Think about this for a second: The more highly qualified leads that an MLS generates all represent clients who are serious about buying or selling a home.
It makes sense. If those buyers are smart enough to be looking at an MLS or brokerage website instead of combing a portal at 2 a.m. for a home, then they’re probably a more serious buyer or homeowner looking at whether the time is right to sell their home.
So why do MLSs insist on selling their ability to generate serious business opportunities short? MLSs are lead-generation machines that give brokers a bounty of high-quality potential clients to fill a sales pipeline, and yet most brokers and agents do not give MLSs credit for effective lead generation services.
Something else to think about: MLS members are already using your services to find leads.
Here’s how MLSs can take advantage of that use and show their members that the data hosting is only part of the story — there’s a lead-generating machine underneath that data-hosting utility-company facade. Start with step one and move up.
There’s a FREE service available to MLSs called ListTrac that can be the foundation of a campaign to build awareness of the business potential generated by MLSs. ListTrac collects all of the listing exposure, leads and inquiries for every listing in the MLS and creates an easy-to-read report that agents can send to their clients to demonstrate how much listing exposure they are generating through the local real estate community. I don’t normally recommend a specific solution to MLSs, but to my knowledge ListTrac is the only group providing a service like this right now.
Here are five simple ways that you can use this free service to help brokers and agents understand the marketing power of their local MLS.
- Make sure that EVERY IDX vendor you work with AND your MLS vendor, your MLS consumer website and your mobile app — integrates ListTrac. This is the first step, and it’s critical. The story is much more powerful when you’re tracking all of the sources of traffic that an MLS creates, and right now, ListTrac is the only company that can do this.
Hundreds of thousands are sent out every month from your MLS system for prospecting campaigns. Combine that traffic with all of the lsting exposure generated from EVERY IDX site in your market. Add in the traffic generated from your MLS consumer-facing website and mobile apps. That combined traffic is REALLY powerful. The number of ACTUAL customer inquiries for those interested in buying or selling from these targeted marketing channels will dwarf any other source of traffic. And the MLS is bringing all of this traffic to their members as part of their very affordable MLS subscription fee.
By tracking the sources of lead traffic, MLSs can show brokerage and agent members exactly where those leads are originating and give them tools and insight to target their efforts more strategically — and effectively. There is NOTHING more meaningful to an agent than a qualified lead. MLSs deliver targeted customers better than anyone else. It’s time to take credit for that.
- Publish the market-wide ListTrac reports every month as a newsletter article, blog post or Facebook post to show the collective marketing power of the REALTOR(R) community and how the MLS is delivering it. Then your MLS members can show their clients exactly how many buyers contacted an agent about an active listing as a direct result of seeing it on the MLS. With this report in hand, they can clearly demonstrate effective marketing efforts that will generate interested buyers.
- Create broker-wide reports and send them to broker-owner and office managers monthly. This will show your brokers the power of the leads being generated by the MLS. By regularly sharing that data with your MLS members, you’re showcasing a tangible membership benefit. Brokers can now understand their MLS organization is a LOT more than JUST the MLS system.
- Provide simple, pre-recorded video training for agents and office managers about how an agent can add ListTrac data to their listing presentations. When a real estate agent enters a new listing into the MLS and it’s immediately blasted to tens of thousands of other real estate agents, regardless of brokerage or franchise brand — that’s a powerful advantage. Your agent members should be discussing and documenting the marketing power of the local real estate community brought to them by the MLS in their listing presentations. MLSs are generating traffic and inquiries to those listings. It’s time they started to take credit for it with consumers, too.
- Record a video testimonial of an agent that has used a ListTrac report to successfully close a new listing. Ask your members to reach out if they’ve used the video training from step 4 and achieved some success with it. Then select an agent or three who’ve used the presentation to full effect and ask them to share the story of how they secured the client using their ListTrac data. Record that on video, send it via an email newsletter and post it on your website so your members can see the solid return on the investment of their time.
MLSs are amazing organizations that by nature are very humble. Time to stand up and take credit for the business your organization is generating for its members!
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