Is Syndication A Benefit to the Listing Agent?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Team Realty

After hearing all the fuss about Edina Realty's decision to pull all their listings from third party syndication sites, I decided to take a listing Google the address and see what the likely hood that a listing agent would get a lead or inquiry from an online property listings. 

Here is what I found. 

I performed a Google Search on the Address 715 Yeoman St. in Waukegan IL.  I searched for: 715 Yeoman St, Waukegan, IL.  


The first page results were the following:


1.  Google Maps Listing of the Property Address. 

2.  Redfin's website.

3.  Trulia's Property Listing

4.  Zillow's Property Listing

5.  My Personal Website

6., Keller Williams Realty International's Property Listing Website





11.  Yahoo Real Estate


So with these results what would be the likely hood someone would be able to contact the listing agent about the particular listings.  With Google Maps, nothing happening there. 

The second result Redfin is a local brokerage getting data from our MLS IDX feeds.  In addition, results #7 Estately, #8 Movoto & #10 Sawbuck are also using MLS IDX feeds meaning they are brokerages. 

The listing display on the #3 result of Trulia makes it possible that someone could contact the listing agent about this property. 

Both the #4 result Zillow & #11 Yahoo Real Estate (which is powered by Zillow), I don't see how anyone could ever contact the listing agent about those.  I would also point out the price is wrong on Yahoo Real Estate.  Keller Williams Realty International will not allow our listings to have any other agent advertised on the listing, this means if you were to do this with another brokerage listings the results may be different. 

The #5 results would come to me personally (I am not the listing agent on the property) & the #6 result would go to the listing agent. 

The leaves as the only result not spoken for yet.  Our office has a package so that all our listings are enhanced.  Any lead or inquiry would go directly to the listing agent.  However with's recent announcement that they will be placing another agent's info on non-enhanced listings would most likely mean that someone else would get the inquiry. 

In all honesty, looking at if from this perspective the downside may not be nearly as bad as some would think.  The only real opportunity for getting a lead would be from the Trulia exposure. 

One might argue that a consumer would go to one of these websites and since they did not see a listing might choose to buy another property.  I would argue that once an consumer contacts an agent, their property search would most likely be controlled from the agent sending the consumer listings directly from the MLS database or through an IDX website.     

I know some of the airlines have recently done this by not advertising their airfares on the airfare portal sites.  I am not sure exactly how it's working for them but I do know Southwest Airlines has made their website a destination and some would argue that Edina Realty has done the same in their area. 

What are your thoughts?

As always thanks for reading, 




John Ziemba


Keller Williams Team Realty




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Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

John, interesting idea and post. I'll be interested to hear what others say about this. From my perspective, it doesn't matter, because the broker owns the listing anyway--I'm just the agent! The broker can give leads to whomever they want to, and that may not necessarily go to the listing agent. 

Nov 19, 2011 06:18 PM #1
Hector Reyes
NHNR - Victorville, CA
Southern California

I post my listings on trulia and I was getting good results but the last 2 month is been not that good so I had to put it on hold!

Nov 19, 2011 09:41 PM #2
Rob Beland
Apex Properties - Leominster, MA
Leominster MA Multifamily Investment Specialist

John I think what you might need are some stats on which of the above sites actually get the person to pick up the phone. I'm of the opinion that for the most part people buy houses by picking up the phone and calling their wife's friend who is a real estate agent. I've seen a bunch of blogs on all this that has come out since NAR and I'm not convinced the changes will have any real impact. Maybe this is different is some large metro areas and since I don't sell residential RE I really have no hard facts to back up my opinion. I'm also not a member of NAR and don't pay anything for my listings to go anywhere so I'm not completely sure how all this works. Well I do pay $480/year for MLS access but where my listings go from there I have no idea. What do you think? Even when I was buying a house a couple years ago for myself, I went no further than the local MLS. I've never even heard of 7,8,10 and I've never been to Redfin, Yahoo RE or Trulia though I have heard of them. That's 60% of your list that could go away and I wouldn't even know it's gone. I'm just one person but I bet I represent a large percentage of "consumers".

Nov 20, 2011 01:05 AM #3
John Ziemba
Keller Williams Team Realty - Schaumburg, IL
Professional Service for Professional Cleints

Pamela, thats a good point that you brought up.  However, I still believe that there is only a small % of leads or inquires, based on my research, would ever make it through to a listing agent/broker.

Hector, I am glad to hear that you were getting good results.  How do you classify good results?

Rob, in Chicagoloand there is no MLS website, there is only broker and agent idx sites, in addition to the portal sites.  I wouldn't disagree that someone might pick up the phone but by in large most of those sites wouldn't show a listing agent phone number.  Overall, unless you pay to upgrade on the portal sites.  I think the chance of you receiving a lead is fairly small. 

Nov 20, 2011 02:00 AM #4
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Welcome to the world of IDX skimming. It's totally legal BTW as I've checked with our MLS attorneys. Is it right? I say NO. It seems that they have the 'upper hand' with the google juice & will normally show up before the agent no matter what.

As soon as you press the 'enter' in the MLS within 10 minutes Redfin will have it in Google, then Zillow. People who use their Iphones for search seem to like Movoto. OR, you could not check the box to send to syndication just for this reason.

Interesting but I'm not sure that maybe everyone on the platform here has our problems or understands what you mean? It could be just in larger areas that they do it.

Dec 09, 2011 12:03 PM #5
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