MLS Marketing

By
Education & Training with Real Estate Technology

I'm sure that most will agree that the MLS is an excellent place to market your home. However, I've recently learned that some agents do not enter all pertinent information about a property. Or more accurately, they do not check all the boxes. They do this to help certain features of a home stand out more (i.e., better marketing). Do you think this is good practice? Is it good representation?

To me, it seems like an extra step that wasn't willing to be taken. But I can also understand, somewhat, the argument of "trying not to cloud the waters" with too many features.

Granted, some things may be insignificant like whether curtains are included in the sale or not. I'll let you decide which items are worth checking. Here are a few of the check boxes that are frequently omitted (even if it applies):

  • Den/Office
  • Heat source
  • Included appliances
  • Exterior/Siding Type
  • Ammenities (pool, security systems, view)
  • Porch/Patio type (open, covered, enclosed, etc.)
So what do you think? And if you don't mind, what do you do? Do you check all the pertinent ones or do you check only the "biggies"?

Comments (17)

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Jason, all fields that pertain to the listing should be checked. If there is a field, it means Realtors can use that as a search criteria. Granted some seem meaningless, but a buyer may specifically ask for a house with a den. If you didn't check it, it won't show up on a search. Not cheking all the fields that apply is doing a disservice to your Seller. "Marketing" in the MLS is what I do best. I consider my self an expert at it. I'm also an expert at pricing. My goal always is to get my listings to show up, in front of the Realtors, as often as possible. My marketing technique of "Range Pricing" is used speciifcally for this reason. I want my listing to be first on the search results. It's why my listings sell in days instead of months, and with multiple offers, in this slower market.  In my opinion, pricing and MLS positioning is everything. 
Aug 09, 2006 12:48 PM
Karen Villa Schweinfurth
RE/MAX Northwest Realtors, Inc. 425-308-3669 - Everett, WA
ABR, CRS, SRES, CyberStar
Jason, our MLS has required fields which help us alot; however, some agents still do not offer photos. There is a box to check for listings w/or without photos. I don't waste my time on those. Checking all fields and offer the buyer as much information as possible is the only ethical thing to do.
Aug 09, 2006 02:20 PM
Kristal Kraft
Novella Real Estate - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022
Jason, not only do many not fill out all the blanks they fill in inappropriate information.  For instance; Name=they put their name instead of the complex name. DUH  Or for directions="call listing agent" or _"map quest".  IF that isn't ignorant what is?
Aug 09, 2006 03:09 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

All of the items you have listed are important enough to list. Let's face it, when you take a listing, you are working for the seller. This is one way to get the infomation out to the other agents and to the buyers! This info is picked up on other sites such as Realtor.com. Of the items mentioned, I can't imagine why any of these items would NOT be included. Well if the view looks like a New England fog or brick wall, you may not want to include this info. There is a lot of information to put in the MLS and I always do my own entering of info into the MLS. yes it takes time, but I am the one who knows the house best!  There is no such thing as "too many" good features when marketing. You may just miss the one that a special  buyer needs...like handicapped accessability.. what else may be of importance...?

Baltimore

Aug 09, 2006 03:24 PM
Toby Barnett
KW North Sound - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

Checking all the boxes which highly pertain to a property is totally worth it. Personally, leaving info out is a hinderance to a marketing plan. It is also a belief that the MLS may be need a major upgrade to compete with other mediums available in the market place. In the world of SEO content is King so why leave info out? Not sure...but if someone is going to add more content to categories it is best to be accurante and relevant...don't SPAM categories.

Aug 09, 2006 03:59 PM
Joe Keyes
Team One - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Hill AFB, UT

I guess I don't see where leaving information out does any good. If the view is not good then it is not a view, it's not a feature. I agree that the more info, the more often your listing will come up in searches. And, I do see alot of info left out, but I think it is because the agent didn't bother to note it, or the staff made a booboo just wasn't paying attention. I frequently point out the disclaimer at the bottom of the page to help me explain why there are 4 bedrooms and a bath up stairs in 500 sq. ft.

Aug 09, 2006 06:18 PM
Jason Ungos
Real Estate Technology - Lewiston, ID

Great feedback all. Like I said, it seems like laziness to me. But the real question is this:

If you're an omitter, would you be an admitter?

So with the comments against this practice, would anyone be willing to fess up and share why they omit? If you do omit features for one reason or other, I would love to get another point of view.

Aug 10, 2006 04:40 AM
Teri Isner
Keller Williams Realty at the Lakes - Orlando, FL
GRI, CRS, CIPS
If we don't we get fined.  We are also right now being asked to voice our opinion about one of the fields on the form and if we feel we want to keep it.  In the end if it is not there and buyer wants to know it just creates an extra step and cost you more time.  The only ones we have problems with are the window fittings sometimes we aren't sure what they are and would leave this one out.  Well at least that is what my listing specialist asked me and we have since had a meeting with the inspector to explain to us some of these styles.
Aug 10, 2006 07:58 AM
Doug, Kathie & Billy Whitehouse
Hannett, Wilson, Whitehouse & Burke, LLC REALTORS - Birmingham, MI

Our MLS requires a complete lsiting and has some large fines for failure to comply. I tink you need to present a complet picture up front.

 

Aug 10, 2006 08:43 AM
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Our MLS has both required features and optional features. We fill in all that apply, as we feel that's in the sellers' best interest. You never know what's important to a buyer, and the more time we can save their agent, the more likely they are to show and sell our listings.
Aug 10, 2006 09:31 AM
Jay LaGace
RE/MAX Realty Team - Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral / Lee County Real Estate - 239-443-8795
How about the " Agents "  who put things in the MLS on purpose, Like they check the box that say Waterfront, or check the box that says Private Pool... So they have a listing thats showing up 1st in the search criteria because it is the lowest price, but they do not exist!!!
Aug 19, 2006 12:30 PM
Gerhard Ade
RSVP Real Estate - Seattle, WA
What sets me apart, will set you apart.
Ade HouseThe Northwest MLS input quality is all over the place. I believe some of agents use assistants who do not know all they should know to do a good job. I don't trust the status of listings (active, subject to inspection, pending) and always call first. -- Gerhard
Aug 21, 2006 04:59 PM
Sara Lipnitz
Max Broock Realtors - Birmingham, MI
I always put all the features on the MLS listing ticket. I work for the seller and it's irresponsible not to present an accurate picture of the home.  As Kathy Whitehouse said in her response... we get a large fine if we fail to provide all the information.
Aug 21, 2006 05:11 PM
Sara Lipnitz
Max Broock Realtors - Birmingham, MI
I always put all the features on the MLS listing ticket. I work for the seller and it's irresponsible not to present an accurate picture of the home.  As Kathy Whitehouse said in her response... we get a large fine if we fail to provide all the information.
Aug 21, 2006 05:11 PM
Art Blanchet
On the Outside Lookin' In - Sebastian, FL
Stranger in a Warm Land

The MLS doesn't tell the entire story and cannot possibly.  I think the trade off is the features vs benefits debate - what's a feature of the home may not be a benefit to your particular buyer. 

So, to REALLY show a house, use the MLS as a guide, then find out what your clients REALLY want - get to know them and their needs.

Nice post!

Apr 22, 2007 10:49 AM
Jamie Wilson
Keller Williams Preferred Properties - Upper Marlboro, MD
REALTOR,CDPE

I would have to agree with you that it seems that they just didn't take the time, and I feel that it's a diservice to their clients.  The one thing you left out could've been the one thing that you didn't list that my client was looking for!  To me, if you are proactive and efficient and you do it right the first time, it will save you from a lot of mess and mishaps later!  I am glad to see that someone truly agrees with this concept.  I mean, it's part of the job, and truly, I would consider myself lazy if I didn't do it!  It is my responsibility to my client isn't?

Apr 09, 2009 04:49 PM
Jamie Wilson
Keller Williams Preferred Properties - Upper Marlboro, MD
REALTOR,CDPE

I should already know what my clients really, really want before I ever venture to MLS to search, otherwise it's a shot in the dark and an inefficient use of my time.  Again, if I do it right the first time, then I am not back tracking and wasting time, but working efficiently and effictively.

Apr 09, 2009 04:52 PM