Could agent ‘insights’ offer industry websites an edge?

Washington, D.C.-area brokerage launches website that offers unique features based on local knowledge
  • Brokerages may be able to better compete with listing portals by showcasing their local expertise.
  • That might mean publishing neighborhood "insights" from agents or offering listing search based on points of interest, among other features offered by Century 21 Redwood Realty's new website.

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For years, Alex Perriello, CEO of real estate franchising giant Realogy, has been encouraging real estate brokers working under the company's various brands, including Century 21, to leverage their agents' local knowledge on their websites to "counter the superior engineering" of large national websites, according to Edward Berenbaum, president of Arlington, Virginia-based Century 21 Redwood Realty. After more than two years of work costing more than $1 million, Berenbaum said he believes his brokerage, whose 400 agents cover the Washington D.C. metro area, has realized Perriello's vision. Century 21 Redwood Realty recently launched a website that leverages its "boots on the ground" knowledge to craft a one-of-a-kind search experience centered around neighborhoods (nearly 1,500 neighborhood pages), more than 800 "insights" contributed by agents, around 150 "points of interest," like subway stations and Whole Foods locations, and schools (more than 1,000 school pages). ...