The Thirdparty MLS agreement allows the non-licensed owners of internet sites to use information downloaded from the MLS system for free. Brokers give these site third party access with the thought that more marketing of listings for their agents and clients the the better.. right? Something to consider, Think about the Internet as a Mall. Consumers shop this mall window browsing and stopping in on shops to look at different products. Now think of all the Homes for sale as products and REALTOR'S websites as stores in the mall. Now think of this scenario....
My town's private but large publication newspaper has a terrific section for advertising homes for sale. This newsprint is so popular that we as REALTORS need to advertise in it to satisfy our customers request to advertise their home. Since the newspaper is popular, it is not cheap. Consumers are no longer picking up the phone to call the agent that is advertising the property, they are looking online for information. In order to make contact with that customer I try my best to direct them to my online store, my website. Not only can my customers find the property they are looking for, they are able browse through a list of other properties that are listed on mysite as we now have access as Licensed REALTORS through IDX to other brokers listings. If the consumer is interested in any of the 1000's of homes they will most likely contact the agent that owns the site and this creates a lead. The lead came from the paid advertising in the newspaper advertising.
What is now happening is the Newspaper, through Third Party Broker agreements, have created a wonderful and extensive site that allows consumers to shop thier "store" of 1000's listings and consumers can contact all the agents that are not advertising in the newspaper. I put a $300 ad in the newpaper last thursday that advertisedmy website. At the top of the newspaper nicely displayed was the newspapers website to search 1000's of listings. I got 3 extra clicks on my website that day and just found out the the Newspapers fantastic site gets 100,000 unique hits a month! Why are we competing for customers with the newspaper we pay money to advertise our site in? It is really not smart for the paper either, they are giving benefits to non-paying agents.
The reality is Broker/Owners have to understand the flow of information and how valuable that is to our business models.
If a customer come in to my store I have 1000's of product to sell them.
If a customer comes from a Third Party site It is only because of my 1 listing, and if I don't have a listing I have a ZERO % chance in benefiting from the Third party site.
My Clients Homes are listed on our National REALTOR.ca Site. They are advertised on over 20,000 agent websites through inter-brokerage sharing and IDX Sharing. I Advertise on Facebook, Kijiji and Craigslist. I assure you that I provide more then enough advertising for my clients homes. My suggestion to Brokers who allow third party agreement is to think about the free information you are giving to companies that end up making hundreds of thousands of dollars from selling back advertising to the people that give them the information.
** Very large and powerfull companies are now taking advantage of free information provided by most Real Estate Brokerages. Maybe it is time to re-visit our Third Party Agreements and decide who we give our information to...
By the way, my website is www.hometeamsells.ca