There’s been quite a dustup taking place within the real estate industry this week. A brokerage out in San Diego, ARG Abbot Realty Group, declared that effective immediately, they are pulling all of their listings off of third party syndication sites Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow, via an impassioned video posted on YouTube (a video syndication site, natch). The argument was that the evil syndicators were not displaying data correctly and thus muddying the water of the market really looks like. That particular company seems to feel it’s not in the best interests of their consumer to permit their listings to be displayed there. All three of those sites are in the top five trafficked real estate sites nationally.
As a potential home seller, if your agent can’t explain what listing syndication is, please get another agent. Seriously. As the person hired to sell your home, it is most advantageous to not only put your listing on as many sites where there are buyer eyeballs as I can, but also to ensure that the photos display correctly, the open house information is there, the links to the virtual tours work, etc. The blunt truth is that consumers flock to Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow because they are easy to use, and they all have slick mobile apps, too. Would you want your listing hidden from the consumers searching there?
That San Diego brokerage was arguing, in part, that the consumer needs to be able to contact the listing agent for information, and not whichever agent paid to put advertising on the page next to the listing. Honestly, when I’m trying to sell your house, I’m just as happy to answer questions from a buyer’s agent as I am from a potential buyer: I don’t want to represent the buyer, I just want to get the house sold, as I was hired to do. I don’t care where the buyer comes from as long as we can get them in the front door of the home.
I don’t list your home to fish for buyers. I list your home to sell it.
Not only that, I refuse to double-side a deal; I decided several years ago that I would no longer represent a buyer and a seller in the same deal. In my opinion, there is no way to completely represent each of your clients interests in the best way possible while working both sides of the deal.
I’m sure, as a consumer, that you could care less about what goes on in the real estate kitchen, you only need the results. So I want you to know that when I list your home, you will continue to have a featured listing on the big three syndication sites, and I will ensure that the information displays correctly. And you won’t ever have to worry about my company removing your home listing from a place where your potential buyer can find it.
(If you would like to read a full rebuttal explanation of how that video is full of misinformation, please read my friend Jay’s post here. He explains it eloquently.)
Also, here’s how one of my listings renders on each of those sites: