Taking a stand on aggregate syndication sites might well position you right out of being in the listing business at all. We (the real estate industry) cannot put the genie back in that bottle. Buyers and sellers learn just enough from media and Googling their questions to know they want their to search those sites and as sellers that they want their listing on those sites for maximum exposure.
There are agents out there saying swear words and stomping their feet that they have to buy their own listings. Well that's not my take on why I spend money on those sites. I have listings syndicated there to get maximum exposure which is just what my sellers want. I spend money on those site not to sell and/protect my listings, I do it for the buyer leads they deliver. Sure I like it when one of my listings sell, but about 90% of the time I am not the one who sells it. Frankly people want their own agent if they are looking at one of my listings (most of the time). I even refer out clients who want their own agent after I have been working with them for a long period of time if they or the sellers have any concerns about dual agency. Once in a while it happens, but it's highly unusual.
I have a couple of syndication sites that I pay for more exposure and on those sites I market myself, not the houses. I market myself as a buyers agent and I've been very successful with that tactic. In fact as a buyers agent I've developed a "first time buyer" niche that I never intended to develop. But it has happened more and more. And while Lake Sinclair waterfront homes is still the main focus of the listings at Lane Realty we have expanded our coverage area and marketing to work with buyers who are not in the market to purchase waterfront homes.
The last few listings I accepted have had sellers who wanted to know not IF, but WHEN their homes were going to be places like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. And since those are sites where things are syndicated I really have no control over when exactly it shows up, but it's generally 24 to 48 hours after I have entered it into my MLS. I then go to those sites and "claim" my listings so that I have control over them and can immediately make price changes or change in status if a listing goes pending or is sold. So what that means for my sellers is the house is current on those sites, but there for all the buyers who are looking.
So those companies that are opting out of syndication are telling there sellers what?
- you don't need that exposure
- no one is using those sites
- our MLS doesn't allow that
What lie or excuse are they using, because frankly in today's age of technology I cannot imagine a seller not asking. My 20 something sellers ask, my baby boomers ask and my elderly clients ask. They all seem to have a computer or an ipad or a smart phone and they are looking for their listing. They are typing their address into Google and expecting to find my marketing.
Now I will be be the first one to admit that I do not send or suggest that buyers use those sites. For example the lead I got first thing this morning was from one of those sites and when I looked the home up on my MLS I found that it had sold back in February. I did three things:
- report the listing as no longer available
- copy and past the sold data to the inquiring consumer
- provide the consumer with a IDX search link on my site
Along with the link I sent a detailed email explaining that all listing agents don't claim, control or care if the data is current on those sites. I also explained that the IDX feed was current. Not updated daily, but current. If they searched 10 minutes ago and a home wasn't t here, but an agent put it in the system 5 minutes ago and they searched again it would be there. My search gives them the ability to search for New listings only if they searched last week and didn't find anything they were interested in they can search for the past week's new listing only.
I also explained they could have me set them up as a buyer in my system and set their desired search profile and have the system automactically send them anything new or they could do that themselves. But that it was MUCH less likely for them to find a house they wanted to see only to find out it was sold months ago.
I do not feel I've compromised myself or my services in any way by using these sites. I do not feel I've taken the "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" attitude. I feel I am using them to advantage of my sellers for maximum exsposure and for myself in picking up buyers who may or may not want to buy a home my office has listed. Yes I admit, I get inquiries that go nowhere when I contact them back. Perhaps they only wanted to speak with the listing agent. If that's the case... too bad for them. I have to go now... I have to respond to another consumer who just inquired about a listing on one of "those" sites.
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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner
Broker License # 169695 Lane Realty License # H-11420
Call me today for all your Lake Sinclair real estate needs.
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