For those of you that are not familiar, syndication has become all the rage with MLS’s, websites, you name it. The way it works is you enter your listing onto one site, let’s say your MLS. Your MLS then “feeds” it (or sends the listings automatically) to several other sites.
Why We LOVE Automatic Syndication:
- It is convenient and less work for us/our agents.
- Time is money, and this saves a lot of time, in turn saving money.
- Agents who do not have large budgets can strategically place their listings on a select few websites that feed to many other sites, getting the most “bang for their buck”.
Why We HATE Automatic Syndication:
- By allowing your listings to syndicate, you are giving up control over the content that is fed.
- Any listing information that is syndicated cannot be changed.
- So many sites are syndicating; it has become an issue that listings are being “fed” onto one site several times from several places.
- For our clients that want as many photos, as much ad copy & information as possible on all marketing, they are giving up the ability to add any of that information.
- Profile information – This one is huge – when your listing syndicates, it does not actually go into an account, with your profile information, a photo, etc. Therefore, there is not nearly as much branding on your listings as there would be if they were manually entered.
- The biggest challenge for us is giving up the control over your listings. You can no longer change a photo or price, you are at the mercy of the “feed” and when the “feed” doesn’t work, it is VERY difficult and time intensive to find someone to help you fix it.
What is our solution?
The trick to getting the most out of syndication is to take a careful inventory BEFORE you start marketing your listing. Look into where all of your marketing sites syndicate to and then make sure you are only allowing one feed to each site if possible.
For example, Mr. Marketing places his listings in the MLS, it goes on his ColdwellBanker site, Postlets, Point2Agent and he has a VisualTour created for it. All of these sites, minus the MLS, feed to Trulia and Zillow. So now, a decision needs to be made – which site will you allow to feed? We recommend choosing the one with the most information, in this case Point2Agent.
Mr. Marketing’s next step is to go onto all of the other sites, and remove (uncheck) Trulia and Zillow from the feed sites allowed. This way, his listing will only feed onto Trulia and Zillow from one source, removing the multiple listing issue.
I suppose what I am trying to say, is that we see the benefits of syndication; it is an amazing tool to get your listings seen on an almost unlimited number of sites. But, buyer beware, and just know that you no longer have control over your listing, which is now on an almost unlimited number of sites. So, it is important when utilizing feeds to take the bad with the good. Just know, it is not a perfect system, and there will be issues. At times the issues end up costing more to fix than it would have to just manually enter them in the first place.
We’d like to think that over time and with experience, we’ve become “syndication experts”. We know what sites auto syndicate and we also have certain sites that we recommend posting to manually.
Don’t have time to wrap your head around all of this? Let you Real Estate Virtual Assistant dig deeper and devise a syndication plan that works for you!
Syndication – We most definitely have a love/hate relationship with it.