The issue of whether to publish listings on third party sites or not, and concerns about how some of the sites prioritize paid agent exposure over non paid agent profiles and listings, are major issues with potentially far reaching effect on the evolution of the industry. While dramatic action may be right for some, depending on their circumstances, the reality is that three key facts should be considered when looking at whether to publish listings on a third party site(s) or not:
1- It is much more expensive, resource intensive and unlikely for anyone to be able to pull in all the traffic they need directly to their site, without advertising elsewhere as part of their marketing mix. Since listings are a key attraction for consumers, these assets are a primary ingredient for the advertising. The candy that generates the leads. Not utilizing listings to pull in leads from other places where traffic is ample, is akin to marketing suicide. It’s like not including your listing in the local newspaper on the weekend, in the old days.
2- The broker, and through them, their listing agent must be the primary contact associated with their listing on any and all third party sites they publish on, much like how things are in the papers. There are several great sites that not only enable this but have this as part of their DNA and beliefs. Look them up and ensure your listings are there. It’s great, free advertising that builds brands and generates leads for free. Using the newspaper comparison, they’re even cheaper. They cost nothing.
3- Prioritize sites that help you do more with your listings.
i) Ensure that you have the same rights to upload the same number of photos and add all the details you want as all the other agents on the site, without restrictions.
ii) Seek sites that allow you to reach and network with buyers nationwide and internationally. It’s 24/7 marketing for free, if the site incorporates the networking component.
iii) Sites that allow you to accept offers and negotiate prices and close deals on the spot, all online. Specifically, advanced strictly online real estate auction sites. The benefits http://bit.ly/M8aeps of this evolving technology are huge especially in terms of accelerating the sale, because buyers who present bids online are supposed to be already financed. This removes one of the primary hurdles and delays (financing) in real estate sales, to speed up the process.