Online Real Estate Services vs. Traditional Real Estate Brokerage

Real estate has been a very traditional industry, but the emergence of online real estate services and real estate outsourcing services has completely transformed the way people buy and sell properties. With the rise of technology and the internet, online real estate services have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a more streamlined and convenient way to buy or sell a property, with many transactions now being completed entirely online. Examples of popular online real estate services include Zillow, Redfin, Opendoor, and Offerpad.

In fact, the global real estate market was valued at 3.69 trillion USD and is expected to grow to 5.2% from 2022 to 2023. Compared to traditional real estate brokerages, online real estate services offer several key advantages, including lower costs, greater convenience, and wider reach. For example, online real estate services like Redfin and Zillow charge lower commission rates than traditional brokerages, which can save buyers and sellers thousands of dollars. These services also offer a more convenient way to buy or sell property, as the entire process can be completed online, from viewing properties to scheduling appointments, and completing transactions.

In addition to online real estate services, real estate outsourcing services are also becoming an effective solution for buyers and sellers. These services allow real estate companies to outsource non-core activities, such as property management, data entry, and marketing, to third-party service providers. By doing so, they can focus on their core competencies and provide better services to their clients.

Online real estate services also have the advantage of being able to reach a wider audience, as they are not limited by geographical location. Buyers and sellers can access a range of properties from all over the country or even the world. This is particularly advantageous for people who are relocating or buying a second home in a different area.

While traditional real estate brokerages have a long-standing reputation for providing personalized guidance and support, online real estate services and outsourcing services are also taking steps to provide a more personalized experience. For example, Redfin offers a team of agents who specialize in specific neighborhoods or types of properties, and Zillow offers a concierge service to help buyers and sellers with the buying or selling process.

The key differences between online real estate services, traditional real estate brokerages, and real estate outsourcing services, include focusing on the factors of cost, convenience, local knowledge, personal touch, and reach. Those factors mentioned previously have revolutionized the real estate industry.

Cost Differences

Online real estate services typically charge lower fees or commission rates compared to traditional brokerages. This is because online services operate with lower overhead costs and use technology to streamline their processes. Traditional brokerages, on the other hand, may charge higher fees because they often source professionals locally, which translates to higher overhead costs. However, real estate outsourcing services can cater to both sides of the aisle, by providing professional services by sourcing experts with specific expertise outside of the country at a lower asking salary. In contrast, traditional brokerages have local expertise on locations they cater to. 


Online real estate services provide a more convenient way to buy or sell property, as the entire process can be completed online without needing in-person meetings. Buyers and sellers can view properties, schedule appointments, and complete transactions all from the comfort of their own homes. Traditional brokerages often require more in-person meetings, which can be less convenient for busy buyers and sellers. Moreover, they bring a personalized service that can increase the amount of how many deals they can close.


Online real estate services can reach a wider audience, as they are not limited by geographical location. Buyers and sellers can access a range of properties from all over the country or even the world. Traditional brokerages typically only serve a specific geographic area but may have a stronger presence and reputation within that area. Real estate outsourcing services can bridge the gap between the shortcomings of traditional brokerages and the advantages of online real estate services. As their services are done remotely they can reach potential buyers or sellers online. 

The Bottom Line

Finally, online real estate services usually offer lower commission rates and a range of low-cost services compared to traditional real estate brokerages. This can result in significant savings for the buyers and sellers while providing a level of service and expertise similar to traditional brokerages. However, this does not mean that traditional brokerage houses are outdated, with the rise of outsourcing services they can still remain competitive in today’s real estate market. 

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