Realtor.com to Lose More Listings?

            

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Realtor.com has a lot of listings- millions of them, from all over the country. But, contrary to popular belief, they do not, and never have, had them all.

Some companies have refused to allow the website, which is sponsored by the National Association of Realtors, to have access to their listing information. Many Realtors and brokers don’t like that they have to pay if they want information about their listings to show on the site, and many consumers go to the website thinking they will see every listing and get good information, only to be disappointed by the lack of information and overwhelming array of advertisements.

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Realtor.com is not a good tool for finding a home

Go to Realtor.com and search for homes and what you’ll get is a bunch of listings without addresses, virtual tours or agent contact info. A few listings have these things, but only the ones that the agent has specifically paid for the upgrades.

And now Marlow Harris at 360Digest reports that Realtor.com is about to completely lose its MLS feed from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service because the region’s MLS states, “a majority of the Board of Directors felt that it was inappropriate for the NWMLS to provide a service to a for-profit organization that is outside of their sphere.”

Realtor.com has been lame from the beginning because it has never been about the consumer, it has been about profiting from agents- taking their data and then selling them advertising and the leads that come from the site.

Allen Dalton, president of Realtor.com recently criticized Rich Lloyd of Zillow.com, likening “the site’s trademark Zestimates of home values to a carnival weight and age guesser.” Dalton also stated, “The whole notion of suggesting to people that they can find out what their home is worth without a Realtor offends me.”

Which is funny, because right in the middle of the homepage of Realtor.com they have a Home Valuation function that asks, “What’s Your Home Worth” and says, “Immediately review recent home sales in your area” – so people can try to assess their home’s value based on recently sold homes in the area online, without the help of a Realtor.

Only difference is that on Zillow you don’t have most of the results page taken up with a paid advertisement from a Realtor. Zillow is more organic than that, and although some agents don’t like Zillow, at least they are honest about what they are as opposed to Realtor.com acting like a public resource, and the Internet face of NAR, and hiding the fact that they are actually one of the biggest pimps in the industry, selling every piece of the site they can.

Sure, it makes it easier to swallow if you can get a piece of the disintermediation pie that’s in your flavor, but it’s still taking leads from Realtors by using those Realtor’s listing information and selling the leads back to them- exactly the same way those other crappy lead-gen sites do.

Zillow is completely innaccurate, but Zillow is just an entertaining site that allows people to get a range of value on a property and charges for ads. It’s a private company trying to make money- Realtor.com is not just another private company- it’s the offical website for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) which means that it inherently has an advantage over every other website because it gets access to most of the listings simply because of that relationship.

What’s the difference between Zillow giving a value range and a Realtor selling a home with value-range pricing? Does it mean that the Realtor doesn’t know the value of the home? Does it mean that the agent is bad for the industry and we should all call for an end to them? No- it’s simply a way to sell a house, just like Zillow is a fun tool for people to snoop around on homes and get a range of what their home might be worth before calling their agent.

Realro.com shoul dhave all addresses and tours and contact information for all the agents because the consumer deserves it and the members of NAR deserve it. Make your money from ads like all the other top sites do.

I’ll take Zillow or BlueRoof.com over Realtor.com anyday…

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44 thoughts on “Realtor.com to Lose More Listings?

  1. Bravo! this is a most important post Greg… most Consumers don’t realize Realtor.com is a lead generation business model that uses its NAR credentials as a differential advantage over other lead gen companies. While I was investigating lead generation two months ago, I attended a Realtor.com ad sales seminar and reported the sales process at http://transparentre.com/2006/08/22/realtorcom–an-advertising-model-for-realtors.aspx

    At the time, I was still learning how lead gen operated… your post today has detailed a lot more about how Realtor.com is not credible as a consumer home search resource. This should also serve as a warning to agents, especially new ones, who have not yet mastered the leadgen game.

  2. In NY, its the same thing RE.com charges the agent to be “featured” and does not give out enough info to the consumer. So I agree with you that the Realtor.com is bogus with the respect that you need to be featured. You don’t have to be featured and your listings still get displayed because you are a member of MLS. So with that said consumers still use Realtor.com so I would want my listings and information displayed – because I do pay for that through my MLS membership. I was a “featured” member of Realtor.com when I was new – never got a lead or a call from it – so I stopped the membership. I learned very early to track what is good and what is not – stay with the good and don’t toss money at the bad. If Realtor.com is displaying MY Listings and my number is on it – then that is fine with me – I am no longer paying for the “featured” spot.
    But to say that Realtor.com is infringing on the copyright – that is what gets me. HOW? IF you are a member of MLS, then you sign a broker reciprocity form – allowing/taking the IDX feeds from all over – am I wrong to assume this?
    When I was playing with Windmere property search – they in fact have their IDX coming in from the local MLS – making the listing appear to be theirs – there is a small mention of the listing office – no phone number, no website and no mention of the listing agent. Aren’t they infringing on the copyright. They have every one’s listing through their site.. this makes no sense to me.
    So here is what I am asking you and maybe you can clear this up.. IF Windmere (because of broker reciprocity) can display every one’s listings why cant Realtor.com or anyone for that matter?

  3. Pingback: Top 10 Complaints with Realtor.com at sellsius° real estate blog

  4.  Realtor.com is an extension of NAR and so it should be an extension of my business as a real estate broker.

    I have no complaint that my listings are on Realtor.com (I also want my listings to be marketed as much as possible)- my complaint is that they use the site to suck money from the agents who supply them their data, ala MLS- and leverage their position as NAR’s official website (with all of it’s MLS licensing agreements) to strong-arm agents and brokers to pay money to have their properties “featured”, or suffer the consequence of having your listing sit without an address, multiple photos (and the site basically directs people to ONLY search for homes with multiple photos), or most importantly, the direct contact information for the listing agent.

    If I am paying for the existence of an organization I expect that organization to serve me, not continually find new ways to charge me more to use the data I provide them.

    My clients, along with your clients want to be featured on the #1 real estate website.

    Oh, but it became the #1 website because of it’s relationship to NAR and it was funded, unwillingly, in part by me, who is now in the uncomfortable position of either paying for the ugraded account or explaining to my sellers why their property doesn’t have multiple photos, etc. on the #1 website.

    Bottom line is- Realtor.com should be in existance to market my listings next to your listings and every other listing by a paying member without cost or obligation. And it certainly shouldn’t be so pretentious as to claim to be the public arm of NAR and bally-hoo the fact that it is the #1 real estate site because of that relationship while hiding the fact that it doesn’t give a shit about the consumer having a relevant and complete home search.

    Realtor.com should be built for the benefit of it’s members and serve the needs of it’s members and their clients, but it does not. It serves it’s own financial needs and deceives the public and everyone else toward those financial gains.

    I don’t even smoke, but somehow I feel like a smoke…

  5. You make a lot of perfectly good points, but one clarification to make: Realtor.com does not require membership or payment to display listing addresses, or affect the display of listing addresses based on such. (Photos and other enhancements, yes.) Some listings show up in Realtor.com’s feeds from the MLSs without address information, and there are still a few MLSs that require Realtor.com to not display their listings’ addresses (resulting in few or no listing addresses in a certain area), but other than that, if Realtor.com has a listing’s address, that address is displayed, regardless of any product or customer status.

    As I said, just one clarification. Other than that, you raise a lot of good points that I’d like (but don’t expect) to hear real thoughtful answers for from Move, Inc. (the company behind the Realtor.com web site) or the NAR.

  6. I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN WHERE TO RESPOND>>>>>>>

    Realtor.com is an extension of NAR and so it should be an extension of my business as a real estate broker.>>>>>SO YOU WANT TO FORCE ALL THE BROKERS AND REALTORS TO BE FORCED TO PAY TO BE ON R.COM.. BECAUSE, IT COSTS MILLIONS TO PUT YOUR LISTINGS EVERY YEAR ON MSN, AOL. WALLSTREET JOURNAL, NETZERO, IWON, EXCITE, JUNO.. ECT.. YOU KNOW THEY (MOVE.COM) PAYS ALL OF THESE PROTALS TO BE THE CONTENT PROVIDER)

    I have no complaint that my listings are on Realtor.com (I also want my listings to be marketed as much as possible)- my complaint is that they use the site to suck money (SUCK MONEY? DOES THE NEWSPAPER SUCK MONEY, MLS? MAGAZINES? ) WHY CAN’T YOU LOOK AT IT LIKE AN ADVERTISING PROTAL LIKE THE NEWSPAPER???? >>>from the agents who supply them their data, ala MLS- and leverage their position as NAR’s official website (with all of it’s MLS licensing agreements) to strong-arm agents >>> THEY CAME TO YOR HOUSE??? and brokers to pay money to have their properties “featured”, or suffer the consequence of having your listing sit without an address, multiple photos (and the site basically directs people to ONLY search for homes with multiple photos), or most importantly, the direct contact information for the listing agent.

    WHO ADVERTISES YOUR HOMES FOR FREE?? MAY I ASK?? ALSO, IT IS AT THE MOST $40 A LISTING, UNLIMITED SHELFLIFE PER LISTING… WHO MUCH IS THE POST OFFICE SUCKING YOU FOR? YOUR MLS? COME ON!!

    If I am paying for the existence of an organization I expect that organization to serve me, not continually find new ways to charge me more to use the data I provide them.

    DATA YOU PROVIDE HOW? DID YOU BUILD THE HOME? IT IS NOT YOUR HOME.. TRUST ME ANY HOMEOWNER WOULD PAY $50.00 TO BE ON REALTOR.COM. AND KEEP HIS $12K HE IS PAYING YOU.

    My clients, along with your clients want to be featured on the #1 real estate website.

    Oh, but it became the #1 website because of it’s relationship to NAR and it was funded, unwillingly, in part by me, who is now in the uncomfortable position of either paying for the ugraded account or explaining to my sellers why their property doesn’t have multiple photos, etc. on the #1 website. HAHA!! THIS IS A JOKE. INVESTORS PAID FOR THIS… REALTOR.COM HAS NOT EVEN MADE A PROFIT TO DATE.. AND JUST GOT SOME NON REAL ESTATE COMPANY TO INVEST 100 MILLION MORE.. WHERE DO YOU COME UP WITH THIS STUFF? REALTOR.COM HAS DONE MORE FOR YOU AND THE REAL ESTATE MARKET AS A WHOLE… BECAUSE OF REALTOR.COM, CONSUMERS ACCEPT YOUR CHEAP INTERNET ADS AS AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF ADVERTISING.. .001% OF THE COST OF SELLING THIER HOME

    Bottom line is- Realtor.com should be in existance to market my listings next to your listings and every other listing by a paying member without cost or obligation. And it certainly shouldn’t be so pretentious as to claim to be the public arm of NAR and bally-hoo the fact that it is the #1 real estate site because of that relationship while hiding the fact that it doesn’t give a shit about the consumer having a relevant and complete home search.

    ARE YOU KIDDING? DOES ANYONE IN THE WORLD DO ANYTHING FOR FREE?? WHY WOULD ANY COMPANY SPEND MILLIONS IN MARKETING… ADVERTISING.. TO GIVE IT TO YOU FOR FREE? ARE WE ON THE SAME PLANET? NO ONE OWES YOU.. YOU ARE BLIND, AND WANTS STUFF FOR FREE…

    Realtor.com should be built for the benefit of it’s members and serve the needs of it’s members and their clients, but it does not. It serves it’s own financial needs and deceives the public and everyone else toward those financial gains. SO WHY DONT YOU SELL HOMES FOR FREE?? DONT YOU TELL YOUR SELLERS YOU ARE THIER FOR THEM??LOOK IN THE MIRROR. i CANT WAIT TIL HOMEOWNERS REALIZE THAT THEY CAN TAKE THIER $12K IN REAL ESTATE COMMISSION, AND MAKE THIER OWN TV COMMERICAL, OR ADVERTISE ON THE INTERNET, AND MAKE THIER HOME FAMOUS FOR WHAT THEY ARE PAYING YOU, THAT YOU CRY ABOUT $50 A LISTING.

    I don’t even smoke, but somehow I feel like a smoke…YOU MAKE ME WANT MORE THAN A SMOKE.

  7. My point is that Realtor.com should be about the consumer. Isn’t that the most important part of our business? Having virtual tours on all listings is what the consumer wants and should have.

    Of course making a profit is important, but there are plenty of ways to make profit other than holding virtual tours (read: Vital parts of the Listing) hostage unless the Realtor pays for it.

    The intent and focus of Realtor.com has nothing to do with the consumer- it has to do with profit. THAT is what is wrong with it. You can be consumer-centric and still make a profit.

    Realtor.com, by being an extension of NAR, and supposedly representing me, and by extension, my clients, should place all of my listing information on the site, including the tours and my contact information- so clients can get a hold of me. And I am not just talking about me and my listings. I have the money to pay because I do a lot of business, but many, no MOST agents do not make a lot of money and cannot, or will not pay for the extra service and so who loses out?

    That’s right- the consumer loses out. If you cared about your clients you would also want tours on all the listings instead of ONLY on yours.

    And no, it’s not at all the same as the newspaper or a magazine advertising- Realtor.com, being the official site of NAR gets access to most every listing in the country- Because of its affiliation– the affiliation that newspapers and magazines don’t have. I’m not saying they shouldn’t charge because I don’t want to pay- I’m saying they shouldn’t charge because the conusmer should be able to see the tour and the yearly dues NAR collects every year from every Realtor should entitle their clients to have their listings put on the site.

  8. After reading this blog and all of the comments that came along with it, i have come to the conclusion that Greg is probably not a very good realtor if he is even a realtor at all. I really fail to see where he is coming from considering that his MLS fee’s alow him to place his listings on Realtor.Com for Free (did’nt your mother ever tell you theres no such thing as a free lunch) Consumers that search for listings on Realtor.Com are able to see the main property photo, a basic MLS description of the property and the Listing Offices phone number at no cost to the agent (is this not providing a basic customer service for the consumer?) What Greg seems to complain about, is that unless he pays for some sort of enhancement his listings don’t advertise him! After being in this industry for 5 years i realize that most agents got into this business for 1 reason and 1 reason only, TO MAKE MONEY!!! Well, guess what guys it take money to make money. I am not aware of any major company that does not spend money on advertising costs. Coca Cola and Pepsi, two of the most recognized brands still spend millions of dollars advertising their product which ranges from 50 cents for a can or $1.50 for a bottle but here Greg is complaining about minimal advertising cost to promote a home that will make him anywhere from $6,000.00 to $60,000.00 in comissions. Furthermore, my agent at Realtor.Com has never told me that i would get leads from my advertising which i think is where you are mistaking. My reason for advertising on Realtor.Com is to provide a customer service for my home sellers and to get their homes exposure on the #1 real estate website in the world. I know what with todays busy consumers, Realtor.Com is a place where they can view the most amount of listings in the shortest amount of time. I know that im not going to sell a home simply by advertising it on realtor.com, but at the same time i know that this is the first place that consumers start their real estate search.

    As far a Zillow is concerned, i would much rather spend money advertising on Realtor.Com which only lets Realtors advertise listings, then on Zillow which lets everyone advertise listings including FISBO’s. A site that allows FISBO advertising is no friend of mine because it undermines my profession and tells a consumer that i am not needed.

  9. Kage,

    I pay for all of my listings to be enhanced listings and featured homes on Realtor.com. But the reality is that most agent (about 80%) do not and their sellers deserve better. Most agents are not going to pay extra for things and Realtor.com is the official site of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and I believe it should have addresses to all properties and the tours for all properties- not because it gets more profit, but because it’s member’s clients deserve to have them.

    If every home had a tour and a address it would be a much better place for consumers and more consumers would use the site, so they could charge more for ads or other revenues sources.

    You say I’m a bad Realtor- what because I want all listings to have addresses and tours? I pay for all of my listings to have them- so how is that being a bad Realtor?

    My last comments said, “The intent and focus of Realtor.com has nothing to do with the consumer- it has to do with profit. THAT is what is wrong with it. You can be consumer-centric and still make a profit.” Putting the consumer first is being a good Realtor. You and I obviously have different opinions about what being a Realtor is.

    Maybe you don’t like that I have a complaint against Realtor.com. Maybe you work for them or maybe you have no site of your own and so it’s the only site you can utilize, but my wanting the consumer to have their address and tour posted is being a good Realtor.

    Greg is not complaining about advertising a home that will make him commission- Greg is complaining that most other Realtors don’t apy for it and the consumer suffers and Realtor.com should look out for all the members and their clients because not everyone pays for everything Greg pays for… maybe you need to read my post.

    • i brought up realtor.com and didn’t like the new page there is no map for the states you can click on to or cities that you can bring up. they have a new way of doing it and i don’t like i. so i won’t use realtor.com any more. and unless they put back the map search for the states and cities a won’t ever use realtor.com thank you a very dissapointed customer

  10. I love the fact that 80% of all agents refuse to invest in this, it makes my value prop stronger. I find it amusing that Kage is threatened by FSBO’s. Maybe Kage’s value prop is weak.

    On this issue Greg is dead-on.

  11. Every comment made here is asinine. REALTOR.com has an agreement with the MLS as to how listings will be displayed on REALTOR.com.. So therefore, if your listing is not showing the address, low and behold, the MLS has said to REALTOR.com to NOT have it displayed…. Every listing can have a virtual tour on the listing, if the realtor has a virtual tour, they simply need to contact their provider to have it linked to REALTOR.com, not realtor.com’s fault if you choose to not have it linked… it doesnt cost the vt provider diddly to link it to realtor.com…. even tho realtor.com does charge a 19.95 linking fee to non-showcased members, showcased members dont get charged anything… realtor.com has the office’s number on it, if you dont have showcased listings… it’s not realtor.com’s fault if your office doesn’t give you a lead if it comes in via phone.. you pay for upgraded services through realtor.com to make your clients happy… a little bit of advertising on the #1 website visited doesn’t matter if that little bit provides a lead, which will give you 10 percent on a million dollar listing… for which of you who do not purchase an upgrade through realtor.com, or a virtual tour through a TOUR PROVIDER, there’s no reason to complain… realtor.com’s not a lead generating tool, they can’t guarantee someone will call. they’ll guarantee more exposure.. if the house aint selling, maybe you should get the client to lower the price, or change your enhancements around… can’t say to much else.. … i belong to the NWMLS.. and REALTOR.COM has provided an alternative method to get those listings to realtor.com…. realtor.com is not trying to screw you.. if you dont like the site, that’s ok.. there will always be others willing to spend the money because they care about their clients and wish to have the best exposure they can on the #1 website for real estate in the world.

  12. Realtor.com could be 100x better, if they made the commitment. They purposely make their standard pages look like garabage so you must upgrade.

  13. That’s ok. That’s your opinion. I am not Kage, but please please please get your facts straight before you go and bash another company. I can easily go off and say your real estate company is fraudulent, but if the facts go off and prove you are legit… I’m the one that looks foolish.. Why don’t you actually speak to a representative there before you go off and make false accusations. I’m not biased to REALTOR.com at all, but when you go off and lie, it’s people like you whom make others hate good companies.

  14. Steve,
    I’ve worked with Realtor.com more than most have. I used to be a managing broker for Coldwell Banker here locally and we had the only company account with Realtor.com where all of ourlistings were Featured Homes and Showcase Homes. I worked with the reps and sales people and techs and I’ve met Alan Dalton several times and I’ve had discussions with many people at Realtor.com. I was working with Realtor.com in California when they used to charge agents $4000/year to be a featured agent and I was the managing broker for an office of Pru California.

    I continue to enhance all of my listings on the site because I do everything possible to sell my listings. Unless you work for the company (which would explain a lot) you probably don’t have as much experience with Realtor.com as I do.

    I know Realtor.com very well. And my facts have been checked and rechecked because they are from personal experience over seven or eight years working with the company and having my own account and having my listings on the site. I know what kind of traffic it brings to my listings (Which is not nearly as much traffic as they get on BlueRoof.com) and I know the amount of leads people get because I use to see every lead that would come in to the agents at my office at Coldwell so I could track the numbers. I know the site.

    It’s not a good site.

  15. I WANT LEADS. – but you bought a product that is meant to give exposure to a home.. SO.. I WANT LEADS. so you want to spend $48.00 and make $12k or your not happy? YES. THAT IS RIGHT. AS A MATTER OF FACT, I WANT THAT LEAD TO BE FOR NOW. NOT TOMMORROW OR IN 3 MONTHS, NO TIRE KICKERS. I DONT EVEN TO SELL THE HOME. I WANT HOT THAT LEADS, THAT SOLD THEMSELVES.. So you do not think that Calls to action, ability to convert lookey lou’s is your responsibilty? NO, I PAY FOR HOT LEADS/ $48.00 a listing? Well if everyone could pay RDC $48.00 a listing and make $12k that all of America would do it? WELL ONLY A FEW REALTORS ADVERTISE ON RDC. yes, you are right. but that is because of astigmatism, because they are the official site of the NAR.. and have feelings that it should be free. I have heard it from every agent in my office. it makes me smile. cause i know 9 out of 10 home buyers check rdc to see what thier listings look like… and I know how mine look, get me referrals, and makes me smile. I am beggin you. Please don’t advertise on RDC. I love that the biggest complainers about RDC, always spend the most money on the site. Maybe cause they know YOU DONT SHARPEN A SHARK’S TOOTH.

  16. Greg,
    You get more traffic from BlueRoof.Com? How is that posible when on average BlueRoof.Com receives 3,002 visits per day and Realtor.Com receives 4,824,381.00

  17. Nothing,

    I don’t know that it’s leads that everybody wants. I don’t care about getting leads from Realtor.com. I have plenty of business from my other advertising and past clients.

    I want Realtor.com to give the consumer what they want so they don’t have to contact an agent to get the address. Let the consumer have the contact info for the agent so if they have a question they can ask them.

    Holding back info so the buyer has to call in- that’s the old way of doing business. The consumer should be able to get all the info they want without calling in (and becoming a lead). I don’t pay for my listings to be Featured Homes on Realtor.com to get leads- I do it to sell the homes and it would be a lot better for consumers if they could see the addresses and photos and contact info for ALL the homes, not just the people who pay for it, because, as you said, most don’t pay for it. I’m talking about what is best for the consumer- give them all the info and let them become a lead if and when they choose to, not because you’re holding the info hostage.

    Kage,

    Amazing isn’t it? Realtor.com says they get millions of visitors yet my little site brings in good activity on my listings and I rarely ever get buyers inquiring about them or going to the tours on Realtor.com- even with all their traffic and (according to some of you) superior website.

    I get about ten to one buyers inquiring from BlueRoof.com on my listings- even though on BlueRoof.com you don’t need to call to get any vital home info and every tour on the MLS is automatically put on BlueRoof. Most of the calls are to schedule viewings or ask about the time frames of the sellers and those sort of things. Maybe the 4,824,381 and .00 cents of people that go to Realto.com aren’t searching in Utah- it does seem odd that they have so much traffic but I don’t see as much results.

    I think Realtor.com gets a lot of traffic but frustrates a lot of people and they end up using other sites as well. I would rather allow the consumer to have all the infomation they need without calling. You obviously think it’s all about leads- while I think it’s about doing what’s best for the consumer.

  18. a) Office contact number HAS to appear on realtor.com.. Even with agents information due to FairHousing/RESPA.
    Therefore, a contact number already appears. It’s obvious to clients, that if someone doesn’t want to spend the money, they don’t care about the house. When I was a homebuyer, if there was one photo, and no text, that realtor wasn’t worth my time nor my money.

    b) don’t work for the company, i just research before i make false complaints. i’m a very educated person, and i want all my facts before i have a gripe.

    c) if you think you can do a site, that has agreements and ties to all the different MLS’s and wish to pay 0 to maintain it so that all the agents can have their contact information displayed, go for it. goodluck to you.

  19. d) once again, look in the different areas and states. i’m in florida. wanted to know why some listings have addresses, other’s do not. it’s MLS dependant. Your MLS has to have an agreement with realtor.com if they wish to display addresses or not.

    example a1) http://homes.realtor.com/search/listingdetail.aspx?ctid=2173&ml=3&typ=7&sid=407402bf716d4ddeb2282ed4242deebe&pg=1056&lid=1083636353&lsn=10552&srcnt=18367#Detail

    example a2) http://homes.realtor.com/search/listingdetail.aspx?ctid=2000173&ml=3&typ=7&sid=a918e79d8aca454c91b47f0b64264fe8&pg=1054&lid=1076254526&lsn=10531&srcnt=19662#Detail

    please notice the two NON SHOWCASED listings which one belongs to one mls, and the other to another… not trying to place blame, or make anyone feel insignificant… but cmon, you’ve done your research and have managed a coldwell banker office. if you have done all that, you would know.

  20. And wait a minute.. You WANT the agent to be able to see the address so that they DON’T contact you? Have you ever told the people who’s home’s your selling that you never want anyone to contact you about questions? Just to contact if they want to buy?

  21. Steve,

    Yes, I want the consumer to have all the vital home information without needing to ask an agent. I don’t want buyers to need to call me to ask the address of a home I have listed. I want them to see it as they are looking at the house. They will call me if they want my help. Either way, my sellers want buyers to have the address as soon as possible so they can drive by or come see the home.

    And I think if a buyer has a question about a property they’ll probably want to ask someone who knows the house and has seen it. Calling the main office number, often you get somebody on floor time or whoever happens to be there- and they haven’t even seen the property.

    Official poll results- buyers would rather ask questions to people who have the answers 100% of the time.

    It’s not simply up to the MLS to determine what info goes on Realtor.com. It is a negotiation between MLS’s and Realtor.com and it includes money. Some MLS’s don’t charge their agents enough to pay the cost. Don’t be naive enough to think that Realtor.com just says, “we’ll show whatever info you want- no cost” to the MLS’s. Realtor.com gets it’s money from everybody they can. The agents, the MLS’s, broker accounts, and advertising. It’s mission is profit- not service and that is my complaint.

    If you put the client first you always win.

    Realtor.com with it’s 4.8 and .00 cents people every month could make a lot of money selling advertising on the site to big corporations and be just fine- just like all the other big websties do.

    That way the consumer would get more information and a better product and the website would still get their money and you can stop complaining about people that complain.

  22. Ok let’s get this scenario down… I’m a home seller.. it’s 7pm at night.. Car drives slowly by my house… I’m not thinking “Hey maybe it’s because my house is up for sale,” especially if they get out and start peering on the inside. I’m thinking, grab my family and run… I believe for confidentiality reason’s, I would NOT want my address displayed. I’d rather a client call the secretary at the office and say, “Where’s this house?” and the secretary, not being some idiot who was hired there because she wears short skirts and has long legs, is someone who will know, “Sure, I’ll get you over to (insert name here)” that’s good enough as knowing all the answers, to get you to someone who does. It’s not rocket science to see a number on a listing, and call it, and hope to get placed to the right person.. 9/10 home buyers/sellers are smarter than the realtors themselves. Because YOU think you don’t want to answer someone’s call, doesn’t mean the client feels that way to.

  23. As a buyer I would rather see the address and if it’s an area I don’t want to live in I don’t have to waste time seeing it and if it’s an area I do want to see I call my agent/make an appointment/drive by to see if I like the area.

    Your dramatic scenario about sellers being scared if people drive by their home is ridiculous. The sellers I work with not only want, but expect, buyers to drive by their home. It’s part of selling your house in my area. Maybe in your area buyers only drive by with an appointment. Of course you don’t want to put a yard sign out either because then drivers-by might drive slowly to see the info and that would freak out your sellers. Frankly, if sellers are grabbing their kids and running every time a buyer drives by their home- maybe they have bigger issues to deal with than selling their home.

    If you make buyers call for the address it’s to gets leads- not to give good service.

    If you think buyers would rather have to call for the address you obviously don’t work with buyers. If you think sellers don’t want buyers to be able to know their address you obviously don’t work with sellers.

    You do business your way, and I’ll do it my way and we can agree to disagree. I say give the consumer the information they want and they’ll contact me if they want my help. It’s a brave new world out there Steve- good luck.

  24. Greg & Steve,
    I think that the biggest mistake that you guys are making is that you are both assuming that buyers and sellers all want the same things. As both of you know, the market has changed all across the nation and not all buyers and sellers are going to want the same things specially if they are located in different markets. I’m sure that all buyers would like to see the property address so that they can do more research about the community in which it’s located. As far as sellers go, not all of them want their property address displayed online which is the reason that most MLS’s give the agent the option of wether to display the address on Realtor.Com.

    Greg,
    Even though you are not particularly fond of Realtor.Com, i think it’s great that you are putting your sellers needs in front of yours by advertising their homes on Realtor.Com and you are probably right when you say that RDC should display multiple photos and virtual tours for all of the listings that are on the site. Here is the way that i look at it. I live in a condo and my HOA fee pays for my basic cable tv if i want to get additional channels i have to pay an additional fee to the cable company. I think its the same way with the MLS and RDC. Agents pay a basic fee to be able to list properties in the MLS which automaticaly feed over to RDC (unless the agent or brokerage opts not to) as a basic listing. If agents choose to enhance they pay an additianal fee. Almost every big corporation does this, they give you something for free and make you pay additional fees for upgrades. I think alot of agents fail to compare the RDC fees to the fees they pay to have certain privilages in other aspects of their personal life which is why they dont see the value of advertising on RDC. I think that you should take pride in the fact that you are part of only a handfull of realtors in your area that care enough about their sellers to enhance their home on RDC. You are definetly someone that i would recommend to another seller. With the majority of real estate consumers now starting their search for homes on the internet i think that this is a phenomenal listing tool to have. Condisering that agents spend thousand of dollars per month advertising offline (Magazines, Newspaper, Billboards, Shopping Carts) all of which are not as effective as advertising online. The cost of advertising on RDC is’nt very much considering that its national advertising and averages out to about $40.00 per listing for the life of the listing (I think you would agree that most agents are able to afford this). I don’t know of any other means of advertising that is this affordable. You have been in this business a long time but alot of agents that have not been in this industry for a long time are not used to the idea of marketing properties because a few years back, all you had to do was list a home and it would seel within a week. Now that the market has changed and they actually have to market homes they are not used to all of the additional expenses. In addition, most of the real estate agents (located in different markets accross the U.S) that i talk to prefer not to list the property address because in this slow market they want sellers to contact THEM so that THEY can answer all of their questions about the property. I understand that you don’t run your business in this manner but i just wanted to shed light on this situation. In an ideal world consumers would get all of the information that they seek to make a well informed decision but unfortunately this is’nt the case. But at least for you, your sellers know that they are in good hands by listing with you.

  25. As a consumer, who recently bought a house, I wouldn’t use Realtor.com if my life depended on it. Blueroof is by far the best tool to find the home you want, in the neighborhood that you’re looking for.

    I wonder how Realtor.com’s traffic looks like? I’m guessing it’s terrible compared to the other big MLS listing players.

  26. Oh, boo ho for realtor.com
    Ok, here is a question for you, why do you even bother asking people for their website when you are just going to slap a no-follow tag on it anyway. I mean, why bother, or better yet if you insist on having it, why not be honest about it and have a statement right next to the box for the website that say we use no-follow tags because we mistakenly believe that having a link out with credit will hurt us?

  27. Thomas,
    I checked Alexa.Com and found that most of the top Real Estate Website have gone down in traffic this year. Do you think its possible that since the Real Estate market is down as a whole that this is what could be affecting website traffic since not alot of consumers are interested in buying? I understand that you really like this site but even BlueRoof.Com is experiencing a downward slope in traffic as well.

  28. Greg-

    I resent the implication that all sellers “deserve better” if they don’t have enhanced listings on Realtor.com. Do they also “deserve” a virtual tour, constant newspaper and Homes magazine advertising, and an Open House every week, simply because they are available?

    The job of a Realtor (I’ve been one for 14 years) is to determine the most sucessful avenues to market a Seller’s property, and to utilize them on a regular basis.

    I operate on a budget. Two years ago, I had a very good year, and quadrupled my listings. I got a call from Realtor.com stating that I owed them over $2000 to continue to market the listings in my current program. Since I had determined that none of my sales had come directly from Realtor.com, I dropped the program. My sellers weren’t getting enough bang for their advertising dollar.

    My sellers don’t deserve a Realtor that throws money against the wall and hopes that something sticks. They deserve a Realtor that can analyze advertising venues, and determine which benefit the seller, and which benefit the vendor.

  29. After reading on here where last year Allen Dalton, president of Realtor.com criticized Rich Lloyd of Zillow.com saying their Zestimates of home values were similar to a carnival weight and age guesser.” Dalton also stated, “The whole notion of suggesting to people that they can find out what their home is worth without a Realtor offends me.”

    I also read above that at the same time Realtor.com was blasting Zillow they themselves had a Home Valuation function that asks, “What’s Your Home Worth” and says, “Immediately review recent home sales in your area” – so people can try to assess their home’s value based on recently sold homes in the area online, ” without the help of a Realtor.”

    Good grief, they have since removed the statement “without the help of a Realtor.” I am appalled that Realtor.com ever had this statement on their site.

    In my non-disclosure state Realtor.com is giving “estmated” untrue sales prices to consumers wanting to know the sales value of homes similar to theirs. They do have a tiny disclosure that you have to seek and find by pressing a tiny button which states the sales prices are “estimated.” The pot is calling the kettle black here and Realtor.com is a carnival guess outfit just like they called Zillow.. The public and Realtors need to know that if you live in a non-disclosure state Realtor.com is putting out guesses of sales prices.

    Realtor.com is a big profit making business now that must be benefiting someone but I can assure you it is not the Realtors that pay dues to be a part of this supposedly “non-profit” organization.

  30. Just for fun Google Homestore Executive Sentenced. BTW Homestore owns Realtor.com

    Unless you really know what Realtor.com is, go easy on your assessments. They are a bad culture.

  31. This is part of a an email I sent the director of my local MLS:

    “Since Realtor.com’s inception, more then 10 years ago, I have always wondered, mostly to myself, how NAR and local boards/associations allowed the operators of Realtor.com to basically take our listing information, sell it for a profit but give back very little benefit to agents who choose not to pay extra fees. I don’t take issue for being charged for priority placement and other enhancements / features but feel the same basic listing information that is provided to all IDX participants should be displayed by the site that bears our organization name along with an agents contact info. Did you know that without paying extra to Realtor.com they will exclude from an agents listing:

    1) The basic 6 pictures included in our local MLS and provided by most every other website, Realtor owned and privately owned via the IDX system.

    2) Agents Name, Phone number and Email address

    3) Basic description as provided via our MLS and which finds it’s way into most other IDX sites.

    Additionally there is advertising such as Dish Network showing up along side the listing. Needless to say, I know I’m not the first agent to express disappointment in how NAR has chosen to allowed Move INC., a private company, and it’s predecessors, to take information provided by Realtors and use it for profit without giving fair value in return. I feel that I work hard to obtain listings, spending lots of time and money prospecting and to have to pay additional money to have my listing show up as it does in the MLS is wrong. Why should I have to pay hundreds of extra dollars more to get credit for my own listing?! What do you think?

    Additionally it creates friction with clients as they always rush to Realtor.com once I tell them their listing is live to see it on the internet. Clients will complain about how the basic listing looks and it’s embarrassing to have to tell them that most every other site with MLS access and/or information contains all pictures and entire description, and it’s just Realtor.com that doesn’t. It’s more then obvious MOVE INC.’s motives here but where is NAR and PAR to stick up for their members, especially in these lean times where agents are dropping like flys?”

    With regards to this issue I think NAR is out of touch with it’s members. Comments are welcome.

  32. Add to this dilema for the N.A.R. is the ever growing movement away from membership in their club. I call it a club because about twenty years ago it ceased to be an organization for professionals and became, as has been said previously an organization with a primary goal of profiting off fthe backs of real estate professionals. After ten years of enforced membership by brokerages that are members of the local Board of Realtors, I finally opted out and joined a company that does not patronize the club. After 18 years as a broker, manager and trainer, I now teach new and existing agents that they are better served saving their club membership fee and investing in self promotion and advertising and joining a company that offers 80% to 100% commission plans. The Realtors, imho, are just another company with their hand out wanting a piece of agents hard earned commissions and give little to nothing in return. The realtor web site always has been a waste of time except to maybe impress a naive client.

  33. I am running up against realtor.com to date as an inquiry to my listing was passed on to another company. My client is ticked as guess what? That company to this day has yet to respond to the inquiry (now how many prospects and or sales do you think we might have or had lost about now?). I pay my dues through NAR, Realtor benefits are what? I am pushing my way through their poor misleading tactics as my client was shown no regard what so ever. I have a lot of email communication right now with this site and I don’t think you brokers or agents out there would appreciate what realtor.com is actually doing. Just think about it. How many agents push their own listings in order to do a dual? Now I know for sure 1 inquiry by-passed the listing agent and that company never responded… Hmmm makes you wonder on what else is going on? So for now, I am fighting. I want to know what the heck our dues are paying for? I want my client to know what happened to his listing inquiries and who all has recieved them? I want to know how is it that realtor.com (who doesn’t own the listing) is able to by-pass the listing agent and their company? I don’t care if their is such a creature called SHOWCASE… Pay on top of ???? hmmm we talk about false information and misleading or ethics???? Come on Realtors, where does this make sense? I am researching and hope you do to. Sorry for being so long but my goodness.

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  35. I have my home listed with through a realtor who placed my home on realtor.com. Due to some “glitch” in realtor.com’s boundary maps, my home is not listed in my subdivision. You have to search 1 mile radius to find my home. What a joke. Their so-called “engineers” are on high red alert to get this fixed (since July 24th) yeah, right. Needless to say, I am losing the exposure that I should be getting from my neighborhood search. I am so frustrated with this company. They also sold my listing to some scam artist in NY who tried to rent my home out while I live there. Can’t prove it but, they did get my listing from realtor.com. My suggestion, “run, do not walk away from using Realtor.com” It is a poorly run business.

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