Listing Syndication: a Good Idea?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Properties Online, Inc.
http://actvra.in/4jW8

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.

Listing Syndication

Zillow and Trulia: Supporting Agents or Potentially Undermining Them?

But while sites such as Zillow and Trulia are a nice resource 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.

It will be interesting to see what happens now that Realtor.com (MOVE) owns ListHub, one of the industries top listing syndication engines.

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
193,158
Sarah & John Rummage
Benchmark Realty LLC, Brentwood, Nashville TN 615.516.5233 - Nashville, TN
BPOR, ePro, Realtor

Syndication is good, but I sometimes think my listings get lost in the jungle. OR, they somehow show up on another agent's site rather than mine.  I wonder sometimes if there is too much of a good thing.

Sarah
www.HouseInNashville.com

Oct 12, 2010 12:06 PM #1
Rainmaker
150,840
Trish Sarfert
Coastal Realty Experts - Cantonment, FL
Serving military & civilian relocations!

I love syndication, but hate the loss of control once the listing is out there in syndication land.  Once it closes or expires, you have no control over the sites that don't update the information without personally contacting each one.

Oct 12, 2010 12:32 PM #2
Rainer
59,116
Amy Nakos
Your Castle Summit - Frisco, CO

I think syndication is getting less advantageous for agents.  Websites want our valuable data for them to make money.  They are NOT in the business of making us money and sending leads our way.  As Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com/Listhub find ways to further monitize our data, we lose control over our marketing.  I'm pulling away from syndication more everyday.

Oct 12, 2010 12:35 PM #3
Rainmaker
173,065
Jessica Maria
Properties Online, Inc. - Santa Rosa, CA
Communications Manager for Properties Online, LLC

Sarah -- Yes I agree. It is hard to stand out in the crowd of listings - some of which are already sold.

Trish -- True. I hear a lot of complaints about incorrect information on the property portals.

Amy -- I think you are right on the mark.

Oct 12, 2010 12:40 PM #4
Rainmaker
589,575
Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
On the Move for You! - Eugene - Springfield Oregon Real Estate

This is an intriguing post.   It keys to the greater question:  what will real estate look like in the future.

I'm not sure I know.  But I think we are in for a lot of changes.  The pace of change is certainly accelerating.

 

Syndicates may potentially undermine, not only brokers and agents, but also local (or even regional) multiple listing services....and REALTOR associations.

 

Look for fewer companies and agents over time. Look for individual real estate professionals to make less and less money over time......on average.

Oct 12, 2010 01:30 PM #5
Rainmaker
589,575
Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
On the Move for You! - Eugene - Springfield Oregon Real Estate

Our industry like, for example, K-12 education, has seen a lot of change come about because of the computer and (more recently) the Internet.  But like education, the ultimate effects of the use of more efficient methods in our business are barely getting starting. 

One day soon we will see far fewer teachers because they will not be able to compete with the highly interesting, more individualized instruction a computer can provide in most subject areas. People playing a variety of different roles will fight that change while a lot of visionary people will seek to take advantage of it.  But a wholesale reorganization of that industry will come in the next twenty years.

Such monumental change in our own industry is coming ...even sooner.

Oct 12, 2010 01:42 PM #6
Rainmaker
589,575
Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
On the Move for You! - Eugene - Springfield Oregon Real Estate

As a debtor nation, we simply cannot afford to do anything with business as usual. Every industry is going to have to become more and more efficient.

Ours will be no exception.

There will be no exceptions. 

Oct 12, 2010 01:44 PM #7
Rainmaker
192,010
Sacramento Grapevine
SacramentoGrapevine - Roseville, CA

As a owner of a website that competes with craigslist I must disagree with you on the subject of syndication.

My websites just as craigslist are 100% user generated content.

Websites such as oodle,  geebo,  olx and many many more only have syndicated content on them,  no original content.

The websites with no original content do not rank well in google or get your ads out in front of the consumer.

http://www.sacramentograpevine.com/

&

http://www.sacramentograpevine.com/

Oct 12, 2010 02:06 PM #8
Rainmaker
173,065
Jessica Maria
Properties Online, Inc. - Santa Rosa, CA
Communications Manager for Properties Online, LLC

Sindee - sites like craigslist are very different than sites like Zillow. Craigslist listings actually drive traffic to the agent and/or broker. Sites like Zillow do their best to hide the link back the agents site so they can keep the visitor on their website. And they also get their content from where ever they can ... so sometimes it is not very accurate. User generated content is always better that dynamically generated content. I didn't mean to clump craigslist into the "syndication" group. -- Thanks for your comments and I am going to check out your site!

Oct 12, 2010 02:37 PM #9
Rainmaker
173,065
Jessica Maria
Properties Online, Inc. - Santa Rosa, CA
Communications Manager for Properties Online, LLC

Jim - Great comments! I think you are right about being in for some changes. The MLS system is due for some big changes, but getting everyone on the same page is the first obstacle to overcome. Anyone have any ideas on how to do that?

Oct 12, 2010 02:42 PM #10
Rainmaker
589,575
Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
On the Move for You! - Eugene - Springfield Oregon Real Estate

Amanda -

The folks who will really control the shape of real estate in future are not the syndication sites.  Those in the driver's seat are the search engines, chiefly Google.  What ever their rules allow to rank on page one is going to rule the day.

Oct 12, 2010 02:45 PM #11
Rainer
14,357
Adam Aguilar
Adam Aguilar (Reliantra-Reliant Realty & Associates) - Toluca Lake, CA
Reliantra.com/Reliant, Realty~Serving Southern California

I have mixed feelings on this subject. On the surface it seems like it makes business sense, but I ran into something yesterday that left me wondering.

As Realtors we have come together as professional association to encourage ethical behavior in the industry, but there seems to exist some listing syndication sites which may be detrimental to our image and competitiveness.

At a recent real estate class I took, the speaker suggested the students check out "Home on the Tube.com" as a great way to get your listings out there. The first video listing I looked at had several violations of MLS rules, Code of Ethics, and illegal activity.

The video starts at the front of the home and clearly shows the agent sign in the front yard. The video narrator clearly wants to sell the home, yet it appears the she does not even hold the listing. I checked with the State to see if the person presenting the listing even held a real estate license, and she did not. I am not sure if there were more problems with it because I couldn't stand to watch the whole thing.

The video link: http://homeonthetube.com/ListingDetails.aspx?PropertyID=94&PropertyAvailabiltyType=SALE&    DON'T FORGET THE "&" SIGN AT THE END.

How can we be sure that all these syndication sites are protecting our best interest as real estate professionals?

Nov 22, 2010 12:45 PM #12
Rainmaker
173,065
Jessica Maria
Properties Online, Inc. - Santa Rosa, CA
Communications Manager for Properties Online, LLC

Adam,

You make some great points. I don't think that the large property portals always have the agents best interests at heart. They don't really understand the rules and regulations that agent have to abide by in order to keep their license. Their main goal is to get eyeballs on their site so they can sell advertising. To do that, they need content and they don't seem to care where that content is coming from. Thanks for your comments.

Nov 24, 2010 02:33 PM #13
Rainer
204,518
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h

As a property manager I love the syndication.  It seems that most folks don't use the conventional MLS for rentals nearly so much as they do for purchases so we have to be able to present our listings to our audience somehow.  Yes, I try to drive as much traffic as possible to my own website and get high rankings on search engines etc.  But, due to posting listings on numerous sites, as well as the syndication that they perform, I have received numerous comments from clients and residents alike that they came to us because "we're everywhere."  

Jan 11, 2011 12:26 AM #14
Rainer
3,093
Dave Acton
C-21 American Dream - Grants Pass, OR

I have built a listing syndication network of sites. The main site is http://www.HomeSeekerUSA.com

It is completely FREE to post your listings to the network and we syndicate out to all the big sites like Zillow, Trulia, Google, Oodle, Vast, etc.... as well as to our other 5 network sites - http://www.bestbuy-realestate.com, http://www.searchusmls.com, http://www.getmlsinfo.com, http://www.usmls.info, http://www.24sold.com

There are a few advantages to posting your listings to HomeSeekerUSA.

Exclusive inbound syndication to all of our Network sites

Agent Profile with all contact info.

Posts will automatically be deleted 6 months after last edit, so even if you forget to delete them, they still go away.

Join the Free referral network

Buyers can search two ways - Posted ads or The MLS

(Optional) You can own Exclusively, the MLS search link for your town. As low as $5.95 p/mo. When buyers want to search the MLS in your town, they will be directed to your website or IDX link! A great value.

Check it out - http://www.homeseekerusa.com

 

Dave

 

 

Jan 19, 2011 12:50 AM #15
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Rainmaker
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Jessica Maria

Communications Manager for Properties Online, LLC
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