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Do Real Estate Photographers Need To Worry About Listing Syndication?

Published: 30/04/2015
By: larry

Rob on the east coast asks:

What are some better known syndication sights for real estate agents? For example, anyone know anything about a site called Neybor? Are there others out there that are better?

Neybor.com is the syndication site that tourbuzz.net uses for syndication and sends the listing you load to all the major real estate sites. It's all  you should ever need.

After a long time tracking leads and where buyers came from  to purchase our listings I'm of the opinion that real estate photographers need not get all wrapped up in the details of syndication. Here's why:

  1. Most buyers in my experience come from local brokers sites because they are usually tied in some way (URLs, QR code, phone #) to signage in the front yard of the listing. Zillow has always been a big source of buyers. Craigslist has always been important for rentals. Realtor.com is only important in some locations, mainly in more rural areas where local broker sites aren't very effective.
  2. How many and which real estate sites a listing is syndicated to has historically been mostly a marketing/bragging factor for tour companies but in fact don't make much difference.
  3. The US regional real estate website landscape is currently in flux and confusion. Events like News corp buying Realtor.com and listhub.com pulling the plug on Trulia are changing the way these sites work and what's important. What's happening with syndication is hard to figure out right now. I doubt that most agents even understand it.
  4. I think real estate photographers have more important things to worry about than where and how many sites listings  get syndicated to.
  5. Just be able to provide a quality tour (like tourbuzz.net) if your clients want one and let agents worry about syndication.
  6. Over the last 5 years many listing agents have become negative about many of the regional real estate sites and don't even want their listings syndicated.

What are others experiences in this area?

5 comments on “Do Real Estate Photographers Need To Worry About Listing Syndication?”

  1. It looks like listhub.com is a News corp company, so pulling the plug on Zillow and Trulia to favor Realtor.com is what happens when a large meganational wants to take over an industry. The purchase of Realtor.com is slightly weird as "Realtor" is a Mark of the National Association of Realtors, a group that has spent many advertising dollars to maintain that "not all real estate agents are Realtors". I find News corp to be …. errr, an unsavory company with a long past of dodgy business dealings and outright criminal actions. Now, NAR will be tied to them.

    For consumers, MLS's are irrelevant. You can't just log into the REA website and search their MLS for listings. Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com are the top three places on the Web for buyers to search. Without MLS's syndicating listings to them, agents will be back as the main source for home listings and that will be very frustrating. The biggest frustration I have with the local MLS is that their pictures display very small (767px wide) and they are more concerned with quantity of photos allowed over larger and higher resolution images.

    As a photographer, sites like Zillow and Trulia are miles ahead of MLS's in that they can display much higher resolution photos if an agent uploads directly to them. My clients that do have had no problem seeing the huge difference that makes. Better quality online images makes hiring me much more advantageous to agents. If image quality goes down, I may lose business.

    The issue I've had with broker sites are many: Some you have to register with to see their listings, no thanks it just = more spam. Some brokers sites use third party feeds that don't work with all browsers, are broken or just set up incorrectly. One has to canvass multiple web sites to get a good list of properties for sale in a particular area.

    I don't care how many web sites a listing gets syndicated to, but losing 2/3 of the main players is unsettling. One 800lb gorilla usually throws it's weight around and that might be bad for photographers.

  2. A good local site can do a better job for listing than the bigger nation-wide site. The reason is simple, for MOST areas local buyer account for a vast majority sales. That is true in even many of the larger cities. So if you are worried about about how your images are displayed look into working with a local site or creating one.

  3. What I'm curious about is which sites does the MLS automatically update or upload info to? Is it just the MLS and then zillow/trulia/etc... grab their info from the MLS? I've had some agents say why pay for a virtual tour website when the MLS uploads to all the sites anyway for them. It's the quality of images where they get you!

  4. @Aubrey - you'll have to check with your MLS. Most MLSs syndicate to Zillow and Trulia... I don't think the answer is the same for all MLSs.

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