Have you ever been consciously aware of passing over a “continental divide”? You know, a spot where you cease traveling up one side of a mountain and begin descending into the next valley? And right at the tip top of the mountain you’re actually aware that no water will run toward you; it will only run downhill? Well, according to Georgia Association of Realtors we’re there with regard to posting information about our listings on the internet. Apparently the GAR believes that we’ve reached the “saturation point” of internet marketing. Phooey!
The revised Marketing paragraph (Par. 5) of the Exclusive Listing Agreement states:
If Seller desires to limit the manner or scope in which the Property is marketed Seller should check the appropriate box or boxes below:
_____Seller does not wish to have information about the Property displayed on the Internet
_____Seller does not wish to have the address of the Property identified on the Internet, but does wish to have all other information about the Property displayed on the Internet
_____Seller does not wish for third parties to be able to write comments or reviews regarding the listing or display a hyperlink to such reviews on an Internet web site of a broker or affiliated licensee of a broker.
I personally never thought I’d see the day when sellers might ask us not to market their properties on all available internet sites, did you? In my experience in Broker Support, sellers call demanding more internet exposure. Yet, sellers now have check boxes in our listing agreements asking us not to put their property on the internet at all, or asking us not to include the address of their property on the internet, or asking us NOT to allow third parties to be able to write comments or reviews about the property that others could read. What are they thinking?
Of course a seller wants their listing to be displayed on the internet. Almost 90 percent of buyers use the internet to search for homes. Of course a seller wants to have the address of their property displayed. Market research shows that buyers want to see three things when searching for homes: location, price and photos. If the location is not included, you’ll miss a lot of buyers. Plus, you won’t be able to necessarily send your listings to a lot of other websites like Trulia.com, Frontdoor.com, etc. because they want street addresses.
As for the third point, feedback is extremely valuable to the seller – feedback about what the (potential) buying public actually says about their property’s size, condition, location, decorating, smell (assuming the commenter has actually visited the property), floorplan, curb appeal, room sizes, etc. Criticism is valuable in a competitive market.
Personally, I love looking at pictures of listings on the web…the more the better! I’m amazed and impressed at the number of sellers and agents who take the time to get the property “showing-ready” – ditching the clutter and simple cleaning and neutralizing. I believe that sellers with bad photos posted (or whose property doesn’t really show like the pictures posted) will benefit from feedback taking them to task.
And again, this prevents listings from being seen on websites that allow comments. This means you can’t promote your listings on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr or your own blog for that matter. The new changes from GAR just don’t make sense.
The good news is that sellers are going to ask, “Huh?” and be happy when a knowledgeable listing agent explains the benefits of not checking any of these boxes.
The other good news is that a full-service company like Metro Brokers (shameless plug) won’t deliver “partial service” – we assure clients that their listing is going to be posted at no cost to them on about 30 of the best, most popular, most up-to-date, most accurate and safest websites as well as any other internet exposure sponsored by the listing agent. Full service means full internet exposure.
What do you think? How do you see this affecting others in the industry?
Tags: ann bone, blogs, broker support, exclusive listing agreement, Georgia Association of Realtors, internet marketing, marketing, Metro Brokers, property, Real Estate, seller, Social Networking, websites