See what’s behind all of the hype
Let’s say you’re ready to list your home. What services are normal or what terminology will you hear? When you list your home ALL (maybe not all but these are bacic services) agents can give you the following:
- MLS listing through the Carolina Board of REALTORS® which comes with the following features: –Basic aggregation – the listings will be sent out by the local MLS to hundreds maybe thousands of sites to have your home placed on them; some pay and some already have a relationship with the local boards that essentially control the listings; some agencies state “4,900 web sites”. If it’s buried under a million pages, who cares? The next question is please give me a list of all of those sites — there is an abbreviated list that we researched and 2,424 individual or agent sites using IDX (this is an unpublished list belonging to the MLS) and over 174 publishers on more than 900 sites which includes National Publisher Partners, The Real Estate Network, The MLS Real Estate Network, Affiliate Publisher Partners and Regional Publisher Partners bringing the total to around 3,500. This is included in ALL MLS listings with any agent. Only the first page of Google® results matters to most people which leads us to the next point —-Some of the most common sites you see or maybe use are Zillow® with 24 million visitors monthly, Trulia® with 8 million visitors monthly and Realtor.com® with 11 million visitors monthly. Most people have no idea that many real estate sites such as Zillow.com are linked directly to school sites such as greatschools.com. These sites PAY the local MLS for access to the local real estate market data. They then resale the advertisements back to the agents essentially making them pay to get leads from their own data. It sounds odd and it is but the most important aspect is that ALL listings have this service without spending any additional $$ to help you sell you home. It’s kind of nice that all other agents help me sell your home.
- For sale signs in the front yard usually accompanied by some type of handout or a text for info sign, possibly both. What is marketed your home or their company? Take a look at for sale signs and you’ll see a number of things. How big is the agent’s name? Is there a picture of the agent? Is brand name larger than the agent’s name? All of this works together to help get your home sold.
- Full services such as Showing Time which helps the agent show your home with a system designed to allow showing to be set up by agents only through the system which is a very efficient system. Some brokers provide mortgage services, relocation and additional services based on their model. How does this help you sell your home?
- Internet leads — sort of. Many sellers have no idea that a listing yields buyers and those buyers work with the agents. But what about your house? you buyers? That’s what matters to you and it should. You don’t care about hundreds of leads of properties that have no connection to yours. Almost all agents get leads from their listings online without a fee to pay meaning they don’t spend any $$. The question is what else do they do to find your home buyers?
- Technology – as you can see from the above all firms use technology because the process requires the MLS which functions as the primary technology they use. What about web sites and visitors? Currently no firm produces more leads than the big 3 (Zillow, Trulia and Realtor) period. The vast sites with millions of visitors will trump any local company. There are a few local companies that get great traffic and have great sites but can it help them find YOUR HOME FOR SALE out of the 28,000(+ or -) listings in the Carolina MLS.
- Basic MLS Searches criteria – All web sites have a basic search that can lead to your home but that requires them to go through tons of listings just to find yours. The MLS is not set up to feature your home getting it to the top of the results.
- Network of clients – almost all agents have some type of network even if they started selling real estate today. The MLS once again allows us to share the home pretty much with the world. But when we list does it really allow all agents to market the home? The answer is sort of. On the internet yes, in print NO.
- IDX – this is the Internet Data Exchange system. This system allows agents to market on their web site under guidelines from the local MLS all of the properties in the MLS. This system is offered to all agents but many do not actually use this. They instead set up a domain name and have a web site under their main broker which allows customers to search on the firms site. This is becoming a standard service after you join a firm. Once again this is something everyone should be able to give you.
- Exposure – many companies use words like “maximum” or the “most possible” exposure to show how they market your home. How can a firm use these words to describe their exposure? exposure is relative to who is making the statement. If you have no idea about pay per click or search engine marketing it’s fair to say that there is a possibility that more exposure can occur.
- Featured – this term is used lightly. If a broker has over 1,000 listings how do they “feature” all of them? That’s impossible. They feature their brand over your listing. Big brands cost big money.
- Marketing position – This term explains how they will market your home in the area to help it’s visibility.