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Real Estate Agents Weigh in on Online Listings and Networks

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Real estate agents have mixed reactions to the contention that real estate listings are considered intellectual property and should be protected.

While most agents and brokers, as represented by their realtor associations, prefer their listings to be exclusive to their websites, a number of agents support the release of listings to public websites that can be accessed by all buyers and other real estate professionals.

Realtor associations argue that their members spend time, money and effort to get listings, so they must be compensated through the commission they can get from their listings.

There have also been cases in the past that state realtor organizations prohibited their members from launching websites freely offering real estate listings and allowing search engines like Google and Yahoo to index their listings.

The Federal Trade Commission however, thinks otherwise. In a vote in December last year concerning the case of Michigan-based Realcomp, which refused to release exclusive-agency listings to public websites, the FTC said that the refusal of Realcomp to share listings meant that it was protecting its commissions from competition.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of real estate agents that are not so concerned about who controls and who can access real estate listings. They insist that success in the business boils down to who are able to communicate to the public that they are the ones to be trusted for their home selling or buying.

They say that real estate buying and selling is primarily a local activity, so prospective buyers would probably look at online listings that feature properties in the areas they want, but still would choose someone they know or they could trust to represent them, and would not call the agents featured on the listings.

The challenge, according to many real estate agents expressing their views on online real estate forums and networks, is not finding ways to protect listings but finding ways to reach out to customers and make them believe they are the ones that can be trusted for their transactions.

Another Internet-related issue agents are commenting fiercely about is the use of online social networking sites like Facebook and Web 2.0 blogging sites. Many agents now are realizing that they are spending more time jazzing up their websites than interacting with clients.

According to a lot of real estate agents, success still depends on the basics prospecting for real buyers and sellers, developing relationships, building trust and maintaining the right mindset and attitude.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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