This month the San Diego Union-Tribune published an article that discussed how the growth in San Diego’s tech industries has changed the needs and wants of the real estate buyer and seller. But this is true up and down California correlating to the digital hubs we have seen taking shape since the early 2000s. Today’s consumer has become more savvy about what it costs to sell a home and has more access to information than ever before.

December 7, 2016 11:10AM San Diego Union-Tribune (republished with permission)

Industries from retail to healthcare have been transformed by technology. The birth of new businesses like Uber, Airbnb and, locally, like Porch, GoFundMe and Dealstruck, have sprung up to improve experiences and decrease the cost for consumers in their industries. But where is real estate in all of this?

San Diego has attracted world-class innovators and tech pioneers that are creating jobs and boosting our economy. This growth has bolstered our housing markets with tech and financially savvy, information-enabled people who are looking for a better experience, more control and, most importantly, lower costs.

As expectations of real estate services are shifting, new companies are rising to fill the needs. In real estate these new options fall into three categories: for sale by owner-enablers, discount brokers, and a new flavor – an off-MLS service called REX Real Estate.

REX goes around the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to market homes directly to buyers which enables them to only charge 1% all-in for the transaction. The MLS has hosted all home listing information for decades- and caters only to agents. Zillow, Google, Waze, Instagram and advancements in digital marketing tools have made it possible for REX to market directly to home buyers while they are home-shopping and decrease days on market by 30% compared to MLS-listed homes.

Our interviews of homeowners in Southern California show a growing change in how people want to transact real estate. Particularly one group, 40-60 year olds, are more likely to eschew their traditional real estate agent and opt for a new approach. If you were thinking Millennials would be that group, you’re not alone. Founder of REX, Jack Ryan noted, “We were surprised to find our customers tend to be over 40 and have previously sold a home. They remember the pain of paying high fees, typically 5-6%, and being unsure of what they received for it. Rather than using the MLS, we use digital channels to market to buyers directly and we take care of all the paperwork.”

Today’s home sellers are more “in the know”, have studied the housing market in their area, and know the value of their home. The role of the buyer has changed even more. According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of buyers are searching for their home online on their own without using an agent. And for this “work” they want to see a reduction in the commissions reflected in their buying price.

So it’s no surprise that our community’s tech savvy set is seeking a better way to buy and sell homes and embracing a service like REX. For more information, visit REX at sd.rexchange.com or call (619) 304-7395.

Copyright © 2016, The San Diego Union-Tribune

posted by Eric Rothman

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