Realtors Beware- Learning From Home Depot


Rob at The Notorious R.O.B. (Rob works at OnBoard, a data aggregation company) wrote an excellent post about the damage that can be done to brokers and agents by using Trulia,, Zillow, and other third-party listing aggregation websites.

From Rob’s post;

“[The] consumer then has a relationship (or at least an experience) with Trulia or whoever; it’s how they found the house, and found the real estate agent…

…But the brokerage?  Or the brand?  Just like I couldn’t remember the name of the contractor that did my windows, would any consumer remember RE/Max or Coldwell Banker or whatever?

Would said consumer, upon resurfacing seven years later (on average), remember the agent who took such good care of him the first time around?  Or would he remember the really useful website where he found a house and someone to “install” the house for him?”


Instead of building the brand of these companies, build your own brand.

It’s a great post and a good story, and it has a good message that every broker might want to think about.

15 thoughts on “Realtors Beware- Learning From Home Depot

  1. That’s a good point, consumers don’t remember agents and brokerages as much as agents think they do. If they find the agent from Trulia they will just remember that, not the agent or the brokerage.

    Makes you wonder if we should be syndicating our listings there and to the other websites?

  2. Norm,

    Unfortunately, we do have client forget about us when we don’t keep in touch. It’s so common for agents to not keep in touch well.

    That’s why we made it such a big part of our blueroof360 product. It’s something we all need to do to keep those relationships.

  3. Hi Greg –

    First, thanks very much for the link and the kind words. 🙂

    Second, something I’ve been thinking about for a WHILE now (since my days at Realogy) is whether CRM is properly part of an agent’s responsibility, a broker’s responsibility, or some larger entity’s responsibility (franchisor, network, etc.).

    Wish I knew the answer to that one. 🙂


  4. CRM (Client Relationship Management) is the responsibility of the person who has the relationship, the agent. Trouble with most CRM products is they were built by tech people, not real estate people, so they aren’t as intuitive and easy to use as they should be.

  5. I agree 100%. It’s like agents can’t take care of themselves they need to turn to other people to get leads for them and to have a website instead of doing it themselves.

    We need to take back our industry from housevalues, homegain, trulia, zillow,, and even There should be more agents that get involved in the internet and making websites for themselves.

    I include myself in this equation. I am going to get a better website this year and not pay any more money to these other brands!

  6. I work at and could not agree more. I belive that you should advertise the homes, but brand building is so much more important in the end. The challenge is Realtors want the brand to equal LEADS. Again it is the brand they will remember, not the I got this email to call you. I try to encourage Realtors to position both. The BRAND and the marketing. Cause if you have the brand with out the service, they won’t want to remember anything good about your brand.

  7. Great posts and comments! How much of a difference do think it makes to have a brokerage that is already well known vs. one not so well known. For example:
    Will they remember you more because you work at Remax in such ans such a city over George’s Real Estate Solutions?

  8. Pingback: Trulia’s Integrity Called Into Question « BlueRoof Blog- BlueRoof360- Real Estate, Realtor Websites

  9. This has been enlightening when just yesterday I attended a workshop and Trulia, Zillow were touted as THE sites to post listings on. I agree about having your own web site to promote yourself. When I started 4 years ago, that’s the first thing I did. Even though it was slow initially,98% of my buyers come through my site.

  10. The real estate business is no different than any other relationship business. You either keep up with your client after the sale or they become someone else’s client when it comes time to sell their property. There should be a number of customer touch points each year so they remember you. The best idea is to send a hand written card on the closing date of their home purchase each subsequent year to remind them you still “remember”. This is more original than the typical holiday or birthday card. An anniversary closing card has virtually no competition – so it gets remembered. Great time to ask for referrals too!

  11. I realize this post is from years back, but from my own experience I figured it was worthwhile to mention to other people potentially looking for realestate that zillow had the most innacurate results when my wife and I tried. We researched plenty of houses on zillow and trulia (trulia being even worse) and found that many of them had sold or were in the final stages of being under contract. I remember one of the phonecalls to the realtor and she explained that the house had sold 2 years prior, and she asked if we ended up contacting zillow could we ask them to remove the listing. I would have to guess that about 12 of the 20 homes we found had already been sold. I ended up having the best luck with

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