An Embarassment of Riches

Observing online real estate often feels like I’m staring at a strange bizarro world.

Take for instance these two headlines today.

First, Zillow lands first MLS deal. (Guess they weren’t happy letting Trulia and Frontdoor hog the limelight over the last couple of weeks.)

At the same time, Connecticut statewide MLS launches public site.

Huh? Worlds are starting to collide. This space is moving so face it’s starting to make my head spin. And it’s starting to get complicated.

If you want to look for a home in any given Metro area (say, Portland) you now have the following choices:

  • Individual agents IDX sites
  • Brokerage web sites
  • Public facing MLS web sites
  • Web 1.0 intermediaries (Homegain etc)
  • Regional players (Estately, et al.)
  • National players (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com etc.)

It’s great that there are so many options, but it’s all starting to feel like a little too much. Too much overlap. Too many options.

What’s even more bizarre is that all of these developments are coming at a time when tent cities are popping up in LA as housing refugees flee their foreclosed homes.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnnOOo6tRs8[/youtube]

I’m not sure how this all going to shake out – but there’s bound to be some fall out and or consolidation in the online space. The only question is when and who will be the last ones standing.