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How the Internet and Craigslist Are Transforming the Real Estate Industry



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By : Andy Asbury    99 or more times read
For more than fifteen years, the Internet has been transforming the real estate industry. The number and variety of real estate web sites has proliferated and is increasing even to this day.

Without a doubt, the Internet has facilitated sales of American homes to foreign buyers. The ability to browse through pictures and property information at will from anywhere on the globe at any time has had immeasurable effects.

The influence is increasingly noticeable to American realtors on the beat. Between April, 2009 and March, 2010, 28 percent of agents worked with at least one international client, compared to only 23 percent, only one year prior.

Realtors, as an organized professional group, did not track foreign purchases consistently prior to 2008. However, in 2010, these sales equaled a staggering $66 billion!

Yet the influence of the Internet is so much broader than that.

One of the most formidable Internet-marketing giants in history promotes—even exhorts—purely local commerce. Craigslist, developed in 1995, now has 50 million unique American users. That means that approximately one in five American adults has a registered user account. Probably, there is still room for considerable growth!

The capacity of Craigslist for reaching the local consumer market is perhaps unprecedented. Upon typing “craigslist.org” into their Internet browsers, users are routed to their local Craigslist web site--no querying or searching required. Craigslist currently generates 20 billion page visits each month. It maintains more than 700 localized web sites. (By contrast, there were only 32 Craigslist web sites in 2003.)

Bargain hunters of anything from furniture to baby strollers to home school curricula are drawn to the site. Posting ads is often free, making it appealing to sellers, too.

Craigslist is surprisingly safe given the freedoms bestowed to users. It has very effective self-policing programs in place to eliminate much objectionable, dangerous and redundant content. Craigslist is not infallible, meaning users must use caution. However, the simplicity of the site makes it hard for anyone to resist!

For their part, more and more REALTORS® are posting brief descriptions of their listings on Craigslist, steering buyers to their own web sites to get more details. Once a shopper becomes interested in a property, the rigorous requirements of MLS advertising means they have access to information that is checked, validated, and disclosed in much fuller detail.

For property owners and REALTORS®, use of Craigslist is even more widespread and accepted. This is because this market is more oriented to a youthful, Internet-savvy customer base.
Twin Cities-based Andy Asbury is a REALTOR® who specializes inMinneapolis condos downtown and welcomes comments to this article. The Asbury Group web site offers some of the best information onreal estate in Minneapolis today. Browse www.minnesotaloftsandcondos.com to learn why homes in the area are so popular!

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