It’s exciting to mark a year since ListedBy.com launched. Like every startup with a big idea and certain resources to work with, we’ve had our ups and down and at the end of the day, made great headway.
We want to take the opportunity to thank all our community members, users and website visitors for their support and energy, our business partners for their confidence, and every member of our staff for painstakingly taking on more than they imagined they ever would under a single job title, and our leadership for their vision, perseverance and drive along the way, no matter what.
Property Portal Watch sums up ListedBy’s evolution quite nicely in an article published earlier today.
Thanks once again to all our friends and supporters. Onwards and upwards.
ListedBy Turns One
Property Portal Watch
By Gordana Davila on 3 May, 2013
in Company News
Spawned by Bay Area bulk REO specialist Stephan Piscano, who became frustrated with his own experience with the online real estate auction process, California’s ListedBy, the free online marketplace and social network with live bidding auction has turned one.
ListedBy made its debut last year, as a free online live auction, social network and services marketplace. The company saw a void in the market and felt it was time to launch a transparent online auction and property search arena where industry professionals, consumers, investors and service providers would be able to network, research, list and purchase real estate assets.
ListedBy managed to successfully merge the simplicity and effectiveness of a classifieds advertising website, with state-of-the-art live auction technology, to help accelerate sales and maximize asset value.
The company’s goal was to lift the secrecy off the real estate auction process, and to encourage wider participation from both buyers and sellers. ListedBy also aimed at eliminating typically restrictive costs including auction registration fees and share of proceeds, usually imposed on traditional auction venue, by having its marketplace be entirely free.
Stephan Piscano, ListedBy founder and chief executive officer, said that the company considers real estate professionals and service providers as critical success partners. Piscano gave as an example: “A listing agent on ListedBy is never overshadowed by another agent on his or her listing page, and leads are never collected and sold back to the listing broker or their competitors. We are working to build a thriving, positive community that benefits all our members.”
A short stroll down memory lane:
Soon after its launch, ListedBy announced the appointment of Roger Noujeim as Vice President of Marketing, to lead the company’s global marketing and branding strategy.
In June the company began publishing agent listings on their profile pages on ListedBy Social, the site’s networking system for real estate agents, service providers and consumers. In addition to the site’s property search area, the move strategically places agent listings in front of consumers researching local REALTORS® on ListedBy.com.
In July, ListedBy announced a co-marketing agreement with National Real Estate Business Insurance Group that will give to ListedBy.com members timely, convenient access to NREBIG’s deep national expertise and products.
A new online advertising campaign was launched by October, ‘Buy & Sell Real Estate With a Click,’ aiming to maintain ListedBy top of mind with recent visitors, and focusses on communicating the brand’s primary benefit of accelerating real estate buying and selling.
In December, ListedBy released ListedBy – Real Estate Auction Primer for Consumers, a ‘must-know’ guide for anyone looking to buy or sell real estate through auction.
Followed by the rollout of a self-managed search database which enables ListedBy users access to information on local real estate related services, and for service providers, free exposure and leads.
This past March ListedBy announced that, now its members are albe to publish and share feedback, recommendations and rate service providers listed on ListedBy.com, in real time.
One year later:
Now as a way of celebrating with all their users, ListedBy has sent out a message stating: “To thank you and celebrate all users today can get a FREE featured listing on the site by using promo code “ListedBy37″ upon adding your listing RIGHT NOW!”
Also, there is a special bidding for a an all expenses paid trip to stay in the ListedBy luxury condo in Las Vegas. The company stated: “We are doing this asa promotion to than our userbase and give you an opportunity to get exposure for your brand as a real estate pro!”
We’re quite excited to release the ListedBy Service Provider star and feedback ratings system. To those who excel in their profession, such systems put in the hands of the consumer is a welcome event and a new path to more business.
For those who do not desire such systems, it’s a path to challenging and boosting current practices.
As an industry as a whole, such systems will bring new levels of transparency that can only help further enhance public perception and professionalism.
Here is the full announcement issued to the press earlier today, for our readers’ convenience:
ListedBy Launches Real Estate Service Provider and Agent Ratings
ListedBy (www.ListedBy.com), the first free online real estate marketplace and social network with live bidding public real estate auctions and ‘Buy Now/Best Offer’ functionality now enables members to publish and share feedback, recommendations and rate service providers listed on ListedBy.com, in real time.
The system reflects ListedBy’s goal to provide its members with everything they need to be successful in real estate both before, and after the transaction. Registered users on ListedBy.com can use the site’s Service Providers area to research services and related companies by state, and now rate providers including real estate brokers and agents using a five star rating system.
Users can also offer detailed feedback and recommendations on the same page, and share their feedback through email and social media with a single click, including on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and many others.
“From free access to rental and for sale property data, REO auctions and traditional listings, to clearly identifying the true listing agent and their contact information, to publicly displaying bids, bid history and bidders, to now agent and real estate related service provider ratings and feedback, ListedBy continues to move towards accelerating the real estate process through transparency and better access to information,” said Stephan Piscano, CEO and Founder, ListedBy.
“The time currently wasted at any stage of real estate buying and selling is unacceptable, as is the level of transparency on many real estate auction and traditional property portals, especially in this day and age. Everything that we do at ListedBy is designed to move the industry towards a higher level of efficiency,” added Piscano.
Concluded Piscano: “People who get exceptional service are always happy to spread the word. We’re introducing tools that make it easy for ListedBy members to share their experience and opinion, which benefits their service provider and works to drive higher levels of service in the industry.”
Service Provider pages on ListedBy have also been upgraded as virtual miniature Web sites, to further enhance service provider exposure and branding to ListedBy’s growing audience.
ListedBy launched its Service Providers module in January. The self-managed, self-populated free directory is designed to give ListedBy.com users convenient access to information on local real estate related services across the United States.
Traffic on ListedBy.com is expected to surpass 60,000 unique visitors for March 2013, with visitors spending an average of over five minutes on the site.
While the figure indicated above may not be statistically valid, it should nonetheless worry brokers and raise some flags. Mainly because it is based on a real, recent experience a close business partner of mine had when attempting to purchase investment properties.
Another reason for concern is that responsiveness has been an ongoing issue in the industry. Considering it is well known that one of every four consumers will do business with the first real estate agent they connect with, one would think agents across the board would have by now figured ways to bank on the statistic.
The story I’m about to share is actually scary.
This cash-ready investor was out to make several property acquisitions about four weeks ago, in different parts of the United States. During one morning, he called one hundred real estate agents (yes, ONE HUNDRED) to inquire about one or more of their active listings. The intent was in fact to place offers on the properties, not just ask questions.
The shock came when most of the calls went unanswered. You’d think that 75 percent of calls in any sales oriented business would be picked up. If that was your guess, you were wrong. In fact not 50, 40, 30 and not even 10 percent of the calls were answered. Only ONE out of the one hundred agents contacted that morning actually picked up the phone!
Now if that shouldn’t sound the alarm, not sure what will.
It gets worse though.
This buyer left messages to all 99 remaining agents clearly stating his wish to place an offer on a property. I repeat. He told the agents to call him back because he wanted to BUY their listing. Most were traditional for sale listings, others were REO auctions or regular residential real estate auctions.
Not to belabor the point, only five agents returned the call at some point that day.
This puts six percent of agents at a clear advantage over the remaining 94 percent, with only one percent set to truly clean up.
The difficulty in answering the phone in real estate remains a mystery and obviously an insurmountable challenge. But if the industry is to edge forward, someone has to figure this out.
Maybe it’s time brokers took a closer look at the issue – and perhaps a more active role addressing it.
One thing is certain though. Sites like ListedBy that allow buyers to instantly place offers online are a breath of fresh air and great time savers. But even these would only be of real value if agents are more click than phone friendly.
You eat an elephant one bite at a time.
Often, having a clear vision and the courage to start working towards an opportunity is what stands between man and his or her ultimate goal. With a little bit of study and appetite for some risk, the goal may in fact be closer than one might think.
The first order of business is to spot the opportunity. The next order of business is to remove anyone from sight who’s job seems to discourage us from moving forward. This is frequently the reason why most people freeze. In his famous The Law of Success in 16 Lessons book, the success bible, Napoleon Hill specifically discusses how you must keep your chief aim shielded from others who are likely to challenge or resist it. Even your spouse. Take this as law in achieving the success that you want, even though it is contrary to all the modern guru teachings that you must publish your goals far and wide so you may be more committed to achieving them.
In real estate, an opportunity of a lifetime came to those who saw a buying window when everyone ran the other way in 2008, 2009 and even up until last year. Those who made the move and acquired as much property as they could, boarded or not, with spouse approval or not, are on a different plane now. We all know where these investments stand today. Up some 20-25 percent in the past year alone, in many states and cities across the US. They hopped on the Web and onto online auction sites to grab REO auctions, government real estate auctions, residential real estate auctions, commercial real estate auctions, you name it. Some flipped them right away while others rehabbed and held the assets for rental income with high annual cash on cash returns unlike we’ve seen for decades.
The biggest complaint circling the sector today is lack of inventory, especially distressed assets. Whether that’s in Detroit, Las Vegas or any other market.
The next time I come across a hot deal in Detroit or otherwise, boarded or not, shabby or not, I’m jumping on it. That’s just what I did earlier today, when opportunity presented itself. I bid on five residential properties in Detroit on ListedBy.com, going for just tens or mere hundreds of dollars to anyone willing to take on just a few thousand dollars of back dues taxes. A great deal if you ask me. At worst, the land will always be there for me or my kids to farm someday. Each will have their profiting strategy. Some will resell the assets immediately for a bit of profit, taxes still unpaid. Others will hold till values increase, then sell at that time, still passing due taxes to the next investor. Yet others might pay due taxes in order to obtain title insurance, rehab the properties and rent them for regular cash flow. That is, if the neighborhood and overall conditions are adequate, an insurance provider is willing to provide the service in the area, and the risk of another round of vandalism of the property has been well considered. Risks are out there and professional advice and due diligence on any investment is always necessary.
But first I must win those bids. Some astute investors seem to have spotted the same properties. Until then, I’ll keep scouting the site for more. Here great deals still do come by.
I also like it here not just because of my obvious bias towards ListedBy, but because I also don’t need to pay registration and technology fees like on most other auction sites. Nor do I have to contend with buyer premiums like most everywhere else. Here it’s all free. So each bite I take at my goal, goes further. In English? More dollars in my pocket to go towards buying more assets (with or without spousal approval), instead of handing them to the auctioneer.
There you have it. That’s one of my paths. I’m pulling ahead in the game of real estate just one small bite at a time, until the elephant is in the bag.
What is mind boggling is that we as an industry have struggled for years trying to figure how to move distressed inventory. Mind boggling because we have consistently hid the data behind cumbersome registration pages and access fees, and charged huge buyer premiums at auctions. To think that these are all strategies designed to move inventory is somewhat hard to believe. Open access rather, should be the path.
To top it all, many consumer portals and sites have made it tough for buyers to connect with listing agents or sellers, by giving preferred placement to their own internal agents next to the listing, if that’s their business model. Others featured and continue to feature alternative agents based on a paid advertising model, in the process keeping the true representing agent who knows the seller and the property best, and can answer questions more swiftly and accurately, at bay and harder to reach.
Such and other practices have either delayed or outright derailed potential transactions, and to this day continue to hinder wider, more efficient buyer participation so the assimilation of inventory may proceed at a more healthy pace.
We’re excited to announce that we have unlocked access to all listings on ListedBy, specifically because giving real estate buyers and sellers immediate and open access to listings and to each others’ contact information is core to ListedBy’s vision for the site and the industry as a whole. We see this as becoming the norm for all real estate property portals and real estate auction companies.
As always, we appreciate our users’ feedback and suggestions. Giving everyone instant access to all listings on ListedBy.com once again is the results of your valued input. Now anyone can research MLS listings across the country, residential and commercial. The same goes for all distressed properties including REO auctions, government real estate auctions, residential real estate auctions, commercial real estate auctions and all other public real estate auctions and Buy Now/Best Offer listings that are active on ListedBy.com.
The main message we delivered through our presentation (SJREI021313) at the SJREI (San Jose Real Estate Investors) two days ago was that transparency, or its lack thereof, is a critical catalyst that is preventing the industry from being what it can be, and the real estate professional, agent or investor, from being as efficient and productive as they should be. The underlying force being that a new paradigm shift in real estate is in underway, fueled by consumer insight, powered by technology and new business models.
We stressed and showed how these models will threaten the existence of organizations, large and small, that refuse to notice the oncoming change and tune in to new consumer expectations in how the real estate business is handled, especially online.
This would include real estate auction companies and real estate auction sites, sites that enable REO auctions and real estate government auctions, and organizations dealing in any shape or form with public real estate auctions or foreclosures and distressed property data and listings.
Notwithstanding, regular consumer portals were discussed in the same context, be it publicly traded companies or startup. That the threat is real.
The good news was that the undercurrent also brings with it potentially huge opportunities for those same organizations who tune in to the change and adapt, as many have magnificently done over the years.
Within the context of a session meant to explain to experienced real estate investors what ListedBy.com is, we took the path of focusing on industry concerns that when addressed by platforms and open environments such as ListedBy.com, should result in far greater efficiencies (operational and cost) and productivity for the investor and anyone engaged in the buying and selling of real assets. This, on the premise that all technology we elect to deploy in business is meant to enhance one or the other, in some shape or form.
The paradigm shift would consist of three key pillars with transparency at its core. From these new levels of transparency, the benefits far greater efficiencies and productivity will be drawn. Lack of transparency, today a detriment to economic growth and sales productivity will be replaced with an environment where full transparency is an expectation. Vis:
We have a long way before everyone buying and selling real estate realize how deep the benefits of transparency would run within an organization, and how much of a boost in operational and sales productivity such transparency and access to information can drive.
If participant feedback at the session was any indication, the thinking behind ListedBy.com is definitely something more and more real estate professionals will be gravitating to.
A number of intriguing and puzzling operatus morandi continue to hold back our industry. Some are key to the less than stellar perception the real estate profession has suffered for decades. Others directly anchor the entire industry so hard and prevent it from healing as fast as it should or can. The status quo in many areas of the real estate business is also directly affecting property values and, in our opinion, the level of trust that the industry deserves. This includes the general consumer real estate market, the public real estate auctions market, REO auctions and government auctions segments.
On the opposite side of the spectrum lies a major undercurrent. One that is underway. A shift that is building moment so strong that it stands to change everything. It will shake companies from the very small to the very large, and create new opportunities that those same companies can adopt and grow, or ignore and sink.
ListedBy executives Stephan Piscano and Roger Noujeim will be at the San Jose Real Estate Investor (SJREI) Mid-Peninsula Meeting on Tuesday February 19, 20113 to keynote an address around these issues and highlight the opportunity that is before us today.
If you are in the San Francisco, San Jose or Foster City areas, or nearby, we hope that you can join us for a discussion that promises to raise awareness around key concerns every real estate professional must pay attention to, and ignite thought that will drive change for years to come.
When: February 19, 2013. 6:30 PM
Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel. 1221 Chess drive, Foster City, CA
Who: Stephan Piscano and Roger Noujeim at SJREI Mid-Peninsula Meeting
Keynote and Start: ListedBy. 7:00 PM
An exciting development for all ListedBy users and site visitors today, as well as for service providers who offer services to the real estate industry in the U.S.
We just launched the Service Providers section of the site, which allows ListedBy users to research and find services related to real estate from across the country. If anything, the Service Providers module roll out is another example of our commitment to making ListedBy.com the place for everything real estate.
Whether it’s painters, movers, insurance providers or any other service, and whether you know the area or if you are from out of town or out of state, this is a key peg in helping you to find and get information about the services that you need, at a local level, as you make either an investment decision or need a service for your own property.
As a service provider, the exposure is entirely free. Just drop by the Service Providers page and add your company to gain exposure. We’ve also added enhanced placement options, which gets your company to the top of the search results in the states of your choice.
Here is the full announcement released earlier today on the wire:
Public Real Estate Auctions Site ListedBy Launches Service Providers Directory
Self-Managed Search Database Gives ListedBy Users Access to Information on Local Real Estate Related Services, and for Service Providers, Free Exposure and Leads
NAPA, Calif. – January 28, 2012 – ListedBy (www.ListedBy.com), the first free online real estate marketplace and social network with live bidding public real estate auctions and ‘Best Offer’ functionality today announced the launch of its Service Providers module, a self-managed, self-populated directory designed to give ListedBy users convenient access to information on local real estate related services across the United States.
“As a platform that truly stands out among other real estate sites and real estate auction companies, part of our mission at ListedBy is to constantly elevate user experience and value,” said Stephan Piscano, CEO and Founder, ListedBy. “Whether it’s homeowners, buyers and sellers, or investors involved in REO auctions, government auctions and regular assets, identifying and connecting with local service providers is an on-going requirement. ListedBy is now positioned to deliver on this need like no other site online.”
Free to join, the ListedBy Service Providers tool is organically populated and currently covers all U.S. states and territories. International search is planned for release later this year.
Service providers can join the new directory at https://www.listedby.com/ServiceProviders/ServiceProviderMaster. Additional categories can be requested through the company’s online Forum.
Enhanced placement in the directory is available as an option in one of two packages offered at $50.00 per month per state, or for $248.00 dollars per state for a full year subscription.
# # #