A New Zealand real estate agency has closed the doors of its real-world office and opened up as a discount online real estate agency.”We found we had two businesses that competed with each other.
We had to make a choice, and we have decided our future in real estate lies with Jet Agent and the web,” owner John Bradley told New Zealand Property Investor.Bradley had run both Totally Kiwi Real Estate in the town of Paraparaumu and Jet Agent at www.jetagent.co.nz. He claimed Totally Kiwi had about 50 exclusive listings on its books at the point of closure but said that poor market conditions made the outlook bad.”
The market will recover in time, but by then the internet will have impacted on real estate and the industry will never be the same again,” Bradley told the magazine.Replacing agents?On its website, Jet Agent calls itself “the agent you use when you don’t want to use an agent.” It is a “licensed real estate agent and a member of the REINZ” and says “we are trying to allow you to personally carry out the expensive, yet simple elements of the agent’s role.”Buyers register for free but sellers pay $20 to list a property and then a commission of 0.35% when a property is sold.
Even if you use a live agent, too, and the live agent brings in a buyer, Jet Agent’s fee still has to be paid while your listing is on the website.On a $500,000 home, the commission would be $1,750, if my math is right.I invite Jet Agent to make their case in the comments section if they disagree with me. But to me, Jet Agent misses the mark.They’ve gotten rid of all the good things an agent does for sellers but kept the commission, albeit in reduced form. Yet, they don’t offer any new benefits to earn this commission.
They don’t even seem to have any web traffic to speak of.The proposition to vendors is downright unattractive. I (the consumer) pay you (Jet Agent) $1,750 (on a $500,000 home) so that you can list my property on a website where no one will see it.I think Jet Agent has gotten ahead of itself. I’d rather use a traditional agent, who I can hold accountable to apply effort and expertise in earning his or her fee.To me, the future seems to belong to those actual human agents who effectively use technology, rather than sites that seek to get rid of human agents. What do you think?