Why do I have to register to see information about houses?

Short answer…you don’t

But first a little history lesson about where the idea of forced registration came from.

You see back in the day before searching for homes on the internet was normal practice the consumer needed us, as the agent, to let them know what homes were for sale and what was coming on the market. Agents consulted a huge book…kinda like a giant dictionary with that weeks updated listings. Without us and that book of homes you didn’t have access to any information.

Fast forward to 2009…

Even less than 10 years ago it still wasn’t common practice to find homes online, you still needed us to tell you what was for sale and where to find it. Right about the time real estate websites were gaining popularity a little thing called an IDX feed came out. Basically an IDX feed pulled all the data from the main MLS hub online (the place where Realtors enter listings) and if you had an IDX feed on your website anyone could search all the homes for sale in the same way I would search for homes as an agent. This IDX feed drastically changed how real estate would be bought and sold.

With IDX feeds changing how consumers searched for homes agents felt that they needed to protect this information just like before....I mean come on, that information is “secret” you shouldn’t be able to see that without talking to us. So agents, myself included, forced you as the consumer to register to see certain details about the house….like the price or extra pictures. By forcing you to register to see this information we were capturing your information, i.e. name, phone number, email, etc so we could call you about buying a house. This became standard practice as more and more agents starting integrating IDX feeds into their websites as the years progressed.

But then….

Unfortunately, like most things many Realtors took this to the extreme. Entire programs and business models were created around the practice of capturing the consumers information then calling and emailing them literally hundreds of times. In fact the first 5 years of my real estate career was spent trying to get as many people to register on my website as possible. Once they had registered I would add them to my email list and “buyer registration plan” in my contact management program and then I would call and send them emails. Every. Single. Day. sometimes even more than once a day. Sure in the beginning this worked, it was new technology and people were more than happy to give out their email address in order to see more info.

Times are changing…

With the current advancements and pace some Realtors are struggling to keep themselves relevant in a modern and technologically savvy consumer world. Literally not a day goes by without a huge discussion with agents complaining on Facebook…. “woe is me, people won’t give me their phone number, I tried to get a seller to give me their address because “Im the only one who can help them.” What they (realtors) don’t understand, either because from a lack of knowledge or not wanting to accept the fact….real estate doesnt work like that anymore. People don’t need us to find out the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, when a house was built, or even the current price. Gone are the glory days of forced registration and spamming the consumer trying to get them to buy or sell a house.

Then you have the agents…like me…who understand the consumers frustration and has figured out how to balance having a profitable and sustainable business in a modern real estate world. I don’t need, or honestly want your phone number and email address…if you’re like me it’s probably not real information anyway. I have better things to do with my day than waste my time calling people who don’t want to bothered. The Realtors who still do this and use forced registration are desperately trying to hold on to these golden days. Guess what…they are going to become less and less relevant and slowly fade away into the darkness.

There will always be agents out there who will argue with me about why they still use forced registration, but that is the perk of running your own business…you get to run it how you see fit, regardless how of how outdated it might be.

The Future…

Life today is all about getting relevant information quickly and with the least amount of hassle. I want my information now, if I have questions I will call you. I don’t need someone calling or emailing me 100000 times a day bothering me…that’s a quick way to get added to my blocked numbers list on my phone and spam list in email.

As technology advances and the consumer becomes more knowledgeable my colleagues are going to need to change how they sell real estate. They are going to have to find a way balance running a profitable business and offering information without pissing people off. Only then will they be able to truly help the consumer. Lets be real…without you, the consumer we are just a bunch of random people wandering around houses commenting how much we hate Zillow.

I will just keep doing me…

I run my real estate business exactly the way I, as a consumer, would like to be treated. For that reason you will never see my website force you to register…ever. If you really want information or want buy/sell a house i’m sure you will contact me…on your time. It’s that simple.

If you need to buy or sell a house let me know, I am happy to help

In the meantime enjoy my website with all the homes and information it has to offer….registration free.

  • PJ Furno



PJ Furno is a tech savvy agent who helps people looking buy a house or sell a house in Augusta GA, Evans GA, Martinez GA, Grovetown GA, Columbia County GA, Richmond County GA, and the CSRA.