Armonk Real Estate | Should Your Listings be on the Most-Searched Sites?

The following piece is reprinted with the permission of its author, Bryan Tobiason (photo, left), a real estate agent based in the Kansas City, MO area. Learn more about Bryan by visiting his blog/website.

While reading my daily news yesterday I came across an article and found myself baffled.  When anyone looks at web traffic stats in the real estate world they’ll find the same sites on the top of the list.  Those sites are (in no particular order),,, Yahoo Real Estate, and

What does that list have in common?  They’re all “third party sites” that a broker has chosen to remove his listings from.  His spiel makes his stance sound noble and he’s trying to convince his potential clients that these sites do more harm than good.  However in my experience, I’d say he’s full of bologna & looking to better protect his LEADS, not the seller.

One complaint he (Jim Abbott) states is that potential buyers looking at your home aren’t directed to the listing agent and therefore may not get accurate information.  He goes on to mention (correctly) that some of the agents don’t even respond to questions posed by buyers.  While these two concerns are legitimate, they’re hardly a reason to pull your listings!

I put a different spin on things.  If my sellers home is seen on any of these sites, it has been seen.  Perhaps the agent they request info from will flake out on them, but this buyer now has an address he can search for.  Once said buyer puts the address of the home in Google they’ll find me and get all the questions answered they could ever ask.  I understand that this is oversimplified and presumptuous, but I think it speaks more to the average consumer than many realize.

I am also a person who pays to advertise on Zillow, Truila, and and may have things a little easier because my information is displayed next to my listings, but ANY agent can advertise on these sites.  In my opinion it’s better to pay $40 per month (or more in some cases) to ensure that my sellers get the best possible exposure.

In the last year, I sold four listings where the buyer found the home on  I also helped six buyers who found me on by asking a question about a listing with a listing agent who didn’t advertise on the site.  My monthly advertising fee to Zillow is more than most peoples car payment and therefore I think it’d be foolish to not answer people who ask questions.

You’ll notice that I don’t attribute any success to Trulia or  I can’t look at any of my clients or listings and find where either one of these sites has been directly responsible for a sale.  With that being said, I still think it’d be stupid not to advertise on these sites when I can see how many people view my listings on there.  Maybe they don’t call me when they see the house there, perhaps they call their buyers agent instead, but they still see & possibly buy the house because it was advertised on the medium that buyer preferred.

We can continue on with many other arguments, but this is a blog post, not a book. I’ve found that several local colleagues share the view that third party sites are bad. All state their reasons for feeling this way are because the sites have inaccurate data, or give buyer leads from their properties to someone else.  These agents all think people should look on their brokerage website to find homes.  However, consumers have spoken and they like having a place where they can go and see homes listed for sale.  Finding a place that will let them search without giving info is even better.

Really, in the end… listening to these people share their opinion of the third party sites must sound eerily similar to the cries from people who thought microwave ovens would turn men sterile.  Or from people who wouldn’t walk in front of electrical outlets as it became more & more to find electricity in homes.  Their objections, in my opinion, sound more like someone who doesn’t understand how to use the technology rather than someone concerned about their seller.

It’s time to embrace change and allow it to help your business grow!  Provide better services for your clients & quit worrying about the technological boogie man.

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