October 11, 2011

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Tech Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 5 – Distribution to Multiple Portals


Welcome to the fifth in our series of technology trends from the NAR Conference held just over a week ago in San Diego, California.

In previous installments we wrote about realtors having a mobile presence, the continued existence of video and virtual tours, low cost websites being offered to realtors in the US, and the use of local information on realtors’ sites.

In this installment, we will look at the rise of intermediaries who syndicate a realtor’s listings to 20 or so different sites.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, leveraging your listings to gain more leads is the best way for a realtor to grow their business. Now there are several ways to leverage your listings.

  • Firstly, there is your own website. We have already discussed the importance of a realtor’s website in a previous episode of this series.
  • Secondly, there is ensuring that your listings are on your franchise or broker site.
  • Finally, there is ensuring that your listings are prominently displayed on ALL portal sites.

Now I can hear the screams of incredulousness from realtors saying that it is too expensive to advertise their listings on all sites. However, the real question is can you afford not to advertise your listings far and wide?

In the US for example, a realtor’s listings will automatically be in the MLS database and therefore automatically turn up on the MLS site and realtor.com. However, we are talking about promoting the listings to a wider audience.

Therefore, before dismissing the advertising of listings on sites such as trulia.com, zillow.com, Craigslist, dothomes, cyberhomes, myrealty.com etc, it is important to understand the ROI from using these sites. To do this, you are probably going to have to take a leap of faith and actually try them out. Only then will you know how effective they are.

For a realtor to manage the distribution of their listings to a broad number of sites is not easy. You need to know who the sites are and then you have to make sure that you are sending the listings in the right format to those sites. This is not an easy task and realistically beyond most realtors (both in complexity and the amount of time required to make it happen).

A number of services have arisen to help distribute an agent’s listings to a broad number of sites. These services interrogate an MLS and extract the listings that a realtor wants to syndicate. The business then sends those listings to the target sites. The more sophisticated service providers will then track the performance of those listings and provide a summary back to the agent or broker thus allowing them to make better decisions about their marketing investment.

Often these services are an add-on component to web design companies or even virtual tour companies. It also seems that many of these businesses are free for the realtor to use. Therefore I am not 100 percent sure where they are making their money from.

One company worth checking out is ListHub.

If you are a realtor and have listings, then you should be investigating the use of these types of services to promote your listings far and wide. The more people see your listings, the more chance you have to gain leads and thus grow your business.


Related posts:

  1. Tech Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 4 – Local Information
  2. Tech Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 7 – Social Networking
  3. Tech Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 6 – SMS and Email Yard Signs
  4. Technology Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 3 – Low Cost Agent Sites
  5. Technology Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 2 – Video and Virtual Tours
  6. Technology Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 1 – Mobile Internet

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