Some of that old time real estate religion - with Consumer Facing MLS Sites

Real Estate Broker/Owner with 4114 Info Service LLC

30 years ago I remember a very seasoned agent, ( 20 yr in the business) yelling at me for writing an ad on my first listing that stated that the home was located across the street from a prominent grade school.  Her statement to me was: "If they know where it is and they don't like the area, they won't call you!  You're not supposed to sell THAT house. Your job is to get as many people as you can to call you so you can sell them something else."  

I was confused.  I thought I was supposed to sell my client's house and if somebody didn't like the area, well then, what's the sense of wasting their time AND mine trying to sell them what they didn't want?  I thought the way to establish a long career in real estate was to provide the public with what THEY wanted, not what I wanted them to buy.  Well, it looks like I was pretty much on the money.  I sold a million dollars the first year I was in the business. (Remember we're talking Omaha, NE; 1980 where the average price was something south of $40,000)

What I would like to know:

  • What's the public reaction to Consumer Facing MLS Sites (MLS provides public site). 
    • (Houston MLS Consumer Facing Web-site) is nationally renowned for it's success.
    • What have the Brokers' reactions been?
  • How do you marry Broker Sites without seeming like competition?
    • Who promotes this, i.e. the MLS or everybody?
  • What has been the experience of the actual real estate Agent. 
    • They are the ones on the front lines. 
    • The agents pay nearly $130/month as MLS members on
    • The site generates an average of 17 leads/agent/month

Please let me know what experiences you have had with one of these Consumer Facing MLS Sites. 

I'll plant a tree for every response.  -  I'm a tree hugger so the more the merrier.  If you don't believe me go to our site and try and print something out. 


Posted by

Terry Kempf

CEO - 4114 Info Services, LLC

(402) 968-7777


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager

I think it's a balancing act between putting out full information (to your point) but also utilizing "tease" tactics that entice consumers to wonder how much better their buying experience would be if they just called you, doggone it.  If you just market props and not yourself, you're limited in your reach to whoever might want the particular flavor of home that your are holding up (to your old boss's point).  That's a magic formula that is different for every market and niche IMO.  Cheers!


Jan 20, 2009 12:44 PM #1
Spencer Hill
Hill Asset Management - Kingstree, SC
#1 Financial Planner -- South Carolina

I am not a broker or an agent; I am a financial planner who invests in RE and makes mortgages for my clients and referals. Our local MLS site is weak. I have an apartment complex for sale through a broker; there is not enough information to wet my apetite to purchase a property. Most pics are bad and the information lacks tax info, rental information. The lack of information makes me feel like the listing is just a come on.

Jan 20, 2009 12:54 PM #2
Stephen M. Wigg - Omaha, NE

Good input! The more information to the consumers, the better served they are? I saw 35+ houses when I moved to Portland before these websites were utilized. Of those, I could have saved the trips on 25-30 of them with interior pictures and another 5 or so with Bird's Eye View, meaning I would really only have had to see a half dozen houses to make a decision. Was I better served by a Buyer's Agent that showed me 35 houses or one that sent me links to them and I saw 5?  Isn't that the question moving forward?

Jan 25, 2009 04:23 AM #3
Sarah Markey

When we were living in NH and looking for a home to buy in Berkeley/Oakland California, we used Berkeley Homes almost exclusively, an MLS-linked realtors group, which allowed us to get into Google maps and virtually drive up and down the streets and around the corners for every home we viewed. This is particularly important in the Bay Area where one block is beautiful and the next is a slum, and unpredictably so throughout most neighborhoods. We did not consult realtors or listing services that did not offer this opportunity. It saved a great deal of time; e.g., beautiful house with apparent wooded lot across the street, turns out to be a narrow bank of trees next to the noisy freeway.

Yes, the more information to the consumers, the better served they are and the better your sales will be. Don't underestimate us! We are not the same gullible mis-informed creatures of even five years ago. Mistrust of sales for anything is rampant in these hard times, and getting information is so much easier, one way or another. Gone are the days when you call your brother-in-law's friend and buy whatever he sells you.

Jan 27, 2009 07:10 AM #4
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