Listing Syndication: Know When to Hold 'em, Know When to Fold 'em

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with www.AVirtualGenie.com

 

 

Listing Syndication. It's all the rage these days. Not because it really drives buyers and sellers to call your cell phone or email you; but it does seem to cover a lot of marketing bases with a simple click. Or does it? And if it does, how are you using it to the fullest advantage? How can it hurt you? Here is an overview that is super simplified, and give you plenty of thoughts that will make you go 'Hmmmmm':

 

Cyberhomes        Frontdoor    HomesandLand OLX

 

Here is how to use Listing Syndication to your advantage:

 

1. Include an information page about it in your listing presentation. Don't overpromise; but simply compile a list of logos that you KNOW your listings end up on, so the seller can visualize how far your marketing plan reaches. There are TONS of sites that will syndicate your listing for free and do not cost a dime to add to. *(See reference paragraph below for a list of free ones as of 07/05/2010)

 

2. If your seller's primary method of communication with you is via email, then use these ads to keep them updated on a weekly/ 10 day/ bi-weekly basis. For example, upon taking the listing, you can email the links to Realtor.com, your local newspaper link (most newspapers receive all new listings in their online classifieds via homescape or your MLS or Realtor.com), and any other company ads (REMAX, Coldwell Banker, etc.). Include at least 3 links, and tell them how you will be working to maximize their online exposure, and let them know you're available for questions or concerns.

3. If your seller is still a 'snail mail' kind of person, send them a nice letter and a page snapshot of each ad. Even though they aren't online, they know it exists, and they know buyers will be looking at their home. This will also help you debunk their requests for print ads - print ads you don't want to waste money on!

4. Keep this method up on a regular basis. If you go to any of the following sites, you may be able to capture a free link to your listing:

  • Trulia
  • RealEstate.com
  • Yahoo.com
  • Homes.com
  • HomesandLand.com
  • Cyberhomes.com
  • Overstock.com
  • Frontdoor.com
  • Your local newspaper web site
  • Redfin.com
  • Google Base
  • Homegain
  • If you are a smaller company, you can show them how their home is listed on Prudential, REMAX, Coldwell Banker, and Keller Williams web site. Explain in your letter or email that a Buyers Agent will more than likely bring the buyer to their listing, and because YOU belong to the MLS and have signed up for IDX (or broker reciprocity), those large companies have access to their home for potential buyers!

 

Know When To Hold em:

 

There are several circumstances where you will want to WITHOLD certain links from your sellers, here are a few examples:

  • Sorry, I know Zillow is a frequent contributor to Active Rain, and I'm sure it has advantages, but in this case, I've seen it do more harm than good. If your seller is already touchy on price and has a tendency to micromanage, just send them their link to Zillow and watch them freak out. The 'Zestimate' is bound to be too low (or too high, directly contradicting your market analysis and pricing discussions). Zillow's zestimates make sellers angry, especially when the listing agent points out this mis-information to the seller as a 'great ad'. It's not, just leave it alone and hope they don't see the off-kilter value themselves, which will surely cause you grief if they do.
  • Don't send them links to listing you have no control over if they are very savvy or micromanagers. When you do a price change, often the syndicated site takes up to 7 days to change the price! In the beginning, send them ads you have direct control over, and after they've done their final price adjustment, you can use these extra third-party sites that you can't manage directly (RealEstate.com, Homegain, Homebase, Redfin, Cyberhomes, etc.)
  • Don't send them ALL the links you can find in the first stages of their listing. If average market time in their area is 60-90 days, you'll want to span the links and information out over this time frame. Sellers want frequent marketing updates; you can't give them everything you have and then say 'Well, you need to adjust your price!' when you've run out of marketing ideas. The price drop should have nothing to do with your lack of marketing avenues; in their mind, the two are not related.

*Free sites to create an ad to syndicate your listing (as of July 5th, 2010 - these 'freebies' change frequently!)

  • Postlets
  • Vflyer
  • SawItOnline.com
  • ClassifiedFlyerAds.com
  • Trulia
  • Backpage.com
  • Hotpads.com

If you know of any other 'freebies', please post them in your comments!

In closing, YOU have the power of presentation to your seller, and so much of it is FREE to make you and your marketing plan look great. It's all in the packaging; make sure you do it right, and do it right the FIRST time! Remember the oldie but goodie, Underpromise, Overdeliver!

 

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  1. Chris Webster 07/06/2010 01:09 AM
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Tags:
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Ambassador
1,550,726
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

I think ListHub and RealBird may have been mentioned above.  I think you've made some great suggestions for helping market ourselves to our clients.

July 06, 2010 02:09 AM
Rainmaker
974,860
Michael J. Perry
Lancaster Relo Specialist
RE/MAX Associates of Lancaster, PA.
We are trying to avoid outdated and costly print media at every turn !!!
July 06, 2010 06:08 AM
Rainer
283,673
Daniel J. Hunter
REALTOR®

perhaps the best syndication site out there IMHO is Point2Agent/Point2Homes

July 06, 2010 06:35 AM
Rainmaker
401,965
Claudette Millette
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass
The Buyers' Counsel

Markelle:

I always make sure that they have the list of ever place their home will be in syndication. It is extremely important for them to know about each one.

If we could only keep the client away from Zillow - it is the source of more confusion than anything else.

 

 

July 06, 2010 07:05 AM
Rainmaker
334,788
Stephen Howell
Sarasota FL Homes For Sale 941-870-4141
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

Thank you for posting this important information.  It certainly has given me something to think about ... especially the part about e-mail the links to all (ok, most, where I have control over the list) of the online places where a seller's home appears.

July 06, 2010 07:12 AM
Anonymous #17
Anonymous
Anonymous

Markelle,

All great tips! Within a day or two, however, the street address in a Google search yields countless hits.  I usually give that to my sellers to show how far and wide I'm advertising. Plus my blog shows us there too.

July 06, 2010 07:29 AM
Ambassador
410,655
Joe Pryor
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties
The Virtual Real Estate Team

I find Google indexing on VFlyer and RealBird regularly.

July 06, 2010 08:17 AM
Ambassador
683,273
Charita Cadenhead
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
Keller Williams Realty

Definitely add Realbird to the list.  The footer of my letterhead actually contains the following logos:  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, ActiveRain, Posterous, Realbird.  I use my letterhead a lot for direct mail.

July 06, 2010 08:48 AM
Rainer
41,146
Erik Elsea
Erik Elsea-Jones & Co. Realty

I love listing syndication and can't believe everyone isn't creating Poslets or Vflyers etc. What a great way to get your listings out there without having to post all over the place.

July 06, 2010 08:49 AM
Rainmaker
174,220
Susan Thompson-Solomons
MD Real Estate
The McNelis Group, LLC

This is great information. Very helpful in marketing to sellers and supporting what marketing is being done when their home is listed. Also, is a good consolidation of websites to help me monitor how my listings are appearing.

July 06, 2010 08:58 AM
Rainmaker
216,570
Richard Strahm
Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate
RE/MAX Realty Group - Lansdale, PA

You list the pros and cons well.  Syndication is here to stay, so you might as well use it to your advantage.

July 06, 2010 09:36 AM
Rainmaker
533,161
Morgan Evans
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

I like that you really thought this out as far as depending on the type of seller what to send and what could be problematic.  To me that shows you really understand the pros and cons of syndication.

July 06, 2010 11:42 AM
Rainmaker
1,077,882
Bill Burchard
Broker, Realtor - Murrieta Homes For Sale, Califor
3B Realty: 951-347-3818, CA

Excellent info, Markelle. Thanks for sharing!

July 06, 2010 11:56 AM
Rainmaker
433,576
Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker
Tampa Bay, Florida Real Estate
Aloha Kai Real Estate

Hi Markelle. Realbird is good too.

July 06, 2010 12:21 PM
Rainer
40,605
Don Corson
Better Homes and Gardens R.E. - Columbus & Central OH Homes

Markelle-

Great idea on "trickling" out the links to sellers.  I am going to start using that.   I have been using postlets for a while, and love it.  I have gotten some buyer inquiries from some of those sites that I have never visited before, so it DOES work!

July 06, 2010 12:51 PM
Rainmaker
558,659
Chris Olsen
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate
Olsen Ziegler Realty

Our MLS does the listing syndication via listhub.  I know there are others out there as well beyond this -- a forever changing landscape.

July 06, 2010 01:35 PM
Rainmaker
229,629
Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified
Dilbect Real Estate

Claude is talking to me. I have a clue but I am bookmarking so I can revisit to fully comprehend. There were three good AR posts just on this.

Thanks for the post.

July 06, 2010 03:22 PM
Rainer
136,154
Brent & Deb Wells
Your Collin County Realtors
RE/MAX Four Corners

One click and your listing is almost everywhere, now thats power. I loved the idea about withholding your listing from certain sites that can be less than desirable. Zillow is not my favorite RE site, since many listings will see their ZEstimate and have a meltdown...

Thanks for the information...

July 06, 2010 04:15 PM
Rainmaker
540,210
Eric Michael
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI

Great post. Thanks for the list. As for Zillow and it's Zestimate, I believe that it's a tool, like any other site. It's such a broad estimate, and I'm sure that if any one of you explained to your clients that the true value of their home is so much more local, not to mention more in real time, than the site shows, they'll feel relief in the fact that our professionalism will guide them thru the transaction. Besides, you can find the over/under percentages on the site and show them how silly it is. Anyone can guess, a true pro can produce.

July 06, 2010 07:28 PM
Rainmaker
28,134
Markelle Harden
Real Estate Virtual Assistant
www.AVirtualGenie.com

Wow I expected at least ONE person to tell me they now have Kenny Rogers stuck in their head from my title?? Unless you're all Generation Y then maybe you don't know who that is :)

Thanks for the info and feedback - I'll have to check out Real Bird. I agree ProAgent does a good job, but unfortunately their service is no longer free (it used to be, and some lucky ducks are still grandfathered in).

There is definitely 'TMI' information regarding syndication out there, and if you're a listing agent, you only need to know how to use it to make yourself look like a marketing guru to your sellers, nothing more, nothing less!

On my next blog I'll give you a summary of web site providers, their pricing vs. benefits, and their syndication capabilities. There are so many choices out there, and some companies are really missing the boat with syndication.

 

PS for all of you Keller Williams agents out there: Most KW offices are subscribing to List Hub. It's really cool - but make sure you know how it's being used in your office! In some accounts I see the price changes update directly from the MLS, and others you have to manually change it in KW.com and it syndicates from there...

July 08, 2010 02:21 PM
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
28,134

Markelle Harden

Real Estate Virtual Assistant
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