, a brokerage company that offers rebates to consumers while automating some aspects of the real estate transaction with Internet-based services. Kelman, who debated Allan Dalton, president of real estate search company Move Inc., during a session at the real estate conference, said his company has experienced some pushback, including the threat of lawsuits and buyers who said they worry that other companies w...