If you click on over, you can read all the comments. What I was after was whether, in the age of Internet-is-King, the MLS remained relevant to practitioners for the purpose of advertising a property. And if so, just how relevant.
A couple of days ago, there was a rumor floating around Wall Street that Realogy would acquire Trulia. Both Trulia and Realogy threw cold water on that dream quickly. Nonetheless, I found the whole thing fascinating, since a similar scenario was exactly a “Black Swan” event I used to amuse the audience at the last T3 Summit. Here’s the video, courtesy of Stefan Swanepoel and T3:
Black Swan #2 was that Realogy would acquire Zillow. Heh.
Do I still think Realogy would acquire a major portal? Not really. I never thought it in the first place, but brought it up so as to get the people at T3 thinking in a different way.
But the whole brief chatter got me thinking further, and I draw together various separate strands to make the claim that one day in the not-too-distant future, we could (not that we will, but that we could) see a major acquisition of a major “portal” (in quotes for a reason).
My friends over at Clareity Consulting have released a new white paper entitled, “Is Your IDX Website Mobile Friendly, or Driving Away Business“. You can download the PDF by clicking on that link. It’s a really solid report if you’re in the market for a new IDX website, or need to redo your existing one so that it is mobile friendly.
Because, as Clareity says, citing a Google study:
If your website is not mobile-friendly, it’s time to get a new website. A 2013 NAR study shows that 68% of consumers already use a mobile device rather than a desktop or laptop computer to look for a new home. Many brokers and agents spend a lot of time and money trying to drive consumers to their website, buying online ads for their listings and worrying about search engine optimization (SEO) and so forth – but are they wasting their resources? 61% of consumers on a tablet or phone who visit a website that isn’t mobile friendly leave the site immediately and may never come back. You only have one chance to make that first impression – is it a good one?
They then give you a primer on mobile websites, including adaptive design, responsive design, and of course, native apps. Then Clareity provides a helpful list of vendors.
So as far as that goes, it’s an excellent paper, and I would encourage you to go read the whole thing. But you know me. That ain’t the end of the discussion here.
The heretical question I have is not whether your IDX website is mobile friendly or not, but whether you should have an IDX website at all in this day and age.
If you haven’t heard the name of Jim Abbott and of his company, ARG Abbott Realty Group, located in San Diego… well, I’d like to welcome you to the real estate industry. Because you have to be brand spankin’ new not to have heard of him and seen the famous video in which he announced that ARG would no longer syndicate listings. Here it is below:
I wrote about the announcement a while back, but in the course of research into some topics (soon upcoming), I ran across some fun facts. So I figured I’d write about them, because they’re not only fun, but thought-provoking.
Just how much control do brokerages actually have over their listings?
Legally speaking, it cannot be argued that the broker owns the copyright to all of the listings. The MLS owns the compilation copyright, and may acquire a license from the member broker to use the listing data, but the broker owns the data. Period. They can do whatever they want with those listings — syndicate them, not syndicate them, put them on the Web, put them on billboards, whatever strikes their fancy.
But practically speaking, since the listing agent is the person who acquires the listing, and there’s plenty of competitive pressure between and amongst brokerage companies, I got to wondering just how much control a broker actually has in practice over their listings.