Here is the breakdown.
There are portals, websites online, that allow people in the world to search for real estate and homes for sale.
They tout they have all of the “real listings” and that they are the best places to search for them.
They also have a “lions share” of the real estate traffic due to clever advertising and marketing. Plus they are publically traded companies on the stock exchange. We are not talking some small chincy website – these appear, for now, to be too big to fail.
They pay huge money into pay per click. They have thousands of agents writing content for them, in the way of blogs and answering real estate questions, to keep their websites on top of the Organic Search Traffic with fresh content, and it’s working 🙂
The Big Z and the Big T
Ask most people what Zillow and Trulia (Z and T) are and they can at least explain they are places where people go to search for homes.
They take a real estate listing and prominently display it on their website. If a buyer find’s it there, and are interested, they inquire.
That “inquirer” is now considered a lead, that lead gets sent to a real estate agent that is paying for leads from that particular syndication website.
The same is applicable is a real estate seller wants to know what their home is worth – but that is another story, reference whether those “values” are accurate or not…
That “lead” is typically not going to be sent to the actual Sellers Representative, the “listing agent”.
It is not a secret that this is a “sore spot” for most listing agents that are not “paying in” to get leads from the listings they personally have.
Some Multiple Listing Service’s Boards of Realtors allow, with written approval from the seller, the specific listing to be excluded from appearing on the syndication websites.
Most real estate sellers don’t do this, as you possibly can imagine, due to the sheer volume of traffic these websites generate.
One of the questions that listing agents and sellers have is, “how the real estate syndication websites are getting those listings to advertise, on their websites, to the masses?”
Here is where it gets interesting…
How are the real estate listings, that are being displayed and marketed on the Real Estate syndication websites, getting to the Real Estate syndication websites?
- Some of the Boards of Realtors have agreements with these syndication websites and are sending them the listings directly.
- Some of the Boards of Realtors have a “syndication” process in place that is provided to them by another vendor. Someone that the Board of Realtors have hired to do the heavy lifting to repurpose the content and have it distributed.
Some boards of realtors hold back the listings from being sent for a specific amount of time so their agents that use IDX to publicize real estate listings on their websites, have an edge at a local level.
Each of the above ways of “listing syndication” is dependent on approval by the controllers of the data – the Local Boards of Realtors, and in some cases(I’d hope in 100% of cases), their membership.
Where does “sold out” come into play?
The Real Estate syndication websites are not stupid. In fact, just the opposite, they are geniuses!
They have realized they don’t have to have a “middle man”. They can go directly to the source.
Why mess around with getting approval with a local Board of Realtors to obtain the data feed that contains the real estate listings?
Why not go to the “owner” of the real estate listing? The entity that has the “signed listing contract”?
That would be the real estate brokerage that employs the actual listing agent.
While some see this as a “work around”, I do not. This is a work through. Cutting through the fluff and getting right to the meat.
Selling our sellers leads back to us?
This is one of the “sore spots” that I spoke about.
A lot of Agents – a Ton of Agents, think that it’s “unfair” to sell their own seller’s real estate listing leads back to them.
In all honesty, they did all the hard work to obtain the “original” seller leads, to prepare for the interview, to conduct the interview, to win the interview, and to start with marketing the listing online and in a “boots on the ground” fashion.
If you encounter Heartburn, who do you call?
If your sellers real estate listings are appearing on the large Real Estate syndication websites, and you take issue with that, you must first find out who “approved” the listing to be syndicated to Z and T.
After you find who has given the green light to the Syndication Website(s), it may end up being like fighting City Hall.
If it was your Company/Brokerage…
However, if it is your real estate Brokerage(company) that did it, you may have more ability to change their minds than you realize.
Keep me posted how your personal fight is going.
Let me know, by commenting, if you even see a problem or if you pay these types of websites for leads.
I’m sure everyone would be interested to see why you do or don’t.