Austin real estate companies stop syndicating listings to Zillow and Trulia: Episode #366

Todd talks about 8 real estate companies in Austin that have decided to not syndicate their listings to Zillow and Trulia. Todd explains why doing this is probably a bad idea for themselves and their clients.

Hello. Welcome to Todd Miller TV. It’s the end of October here and I just read this article on Inman News that I wanted to talk about.

So in Austin, Texas the board of realtors decides that they weren’t going to syndicate automatically listings to third party sites like Zillow and Trulia.

So they said hey look brokers, it’s your choice. If you want to syndicate your listings, go for it. If you don’t want to, that’s fine. So basically eight companies have come out and said, “Hey, we’re not going to syndicate any of our listings to Zillow and Trulia. We will send them to Realtor.com but not the other two sites.”

So first of all, I think this is a mistake for a couple of reasons. OK. First of all, if you’re looking for a house in Austin, Texas and you type in “Austin Texas real estate,” the first two sites that come up are Zillow and Trulia.

So you’re denying your client access to the two top searched websites in that marketplace where people are going to look for properties. Now if I have listed my house with a broker and then a week later I go in Zillow or Trulia, I don’t see it on there, I’m going to call them and go, “Hey, what’s going on?” Why aren’t you on there? Why isn’t my listing showing up? What are they going to say? Well, we’re not going to send it to them. That just doesn’t make sense.

I guarantee you these companies, these eight companies only represent five percent of the marketplace. Consumers don’t go to their sites. It’s not like they would go right to that real estate’s company website to look for listings. They’re going to go Zillow, Trulia and then of course Realtor.com to look for these properties.

So I think it’s a mistake. It’s never about advertising the house. It’s always about attracting the client and I will say that this office, all of our listings, we syndicate to Zillow and Trulia. Our board doesn’t do it automatically. We do it. We get more leads from syndicating our listings to Zillow and Trulia than if we didn’t do it.

It has never hurt our business. It has only been a positive thing for us. I think this is a short-sighted idea. If I were an agent in that market and I knew I was going up for a listing against an agent from these companies, I would bring this article with me and say look, you can list with them but your house is not going to show up in Zillow or Trulia.

If you list with me, well – I think it’s a mistake. I think it’s short-sighted. I get where they’re coming from. They believe that this whole thing is just – this whole thing about selling the leads back to the agents. Whatever it is, here’s the bottom line. Zillow and Trulia as entities have done a better job getting consumers to go to their websites than these brokerages have because I’ve never heard of these brokerages and they don’t like it. So they’re going to say fine, I won’t give you the listings but I think it’s a disservice to themselves. I think it’s a disservice to their clients and so I just thought I would share that with you. In any case, that is my update for today and hope to see you on another video. Thanks.