Your Listings On The World Wide Web

Syndicationires-netAre 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.

Why should I use ListHub?ss_listhub_logo If you decide to syndicate listings, IRES suggests utilizing ListHub since they have negotiated pro-broker contracts with sites which include requirements such as:

  • 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?CP

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.

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5 Responses to Your Listings On The World Wide Web

  1. Gary Davis says:

    Short, sweet and informative. Thanks

  2. Dave Werner says:

    I have been dismayed for years on how we (Realtors/NAR) have been unable to control our own information. While I understand it is a complicated discussion, I hope we do better in the future because ultimately these aggregators do not have the consumer’s interests in mind–only their stock holders and revenue streams. Thanks to IRES for being a strong voice of reason and supporter of real estate professionals and consumers.

    • Dave, I have to agree with you. Being the son of two brokers I can’t believe agents would ever want to syndicate. Why give these companies your hard earned work and then allow them to come back and sell you leads. From my understanding, agent spend their time and money along with their reputation in getting a listing and making sure the information they put into the MLS is correct or they are liable. Then to have that information given to another company whom did not give anything back. Why in the would the board, much less NAR ever condone this. As a vendor we have to jump through hoops just to show the listings on agents websites and we are bound that we can’t do anything with the data other than maintain if for our agents. One more thing to consider is why would the Board want a company like Zillow to outrank their own agents on Google and Bing with the agents own listings? This is something you would have never seen years back when agents protected their listings. I hope Agents and Boards take back their MLS data from syndicates. If they don’t do this soon you are going to find more and more agents working for companies like the big 3. Just by two cents.

      • IRES, LLC says:

        Mark:
        Thanks for weighing in. Just to clarify, NAR does not “condone” syndication or 3rd party sites, nor does the local Board/Assn or MLS. Instead, we leave it up to individual brokers how they want to market their listings via syndication or otherwise. Syndication started out as a convenient solution to display a listing on a variety of sites on behalf of the Seller, but it has evolved beyond that today and some are questioning the wisdom of syndication in general.

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