Empty Listing

‘Naked’ listings are a disservice to both buyers and sellers and WILL hurt your brokerage! When a listing hits the MLS and is syndicated to brokerage and portal websites — especially in 2017 — there are qualified, avid buyers who are waiting for that listing. They want to learn everything they can about their potential new home so they can decide whether it’s worth the asking price and whether they should spend some of their precious house-hunting time taking a tour.   Let me ask you something: How easy do you think that is to do without any listing photos? “Naked” listings are all too common in an era when there’s no excuse for it. Not everyone is a photographer — but everyone has a phone in their pocket with a high-resolution camera and five or ten minutes to read up on a few quick tips for how to shoot photos with that camera in an emergency (Google them — there’s an article for every phone model). Brokers, let’s be clear: Not having a single photo for the listing you are about to put into the MLS is an emergency. When that listing goes live, it sends the photo-less data to dozens of website within MINUTES. Your lack of attention to detail will be broadcast to hundreds of agents and potentially thousands of buyers with the click of a button.Just because your MLS doesn’t REQUIRE a photo to be included for one or more days  after the listing goes live doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include a photo. Your listing is going to be published on hundreds of IDX sites and third party sites literally within minutes of you hitting the “SAVE” button.  Why would you severely impact your ability to sell a property by not taking the time to build the most valuable marketing asset there is for a home – attractive photos? Think this is an exaggeration? This is what your listing looks like across the internet when you neglect to take at least one photo. Those bland street maps are really inviting to buyers, aren’t they? Franchise systems can also make it easy to forget about the photos, so agents should make sure they are uploading only complete listings to the MLS and to any franchise system that their brokerages use. Allowing your agents to upload listings to the MLS without at least one high-quality photo of the […]


Who’s incubating your eggs? I recently read an article about today’s modern poultry business. I was struck at the parallels between the real estate business and the poultry business and how both industries have changed with new technologies and automation. I was most fascinated to learn that the behavior of hens has changed with automated egg incubators: Hens have learned that they no longer need to lie on their eggs to incubate them, so they don’t. This means that the modern day value of the industrial hen has been reduced only to its ability to produce eggs, not to incubate them. Think about that for a minute and how it relates to real estate. Egg incubation has a lot in common with lead generation: Today both are being contracted out to third parties. Let me explain. Third party listings websites have become our “egg incubators.” Nearly every agent and broker in America depends on them. Third party sites offer efficiencies with marketing and lead generation so the agents and brokers no longer need to focus on that. But it wasn’t always that way: 25 years ago sales professionals kept their own contacts on a device called a Rolodex. For those too young to remember, a Rolodex was a circular business card holder separated by tabs and organized alphabetically. The Roledex was the agent’s book of business. This created significant value for sales professionals as they were often recruited because of their “Rolodex” – their contacts, their leads. Today the game has changed. With Third Party listing webstes, the “Rolodex” now resides with the portals, or whoever pays for portal leads. Even if the broker or agent no longer advertises on the portals, the customer record stays with portal. So, like industrial hens that no longer control the incubation of their own eggs, the value of the broker and sales professional becomes narrowed when their contacts are stored and controlled by someone else. What does this mean for today’s agent or broker? Sales professionals, especially independent contractors or who generate their own leads – or pay for them out of their own pocket – need to ask themselves a few questions before placing their “eggs” in someone else’s incubator:  Why am I advertising on portals?  Were these my “eggs” to begin with?  What happens to my “eggs” when I leave?  Are the “eggs” I’m generating being monetized by others?  Do I care? When […]