A recent Inman Select Special Report on Real Estate Syndication tells a story of the struggle between deciding to participate on syndication websites or not, and how that decision affects business. However, in our daily experience, we hear a completely different perspective on syndication participation. It is one of acceptance, engagement and ultimately embracing syndication.
Essentially, the decision boils down to whether or not you are willing to send your listing information to syndication sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and others. The Inman report findings state that most Realtors® and Brokers don’t really want to participate in this trend, but feel backed into a corner. The report describes it as almost a “no win” situation: participate and give your hard-won listing information away for free and risk either having to buy back your own leads or risk another Realtor picking them off through advertising. If you choose not to participate, then your risk becomes upsetting and possibly losing sellers who have come to expect this national exposure. You also run the risk of getting run over by the competition who have chosen to take the leap and participate.
The Brokers and Agents we work with have learned to work with the system instead of against it
In our experience at UltimateIDX, we find that most Realtors embrace the syndication trend. Not only does it seem here to stay, but our clients have learned to work with the system and not against it. Most have found the exposure they receive through the sites has expanded their reach. While acknowledging there are some negatives, such as competitors showing up on the sites, we see that most agents are disciplined in going through, and claiming their listings to make sure the information is correct, and they are listed as the contact. The only occasional complaint we hear is that the listing information is incorrect, and that is something that can work against them.
According to the Inman Syndication survey, 88% of respondents reported syndicating their listings to one or more portals. However, of that same sample, 67% said they would choose to pull their listings if they would not face any major repercussions. The respondents cite fear of lost business as a consequence, saying that competitors would use their lack of participation against them with Agents and Sellers. So, for the time being, they keep their listings.
On the opposite side, according to AdWeek, 81% of people research online before they buy. With that knowledge, it makes sense that the majority of the Realtors we work with like the idea of getting maximum exposure for their listings. Buyer awareness of their listing is step one and, in their opinion, syndication sites go a long way to exposing buyers to their property listings. These savvy Brokers and Agents recognize the power of syndication services to work in their favor because their listings are showing up where buyers are looking.
Regardless of turmoil around the notion of syndication, the majority of Agents and Brokers make the choice to send their listings to syndicates. That said, what do you think? Do you feel like this is the right direction for large scale list distribution?
All statistics and polls aside, for now, we don’t see how some form syndication participation can be avoided. Do you agree with Inman’s findings or is your view more in line with the Realtors we work with? Let us know in the comments below.
For more information on how to manage your leads no matter where they come from, contact us. We can show you how to take those leads and nurture them into sales.