Hair Revivals and the Stagnation of Online Real Estate

avatarthumbnail.jpgIt was mentioned to me yesterday that here on the All Phoenix Real Estate blog I’ve all but stopped writing about national and broad-scope real estate issues in favor of information about the local market, the Arizona contract and such.

To a degree the shift has been intentional. And to a larger degree, it has been the result of what appears to be a great deal of stagnation in the online real estate world.

The last couple of years saw the beginning of Zillow and of Trulia, and new-look old-style discounters such as Redfin. Much time has been spent and continues to be spent debating the changes that “have to” come to the real estate industry because of the proliferation of information consumers can find on the Internet.

But three years into the revolution, little has changed. More and more partial information is available in more and more locations but all of the pieces still don’t add up to the full picture. Redfin remains in business in higher priced markets but has not been seen here in the Phoenix real estate market (which is fine – there are other places consumers more concerned about their rebate than anything else can turn.)

Zillow and Trulia keep soldiering on though neither seems able to discern the difference between a trustee’s sale where the lender was the high bidder and a real sale.

Search interfaces add new bells and whistles but are substantially the same.

Commissions remain as negotiable as ever even if they revert to a given range, much like nature seems to favor the Fibonacci sequence.

This isn’t to say there isn’t room for true innovation. It’s just that what is happening now is more a question of refinement than invention. The revolution – this revolution – is over.

Think (if you must) of the musical Hair. At the time it hit Broadway it was revolutionary for its anger, for its starkness, for the nudity, for the cutting edge to the lyrics … it was something that simply hadn’t been seen before.

Hair is back on Broadway now in revival mode and while the songs are the same, the anger is missing – the 2000’s aren’t the 1960’s – and it can’t be faked out of context. The revolution that sparked the original long since has passed, leaving the new version little more than a shell of the original innovation.

So it goes in real estate these days, where it’s more common to talk the talk without ever having to walk the walk. There still are those seeking short cuts and those peddling their wares to these folks. And yet the old-fashioned methodology still works just as well today as it did before the real estate industry allegedly was revolutionized.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • BawldGuy 8 years ago

    The growing chorus of the soon to be hit song, “We told ya so” is increasing in volume. The so-called revolution came and went with most of the industry on the sidelines. Yawn…

  • Jonathan Dalton 8 years ago

    I’ll never be accused of being full-on old school but some of it works.

    I’ll be the progenitor of Real Estate 1.5 – retro cool.

  • BawldGuy 8 years ago

    Ah, retro cool, always a good choice. They’re all arrows in our quiver.

Comments are closed.