The other day, it was announced that a potential merger between Trulia and Move Inc was being considered. This started a barrage of comments bashing syndication sites by a number of people across different blogging platforms and social media. It is time that we all know the truth about real estate syndication sites like Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com.
There are two different camps of thought out there. Those who think that real estate syndication sites are a blessing and those who think they are a curse. Both arguments have validity, but the animosity between the two camps is thick enough to butter toast!
Real estate syndication sites allow for nationwide exposure for all of our listings. With around 90% of people starting their housing search on the internet, many people will go to these syndication sites to begin looking at homes. These sites have a national reach, have a team of dedicated SEO experts who get the syndication sites to the top of the search engines, and access to almost every single home on the market in the United States.
These real estate syndication sites are fed our listings without compensation to the local agents or MLS in most cases. They then use their nationwide scope to entice consumers to request more information, and then sell these as leads to the very agents who are providing the site with all of their content for free.
These real estate syndication sites often contain very inaccurate information about the local markets, and let’s not forget to mention wildly inaccurate home value estimates for many areas of the country. Finally, they often “trick” unsuspecting agents into helping them improve their website rankings to the detriment of the agents themselves.
The Truth About Real Estate Syndication Sites
There are a ton of people whining about Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com but how many people are actually doing anything about it? Syndication is killing you, and it’s your fault. It is simple: If you don’t like the business model of the real estate syndication sites, don’t syndicate your listings to them. If you are of the opinion that they don’t offer any value to the seller, then why give them free content? YOU have the option. If you are an agent and your broker has all of the controls, talk to your broker about it. If they don’t agree with you, then switch brokerages. Don’t just come onto a message board, or Facebook, or some other site and whine about how these sites are treating you unfair. Do something about it.
As a probably unnecessary disclosure but one which will undoubtedly be called into question, I am not affiliated with Market Leader, Trulia, or any other syndication website and I don’t buy leads from any website. I am just an individual with an opinion.