Charlene Li writes about various online tools and sites:
I believe all of these tools are still in their infancy. Realtors have by and large embraced using technologies like email and digital photography to update their business practices. But the central premise of realtors and also of the MLS is that they control the data, and hence, the process and the power. But as tools like Zillow tap into public databases and more importantly, into the information that consumers themselves enter, that power will pass into the hands of the real estate consumer communities. This is yet another example of social computing taking its toll on traditional business models.
The impact: Realtor.com will have to do a major overhaul of its services if it hopes to compete against upstarts like movoto.com. The irony is that with IDX, Realtor.com may have to be reeling in its own members that can tap into the MLS with a better interface. Realtors themselves will to rethink how they earn their living the traditional commission has already been under fire and these services will accelerate that trend.