Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Planes, trains, and Xomes

Interesting article in the New York Times (Seeking More Bookings, Airlines Limit Sites That Show Their Fares) about how some airlines are limiting the amount of data sent to Online Travel Agencies like Expedia, Trip Advisor, Etc.

Yes, I know that buying a house is not like buying an airline ticket but there are some crazy parallels here in regard to online real estate.

“A loyal Delta flier, he went to TripAdvisor, which lists flights from many airlines, to compare Delta’s price against those of its rivals. He hit a wall. “The fare wasn’t even there,” he said.

Indeed, Delta pulled that information from TripAdvisor last year. It did the same for a number of European online travel agencies this year, saying that they did not have permission to use its data.

Are there any Brokers/MLS taking out the price field in their feeds to any national listing portals?

“The more that the airlines can get the fliers to book on their own sites, the more opportunity the airlines have to engage with those travelers,” Mr. Quinby said.

In the industry, that is called the upsell. “Where a significant portion of Delta’s profits come from is ancillaries after you buy the basic transportation,” said Max Rayner, a partner at Hudson Crossing, a travel industry consulting company. “That’s one big reason for Delta to be hellbent on denying access.” Last quarter, for example, Delta’s extra revenue from everything from baggage fees to merchandising rose 27 percent — an extra $50 million.

Sounds a bit like XOME’s strategy.

It’s long been said that real estate broker’s don’t make any profits on commission but on the ancillary services it can offer pre and post sale (mortgage, title, etc.). So it’s only logical these new online brokerages (paper or not) got in to the game. While testing out XOME Mike Sparr made this observation.

Very smart. It’s all about the upsell baby!

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