Are your listings on Zillow and Trulia? How about LandWatch? If so, do you know how they got there? Better yet, do you know how many leads they generate? Listing syndication (i.e. sending listings to various sites) is a source of much confusion and frustration right now. Let us take a few minutes to clarify a few things.
How do listings get online? When an agent enters a listing on the IRES MLS system, they can choose to send it to ColoProperty.com, our public facing site, and Realtor.com. In addition, Managing Brokers/Owners (only) have the authority to send office listings to other sites, such as Zillow, through a free service called ListHub. To add to the confusion, listings can also be syndicated by franchises, offices, manually posted by agents, or even Virtual Tour companies! (Have you read the fine print of your virtual tour provider?)
To clarify: IRES does not provide Zillow, Trulia, or any listing web sites a data feed of active listings. We leave that decision to you.
- Listings must be updated daily
- Brokers name must display
- Leads must be sent to the email address specified by the Broker
If you don’t syndicate via ListHub, you are subject to the site’s Terms of Service on your own. You could be giving away your intellectual property rights, your listings may not be updated properly (leading to increased liability), and your listings might be resyndicated to other sites which are beyond your control, etc.
Is it worth it to syndicate? The only way to determine if your online marketing efforts are paying off is to view the metrics and ask questions. From where we sit, the statistics are pretty dismal. From the approximately 950K hits in March, Zillow only produced 145 email leads for the 5000 IRES listings displayed. Trulia produced 276 leads with 188K property views. ColoProperty, the IRES owned site, produced 474 inquiries for the 8000 listings we display – 3 times the number of inquiries from Zillow and at no cost to you! So ask yourself, where are your leads coming from and how much do they cost? Is the ROI worthwhile?
To view the hit report and lead generation numbers for your office specifically, Managing Brokers can purchase the ListHub Reporting package. Details can be found on www.ListHub.net.
Concluding thoughts: You are in control of your listings. If you choose to syndicate, syndicate wisely. Invest in reports to see if the “free gift” of your listings is providing a good return. For more information, ListHub has a created a new Reference Guide that breaks down the mystery of listing syndication with definitions, reports tools, web traffic snapshots, why some sites have duplicate listings, and much more. IRES is here to support you any way we can, so feel free to contact us with any questions.