agents standpoint. Let me start with the conclusion. “NO”. I believe that the future will find fewer and fewer agents “sharing’ their listings with syndicating sites. An agents’ first obligation is to their client and do the best to market and sell the house they have listed. As explored in part 1, the agent who is contacted by an interested buyer needs to personally know the house being asked about. There are a multitude of sources for buyers to get “generic” information about a house. Before the information highway, agents held on to this confidential information as their lifeblood and could disseminate it at their will. They used this information to capture a buyer client and control the market. The bottom line is that buyers call to get unique information about a house that they cannot get anyplace else. When an agent answers the phone who is not personally familiar with a house, they are doing a disservice to the listing they are calling about. Many times an agent unfamiliar with a particular listing will not only give bad information, but will go so far as to sell away from the listing that was called about. The agent contacted is very likely not the listing agent, they may not be in the same office or even geographically in the same area. Thus is the luck of the draw for the unsuspecting buyer simply trying to get information about a house. Therefore, the conclusion is that a listing does not sell any quicker or for any higher price than if the house was not listed on syndicated sites, it could be quite the opposite as hinted at in the article.
So that answers the question about an agents first obligation. The second obligation is to the agent and their company. In real estate the age old axiom is that the agents with the listings are the top agents. Always has been true, and even with the new paradigm, it appears that it would hold true for the foreseable future. This is for many reasons. When a call comes in to inquire about a house, it is one of 2 types of people. Either a buyer looking to buy a house in this area (and the drawbacks to this are explained above), or a neighbor looking to sell their house. They use this phone call to evaluate the agents effectiveness in marketing the house next door. What they do not understand, is that in most cases as outlined above, they are not getting connected to the listing agent. If the call is answered by an uninformed, unfamiliar agent, (and in this model often unqualified agent) they will determine that the listing is being mishandled. They will surely not call this listing agent to list and market their property with the kind of poor response they are getting. Giving these syndicators access to their listings is giving away their lifeblood.
So the bottom line is that the syndicators are good for neither the seller of the house or the agents. Like many good ideas, the flaws of this system will become obvious . I do not expect these companies to roll over and die, but I do expect that the system will will change to be a less self serving one sided mess. When you see a listing posted by Blair Thompson, you will know that these factors have been evaluated before just jumping on the bandwagon to syndicate.