Hello lovely NWA residents,
My name is Nicole Brekelbaum and I’m the founder of the Northwest Arkansas Real Estate Guide.
Having worked relentlessly over the last three years to gather, write and develop this website I’m often asked, “Why would you put so much effort into a free online resource instead of your own business?” So, I wanted to share my experiences and the problems I wished to solve through it’s creation.
Unfortunately, I know first-hand the detrimental emotional and financial effects of a bad real estate decision and I believe a lot of this heartache could have been avoided had I been properly educated.
For this reason I became a real estate agent. I wanted to know more about the industry and ensure others didn’t fall victim to the mistakes I did as a home buyer.
Obviously, I wish there had been a resource like the Northwest Arkansas Real Estate Guide when I bought my first home. And, given the recent changes within the real estate industry to conduct business online, I found myself again wishing (as an agent) that a reliable local online resource like this existed for my clients as well.
RECENT CHANGES PLACE INCREASED RESPONSIBILITY ON BUYERS/SELLERS
The real estate industry has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Technological advances have made it possible for buyers/sellers to conduct their own home searches, Google their way through the buying process and e-sign all transaction documents.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m a fan of technology and efficiency. However, it’s important to recognize these changes have also created an environment where buyers/sellers are more exposed.
With so much information available online, and less face to face time with their agents, buyers have inevitably become more responsible to self-educate.
BUYER & SELLER PAIN POINTS
Most buyers/sellers today are internet savvy and prefer to conduct their own online research, which is great! However, after 7 years in the industry I heard clients consistently complain about two things:
So then, why hadn’t these pain points been alleviated? Here’s my take on the situation:
SYSTEMIC INDUSTRY PROBLEMS LEAVE BUYERS/SELLERS EXPOSED
The first reason is because the competitive nature of the real estate industry breeds secrecy. Every firm has their own website, list of agents & resources and holds tight to their information and contacts. Additionally the business model is to make you call the firm for information and therefore the majority of firms publish very little content.
Ironically, this actually makes the job of the buyer/seller inherently harder as they end up spending their valuable time hunting and pecking around websites & social accounts to find local information. It’s much more convenient for buyers/sellers to utilize large national real estate websites like ZIllow and Realtor.com for information instead.
Which leads to reason 2…
NATIONAL REAL ESTATE WEBSITES CAN’T PROPERLY EQUIP NWA BUYERS/SELLERS
The second reason is that the most readily available and consumed real estate content today is published by national websites even though real estate laws and practices vary from state to state (and even from town to town),
Therefore, these national sites only produce generalized content that will be applicable to a broad national audience and tend to focus on real estate practices in large metropolitan areas. This can be frustrating for NWA buyers/sellers when what they read online doesn’t match up to the reality of their local experience.
THE NWA REAL ESTATE GUIDE IMPROVES THE BUYER/SELLER EXPERIENCE
The solution to these buyer/seller pain points is the Northwest Arkansas Real Estate Guide- which provides value to the NWA community because:
1. It’s local! It can tell NWA readers exactly what to do, what to expect and where to start.
2. It’s a one-stop resource! Visitors can easily find what they need because everything is finally public and all in one place. No more separate searches for agents, lenders, utility companies, inspectors etc. etc.
3. It’s comprehensive! The guide is non-affiliated so agents from all brokerages are listed and invited to collaborate, allowing the people of NWA to benefit from the expertise of the entire real estate community.
4. It’s friendly! Whereas most real estate and banking resources are cold, technical and overwhelming, this guide makes complicated real estate topics digestible for first time home buyers.
In my opinion, every local region in the country would benefit from a resource like this. I encourage you to check out the site and let us know how we can further improve the buyer/seller experience in NWA.
I hope you will find the Northwest Arkansas Real Estate Guide as helpful as our current users do!
NICOLE BREKELBAUM (The Education Realtor of NWA) utilizes her background in education and real estate to provide homebuyers & sellers with resources they can use to make more confident and informed real estate decisions. Nicole is the founder of the Northwest Arkansas Real Estate Guide and an Executive Broker at Collier & Associates in Fayetteville. www.theeducationrealtor.com