How MLS feed can work: Sometimes, you really are just a number

How MLS feed can work: Sometimes, you really are just a number

Ever heard of a referral website? It’s a website that curates lists of professionals with testimonials and such. It then let’s people pick and choose from those lists, i.e if they needed a plumber or something of the like. What a lot of people don’t know is that behind the scenes these sites, the business model is getting paid referrals for successful completion of a connection. A referral. A company’s is in business to make money so it makes sense.

A couple years ago some people noticed this business model and jumped all over it, created website that did the same for real estate. The caveat being that they had access one amazing tool called the IDX Feed to give them an edge.

When we list your property a few things happen. Prior to our meeting we do a ton of due diligence. We pull sales history, property records, verify zoning, run CMA’s, some other super secret Real Estate analysis and often, we do drive by’s to see your property and the others that have sold in your neighbourhood. Then we come for the preliminary consultation where we get a tour of your home, review it against our preliminary data and have an open discussion about the sales process and likely market value of your home. Then, once you’ve fallen in love with our sales systems and are totally see why were the right team for the job, we sign the listing + data paperwork. This paperwork is submitted to the board and the property hits the local MLS(there are different boards-which we will cover in another post.) The MLS feeds the property to the IDX which is a pipeline that feeds sites like Realtor.ca. Well a couple years ago CREA decided to open up the IDX so agents and brokerages couple publish the feed. The main difference is the IDX feed is live data, where as Realtor.ca is delayed by a couple days.

Sites and brokerages started popping up with the business model that they would use lead capture(landing pages, sites where you can search for properties etc..) by forcing you to input your email to view properties. They then take your info and sell it back to the Realtors, who did all the hard work in the first place to get it on the IDX. Their end game being a 25–35% referral for a successful transaction. Again, they’re in it to make money so makes sense right? The problem we see is that these sites are really good at marketing. That what they do. They’re great at telling you how they’ve spent hours vetting the agents that they refer to you, and that they only work with top producers. They rave about the customer care you’ll receive from their end. Then, they call a agents in the local marketplace, ask them a few questions about their productivity, make sure they agree to the referral and voila- you now have someone your barely know, with no concept of their qualification representing you in the sale or purchase of the largest investment of your life.

We’ll let you decide if you think this is a deceptive business practice. Our business is 95% referral, and our clients are some of the most educated, loyal and hardworking people we know. They’re simply looking for the same loyalty in return, and we’re happy to give it to them. To quote last weeks episode of Suits when it comes to loyalty- “If we’re asking for it, you’re getting it”.

We simply wanted to take a second to break down how the system works.

We list it-> it’s in the pipeline-> lead capture sites tap into the pipeline-> you enter your email to lead capture-> they try and sell you as a lead back to us. There’s all kinds of businesses out there, and the great thing about a free market is there’s room for us all. Some agents base their business off this and to be honest there tons of great ones that do. We just feel there’s a massive lack of transparency in our industry. Watch us change that.

Let us know what you think of the model, and feel free to comment or ask any questions at all!

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