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Brokerages Syndicating Listings – Why such a hot topic?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English

To the average consumer, the ongoing issue concerning syndication of listings may not make a whole lot of sense… but as a homeowner, you need to understand what it all means and how it affects you. First, when a listing brokerage takes a listing, in the eyes of the Association of Realtors(R), they own that listing. What this means is they control where they market the property. The first place this brokerage will market the property is through the local MLS.  That much is obvious, however, from there it gets a bit more complicated. Various competing brokerages can pay a fee to display listings from the MLS on their own personal websites. What this means is that if listing brokerage A acquires a listing and places it for sale in the MLS…. brokerage B can pay a fee to advertise this property on their own website. The  debate here is simple… Brokerage A owns the listing and may not want Brokerage B to be marketing the property. On the flip side, Brokerage B will argue that they are assisting Brokerage A and the seller by simply giving them more exposure.

So why wouldn’t Brokerage A want Brokerage B to market the listing in question? Simple, Money. Brokerage A wants to try and acquire potential buyers for the property. Not only do they want to try and sell the listing, but they want to use this listing to acquire buyer leads for other properties that are for sale. If the property is in demand… brokerage A could  generate a large # of new potential clients on the buyer side. On the opposite end of the spectrum… Brokerage B is not trying to help the seller or Brokerage A… instead, they want these same buyer leads that Brokerage A wants. It’s simply a battle b/w brokerages concerning who owns the right to internet advertising.

Let’s take this a step further:

This matter has gotten more complicated recently with the increased popularity of Zillow, Trulia, etc… These sites rely upon  brokerages syndicating listings to their websites. W/out these listings… Zillow and Trulia become basically worthless to the consumer. So why would a brokerage not want to syndicate listings to these websites? I mean… after all… it’s just more exposure for their listing, right? Let’s use Realtor.com for example…Realtor.com literally sells leads back to agents. That’s how they make money. They charge agents for the ability to receive their own leads on their own properties. Thus, in essence, Realtor.com is selling brokerages leads for properties generated by the listings already owned by the brokerage. As you can imagine, this infuriates many Real Estate Brokerages. Zillow and Trulia do not operate in the exact same manner as Realtor.com, however, they are still profiting off of the listings owned by the Real Estate Brokerage.  So while profiting off of these listings… you might think Zillow and Trulia would compensate the brokerage for the ability to advertise their listings? No, instead they cold call these same Real Estate Brokerages asking them to pay for ad space on the Zillow/Trulia Website. (Trust me, they call often)

So what does all of this mean and how does it concern Congress Realty? Seller’s should be aware that we syndicate our listings everywhere unless a homeowner specifically asks to be omitted from a certain website. Thus, homeowners are getting the absolute maximum exposure possible through our Flat fee listing program. In some cases, this exposure exceeds what a homeowner might get from a traditional 6% brokerages who refuses to syndicate listings to other competing brokerages. W/ Congress Realty… your listing will show up darn near everywhere. Plain and Simple.



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