By Stacey Moncrieff, REALTOR® Magazine
John Tuccillo and James F. Sherry offer a detailed look at the new world of real estate in Click & Close: E-nabling the Real Estate Transaction (Chicago: Real Estate Education Co., 2000).
What’s new, of course, is the Internet. And Tuccillo and Sherry make the case that the driving force behind the Internet’s integration into real estate isn’t the technology itself but individuals. What the consumer wants, the consumer gets.
Both authors are consultants to the industry and are well grounded in the principles of real estate sales. Tuccillo is NAR’s former chief economist. Sherry is former president and CEO of Interealty Corp. (now GEAC/Interealty of Vienna, Va.), a large MLS vendor.
What real estate consumers want, they say, is
- More involvement in the transaction
- A single point of contact
- Minimum disruption of their lives during the transaction
- A continuous orchestrated event
Oh, and don’t assume you’ll be the conductor of that orchestra. The authors warn against getting complacent during a time of booming sales: “That kind of thinking underestimates the ability of new entrants to perform the same functions with more involvement from the consumer, more function integration, and at a significantly lower cost.”
Tuccillo and Sherry are actually pretty confident that the real estate industry will be able to adapt to the Web-enabled world. Their book outlines step-by-step how to create a business model that meets the demand of Web-empowered consumers: Create a strategic plan that spells out your company’s vision and how you’ll get there; create a technology plan that eliminates the “islands of knowledge” that characterize a real estate transaction; and put in place the human resources you’ll need.
The new model, they say, involves four critical technology components: a first-class consumer Internet site, a one-stop-shopping platform, transaction management, and client-for-life value delivery.
The key to the last component, say the authors, is data collection that allows you to truly understand your customers and create multiple, lifelong opportunities to serve them.