Edina Realty pulling listings from Trulia and Realtor.com?

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Top traffic RE sitesCraig Kamman, an agent with Edina Realty in Wayzata, MN reported Tuesday on his blog that Edina Realty is going to stop sending their real estate listings to 3rd party sites like Trulia and Realtor.com.

From what I am assuming is an internal message to Edina agents (as it’s nowhere to be found in Edina’s on-line press room or anywhere else online that I can find) that Craig posted comes this:

Edina Realty will no longer provide a broker feed of our listing inventory to Trulia.com starting Nov. 30, 2011. We also intend to discontinue sending our listings to Realtor.com by the end of the year.

Interesting. Why would a very large real estate brokerage pull their listings from two of the most heavily trafficked real estate sites on the planet? (According to Hitwise, Realtor.com and Trulia are currently the first and third most visited real estate web sites.)

Here’s what Edina had to say about it:

Third party aggregators are not brokers. They get listings for free from brokers around the country and then display them online, collecting and distributing leads for profit. We believe it makes the best business sense for our agents and Edina Realty to control our own listings in order to ensure that:

  • Our agents don’t lose future business opportunities because a non-listing competitor pays to present themselves as the contact for your listing.
  • Our agents don’t have to pay – directly or indirectly – for leads on their own listings.
  • Our sellers can be assured that leads on their listing are being handled by an expert
  • The quality and accuracy of your listing data is assured.
  • Potential buyers are provided with fast, knowledgeable responses via the listing agent or our seven-day-a-week customer service department.

Of course where Edina, or any real estate brokerage, chooses to distribute their listings is up to them. The brokerage owns the listing (though I think I could make a case that the home seller should own the listing for their own home, but contractually speaking the owner of the data is the listing brokerage).

Craig thinks Edina Realty should be “applauded for their leadership”. Other agents and brokers have chimed in across the interwebs in agreement with Craig.

The common mantra I hear from many agents and brokers regarding sending listings to third party sites typically falls into all or part of four camps:

1) Third party sites end up selling leads back to the agent/brokerage that provides them listings.
2) Third party sites compete with agent and brokerage sites in search engine results.
3) Third party sites that don’t get a feed from the MLS serve up inaccurate data.
4) It’s our data, we should control it.

I Don’t Get It

At Thompson’s Realty, we syndicate our listings to multiple third party real estate sites (including Realtor.com and Trulia). Why? Simply put, for exposure. Home buyers are looking for homes on the Internet. Of course I’d rather them search for homes right on the site you are looking at now, but the simple fact is these large national sites are out there, and they draw a LOT of home buyer eyeballs. It only seems appropriate to put our clients home sale information on the highest traffic real estate sites. Not to do so would be a disservice, in my opinion.

I’ve never understood the, “They sell leads back to us using the data we supplied!” argument. No third party site can sell you a lead if you don’t open your checkbook or whip out the credit card. Don’t like third party sites selling you leads? Don’t buy them. How hard is that?

Don’t like third party sites competing with you in the search engines? Build an authoritative site and compete with them. We rank above Realtor.com and Trulia and other third party sites for countless keywords, address and MLS number searches. Those who say the little guy can’t compete with these deep-pocket listing aggregators are wrong, plain and simple.

Yes, there are inaccuracies in some of the third party listings. Guess what? There are inaccuracies galore in the MLS. That’s been proven over and over again. If you find these sites aren’t displaying your data accurately, tell them to fix it. Every third party site I’m aware of (or at least care about) has a process to correct bad data (most of which is entered incorrectly to start with by the listing agent or broker).

What seems to give the most angst to the folks who oppose these sites having “our” data is that some other agent who pays money will get a lead from their listing.

So what?

We don’t take listings to generate leads, we take listings to sell them.

And if putting a client’s home on Trulia or Realtor.com or Homes.com or Zillow or where ever gets that listing in front of a home buyer and they contact some  ad paying agent to help them buy it, GOOD. That’s the freaking point! I *want* buyers to contact an agent about buying our client’s home.

Edina made the point, “Our sellers can be assured that leads on their listing are being handled by an expert.” Good for them. I know a few agents that work at Edina and they are fantastic agents. Are there crappy agents out there, getting leads from third party sites? You betcha. And if a crappy agent brings a buyer for one of our client’s home, we’ll deal with it. Trust me, many a good agent, be they at Thompson’s Realty or otherwise, has had to hold the hand of a lousy agent and do their job for them in order to get the transaction closed. Welcome to real estate. My guess is that a home seller–if they get the price they need in the time they need it–couldn’t care less about the ability of the buyer’s agent or what their agent had to jump through to close the transaction.

And they shouldn’t care. It’s our job as their representative to worry about that.

There’s murmuring out there that other brokerages will follow Edina’s lead. That we need to wrest control of listing data from these third party sites. Sorry kids, but the control left the building a long time ago. Real estate buyers want access to listing data, and it’s our job to get that data to them.

Will other brokerages pull their listing data from third party sites? Maybe. I can assure you that if a Phoenix area brokerage chooses to do that, then we will use their decision to our advantage. How does the conversation go with a potential seller if you are with a brokerage that chooses not to use third party listing sites?

So Mr. Agent, you’ll put our home listing on the internet, won’t you?

Well, it will be on our brokerage site, but we’ve elected not to put your listing on some of the most highly visited real estate sites in the country.

Uhm, why is that?

Well, we want to be sure our agents get the leads your home listing generates. And those meanies at the third party site want to charge for them!

Uhm, isn’t the point to sell our home, not generate leads for you and other agents?

Seems like an… uncomfortable… conversation to have. Good luck explaining your decision to not market a listing on high traffic sites. And you WILL be disclosing to all your potential clients that you’ve elected to withhold their homes from these sites, won’t you? Of course you will. So get ready for that other awkward conversation like this:

So, you won’t be putting our listing on the most visited real estate web sites. XYZ Realty says they will. Why should we list with you and not them?

We have expert agents!

XYZ Realty says they do too. Is there any brokerage out there that says, “Use us! We have shitty agents!”?

We have a 197,381 point marketing plan for your home!

That doesn’t include putting our home listing on two of the top three most visited websites on the planet…

This conversation seems so much simpler, and so much more effective:

So Mr. Agent, you’ll put our home listing on the internet, won’t you?

You’re damn right we will. That thing will be plastered across so many sites that home buyers won’t be able to miss it.

Maybe it’s just me, but I like simple, effective communication with clients.

I like getting their homes on high traffic sites.

I like selling their homes.

Concerned you won’t get leads from your listings? You know what the best lead generator in the history of commerce is?

A satisfied client.

Help Me Understand

I know for a fact there are a lot of agents and brokers that have heartburn over third party listing sites. Apparently Edina does. I’m having a conversation at this very moment with an agent I respect the hell out of who has concerns about them. There seem to be plenty of others as well.

To be perfectly honest, it appears that much of the consternation may well be surrounding the fact that it is likely more difficult to double-side a transaction if someone else is getting leads from your listings. That isn’t a concern of mine as I abhor single-agent dual agency and will avoid it like the plague. But I have yet to hear anyone come out and say they want leads on their listings because they want to double-side them. Why is that? 

Maybe that assessment is off base, but clearly I don’t understand the angst with third party sites. Please, enlighten me…

 

UPDATE Nov 18: Edina has issued a statement on this matter. Thanks to Edina agent Aaron Dickinson for providing the link to Edina’s statement.

Others Opine:

John Murphy – Has Edina Realty Just Declared War on Real Estate Web Site Aggregators – Trulia and Realtor.com?

Image: Top 10 Visited Real Estate Sites. Week ending 11/12/2011. From Experian Hitwise.

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About the Author
Jay Thompson

I'm a real estate broker in Phoenix, Arizona and the publisher of the Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog. I tend to drive too fast and scream at the University of Texas and Denver Broncos football teams. My two kids are smarter than most adults I know and my wife is simply amazing.

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  1. Ben Goheen says:

    I can’t wait to compete for a listing with an agent from Edina Realty :)

    • Jay Thompson says:

      If they expect other agents not to point out that they aren’t putting listings on two wildly popular real estate sites, then they have clearly missed something. I have to believe they realize that will happen and that this was a well thought-out and well discussed decision. They must feel they can counter any points sellers and competing agents will make. I’d love to hear those counter-points, because what they included in the communication wouldn’t seem to cut the mustard in the eye of most consumers.

      • Ben Goheen says:

        Here’s the counter point I can see them saying: “Realtor.com, Zillow & Trulia are inaccurate (blah, blah….) so the only place to see every home for sale is on the Edina Realty website.” Of course then THEIR agents would be getting more calls about listings from other companies & areas they might not be familiar in. But at least that data is 100% accurate and the leads will be handled by experts.

        • Sam says:

          Thank you Ben.

          The only reason these sites get the traffic they do is because agents stupidly gave them the listings, and because most agents are smart enough to present how their sites suck (by not having the listings and their inaccuracies) compared to any of the decent IDX searches now available.

          Any agent who needs a a clean simple IDX Search…can go get the dsIDxpress plugin for $29/month, or idxbroker or even simply stupid idxpro.

          Then all they need to do is make is super clear with a simple chart or graph how their site has x area listings which is x (double, triple? etc..) the listings on Zillow and Trulia, and far more than Craigs list.

          We quote and link to their own fine print on the inaccuracy of their data, and highlight their business model as having nothing to do with helping people buy and sell homes at better prices, faster.

          We demonstrate how much money agents who pay for ‘ad space’ waste by getting all those “impressions” but very few leads.

          We show sellers how buyers come to our sites and stay because of these facts, and then show statistical proof that we do a better job than other agents, backed up with tons of testimonials and stories.

          P.S. If you come across any agent that doesn’t know how to generate a ton of traffic to their site and outrank the big boys – tell them is is easily done using property data available to the public, wordpress, and two most excellent plugins…but that it’s a “fight club” rules thing.

          • Ben Goheen says:

            Sam,
            You’re really talking about 2 different things here – selling a client’s home vs. generating leads. Does the seller care how many leads the agent gets from Trulia, Zillow, etc.? No, they just want their home sold.

            Agents don’t ‘stupidly’ hand their listings over to these 3rd party sites, brokers do.

            And simply buying dsIDXpress (which I have) and using a ‘magical’ plugin or 2 won’t skyrocket a site to the top of Google. It takes a lot more dedication and hard work – something most agents aren’t willing to do.

            I’d be interested in seeing this statistical proof that Edina Realty agents are superior to others in the Twin Cities.

    • Always appreciate the analysis, Jay, and I think your point gets to the heart of the matter in the present, Ben.

      We really need to divide the discussion into two issues, though:
      1. What’s best for my individual listing/client today?
      2. What’s best for all real estate consumers in the long term?

      It’s clear that pulling your listings will have a detrimental effect on your client’s ability to sell. Trulia etc. are big platforms with lots of buyer traffic. Like them or not, you’re hampering your clients’ chances by not presenting them on the big stage, and hurting your chances of securing further listings. It’s a bold move, but probably not a savvy one.

      In the long term for consumers as a whole, what benefit is there of continuing to supply traffic to third-party middlemen with outdated listings and incorrect data? I receive inquiries weekly from current clients who find expired listings on Trulia. These folks already use our up-to-date local site, but then are lured to a big site with the appearance of having more listings, which they do not. It’s a waste of their time and mine. Luckily, I’m not paying for the honor.

      I don’t think that the double-side transactions are even a small portion of the issue. Agents don’t like paying an unaffiliated middleman to re-display their available listings, especially in an inaccurate/out-of-date fashion.

      As an industry, are we just reacting to the current landscape of real estate traffic online, or are we building a framework for better, high-quality, accurate real estate information for consumers as a whole? At what point do we give flashy sales pitches the edge over accurate information?

      I wouldn’t take Edina’s stance in the current market, but I certainly don’t fault them for taking a principled stand. It just may not pay off in the end.

      • Jay Thompson says:

        Great comment Sam. I don’t fault Edina either. In fact I said in another comment:

        I applaud Edina for sticking up for their beliefs. I don’t understand their thought process, and I don’t agree with their ultimate decision, but I do respect them for doing what they think is right.

        And as mentioned in the post, it’s their listings, they can do what they want with them.

        There’s no question there is inaccurate data on 3rd party sites. But they WILL fix it if you bring it to their attention, and I’d bet the VAST majority of those inaccuracies come from bad data input — input done by agents/brokers. It’s not like the Trulia’s of the world are changing the data they get… There is also inaccurate data in the MLS. That doesn’t make it right, or justify inaccuracies on third party sites, but it is what it is. No database that is maintained by thousands of people is going to be 100% accurate.

  2. The board of my local MLS, Southwest MLS, is considering doing the same thing. I think you hit the nail on the head, it is driven by what my broker and SWMLS board member told me directly “I want the leads on my listings.” I think you’re right, they want to double end transactions like back in the day. That day has passed, it’s not freakin’ 1974 anymore and I think consumers are better served by using their own buyer’s broker anyway. Impartiality contradicts human nature. And how often do you hear that someone is being sued and guess what, they double ended the transaction?

    I’ll vouch for your point that the little guy can compete with the aggregate sites. I’m a little guy and I do compete in my market. It hasn’t taken thousands of dollars although it has taken plenty of time and effort. Or should I say dedication and focus, which are, I’m afraid, two personality traits too many Realtors lack.

    • Jay Thompson says:

      It absolutely takes time, effort, dedication and focus to compete with big sites with tons of money from VC’s or investors. But it certainly can be done. Apparently Edina has done it, and done it well in their market as I’m hearing they have a ridiculous amount of web traffic and market share. Good on them. I still have to wonder though, how many listings will be missed by potential buyers if they aren’t available on large national sites. I’d LOVE it if everyone looking for a home in Phoenix looked here, but that’s not a realistic expectation. And I don’t care how much traffic Edina gets, or what their market share is, they *will* miss some consumers eyeballs by pulling out of these highly trafficked sites…

    • Dave Kinkade says:

      Amen, Rich! It isn’t 1974 any longer. This move appears absolutely self-serving and one of the most customer-unfriendly moves I’ve ever seen. I can sympathize with their desire not to have their brand diluted by outsiders but that just isn’t how the world works. I have to say, it is frustrating to have an agent present your listing as their own – yes it does get the home sold (or rented in my case) but it also gives prospective sellers and landlords an inaccurate impression. As they are fond of saying in Texas…’Big hat, No cattle’ We bust our butts to be the best and place at the very top of the SERPs but I cannot imagine turning away from powerful authority websites like Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow. We’d be doing our clients a huge disservice.

  3. Vin Socci says:

    Great post, Jay. I’ve always viewed it as a pay to play model. If you are going to send your listing all over the web specifically to the likes of Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com then you want leads coming back to you, the agent. Some may argue that Zillow and Trulia Pro etc monetize (make you pay) by selling leads from other brokers listings (if the broker doesn’t enhance their listings themselves) but it’s a double edged sword because at the end of the day we’re all here to represent our client’s best interests. If that means giving the lead to an agent that will actually follow up with a potential buyer in a timely manner, then so be it.

    • Jay Thompson says:

      I get the argument that some (perhaps many) agents won’t follow up with a lead generated from a 3rd party site. But in my experience, if a home buyer is interested in a particular home, they don’t lose that interest because they don’t get a response from their inquiry, they inquire again. Sure, that’s got to be frustrating for the consumer, and it’s obviously something agnets and brokers need to fix. But, in my opinion, it’s a weak reason for pulling ALL your listings off multiple sites.

  4. Amen. Last time I checked, my job as a listing agent and brokerage was to sell my clients’ properties. The more people that advertise, promote, blog, display those properties the better…Particularly if I have provided outstanding pictures, compelling copy and lifestyle oriented information. Nothing more to it than that. Edina, who is a very respected firm, seems to be trying to put the genie back in the bottle. It simply isn’t going to happen and those who don’t get that are at risk…

  5. My thought has always been you cannot sell a secret. Not sure why exposure is a bad thing. When I take a listing it is about getting it sold, not what leads will I get out of it. And about the “inaccurate data issue”, I don’t think it is any of the sites intention to have incorrect information.

  6. It will be interesting to watch.

    Edina has huge market share. Why no mention of Zillow though? Wonder if they are already NOT syndicating to Zillow?

  7. I’ve said for a long time that the horse left the barn long ago… We ain’t getting the listings back in house even if some of the brokerages follow suit on this. I can understand Edina on this for a lot of reasons but they have a well ranked site and enough listings to be an authority site in their market. Buyers will go to their site to search for homes and their listing agents should be taught to counter the objections of other firms with well planned dialogues about active MLS sites vs aggregators with ancient listing data.

    But I don’t get the Realtor.com aspect of this at all. That is active MLS data, the integrity of which we should be able to control with no issues. Trying to close down your listings to only in house sales weakens the seller’s position much like pocket listings or private exclusives do. We are after all a cooperative business and depend on agents from all firms and their ability to bring buyers to listings, no matter how those buyers are acquired.

    It’s not like only buyers from one brokerage will call off the sign, right? How is the big, giant Internet sign any different? You put up the listing, expose it and then work with the cast of characters you are given for that transaction. Some will be good, some you’ll walk through but the goal is still to get the seller’s house sold.

    Should be interesting to watch…

  8. Chris Wylie says:

    Good morning Jay. My virtual assistant told me about your site and I finally got a chance to check it out. You are absolutely right, it makes no sense to turn away a chance to generate traffic. What Edina is doing seems strange and I wonder, is another motive? Brokers need to remember their clients’ needs, to sell a home. Thank you for posting about this. I look forward to seeing more of your articles.

  9. “We don’t take listings to generate leads, we take listings to sell them.”
    You hit the nail square on the head Jay. Listing homes is not about the brokerage or making life easier for agents, it’s about getting a client’s home sold. Any brokerage that thinks they can turn the clock back to the days before the Internet is in for a serious wake up call.

  10. Nobu Hata says:

    Jay, I’m an Edina Realty agent, and this move p*sses me off. It’s an inconvenience, it’s anti-consumer, it’s a misplaced power play from folks who haven’t sold real estate in decades – I can go on and on. And for those wondering, Zillow (arguably the only other site that matters in the Twin Cities) was on the radar too, but apparently someone thought better. Yes we have a ton of online market share, but to try to grab more at the sake of agents and my clients’ listings is a dumb move.

    • Jay Thompson says:

      Thanks for commenting Nobu. When I said, “I know a few agents that work at Edina and they are fantastic agents,” I was definitely including you in that group… Appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

  11. Karen Rice says:

    I have mixed feelings, mainly because I loathe Realtor.com. I loathe the fact that it is the top site where buyers go to look for property but it costs agents an arm and a leg to have their listings displayed on there properly… The default 4 pictures is nowhere near enough and there is no text description, unless you pay big bucks to enhance your listings. I can see paying to enhance in order to add a virtual tour or a video or to have the 5,000 expanded text, headlines, etc. All of that is fluff. I don’t think it’s right that they make you pay just to have your pictures on there. There would be no realtor.com if it weren’t for us, but I can certainly sell without realtor.com – I have only gotten one or two sales over a 3 or 4 year period that I can directly attribute to realtor.com; yet I feel obligated to pay for enhanced listings to do the best job for my seller.

    I don’t care if I get the leads, I don’t care if someone else’s ad is there on the page – I do think that Realtor.com should be more like Trulia and Zillow, actually…allow us to have all of our pictures and a description on the site. If we want to pay extra to add virtual tours, videos, enhanced descriptions, headlines, and have our contact info on it, fine…

  12. Hmmm.

    There is definitely a need for more exposure in the current real estate market so this decision may be a horrible move for them.

  13. Alex Aguilar says:

    Really good stuff here Jay, I love the article. I love SEO / Online Marketing because it gives me the opportunity to kick the crap out of the big guys. I can compete with them in San Diego and honestly I love the competition. This is a sink or swim world and SEO gives you a fairly even playing field. It’s up to you to make something happen!

    • Jay Thompson says:

      Thanks for sharing that Aaron. Have to admit, I find this quote from Bob Peltier, President and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services, just a wee bit annoying:

      “I understand that some brokers may not be in a leadership position and able to break ties with national aggregators, but Edina Realty is,” he said.”

      I don’t agree with Edina’s decision to pull their listings, but I certainly didn’t question their “leadership position”. It’s a shame Mr. Peltier couldn’t make his case without disparaging the leadership ability of other brokers…

  14. I have not read the comments so this may have been said before but what the F>?$^ This is what is wrong with this freaking industry. People more worried about control and making a dollar than helping the client. HOw in the world does this help one seller? It does not. If I am a listing agent I WANT to go up against them for a listing.

    This is just the tip of what is wrong with the real estate industry.

  15. This scenario is expected especially if they fail to enjoy the best business opportunities from the said sites.

  16. John Wake says:

    I can see this general issue playing out this way.

    MLS develops its own killer website for listings, a la, Houston.

    MLS cuts off listings feed to everyone else or otherwise changes its rules to prohibit MLS members from sending listings to certain types of websites.

    Local home buyers soon learn that the best place to search for homes is at local MLS website or similar websites that meet the MLS terms.

  17. Tom Aikins says:

    There are some interesting points on both sides of the argument but it would seem like the exposure that is afforded to agencies by listing on Trulia and the other sites would trump everything else. I mean, nobody’s going to buy your listing if they don’t know about it in the first place.

  18. Craig Bosse says:

    Great post Jay…

    I recently asked an agent in our office if he would allow us to market his property online since I’m the “techy” guy around our office. We wanted to make a youtube video and promote on Craigslist ect. He wouldn’t allow it without a hefty referral fee from us for any buyers coming from the listing. In the end it didn’t make sense for us, we couldn’t pay out the fee and make enough to cover our costs and still make a living.

    The listing just came back on the MLS as a “new” listing with another brokerage. While I can’t say for sure that we would have been able to sell his listing, I can say that it would have given it massive exposure (10,000-18,000 visitors/month on the site) for absolutely no cost to him. Kinda reminds me of your story here, only he knew that we would take care of the leads very well.

    Hope his asset manager doesn’t read this! :)

  19. Dan Edwards says:

    I really don’t see the benefit to our clients in restricting propagation in any way. We all have the choice to buy the leads. I don’t think I would want to have any of those conversations with my clients

  20. Steve says:

    Put me in the “glad to see this” category. I wish more Brokerages would grow a pair and do the same. Our industry has been turned into a joke by these 3rd party sites. Realtor.com calls me constantly wanting me to pay them. Why? Because, according to the salesperson, I’m at a disadvantage if I don’t. This is absurd, that the real estate industry let is come to this. Good for Edina for fighting back, finally.

    The 3rd party sites don’t provide buyer consumers with a better experience and they don’t help sellers sell homes. Anyone who disagrees, show me your data that says otherwise.

    Let’s see how Edina does. They can be the beta case. God I hope they just start smoking the competition. They will either gain market share and sell more homes, or they won’t. Only if the backslide over the next two years will we be able to say it was a wrong move.

    Steve

  21. Drewry says:

    keep up the good work on this awesome real estate site. Was going through the blog a little bit and noticed you have lots and lots of awesome content. Let’s talk sometime :-)

  22. Orlando says:

    Hope this works out for them,…

  23. PhxREguy says:

    @bestbuffalohome What is #bnar12?

    • bestbuffalohome says:

      @PhxREguy our local board’s hash tag. Several of us use it to share things happening in the area

  24. eProAgi says:

    @phxreguy Everyone thought Edina would be a lone soldier, ARG proves that to be WRONG!!! More to follow, I am sure!

  25. tkjellander says:

    @PhxREguy @chris_smth @professionalone {agreed. Job is to sell listings.That’s how I get paid.want more leads?put more signs in the ground

    • ProfessionalOne says:

      @tkjellander It’s not about “trying to get leads.” It’s about “purity” of a system with a lot of wrong in it, I think…

      • tkjellander says:

        @ProfessionalOne does that begin & end with zillow?Or tulia?I think not. big box broker whose entire model is based on selling leads bk 2 u

        • ProfessionalOne says:

          @tkjellander Good points. How do you feel about brokers that do that?

        • tkjellander says:

          @ProfessionalOne – not how I roll. but there’s a lid for every pot. And since u asked- goes back 2 barrier to entry. #RTB

        • ProfessionalOne says:

          @tkjellander What specifically goes back to barrier to entry?

        • tkjellander says:

          @ProfessionalOne – spin is selfserving & hypocritical.Are they taking videos/tours off mls/YouTube 2?IMO its not in best interest of clients

        • ProfessionalOne says:

          @tkjellander I can sort of see that. Again, my focus is on the issues I’ll label as “other.”

        • tkjellander says:

          @ProfessionalOne – alas, my 1099s are calling me…or is that a baby. ;) Goodnite…thx 4 the convo-enjoyed it.

  26. ProfessionalOne says:

    @PhxREguy I respect the points you made in your post, Jay, and U R right on many levels. I think it’s a pent up rage against that machine…

  27. Chris_Smth says:

    @PhxREguy @corcoran_group I like syndication as a consumer that’s 4 sure @ARG_SD [could care less about politics of industry]

  28. scotthack says:

    @PhxREguy Nope, don’t agree with your stance. Respect it, but don’t agree. Would love to see 3rd parties go poof! My site has authority

  29. scotthack says:

    @PhxREguy as well, but that doesn’t mean I can control what sites consumers click on. The thing that upsets me is the uneven footing that

  30. scotthack says:

    @PhxREguy IDX vs syndication puts Realtors on. We have restrictions, they don’t.

  31. Corcoran_Group says:

    @PhxREguy I think in many ways the industry’s views on syndication are completely irrelevant in the mind of the consumer

  32. RealtorLiz says:

    @PhxREguy syndication of some form is a necessity. Leads is a pitiful excuse to pull plug. The system needs improvement though

    • PhxREguy says:

      @realtorliz Agree completely… #sindication is not inherently evil. Could it be better? of course.

  33. _MinnesotaHomes says:

    @PhxREguy More than leads, it’s about integrity, which they don’t have. My clients now have the OPTION of being listed on these sites.

  34. mndoug says:

    Hi Jay, Would you please contact me at dmiller@caare.org? We’ve done a post on this issue for our non-profit charity dedicated to consumerism in real estate (www.caare.org). I would like to communicate with you on this issue. Thanks.

    Doug Miller

  35. mizzle says:

    Honestly? I don’t give a rats ass what that company did. However, I, as an internet-savvy RE agent, would not join a brokerage that didn’t make my job easier. But if I were not an internet savvy agent then I don’t suppose I would care.

  36. mizzle says:

    …. and I am *really* late to this party. Apparently.

  37. This is an interesting article, I would hope that they are not pulling from other sites but it does happen..

  38. ryannewmanabc says:

    Because MLS system is antiquated and should go away? Gee why in the world would one provide properties to mls for free and then pay money in order to search these properties that you provide for free and then pay more money to display these properties on your site. Ridiculous.
     
    And then NRA just spits in out faces by pulling data to realtor.com for basically nothing while we have all kinds of limitations while displaying data on our sites.

  39. Wi home seller says:

    We initially listed with Edina realty. After 3 showings in 3 months and after complaints about the low visibility of our home on the Internet, we stopped listing with them and went to someone else who truley marketed our home!

  40. prof_trader says:

    We went with Edina, and it was a fantastic experience. Since they control much more of the process with buyers online my Realtor was able to show me how many visitors looked at my property, how it compared in views to other properties in the area, and what we could do to make it stand out more. If they let third parties collect all of that data, we would have never known how competitive my pricepoint was to get the deal done.
     
    I’m curious “Wi home sller”, who complained about low visibility of your home since you said you only had three showings? Sounds like this is more likely a shill post form a national aggregator.

    • Wi home seller says:

      Not a shill post, but a real home seller in WI last year.   Don’t let Edina fool you, my second realtor was able to get data about number of views of our listings in different places on line compared to others in the area.   They talk a good game, give a good sales presentation, but were too busy chasing foreclosures to do more than minimal marketing of our home.  I was the one monitoring things and asking for more exposure and more to be done with our house.   Ours was not an inexpensive house and I certainly expected better representation for the money we would have paid for commission.  

    • Jay Thompson says:

       @prof_trader I can see IP addresses for commenters and “WI home trader” isn’t located anywhere near the home of a national aggregator.
       
      Let’s please try to abide by my comment policy and not attack another commenter. Thanks.

  41. AgentSmart says:

    prof_trader is a home owner who knows all about national aggregators?   I think not.  If there is an imposter, it is he.  
     
    Let’s talk facts.  Realtors owe a fiduciary duty to their clients to sell their homes for the highest price in the fastest amount of time.  Most home buyers find their homes on the internet.  Most use the top 5 aggregators to do that.  Home buyers from out of state and who don’t use Edina’s website, won’t find Edina listings.   Those buyers who do use Edina’s website will automatically forfeit their right and the seller’s right to representation because they will expose themselves to dual agency.  Edina has ridiculously reduced the market exposure of their clients’ listings to increase the chance of collecting a double commission.  Someone should start a class action against them for breach of fiduciary duty.  Oh wait, that’s happened before…

    • prof_trader says:

       @AgentSmart My Edina realtor educated me on the national aggregators and their tactics, like selling a consumer inquiry on a house to the highest bidder, rather than ensuring it goes to a local agent that has  seen my home and could  answer a question accurately – money seems to trump the consumer proposition to most of these big guys.
       
      I’m not sure what you are talking about in your post, as I am not an agent. I can tell you the out of state buyer of my home was represented by a local Re/Max agent that was plenty smart and had been to a broker open house, and that my home was on their website too. Just because it wasn’t on your website (I assume you work for one of the big guys with a post like yours) and you didn’t get a chance to turn it into cash
       
      Doesn’t take a lot of smarts to type “Minneapolis homes for sale” into Google, which is what everyone does. On my search, the  realtor site that shows up on the first page is Edina, with the local Re/Max in the ads – I’m guessing that’s how my buyer found his agent.
       
      I just looked at your Bio mr “agentsmart” -a brand new account and your first post ever on a blog posting that is over 8 months old within hours of mine. Could that be a coincidence, or yet another shill posting to hide the real author and biased intentions? 
       
      I work in the auto business, and am very grateful the brand I work for (BMW) does not allow anyone in the world to represent our product.

      • Jay Thompson says:

         @prof_trader  @AgentSmart Please play nice fellas. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and people can have different experiences with real estate agents, auto dealers, restaurants, whatever. 

  42. mndoug says:

    Consumer Advocates in American Real Estate (a consumer charitable organization) has been following this issue and we have two stories on this topic which can be found here: http://www.caare.org/EdinaRealty
     
    We have several problems with Edina’s “model” of limiting the marketing exposure of their clients’ listings.  First, it limits the market exposure, which limits demand.  That means if you list with Edina, your house is more likely to be on the market longer and sell for less. 
     
    Second, Edina Realty has been a fan of dual agency since before it was legal because it is so profitable.  They collect a double commission if they find the buyer for their own listings.  The loss in demand is likely worth it for them if it increases the likelihood of a dual agency transaction, however it directly conflicts with the best interests of their clients. 
     
    Third, according to NAR most clients hire a Realtor for their expertise and guidance.  In a dual agency, the buyer and seller give up their right to representation.  Do we really want uninformed housing decisions in today’s market?   Do we really want to degrade the importance of Realtor provided services to the point where using a Realtor becomes obsolete – that’s what dual agency represents.
     
    Fourth, there are some aggregators, like Neighborcity.com that actually rate buyer agents and try to direct home buyers to a highly qualified buyer agent.  Guess who filed a Commerce complaint against them?  Edina Realty.   Guess which MLS filed a lawsuit against them?   The one in which Edina Realty is a member.  Coincidence?
     
    We believe Edina Realty has severely harmed home sellers and home buyers with this business model and we want to hear from consumers who have worked with this firm to find out what Edina Realty agents are telling them to explain away these conflicts of interests.
     
    Please write to us at info@caare.org if you have experienced this.
     
    Thanks.
     
     

  43. Brad B says:

    I think the aggregators take value from the broker-owners by building their brand (Zillow, Trulia Realtor.com) at the expense of local realty brands. Leads may be free, but there is really no totally free lunch here. Posted longer piece about at Inman, including some themes from above: http://www.inman.com/opinion/guest-perspective/2011/12/19/debating-value-real-estate-aggregators

  44. Jonathan says:

    I’m not a Realtor, in the mortgage business, but I think what they are doing by pulling their listing is great! I hope they have tremendous success.

    I don’t think the mega-sites are good for your market or mine. Take one look at the negligent values Zillow pushes as well as the lowball bait and switch mortgage quotes and you won’t have a hard time understanding how that negatively affects the market.

  45. Jay Thompson says:

    Jonathan –

    Personally, I love it when a home seller says, “But according to Zillow…” That’s where you sit back and explain how your professional opinion is far superior to a piece of software. Heck, Zillow even provides the data for how inaccurate their Zestimates are.

    It’s a 2 minute conversation, tops.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Edina Realty pulling listings from Trulia and Realtor.com? [...]

  2. [...] There’s a big discussion going on across the country whether brokers should continue to allow inventory they own be uploaded to third-party aggregators such as Realtor. Com and Trulia and Zillow. Well here’s  one firm that made the decision to pull them. I don’t know how I feel about this but I thought maybe some of you could chime in and give me thoughts on the matter. Things keep a changing. I would only suggest that whatever decision we make as agents has to ultimately be good for the customers. Here is the link. Little lengthy but very informative. Edina Realty [...]

  3. [...] to Drew Meyers and Jay Thompson for surfacing this story. Did you like this? Share it:Tweet This entry was posted in Real Estate [...]

  4. [...] the same reasons I mentioned in this article about a large regional brokerage pulling their listings from some third party sites. It’s all about exposure. And as a small independent brokerage, if any of my agents ever get this [...]

  5. [...] There’s a big discussion going on across the country whether brokers should continue to allow inventory they own be uploaded to third-party aggregators such as Realtor. Com and Trulia and Zillow. Well here’s  one firm that made the decision to pull them. I don’t know how I feel about this but I thought maybe some of you could chime in and give me thoughts on the matter. Things keep a changing. I would only suggest that whatever decision we make as agents has to ultimately be good for the customers. Here is the link. Little lengthy but very informative. Edina Realty [...]

  6. [...] exactly like what Edina Realty announced in November 2011. (Though curiously, Edina never mentioned backing out of [...]

  7. [...] exactly like what Edina Realty announced in November 2011. (Though curiously, Edina never mentioned backing out of [...]

  8. [...] in the country), created quite a buzz throughout the industry on both sides of the debate (1, 2).  In late January 2012, Abbot Realty Group put to video many of the same arguments made by Edina [...]

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