Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. WorldNow and this Station make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you have any questions or comments about this page please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Realty Austin; Sky Realty; Reilly Realtors; Vox Real Estate; Crossland Real Estate; Regent Property Group; Bramlett Residential; Cantera Real Estate; Austin Referral Realty, Inc.
Local brokers follow Austin Board of REALTORS® lead in ending listing syndication to real estate advertising portals, seeking to protect consumers from inaccurate and outdated listing data
AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sky Realty, Reilly Realtors, Vox Real Estate, Crossland Real Estate, Regent Property Group, Bramlett Residential, Cantera Real Estate, and Austin Referral Realty, Inc. jointly announced today they have joined Realty Austin in ending syndication of their real estate listings to several well known third party advertising websites. These brokers, who represent approximately 450 of the 9,400 Austin Board of REALTORS® members, are reassessing their online marketing efforts following the Austin Board of REALTORS® decision to stop facilitating the syndication of listings to unregulated third party websites effective April 30, 2014.
An October 2012 study from the WAV Group showed that as many as 36% of the homes listed for sale on the largest of these websites are no longer on the market. The study also found that approximately 20% of homes actively listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) are never posted for sale on these websites.
Most broker and agent owned websites are powered by a frequently updated feed of all listings in the Austin Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Jonathan Boatwright, co-owner of Realty Austin said, "Our 220 agents are excited to regain control over where their listings are advertised online. We turned off our direct feed to all unregulated third party websites because we believe they cause distrust between consumers and REALTORS® by posting inaccurate and outdated listing information. From now on, our sellers will make an informed decision for their listing and our buyers will learn why it makes sense to use a website powered by the MLS."
Third party consumer portals are not required to comply with the same rules, regulations and Code of Ethics that REALTORS® and their websites are required to follow. Michael Reilly, Owner/Broker of Reilly Realtors said, "We've finally had enough, and decided the benefits of syndication were not worth the risks. Because the syndication websites are not overseen by a local board of REALTORS® like the MLS, these non-REALTOR® websites allow anyone to post listings. There is a very high risk that some of the listings are fraudulent and placed there in an effort to scam the public. Recently one of our listings was copied and resubmitted as a 'home for lease' on a syndication website at far below market rates. Interested individuals who inquired about the property were told by the criminals who posted the listing, to drive by the property and submit an application of sensitive personal information. This act was a huge risk to our clients, the public, and our company."
Most third party consumer portals make money by selling online advertising rather than earning a commission from the successful sale of a home. Curtis Reddehase, President of Sky Realty said, "It is our belief that REALTORS® have established a great system for presenting accurate real estate listings, and syndication to unregulated websites has caused more harm than good. We do not subscribe to the idea that mixing our good information with their bad information is best for our buyers, or our sellers. Nearly every day, one of our clients gets frustrated when they find the wrong information on these websites that seem more concerned with selling ads than controlling the quality and accuracy of their listings."
Because Texas is a non-disclosure state, home sale prices are not recorded with the County Tax Assessor. Sellers are frequently misled about their property valuations because they see automated 'estimates' on these portals that are based on tax assessor valuations and very limited home sales data. These 'estimates' result in unrealistic expectations, making the job of listing agents even harder, leading to overpriced listings and lost sales opportunities. Steve Crossland, Associate Broker, Owner of Crossland Real Estate said, "Sellers want their homes to sell quickly, for the best price, with the least amount of hassle. Posting a listing to third party websites does not cause the home to sell a day faster or for a dollar more, so there is no business reason to do so."
Kimbrough Gray, Broker/Owner of Vox Real Estate said, "There are a lot of good reasons for agents and brokers to rethink their policy on listing syndication. If a REALTOR® has a listing with features that warrant pricing above the average of the neighborhood, it might not be a good idea to list it on a site which shows an automated value estimate lower than the listing price, next to the listing. Our decision was also based on complaints from consumers. Many clients were upset with how their listings were displayed on these sites. Not only were there safety concerns when listings and photos were not taken down in a timely manner, but also complaints about sold data showing up on these sites. Usually they blamed the listing agent, not realizing these third party sites operate outside of REALTOR® guidelines and rules."
Brian Talley, Founder of Regent Property Group LLC said, "Technology has greatly enhanced real estate on all sides, but there are times when technology falls short or yields to tainted, materialistic demands. Discontinuing syndication to third-party sites is a smart course of action that ensures consumers have access to the most accurate information. This is an opportunity for us to take a stand to protect our clients, our future clients, and our agents -- and we are unified in taking it."
Many brokers have a problem with the ad based business model that these sites have adopted. Jim Olenbush at Cantera Real Estate said, "These third party websites have been receiving our listings for free, but they will only feature our agent's name and contact information if we are willing to pay. Otherwise, they essentially outsource our listing by featuring the names of three of our competitors alongside our listing. This is analogous to showing up at our client's house and putting three of our competitors' signs in the front yard. At Cantera Real Estate we have decided to stop outsourcing the marketing of our listings effective immediately." Ronnie Bredahl, Broker-Owner of Austin Referral Realty added, "Austin Referral Realty will not syndicate listings to Trulia or Zillow starting in November of 2013. We see no value in syndicating to third party sites who are using our listings to directly compete with us online."
Eric Bramlett, Broker of Bramlett Residential said, "The decision was a simple cost/benefit analysis. Buyers ultimately search many websites when choosing a home, and our clients' listings are presented in a worse light on the syndication sites, where they are merged with poorly verified listing information. Moving forward, we will show our clients the positives and negatives of syndication, recommend against it, and let each seller decide."
Boatwright concluded, "After studying this issue with the ABOR Syndication Task Force for over a year, I am confident that the real winner in today's announcement is the consumer. We hope other firms and real estate boards across the country will question the status quo and take the time to study this issue as deeply as we have here in Austin."
About Realty Austin
Realty Austin is the fastest growing real estate company in Austin with over $1.2 Billion in sales in 2013, ranking as Austin's second highest producing agency in just eight short years. Realty Austin is headquartered in Westlake with satellite offices in Central Austin, Northwest Austin, Southwest Austin and Lake Travis with 220 full-time, high-producing agents who were hand-selected for their experience, market knowledge and career accomplishments. Realty Austin is the most innovative and progressive real estate company in Austin, uniquely suited for its high tech, homegrown culture. For more information, visit realtyaustin.com or call 512.241.1300. Become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/realtyaustin.
About Sky Realty
Sky Realty is committed to the experience of the buyer and seller through the knowledge and care of our experienced agents. For more information, go to SkyRealtyAustin.com.
About Reilly Realtors
Reilly Realtors was formed in 2006 by Michael and Shae Reilly, and focuses primarily on residential home sales in Austin and the surrounding areas. The brokerage is made up of 42 top producing agents with an average of 5 years experience and is on track to close over $100,000,000 in residential sales for 2013. REILLY REALTORS operates the extremely popular website www.AustinHomeListings.com, which allows the public to search virtually all Austin homes for sale with an easy to use map-based interface using data from the Austin MLS. For more information about Reilly Realtors, call 512-600-1800 or visit us online at www.reillyrealtors.com.
About Regent Property Group
Regent Property Group is a prominent Austin real estate brokerage with a growing number of skilled, professional, and dynamic real estate agents. Regent provides its clients assistance with home buying and home selling services throughout Austin and surrounding areas. As a locally grown company, we are proud of our town and are happy to share our knowledge about Austin with you! For more information, go to regentpg.com.
About Crossland Real Estate
Crossland Real Estate is a full service real estate company specializing in residential home sales, property management and leasing. Realtors Steve and Sylvia Crossland have been helping Austin buyers, sellers and investors in Austin for over 20 years. Find us at CrosslandTeam.com or call 512-327-3900.
About Vox Real Estate
Lead by Kimbrough Gray, Broker/Owner, Vox Real Estate consists of 40 agents in Central Texas. For more information go to voxrealestate.com.
About Bramlett Residential
Lead by Eric Bramlett, Bramlett Residential is a boutique 10 agent brokerage focusing on Central & West Austin. For more information, go to ericbramlett.com.
About Cantera Real Estate
Cantera Real Estate is a residential real estate company located in Austin, Texas. With a team of 17 agents they provide relocation counseling, personal attention, and market expertise to all their clients. For more information please visit: CanteraRealEstate.com
About Austin Referral Realty, Inc.
©2012 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.