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?

 

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Brad Blumberg
January 12, 2012 3:27 pm

I think your pro’s and con’s are fair. My mom owned a brokerage so I always tend to think of things from the owner’s perspective. I believe discussing the pro’s and con’s of being on Zillow could be handled on a client by client basis. I would love to hear how brokers and their agents do this, now. I think the valuations on Zillow should be discussed as that’s why many consumers go there. Also I have never seen real data on the type of leads that come from the aggregators, do 1 out of 20 close, etc…do you get… Read more »