Marketing Your Home for Sellers

IDX Broker, Broker Reciprocity and Syndication

IDX Brokers, Broker Reciprocity and Syndication

IDX Broker, Broker Reciprocity and Syndication - PinterestAn “IDX Broker” is a real estate professional that participates in the worlds largest real estate marketing network. “Broker Reciprocity” is the key to making this network successful.

In all fairness, it’s also the name of a service that distributes listing data to Brokers and real estate portals.

To understand how this complex network operates, we need to look back to the days when real estate print advertising was King!

Before the internet, real estate agents used print advertising to market their listings. This involved putting together ads for print media like newspapers and home magazines.

Print ads were expensive and putting them together took a lot of time. This resulted in agents making choices about which publications were most effective.

Another challenge of print advertising was the home sellers themselves. Home sellers expect aggressive marketing, the wider the reach the better. Home Sellers expected Agents to advertise in as many different publications as possible.

Print advertising was also frustrating because of the time it took to go from printing to the shelf. In most cases, it took weeks to get the magazines into the reader’s hands. This often meant the homes were under contract and were no longer for sale.

The Internet Created the IDX Broker

IDX Broker, Broker Reciprocity and SyndicationThe internet has changed the entire real estate advertising landscape. Agents can now advertise their listings to tens of thousands of websites globally.

The amazing thing is that this all takes place in minutes or hours, not days and weeks. The reliability of the data improved as well.

This dissemination happens because of a complex system of syndication and distribution channels.

The system was set up by the Real Estate industry itself. Local MLS’s and The “National Association of Realtors” established this system.

There are two types of end users that use this data. First, there are the large real estate portals like Realtor.com & Zillow. The second group consists of individual cooperation IDX or Broker Reciprocity websites.

It all starts with the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). When an agent lists a property for sale, they have the option to syndicate that listing. If they choose yes, it becomes part of the feed. This simple act has become one of the most important aspects of the Steps to Selling a House.

Syndication

Syndication is the term used to describe the listing data sent to the big real estate portals. This would be sites like realtor.com, Zillow.com, homes.com and many more.

Think about syndication as a modern version of the old print advertising model. Instead of compiling and distributing ads for print magazines, it’s done online.

The other problem this system fixed was the scope of distribution. The home seller is now happy that their home is on every real estate website. The agent no longer has to choose where to advertise the property based on budget.

Broker Reciprocity or IDX

The second type of listing distribution method is IDX or Internet Data Exchange.

This method is often referred to as Broker Reciprocity. This is, in fact, a great description of how this concept works. Reciprocity is “The practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit”.

IDX Broker, Broker Reciprocity and SyndicationIDX is a listing data feed that gets distributed only to participating brokers. This arrangement allows participants to display other Brokers listings on own website.

There are strict rules about how the data must appear. But IDX allows Brokers and Agents to provide rich listing data to their clients.

One of the rules of IDX is that participants cannot opt out of which Broker sites their listings appear on. This rule ensures a level playing field for participants. Additionally, this provides the broadest advertising reach for all listings.

IDX allows the smaller real estate companies to provide the same listing data as the big portals. These smaller websites can’t go toe to toe with the massive portals like Zillow and Realtor. But having the same listing data gives them an opportunity to compete in different ways.

Agents have the advantage of being local and having local knowledge. Smart agents use local neighborhood information around the IDX data.

These agents provide connections between the IDX data and life in these neighborhoods. This is something the big portals can’t do…yet!

Here are some examples of Broker Reciprocity in action. These sites are from IDX Brokers around the nation:

Real Estate Portals

The biggest of the real estate websites are often called portals. These sites are a rich source of real estate information. This includes sites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and Trulia.com.

Information on available Homes For Sale is the primary attraction of these sites. Like the IDX Brokers, Real Estate portals receive their data from local MLS syndication feeds as well. The Portals also have strict rules about how they can use this data.

The portals are commercial websites, they make money in many different ways. Some sell advertising, while many make money by selling leads to Real Estate agents. To get these leads, the consumer has to see these portals as authoritative and trustworthy. This means the data on these sites must be accurate. But accuracy is difficult to achieve in a fluid market, like residential real estate.

Evolution of The Data Feed

In the early days of syndication, the data on the portals was unreliable. Consumers complained that homes on these sites were often under contract or sold.

The problem with real estate data is that listings come and go on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. The original listing data feed came in full datasets. This required the sites to rebuild their databases daily to purge old data and stay current. These rebuilds took a long time and in the process, the status of a property could change.

A home, the potential buyer saw on a portal as available, could be under contract or off the market. The listing agent always needed to confirm the true status of the property for the consumer. Contacting the agent was usually what the consumer was trying to avoid in the first place.

Birth of RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard)

The real estate industry understood this needed to improve. So, in 1999 The National Association of Realtors launched RETS. RETS is a data framework used by the real estate industry to help with the exchange of real estate data.

RETS was a more dynamic platform designed for real estate data. It allowed for faster synchronization not a complete replacement of the listing data. This allowed both Brokers and Portals to refresh data throughout the day.

Full implementation of RETS was slow and this had a lot to do with the MLS systems themselves. MLS’s contract with big data systems providers. Much of what the MLS can do depends on their vendor’s capabilities. These vendors were slow to follow the RETS standards which affected the MLS systems as well.

NAR finally required the MLS’s make RETS available by the end of 2009. It wasn’t until 2011 that we saw industry-wide adherence to RETS.

RETS was a significant improvement over the early methods of listing data syndication. But, with any good technology comes revisions and improvements and that’s what’s next.

The Sunsets on RETS

In 2018, Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) announced it plans to retire RETS. RESO Web API will be the new standard moving forward. According to RESO, “Web API” will move the real estate industry deeper into mobile and social applications.

The Web API will make its data calls in real time, this will make the listing data more accurate and reliable.

Mobile has become an essential tool for home buyers, it makes sense to focus efforts on this platform.

Syndication and Your Home

How does all this affect the homeowner? Well, in a very good way, especially if you can stand out.

In the days of print, the widest coverage went to the agent that spent the most on advertising. Syndication allows the listing agent to advertise on thousands of sites. Remember we are talking about the portals and IDX or Broker Reciprocity sites as well.

With so much listing data available to homebuyers, your home must stand out. This means, professional photos, video or virtual tour. It also helps to have the home staged before photos.

IDX Broker, Broker Reciprocity and Syndication

Make Sure You Get Syndicated

Syndication is the new standard in the real estate industry for marketing listings. The process of getting your listing into syndication is actually quite easy. But, there are agents that don’t take part in this remarkable system.

Lack of participation is usually due to confusion about how the system works or how to get connected. If you are selling your house, make sure your realtor’s marketing includes syndication.

Getting involved is actually easy. Most MLS’s offer syndication as an option at the time and agent inputs a listing. In most cases, it’s as simple as checking a box. This method gets the listing into the system at a minimal presence.

The various portals have options and upgrades to enhance the status on their site. This requires contracting with each portal and of course paying more money. In some cases, this is a valuable upgrade. But, serious buyers are going to search out the best listings on each portal. Great photographs, video, and virtual tours seem to matter more than enhanced status.

Optimizing Your Exposure

There are close to 100 portals, and many of these portals have extended networks with 100’s of subsites. Keeping track of where to send your listing data can be daunting.

There are portals that specialize in unique property types. Catering to niche property types like farm and ranch, waterfront, income and more.

We have found that for us, the best way to stay on top of listing syndication is to use a tool like Listhub. Listhub is a syndication tool for the most popular real estate portals in the world.

The listing agent chooses the portals they want to receive their listing data. Turning on or off the feed based on whatever criteria are important to that particular agent.

Keeping track of what property goes where can be overwhelming. Trying to keep track of usernames, passwords, image sizes and more is a big job. Listhub is a tool we use that handles this for us.

Developed by “The Threewide Corporation”, Listhub launched in 2006. This was during the developmental stage of the RETS standard.

Move, Inc, the owners of Realtor.com acquired Listhub in 2010. This made Listhub the syndication tool for one of the largest real estate portals in the world. This is a company that understands syndication.

Some MLS’s Step Away From Syndication

There is a growing trend among MLS organizations to end syndication feeds. They say this decision is about giving Brokers the freedom to choose where their listings go.

As I mentioned earlier, the choice to syndicate a listing is as simple as checking a box. So opting out of syndication is a simple task for a Broker, un-check box. So, the choice argument seems weak.

If the purpose is to target only certain portals of the Brokers choosing, ListHub does a great job at that. So, eliminating that option makes no sense either. In truth, there are a host of opinions and reasons about this move away from MLS syndication.

The popular opinion is that big brokerages are squeezing the smaller companies.

Zillow is the biggest portal and they allow direct listing data feeds from big companies. These XML data feeds are expensive to set up and the company needs a lot of listings to qualify.

Smaller brokerages can’t afford the setup and rarely have enough listings to qualify. Since most home sellers demand their listing appear on Zillow, this puts the small company in a jam.

Eliminating the MLS syndication option appears to create an advantage for bigger companies.

If you’re asking yourself how this happens, it’s pretty simple. MLS Boards have directors and these directors are often members of big companies. This is a function of size, bigger companies have more agents, thus more interest in MLS politics. The attitude towards syndication is, I get it through my company, so let’s pull the plug. This saves money and enhances the status of big companies.

This is unfortunate for smaller brokerages but not catastrophic. If MLS’s step away from portal syndication, opportunities open up for other entities. There are a growing number of paths into the real estate portals.

Ancillary service providers like Website and IDX vendors can generate the XML feed. These companies send their clients listings to the portals eliminating the issue.

This works because the vendors have a financial motivation to help their clients. Smaller brokerages can sign up for the service and syndication becomes a bonus.

 

Popular Real Estate Portals

This is important because home sellers want their listings on the “Good Portals”.

This brings up the question, “what makes a portal good? The answer to this question depends on who you ask. Home sellers tend to look for the widest net possible and the most visible. Realtors generally prefer to focus on the most effective portals in the space.

These are the portals that present the property in the best possible light and get the best results.

Of course, there are a few portals that are without a doubt required. We’re talking about the “Top 5” Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin and Homes.com

These five sites receive the lion’s share of traffic in the real estate space. If your home is on the market you need to have it on these fives sites.

IDX BrokerInformation provided by SimilarWeb.com.

This chart illustrates why it is important to have your for sale property on these sites. These sites are step one for home buyers in the steps to buying a house.

Inclusion here gets your home noticed and if it looks good, on the shortlist. Once a buyer puts a home on the shortlist, they tend to start more in-depth research on other sites. It’s during this research they start to reach out to Realtors for help.

This is the point buyers start to schedule private showings. Showings lead to offers, contracts, and closings. This process wouldn’t exist without the wide net of Broker Reciprocity and Syndication.

If you’re selling your home choose a broker that understands syndication and IDX. You should look for someone that has a good understanding of where your listing will go and how it gets there. You don’t want to hear, “Oh my office handles that”.

IDX and Broker Reciprocity constitute a powerful network for listing agents. Make sure you are using this tool effectively.

How Springs Homes Markets Your Home

Marketing

In the world of residential real estate, the term “marketing” means one thing… to get qualified, prospective buyers interested in your home. Qualified buyers are defined as people that are ready, willing, and most importantly, able to buy your home. These people are the focus of our marketing efforts. Our marketing plan combines the resources of the Internet with newspaper, magazines, yard signs, direct mail, and good old-fashioned networking in order to target prospective home buyers. Here is a synopsis of our marketing plan.

Internet Marketing

The Internet has become the new medium of choice for researching home purchases. “Easy”, “convenient” and “low pressure” are words that best describe the process of house hunting on line. It is our opinion that in order to effectively market a property, the modern Realtor must have a strong grasp on the Internet. We are E-Pro certified and have a strong Internet presence. Here are some of our online strategies.

SpringsHomes.com

This is our main company web site. We get a significant amount of relevant targeted traffic to this site through a combination of search engines, links, directories and “pay per click” opportunities. Our goal is to bring buyers to our page in order to view our listings in an attractive, convenient setting.

Custom Web Pages

Most real estate brokers’ web sites display their listings in the same cookie cutter format, tried and true, but not expressing your home’s most attractive qualities. We give every property we list its own showcase on the web! We use your actual address to host this web site (www.1234AnyStreet.com).

Internet Exposure

Pictures and information about your home are circulated to all major real estate portals on the Internet to increase the chances of a quick sale. Did you know that there are more than a dozen real estate sites we can post your home on?

Traditional Marketing

This is a remarkable time to be involved in the field of marketing and selling residential real estate. Even though the Internet has become the major resource for prospective home buyers, traditional marketing still accounts for a significant share of home sales. The Internet may be responsible for bringing the buyer to the home but it is usually good old-fashioned, face-to-face personal service that gets the deal closed. Take a look at the traditional service we offer.

Realtor Assistance

Because we strive to develop and maintain good working relationships with fellow Realtors, we have a strong network of brokers that help sell our listings. Additionally, we reach out to the real estate community to bring their buyers to our listings. You can never underestimate the power of personal relationships.

Pikes Peak Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

This is the medium most used to sell homes in El Paso County. It gives you a force of over 2,200 Realtors with potential buyers. We make sure our listings are clear, realistic and informative. Additionally, we make sure the directions to the home eliminate any chance of confusion.

Denver-MLS

This is a much larger group of Realtors. We sell a significant number of homes this way. Denver agents do show in El Paso County, especially northern El Paso County. We accommodate showings by Denver agents by posting to their MLS. Additionally, because Denver is on a different lock box system it is necessary for us to make special arrangements to get them into our listings. We are happy to accommodate them.

Elite 25

This organization consists of the 25 Realtors in town that sell the most homes over $500,000. Coincidentally, this happens to be the group of Realtors that sells the most homes in general. As charter members of this group, we have developed strong networking relationships that serve us well.

Print Advertising

Although the trend in real estate advertising is toward the Internet, 40% of home buyers in 2002 said they started their home search in publications. We have focused our efforts towards publications we know work. Gazette Homes for Sale Magazine, Appropriate neighborhood papers: Tri-Lakes Tribune, Cheyenne Edition, Woodmen Edition.

Archives

Homes for Sale in Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Real Estate

Phone Number:

719.388.4000

Address:

Springs Homes
703 N. Tejon St. Suite E
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Meet Springs Homes

There is nothing average about Springs Homes. Everything we do crackles with intention and intensity, because we believe that strategy always wins when employed by confident, knowledgeable and trustworthy agents.

We list and sell homes across the entire Pikes Peak region. Additionally, Springs Homes offers property management services. We work with a select few home builders in order to provide our clients with new construction options as well as resale opportunities.

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