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(Another) Great Listing Debate

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MLS: The Holy Grail of the Listing World?

We can’t deny that MLS has become an integral part of listing and selling homes in most areas of the country.  Numbers show that the majority of home sales are with the help of cooperating agents/brokers which reinforces the need for a clearinghouse to share listing data.

Not all Listing Cards are Created Equal

Most of us have probably loot count of the number of listings we run across where the person entering it obviously didn’t want to take the time to fill out the fields or worse the required fields are filled with bogus information.  At best this is a annoyance to other agents and the consumer and at worst can be missed buyers especially if the incorrect information causes the listing to no show up in searches.

Are MLS Listing Pathways or Roadblocks to Showings/Sales?

A complete and correctly filed out listing card is the roadmap or blueprint to the widest net being cast to potential buyers which leads to showings and offers (assuming priced correctly).  Complete and coherent information/instruction also alleviate listing agent headaches avoiding the endless calls from coop agents and gives the them a more professional image in the face of the local real estate professional community.  A poorly done or incompletely card is an aggravation to everyone involved and the fact that many still sell reinforces the complacency that exists in this area.

Matt is an Real Estate Broker and Consultant from Northern Virginia. He is always looking for new ways to make the industry more efficient and consumer-oriented. Matt is a social networking junkie who can be readily found on Twitter and Facebook.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Matt Stigliano

    August 18, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Matt – For some strange reason, our here on the Northeast side of town (it happens elsewhere, but it seems rampant here), people don’t like to use decimals in acreage numbers. So a quarter of an acre shows up in the MLS as 25 acres. Big difference, no? It makes it pretty hard when searching for a property in larger acreages. I was looking for a 1 acre or larger site for someone and that was their main criteria – I had to wade through hundreds of listings, most of which were homes with a postage stamp sized yard that were incorrectly entered.

    We all make mistakes from time to time and I try and be understanding when it looks like it’s one little detail that I would have done differently or know better, but when a listing is rife with mistakes it really makes for a rough search.

  2. jf.sellsius.theclozing

    August 18, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I am convinced that the MLS system sells MANY more homes than any internet portal.

    It is the first place real estate agents look, (and, perhaps in many cases, the only place… unless it fails to deliver).

    Sites like TruZilla offer only incremental listing value. They survive on selling the perception that if the listing is more widely disseminated, it must bring many more buyers—an internet myth, in my opinion. Show me the stats. I’m of the belief that those portal buyers are miniscule in comparison to the MLS machine.

  3. Matt Wilkins

    August 18, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Natt – things like that do happen everywhere. Up here it seems more listings where the home style and type are incorrect. The bigger thing I see is the number of listings where no one feels needs to fill in the optional fields even if the answers are know. You can save a lot of precous comment space by just checking the boxes.

    Joe – I agree completely thus why I wanted to surface the point of taking the time to fill out complete and accurate listing cards. I kinda chuckle when I have to call a listing agent to get a question answered that should of been clearly communicated via the MLS listing.

  4. markbrian

    August 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    It is sad but many times I think this is a case of the agent fills out the paperwork and then hands it to an assistant or office person to enter into the MLS. The agent then never double checks the listing for accuracy. If more sellers did the same thing that the banks do and ask for a copy of the MLS listing then this problem, as well as the lack of pictures I often see, would not happen as much.

  5. Brian Larson

    August 19, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Accurate data is one of the big strategic strengths of MLSs and should be a key strategic focus. It’s tricky though: several of our MLS clients that have adopted an aggressive stance toward enforcing data accuracy rules have felt push-back from brokers. Brokers claim they don’t want “rule Nazis” (always the reductio ad Hitlerum) in “jack boots,” etc.

    -Brian

  6. Jeff Allen

    August 19, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Having accurate data in MLS is completely essential. From a selfish point of view, the more accurate the data the better our ability at 10K to provide detailed and reliable market trend analysis.

    From an industry point of view, it looks extremely unprofessional to consumers to see issues like the one Matt S. mentioned in his comment. That reflects poorly on EVERY realtor, not just the listing agent for that property.

  7. Paula Henry

    August 22, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I came across this issue twice this week. One client wants a master bedroom on the main level; another wants a garden tub in the master. I know there were homes missing from the searches. As I did my search, I wondered how many listings were not properly represented by the agent.

    It is such a simple step and yet, often overlooked.

  8. Lisa Sanderson

    August 22, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I am surprised by the number of sellers who never see how their home appears in the MLS. I always send them a link to get an extra couple sets of eyes on the listing to ensure accuracy.

  9. Real Estate System

    September 19, 2009 at 12:14 am

    nice post and its one of the innovative and informative one so keep up post cont,this useful tips really help s the readers like me,hope its must be a great for the next generation.Thanks for the cool post

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.

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Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.

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Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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