September 1, 2022 was a BIG DAY for RARE Agents.
After many years of watching new buyer leads for hard-earned listings be handed over to any agent willing to pay for internet leads, the pendulum took its first swing in the other direction.
I am referring to the new NAR policy expanding the "Broker Attribution" verbiage in MLS and IDX feeds that link listing data to real estate websites nationwide.
I'll explain what changed for those who did not receive an email notification from your local MLS.
I will use the Z* website as an example, although the changes apply to every website that pulls information from an MLS to display homes for sale.
(I believe it will soon apply to print advertising of listings by cooperating brokers).
IT'S A REALLY BIG DEAL.
Before 9/1/22, homes listed on Z* would direct all consumer inquiries to the agents who paid Z* to have their contact information listed on the screen as they pretended to be the listing agent. Z* also included its own agents in these same lead funnels.
The real listing agent's name (and contact information) never appeared unless that agent paid Z* for the exposure. And the listing brokerage name was only referenced near the bottom of the page with a simple line that read: "Listing courtesy of ABC Real Estate Broker".
That all changed on 9/1/22 with NAR's expansion of the "Broker Attribution" policy.
The new policy provides listing brokers with additional customization options so that listings appearing on Z* (and all websites that are served through IDX feeds) will now read: "Listing courtesy of ABC Real Estate Broker, contact (xxx) xxx-xxxx."
The broker can add a phone number or an email address so that consumers may reach out directly to the "REAL" listing broker.
Brokers can also pass the customization along to the listing agent so that agents may direct consumer inquiries to them.
As I said, IT'S A REALLY BIG DEAL.
Years ago, that's how the real estate business worked. Anyone interested in a property would find out information about that property by contacting the listing agent. After all, the listing agent was the best resource for information about the property.
Today, with the ubiquitous expansion of IDX and internet portals, agents everywhere can impersonate the listing agent by buying ad funnel space on property pages of major real estate websites.
I understand there are negatives to this new policy. Mostly, the negatives are for those who do not have listings themselves but pay the Internet portals for the opportunity to have their name and phone number on local listings, encouraging potential buyers to call them for information about that property.
I'd recommend those agents learn how to get their own listings.
That's what we do around here.
Let's face it, the National Association of Realtors, the local associations in your hometown, and many state departments or offices that legislate local laws have hidden behind the mantra of "protecting the consumer" long enough. True protection of a consumer who has questions about a specific property involves connecting the consumer with the real estate agent who knows the most about that property.
That agent is… (drum roll)…the listing agent.
I'm sure more will be written about this over the next several days and weeks. Not just by me but by those who recognize this policy change as the first shift towards inching our industry back toward the moral center line.
I called my broker's office this morning and was relieved to hear they are all over it. They changed the MLS default for all IDX feeds to include the main broker office telephone number on company listings. And in addition, they granted the listing agent permission to further customize the attribution so the listing agent could directly receive potential leads for their own listings.
If your designated broker has not informed you about this, please send them a link to this post. While you're at it, encourage your broker to share the link with all of the agents in your office.
And to the brokers and agents who read this post and are hearing about this MLS/IDX change for the first time, I invite you to subscribe to RARE Tips using the link at the bottom of this page so you don't miss out on future news that will have a direct effect on your 1099.