What is the true value of Realtor.com? How does my home reach Realtor.com?
The first thing to keep in mind is that Realtor.com is not the MLS. Realtor.com is not owned by NAR. Realtor.com is similar to any other 3rd party site in that they take bits and pieces of data from the MLS and publish this info to the public. As you may have guessed, Realtor.com has lost a substantial amount of online traffic to sites like Zillow and Trulia. Zillow and Trulia give agents more flexibility with their listings by allowing agents to edit certain content on their respective websites. Realtor.com on the other hand does not have the technology in place to allow such editing. Furthermore, Realtors(R) can display MLS search features on their own personal websites. To summarize, everywhere you look, you can search the same data that Realtor.com is providing. However, most of these new sites feature ground breaking new technology that make your online experience much more enjoyable and reliable.
Getting your home listed on Realtor.com or any IDX related search is quite simple. You just have to be listed on the MLS. If your home is on the MLS, it will appear on Realtor.com. (barring some sort of error on the part of Realtor.com)
I will give two examples of why Realtor.com is nowhere near as popular as it once was. Let’s look at 2 different markets. In the Houston market, most everyone use the HAR website for public MLS searches. In Tucson, they use TARMLS.com. Both of these sites are sponsored by the actual MLS in that local market. As a result, the information these sites provide is the most accurate and up to date information available in these respective markets. They absolutely clobber sites like Realtor.com for this reason.
Getting your home on HAR.com or TARMLS.com is just as simple as getting your home on Realtor.com. The property just has to be listed on the MLS.