We all know that successful agents are always looking for new ways to grow their business. Some spends hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month with online portals. Some pay $29.99 a month to a BUNCH of technologies hoping they will provide them with a magic bullet of brilliance. While there are billions of dollars spent online every year, most agents are disappointed by the results of these disjointed investments.
The same agents that are happy to spend thousands on many ill-fated and poorly executed outside marketing services, ALSO belong to their local MLS. They are spending well UNDER $100 a month in most cases for their MLS and receiving a variety of services that if bought individually would cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
So, let’s look at why I believe MLSs are the BEST marketing network that exists in our industry today:
- Targeted listing exposure to thousands of real estate professionals – become part of the MLS provides an agent access to just about EVERY active agent in their region. Each of those active agents delivers hundreds, if not thousands of prospects interested in learning about real estate and buying and selling properties. There is NO more targeted list of prospects that an agent can find than the engaged prospects delivered by their fellow real estate professionals. How many listing presentations take credit for the ability to deliver thousands of LOCAL agents to promote your property and delivered qualified buyers? There is no social media campaign that can come even CLOSE to delivering such a specific and interested database of potential buyers.
- Leveraging buyer interest to secure a new listing – If an agent is looking to secure a new listing or sell a property, agents can use the MLS to find interested buyers from the reverse prospecting in the MLS system. Again, MLS members can leverage every prospect from every member of the MLS to generate interest for themselves. Is this starting to sound like a marketing network to you.
- Sharing Market Knowledge – as a member of an MLS, any agent can share in-depth information about sales trends, pricing trends, what markets are hot/not, on demand property valuations and a whole bunch more. The data they can leverage is contributed to by every agent that has bought or sold a home on behalf of their clients. This collective insight is invaluable to every person in the MLS (Marketing Network). Talk to someone that focuses in the commercial market that does not a definitive source of local data like an MLS. It is virtually impossible to deliver an in-depth market analysis because commercial agents have not created their own collaborative marketing network.
- Lead Generation and Listing Exposure – when I ask agents where the bulk of the activity on their listings come from, they readily tell me that their property was sold by a fellow agent that found it in the MLS. While there are lots of promises from third parties that they will deliver agents tons of leads, many, if not most, fall short on this promise. With the collective marketing power of MLS members, listings are exposed by auto-email campaigns to thousands of potential home buyers and sellers every day. By working together through the MLS Marketing Network, all agents are providing sales opportunities for their fellow agents regularly.
- Accurate and Comprehensive Listing Promotion (MLS Consumer Facing Sites) – many MLSs feature a property search function on their websites to help consumers search for properties ad-free and without any preferential treatment to particular agents, brokers or listings. The information displays purely as the consumer asks for it. The amount of inquiries generated from these sites can be as much as 10x higher than third party sites. Why? Our research suggests that is because consumers that find MLS consumer sites are more serious and closer to a transaction. What is the cost of this marketing service? Nothing, other than the normal monthly subscription. Just about every listing that is for sale in the market is included on the MLS making it the most comprehensive and real-time source of real estate information. And, oh did we mention how MLSs ensure that the data is accurate by reviewing EVERY listing that is entered for accuracy and compliance?
- Nationwide Marketing Network Participation – Now let’s talk about the latest addition to the MLS Marketing Network arsenal – Broker Public Portal with Homesnap. Broker Public Portal has created a nationwide marketing network of 800,000 agents that are ALL contributing content and creating nationwide referral opportunities. There are 10,000,000 listings available and increasing every day. Again, what is the cost of participation in this huge marketing network? Just your MLS subscription that costs well under $100 a month.
- Generating Showings and Feedback – many MLSs now offer showing appointment services that help make it REALLY easy to schedule a bunch of showings in the matter of a few minutes. Without an MLS, an agent would have to call each homeowner or find the listing agent(s) and reach out to them via email, phone or text. That process would take a LOT more time. While chasing down an appointment the old-fashioned way, the home may get scooped out from under your client. There is NO other way to generate listing appointments efficiently than working with your MLS.
- Broker and Agent Differentiation and Marketing – MLSs offer an invaluable collection of real estate data that brokers and agents use to engage consumers to their websites, and mobile apps while ensuring that offers of cooperation and compensation are implicit no matter what the listing is displayed. Collectively brokers and agents deliver TONS of marketing opportunities to one another. Sure sounds like a marketing network to me. At the same time, MLSs offer a comprehensive set of data that brokers and agents can use to differentiate their brands and websites. One can share information about green fields in homes. Another can share solds and a virtual office website. Another might share agent reviews. You get the idea. The MLS is the data “juice” that can fuel broker differentiation, not to mention tons of listing exposure and leads.
- Taking Credit for Listing Exposure and Leads – like any good marketing network, MLSs enable their members to take credit for the marketing energy they are creating for their customers. Using a tool like Listtrac, which ton of MLSs offer now, an agent can receive a monthly report which shows all listing exposure and inquiries generated from IDX sites, MLS system prospecting, MLS consumer site, third parties and mobile applications. In one simple report the agent can demonstrate how her local MLS (Marketing Network) generated significant and targeted opportunities to sell a home.
- Promoting Excellent Service – agents work really hard to provide amazing service so they can create lifelong relationships with their clients. Many go the extra mile to support their client fully; way beyond the normal scope of a sales process in any other industry. The MLS knows exactly who bought and sold each property in the marketing network. The MLS is the only organization truly capable of collecting candid feedback from the ACTUAL buyer and seller. MLSs like the Houston Association of REALTORS® deliver an automated, yet opt-in way for their agents to collect and share the amazing service delivered by the members of the HAR Marketing network.
MLSs deliver a full circle of opportunities for members of their local MLS Marketing Networks to deliver amazing insights and service, while providing a collaboration that enables tons of listing exposure and leads and most importantly, transactions to happen.