Posts in Listing Syndication (page 3)

Is Syndication Making the Agent & Broker Less Relevant?

As the debate about whether brokers should or should not syndicate their listings rages on, I thought it would be a good idea to weigh the Pros and Cons.

I read a nice post today by Brad Blumberg from SmarterAgent.com and thought I’d throw my 2 cents in… As the debate about whether brokers should or should not syndicate their listings rages on, I thought it would be a good idea to weigh the Pros and Cons.

For the Consumer:

Pros:
  • Have more ways to search for properties online (how many ways do we really need to access the same information?).
  • Prospects do not need to contact a broker or agent to view the available homes.
  • Prospects don’t need to login or register with a local Broker to view MLS data.

 

Cons:
  • Data is not always accurate or up to date.
  • Property Value sites are not very accurate giving misleading information to consumers.

A few of the above mentioned “Pros” might sound like “Cons” if you are an agent or broker …

For the Brokers and Agents:

Pros:
  • Listing gets more exposure (But this information is the same in the MLS so if you are a buyer, wouldn’t you get the same information from your local agent?).

 

Cons:
  • Brokers have less control over where their listings appear and the accuracy of the information provided.
  • Buyers do not need to contact a local agent or broker to get property information.
  • Syndication sites will showcase other agents next to your listing – for a fee.
  • Local Agent and Broker sites have to compete with syndication sites AND now their own BRAND websites (see The Real Estate Network brought to you by MOVE).
  • Prospects do not need to contact a broker or agent to view the available homes.
  • Prospects don’t need to login or register with a local Broker to view MLS data.
  • If you want to get the leads that your listing generates, you will probably have to pay the syndication site a “Featured” Fee.

So what is the next step for Syndication Websites?

I wonder if sites like Zillow have considered charging a referral fee yet. Or, if they can claim they “found” the buyer, why not charge a referral fee or could they simply refer the buyer to a Zillow agent? Have the big brands or brokers considered this possibility?

Why Does Craigslist Drive the Most Traffic?

The short answer: Because of its huge volume of traffic! Craigslist is a fascinating Internet phenomenon. It reminds us of Facebook: a site that started small, based on a simple, localized idea, but then ballooned into a huge site that everyone wants to use.

Ask any seasoned agent and they will tell you that Craigslist is an incredible tool for agents. There’s absolutely no comparison – when you place a listing on Craigslist, it gets you more traffic than any other listing.

Craigslist was started in 1995 by Craig Newmark with the modest goal of helping people find affordable housing in San Francisco. It is now the most popular online classifieds website in the world, with over 10 million monthly visitors. Agents can take advantage of this huge traffic by posting free ads and by scanning ads seeking homes and answering them.

In addition to its huge amounts of traffic, another useful feature of Craigslist is that it is divided by localities and categories. So as an agent, you can post to the areas that you service. In addition to cities, the real estate section of Craigslist is divided into specific sections, so there are separate sections for apartments/houses for rent, office & commercial, real estate for sale, vacation rentals and more.

In most locations, posting an ad on Craigslist is free. You can create single ads for specific properties, or an ad listing all your available properties for an area. Craigslist ads are easy to create and require no coding design or HTML knowledge. You should definitely include images in your ad – these have been shown to vastly improve response rates. Choosing a great title for your ad is also very important. Try to write a catchy title that includes the words people might search for when looking for the properties you sell.

Listing Syndication: a Good Idea?

Listing syndication makes a lot of sense for agents. You obviously want your listings to reach as wide an audience as possible, and placing the listing on your site and social media accounts and in the local newspaper, while definitely useful, will likely not reach a huge audience.

Benefits of Listing Syndication

Listing syndication allows you to reach a much wider audience, and spread your listing all over the Internet, including major search engines, and high-profile, high-traffic sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and of course Craigslist.

Zillow and Trulia: Supporting Agents or Potentially Undermining Them?

But while sites such as Zillow and Trulia are excellent for buyers and sellers, are they really that great for agents? We need to remember that these sites are focusing on increasing their own traffic, not necessarily on sending traffic to agent sites. Their goal is to keep visitors on their site. Which begs the question, are these sites great partners for agents – or are they a possible threat?

Recent features added to Zillow make it pretty clear that the site’s ultimate goal might be to become a real estate marketplace, independent of real estate agents, that charges a fee for transactions completed through the site. Zillow now enables homeowners to upload information about their homes, it has the “Make me an offer” feature where homeowners can get direct offers on their homes, and it has also added a Wiki where buyers and sellers can learn about the complexities of handling a real estate transaction.

Listing Syndication Still Useful

So, is listing syndication a good idea? We think it is. You should definitely syndicate to major search engines and to Craigslist. As for property website portals such as Zillow and Trulia, we believe you SHOULD take advantage of the huge traffic these sites receive. After all, you can post your listing on these sites along with your information and a link back to your agent website. But you also need to make it very clear to buyers and sellers that your knowledge and expertise are invaluable, and that going into such a huge, complex transaction without the help of an agent is extremely risky.

Listing Syndication – now a free feature with RealEstateSites.com

listing-syndication-blog

We are excited to tell you about a new feature upgrade for your agent website. We have just added Listing Syndication to our growing list of website features for our.

We have just completed beta testing our new Listing Syndication tool that will allow you to feed your listing data to the major property website portals like Trulia, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate and several others.

To take advantage of this free service, login to your account and click on the new “Syndication” tool located on the Main Menu. This is the page you see first when you login.

Get More Traffic to your Property Website with Listing Syndication

Creating a single property website for each of your listings is an excellent way to use online tools to enhance your real estate marketing efforts.

However, as any seasoned webmaster knows, creating a website is not enough – you need to make sure the website is actually found by search engines and by potential home buyers.

At Listing Domains, we are aware that you need to market your website, and we are also very aware of how busy you are and how little time you have to engage in marketing efforts. This is why we included so many social media and online marketing tools in our single property websites. The tools are built right in, so that you can easily use them to promote your listings. In many cases, the tools are doing the work for you.

Whenever you create a single property website with Listing Domains, we automatically feed your website to all the major search engines such as Google and Bing. We also add your meta tags for you, to make sure each website is indexed properly by search engines.

In addition to sending your property websites to search engines, we also feed them to major property website portals, including GoogleBase, Trulia, Zillow, and more.

Making sure your website is included in search engines and in property website portals helps your website get the most traffic in the least amount of time.