Online search reveals “Segal’s Law” scenario.
This is a problem for me, other Realtors, and our clients.
Segal’s law is an adage that states:
“A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”
It refers to the pitfalls of having too much potentially conflicting information when making a decision.
The same thing happens on the internet. I just searched my own name, something I have to do from time to time because I am in a very public business.
The results showed that I have been in the real estate business for 4, 8, 9, 17 or 20 years. Quite a spread.
My production during that time is even more interesting: I have sold 1, 2, 43, or a vague “hundreds of homes” during my entire career.
When you go online to get answers, you want good information. Admittedly, many of the websites I found myself on I have never heard of before, but I did only look at the ones that had my “actual info” and not one of the dozens of other Jim Sweats out there.
Let’s be smart about this. To sort through all of the garbage online and get the real scoop, let’s just look at the best websites.
Is it safe to assume that the top two sites would have the best information? I am talking the two with the most monthly visitors; the largest dollar valuations; publicly traded companies that dominate all of the others for real estate search. This should give us the most accurate, up to date information available, right? They even state that they update their information regularly.
Zillow and Trulia (who are in the process of merging, subject to government approval) are the dominate players in real estate search, and they do not have my information correct. Not even close.
Yes, they have my 20 years right, but Zillow had me completing only two (2) sales during my entire career, and Trulia had me down for just one (1)!
I am in the process of getting those things updated, so the numbers should be different by the time you look for yourself. But, let’s get real! I have had a profile on each of these sites for over five years! How long does it take to “update regularly”?!?
So, is the problem that I have not paid them to make my information accurate? Possibly. I have called them and they tell me they will update my information and it will begin to fill in. But I didn’t pay them, and nothing changed. Trulia says I don’t have any reviews, but there are seven on the site. However, I don’t have any ratings because the reviews were added by folks before the ratings featured existed.
Millions of people go to these sites every month. I would like to ignore them, because the information is factually-challenged, but I can’t do that when most of my potential customers are on these sites.
What about all of the websites I have never even heard of?
See my blog: Real Estate Misinformation and Extortion for more details on the extortion that takes place. https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-estate-misinformation-and-extortion/
Thousands of companies’ business models can be summed up simply “Get money from agents”.
I used to try to keep my info updated on real estate sites, but there is no way to keep up.
The public is going to get a LOT of bad information when they go online. There is no alternative.
Be careful, folks! There is a wealth of information, and misinformation, available online. Find someone trustworthy to help you make sense of it all. It could mean thousands of dollars in your pocket!
Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM
Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (available 2015)
American Realty of Venice, Inc.
700 W. Venice Ave
Venice, FL 34285
http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search