Realtor.com®’s plan to remove its listings from online real estate aggregators will not give its competitors the advantage, even if they do swoop in and take some of the traffic, the company says. That’s because the traffic that aggregator websites provide is minimal compared to mobile sources, now realtor.com®’s focus.
Move Inc., which operates realtor.com®, announced Wednesday that the site is pulling its listings from MSN Real Estate and other Internet portals, as it shifts focus to beefing up its portfolio of online and offline channels. The company began implementing this strategy some time ago — it ended an agreement to surface its listings on AOL Real Estate last December. Far from hurting, the decision helped drive realtor.com® traffic up. It’s now the industry’s second most-visited site, the company says. Read More.
Scraping involves con artists taking a real estate listing and re-posting it with false information.
“It’s really frightening,” said Debbie Adams, Co-owner of Expert Property Management. “It almost always starts with them stealing a legitimate ad.”
The scam is familiar to Adams. She hears from a prospective renter who’s been duped at least once a week and very distinctly remembers one instance in particular. Read More.
Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow, the big three when it comes to web portals in the real estate industry, remain in the top spots.
Homes.com, Apartment Guide and Rent.com all moved up in Experian Marketing Services’ rankings of top real estate websites in January, surging past MSN Real Estate.
Century 21 maintained its position as the only franchisor website in the top 20, and Redfin and ZipRealty were the top brokerage websites on the list.
Movoto — which obtains listings data as a licensed broker in California and 35 other states, but which operates primarily as a referral site for agents at other brokerages — was the only other brokerage site in the top 20. Read More.
Realtor.com operator Move Inc. will no longer send listings, power search or coordinate the sales of advertising to brokers and agents on AOL Real Estate after Wednesday, when the two companies end a partnership that lasted more than two years.
Move has provided listings data — homes for sale, foreclosures, new homes, off-market homes and recently sold properties — to AOL Real Estate through its syndication platform, ListHub, since August 2011. Read More.
An article a few hours after this announcement revealed that Zillow was going to supply AOL listing information. Read More.
Real estate brokerages and associations are warning their employees and members to be on the lookout for listing photos being used in phony rental property ads on the Internet.
In recent months, an increased number of real estate professionals have reported their listings being scraped and used for rental scams. Scammers are reposting the listing information on Internet sites, such as Craigslist, and claiming the home is for-rent, not for-sale. The perpetrator will often tell the renter that the home is unavailable for a showing. Unsuspecting renters who are lured to the low rental price will make deposits to rent the property only to find out later that the home was never available for rent. Then the listing will quickly disappear off the Internet. Read More.
A different twist and something to consider:
“You are humbled, like what happens when we stare out to sea & feel small. . . . Wait a minute! Is that a family room off the kitchen? Toss me a Pop-Tart Mom!!!!”
Those aren’t song lyrics or poorly written poems. They’re excerpts from house descriptions by DC real-estate agent Tom Faison. “When I started selling homes 22 years ago, I would read these remarks that start off by saying, ‘This three-bedroom has a stove,’ ” Faison says. “I’ve always hated that. I feel like it’s describing the Mona Lisa as a woman with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth.” Read More.
NAR hosted a webinar recently that outlined many of the changes Realtor.com is undergoing as a result of the BOD decisions in July.
NAR President Gary Thomas, realtor.com President Errol Samuelson, and NAR CEO Dale Stinton talk about the flexibility realtor.com has in the listings that appear on the site under changes approved by the NAR Board of Directors in mid-July.
There are also many articles and resources that also help explain the changes.
A new study suggests real-estate agents do something that might go against their grain: think small.
Agents who concentrate on a small, specialized area sell homes for 1.21% more than agents who list homes in a large area, says Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. Homeowners with pricier homes stand to gain even more. Properties above the median sale price sold for 1.71% more when listed by an agent with a small territory, according to a study last year on listing area and real-estate sales.
The take-away for agents? “Sell in expensive areas and localize,” Prof. Waller says. “If you’re going into a neighborhood where you have six or seven properties listed, you’ll be able to do it faster, more efficiently and at a cheaper cost. Your transaction costs go down.” Read More.
Savvy real-estate agents know it’s not just what you say. It’s how long it takes you to say it.
More-expensive homes go hand-in-hand with longer real-estate agents’ remarks—the language written by the agent that supplements the house description and photos in a listing. Agents use a median 250 characters for homes listed under $100,000, according to an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by real-estate listings company Zillow. For homes priced over $1 million, they go nearly twice as long, with a median 487 characters. (That’s about the length of this paragraph.) Read More.
Relisting a home isn’t an enviable position for any seller. Something went wrong the first time, and for many sellers, trying again to sell the home raises more questions than answers.
While it’s common for real estate agents to handle relistings, data on just how common the situation is can be hard to come by because some agents pull listings for a week or two and then relist. It’s a tactic designed to make a home listing look fresh. But increasingly, a true relisting is defined as having a 90-day gap between the time the property goes off the market and when it comes back. In that scenario, many real estate agents say it isn’t always price that kept the property from moving. Read More.