August 13, 2003

Another Industry Ravaged by Technology

Here. Technology is wonderful for eliminating the inefficiencies in a market. In the 20s, there were bucket shops” that operated on old stock information as gambling halls for delayed, off-street trading. By the 80s that was all computerized for pros only. In the 90s, the Internet took that all away, making it much harder to trade on the inefficiencies in the market for the pro, while enabling real-time trading for the average Joe. Technology has ravaged many an industry, providing cars instead of carriages, MP3s instead of albums, MPEGs instead of movies (this is just starting) and now fake diamonds instead of real diamonds. The goal is always the same: bring the convenience to more people, cheaper, which means eliminating the inefficiencies, in this case the diamond cartels, out of the market. My vote for a market ripe for such treatment is real estate. Why I’m penalized 3% of the sale price of my house for data entry into MLS, the national real estate database, and checking the paperwork (something I could get done by a real estate attorney for a few hundred dollars) is beyond me. I need my house entered into MLS if I’m going to make it known by buyer’s agents and I need to keep paying them 3% or they won’t bring their customers to see my house, but the 3% I pay to my seller’s agent is just a waste. Can some please ravage real estate for me? Thanks. : )