Listing Syndication Websites – Are We Serving Our Clients? The Consumer?Jul 16th, 2012 | By admin | Category: Uncategorized
Listing Syndication Websites – Are We Serving Our Clients? The Consumer?
Listing Syndication Websites, such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, can be a seemingly easy choice for the busy home buyer. With endless choices and limited time, you look to places that bundle information and give you access. What could possibly be wrong with it?
The truth of the matter is, listing syndication websites are cobbled together warehouses of information – often times misleading the consumer with listings that aren’t vetted or attributed to the Realtor and agents who were hired to sell the home. The name you see next to the listing? An agent who paid a membership fee to the site in order to get the call. I personally cannot imagine leaving a client’s property in the hands of someone who has no direct knowledge of the home, or the neighborhood, or the city or town. That’s my job – that is the reason I work with my clients! I know that I bring great value to my clients. I strive to represent their property in the best way possible and to find the best, affordable options for my buyers. To represent their interests. It doesn’t help my business or reputation to have another agent answer questions in an untrue or uneducated manner to interested parties!
Listing websites are also not responsible for the information you see. They are taking listings – from either the seller or another source such as a magazine or other web site – and posting them to their sites. They don’t maintain updated listings; that’s technically up to the Realtor but there are hundreds of syndication sites and keeping the data current and accurate is a near impossible task. So the home you see and love may have been sold weeks ago. And finally – and most importantly to me, as a real estate professional – they do not secure the information entrusted to agents. Pictures, addresses, occupancy details, all are open to anyone looking at the site.
Now the reality is Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia and many other sites aren’t going anywhere. They’re here to stay. And although the information isn’t always accurate and the people who pay for “preferred positioning” to get leads aren’t always the most qualified – they do perform a valuable function and are heavily trafficked and accomplish excellent search engine results. They have beautiful, user-friendly interfaces that are highly functional. Because of these realities and the need to change with technology (however imperfect), I too participate on Zillow and several other sites. I only take leads for Staten Island because I’ve specialized there for over 20 years. When I get a lead for an area I’m not thoroughly familiar with I refer it an expert I know.
All the reasons you turn to a Realtor – security, experience, professionalism, knowledge – aren’t always accomplished when using these sites. They’re a tool but not a complete service.
This is no choice for a consumer.
The Realtor you hire is your partner. Activity and questions should be funnelled through that knowledgeable person. We want to serve your interests to the best of our ability. A random, misleading and unmanaged database cannot replace the value of a Realtor.