Real estate brokers always seem to be the next industry ripe for disruption, yet the profession remains stubbornly resilient. The Internet, smart phones, satellite mapping, virtual reality, secure online payments, and consumer data access have all impacted the real estate search and purchase process. However, the broker fee is still the most expensive transaction cost. The median rate has barely budged from the historical 5-6% of purchase price for selling and 15% of annual rent for brokered rentals in New York City.
Zillow uses big data and machine learning to address pain points in the real estate industry, but is it thinking too small?