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ListHub gives brokers more control over listing syndication

Real estate listing syndication has long been a contentious issue, but with today’s announcement that brokers now have better information about where their data is going and are able to have more control, perhaps the issue has just become less convoluted?

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Brokers can better control their marketing choices

ListHub, a Move, Inc. company, provides Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and real estate brokers and agents with a listing syndication platform. Today, the company gave AGBeat an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming launch of new controls for their 43,000 broker users regarding where they syndicate their listings and what marketing choices they make.

Through the ListHub dashboard, brokers have been able to opt in or opt out of syndicating to particular real estate search sites, and recently, the company added a scorecard to each syndicator so that brokers can educate themselves on what exactly each site offers, their terms of service, and the like, and today, ListHub has added filtering through their system. Now, brokers can choose to syndicate based on filtered parameters based on how each site uses data or what practices they adhere to.

Current filters set for brokers

Brokers can query based on that criteria, so they can opt in or out of each real estate search site if, for example, a site does not display broker contact information or whether they provide metrics or not. The options include:

  1. No Re-Syndication
  2. Posts Redirect Link
  3. Provides Error Reports
  4. Provides Metrics
  5. Real Estate Network
  6. Shows Broker Contact Info
  7. Timely Listing Removal
  8. MLS Preferred

The company tells AGBeat that the list of filters will grow over time, based on feedback and demand. ListHub will also be soliciting broker ratings of each real estate search site and offering ratings and comments based on a five star system, featured next to each syndication option. All data can be sorted based on their score, which because the system is new, has few reviews, but ListHub anticipates this will grow so brokers can add their subjective thoughts on the matter.

For each real estate search site, brokers can drill down into very specific data presented by ListHub, viewing everything from response time to exact terms of use. For companies like Zillow that offer an “extended network,” there is also a frequently updated list of where all of the listing data from their company appears on other sites like local papers or other websites (note: data never leaves a real estate search site’s databases, but is framed in a search page elsewhere, as the search is “powered by” a company like Realtor.com, typically in a widget).

Brokers don’t have to keep up with hundreds of changes

If a broker decides they only want to syndicate under certain conditions, they are not required to keep up with the changes at each real estate site, rather ListHub does that and will automatically add or subtract sites from the list of where brokers syndicate based on the rules the broker has set (like “do not syndicate to any site that does not show broker contact information”), and notifies the broker of the changes. This is a tremendous advantage for brokers concerned with the minutia of real estate search site updates, which are quite complex.

Otherwise, if a broker has manually selected a real estate search site to syndicate to, rather than opting in or out of one rule, ListHub notifies the broker but does not flip any switches.

Agents and MLSs

Agents are also able to log into the ListHub dashboard and review the wealth of data on these real estate search sites and their scorecards, but only brokers can make any alterations to where their data is syndicated. This could change in the future, as it appears possible that one day, this option system could apply to each individual listing rather than a broker’s entire data feed.

Additionally, MLSs are now able to log in, as opposed to just getting monthly reports, and each MLS can now mark real estate search sites as preferred. ListHub notes that the demand and response for this feature has varied wildly, as some MLSs cannot imagine marking anything as preferred, while others have reviewed the practices of all of the search sites through legal review and wish to allow their brokers to filter based on their recommendation, and are willing to do so.

The new features will roll out to all ListHub users in the next 24 hours (and Georgia later this week), and are already live in five beta markets. ListHub tells AGBeat that they wish to offer flexibility with listing data, be a point of research, and offer transparency about data distribution so brokers can better evaluate their marketing choices.

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Matt Thomson

    April 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the NWMLS in the Seattle area would see this value and allow ListHub access?

  2. Tina Fine

    May 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I think list hub giving control over the data back to the broker/agent is good, but not far enough. The “lister” / seller should have control over what information hits the web, even how it is displayed on all third party sites. Ultimately, home owners should be able to get a report of wherever their home is advertised and have the ability to take data down if they choose. Someone should create a GLOBAL HOUSE TAG, that follows all listing data, and can be found and deleted by the request of the seller or broker/agent.

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Reopening the nation: Best done by sector or calendar?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Analysis suggests reopening economies in phases in each country. How will we find harmony between economic, epidemiological, and political leaders?

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reopening the country

After months indoors Americans are eager to reopen the economy. The United States has experimented with a series of stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, and quarantines (the difference between these strategies being geographical and frankly, not always clear). However, the movement to stay home started with closed borders and reduced travel, and gradually became more restrictive as America fell in step behind other countries just in time to become the world’s hotspot for coronavirus infections.

After fraught disagreement between economists, scientists, and politicians, only a few things are certain to date: the economy has collapsed, 30 million people have lost jobs, more than 1.6 million people have been infected, and nearly 100,000 people have died as of this writing.*

Conversations have shifted from saving lives to saving both lives and livelihoods. Economists are making the case that a contracted economy magnifies health risks, and therefore potential mortality unrelated to or complementary to COVID-19 deaths. As such, it is time to consider various strategies for reopening the economy as a public health strategy not independent of hygienic and other measures.

Seven mostly friendly-looking suited-up white dudes from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland have analyzed a series of reopening strategies for the world to consider at this confusing, scary, and still uncertain juncture of how to proceed with defibrillating closed economies worldwide.

They concluded that a phased reopening by sector would balance the need to stimulate economic activity while minimizing epidemiological risk. They suggest that the order of sectors to reopen in each country should be chosen based on their inability to conduct core business from home, importance to the national economy, value added per worker, and business viability. You can read their full argument and the other strategies they evaluated here.

“This strategy has the virtue of being adaptive — as data is gathered following each sector-wide reopening, adjustments can be made concerning the timing of subsequent phases, and protective measures adopted in previously released sectors can be copied and improved as more is learned about the epidemic,” the team said.

The United States has already begun a regional reopening approach where Trump conceded that the states would determine their own reopening plans in phases. This strategy has already caused tension between states and municipalities (for example as between the large state of Texas and its highly populated capitol Austin).

Though the HBR argument is compelling, again, we find ourselves at a frustrating clash of experts in their fields. No matter how the economy is reopened, an increase in infections is likely if not inevitable as soon as more people return to a high-contact lifestyle – a point that scientists and epidemiologists have emphasized heavily. It also gives no mention of the role of testing and tracking the spread of the disease, and the path to population-level immunity whether by herd or vaccine.

Furthermore, this economic approach appears not to consider complementary supply chains and the interconnectedness of local, national, and global economies. Limiting travel was a key factor in slowing the spread and allowing control to become more localized, but much of the economy relies on the movement of people and things across communities.

Unfortunately, these decisions are ultimately made at the policy level. The United States government has proven itself incapable of a united approach to stemming the severity of this disease. Vaccines are in development, but it seems likely that when one is selected and approved for mass distribution, the decision will also be a political one. All of these considerations are ones Americans should bring to the ballot box in November. Or rather – to the mailbox with an absentee ballot, if we don’t manage to completely destroy our democracy between now and then.

*Such statistics, though widely cited, may be underreported or misrepresentative of the whole picture, as we learned about artificially deflated test rates in Texas last week.

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Survey indicates that small businesses are optimistic despite COVID-19

(BUSINESS NEWS) Facebook survey captures tumult of spring 2020 on small and medium business, with a dash of optimism going into the summer.

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This story contains information that probably will not evoke shock and awe by now, but is nonetheless upsetting. Stop now and check to see if you need a news cycle break before ingesting more garbage depressive news about the economy – but if you can wade through it, I promise it ends on a high note!

Though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is running amuck in the political world like one of those signs at restaurants that say “unattended children will be given ice cream and a puppy,” Facebook continues to effectively build an online community of more than 2.6 billion people worldwide – including more than half of the population in the United States. Given their audience and ease of access to business owners, they decided to use their powers for good for once to survey small and medium businesses.

The survey returned responses from 38,078 business owners and managers, 39,104 employees, and 8,694 personal enterprises in the United States (total of 85,876 respondents). Respondents’ industries spanned manufacturing, retail, services, logistics, hospitality, construction, and agriculture. Thirty-three percent of businesses were urban, forty-two percent were urban, and twenty-five percent were rural.

Here’s where it gets depressing: thirty-one percent of businesses reported closing in the last three months, with 71 percent of those closing since March 1. For personal businesses, 52 percent are closed. Of those businesses still operating, 60 percent reported a reduced workload, and 60 percent also report struggling with finances. Employee wages, bills, and rent were the top areas of financial concern.

So how is this important segment of the economy surviving the crisis? Forty-one percent of business owners and managers said they could pull from personal savings, but 45 percent said zero-interest loans were the most helpful option to subsidize lost business.

Unsurprisingly, 79% of businesses say they have made some change to operations to accommodate their customers and keep things moving, like using digital tools and delivery services.

The survey found some interesting geographical differences, for example, that businesses in the Southeast have made slightly more physical adjustments to business like offering curbside pickup and home delivery. They also found differences in strategy by leadership gender: “Businesses led by women are more likely to be using digital tools, particularly with online advertising (43%) and digital payment tools (40%), compared to just 37% and 34%, respectively, of businesses led by men.” And the differences don’t stop at the strategic level. More women owner-managers (33%) reported that managing life in a pandemic at home was affecting their ability to focus on work than men (25%).

Amongst all the chaos, people are optimistic about the future. In fact, 57% of owner-managers are optimistic or extremely optimistic about the future of business. For employees, the results were surprisingly similar. Even though only 45% of SMB owner-managers and 32% of personal businesses reported that they would rehire the same workers when their businesses reopened, 59% of both the employed and unemployed were at least somewhat optimistic about their future employment.

And now for a quote from President Barack Obama’s 2008 New Hampshire Primary speech amidst our last recession, without a smidge of tacky irony or liberal preaching: “We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: ‘Yes we can.’”

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Who will get to work from home once COVID-19 stay-home orders are over?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Many large tech firms review and update their work from home policies. This could be presented as THE biggest work perk of 2021.

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work from home

The large tech firms that we all know and use frequently are making big announcements on their timing and policies for their employees to work from home as updates on COVID-19 come in.

Square and Twitter have said many employees will work from home indefinitely – even after states begin to open back up. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have all extended dates on returning to offices. You can read more details here on The Verge.

Let’s break down some pros and cons – especially if this means that working from home will become the hottest recruiting tool in the future. Like ping pong tables and Friday at 4pm beer carts once were.

Some high-level things that contribute to why people love (or tolerate) their W2 jobs:

  • They like the PEOPLE they work with
  • They have a feeling of purpose, and genuinely enjoy the work
  • There are miscellaneous perks (gym membership reimbursement, free cafeterias, personal development workshops, tuition reimbursement, travel opportunities)
  • Their employer helps to pay for healthcare benefits, and makes 401K contributions
  • Their team rotates, and they get to work from home once in a while*

*This is nice to allow some flexibility. Employees can choose to treat their morning how they would like (maybe wake up a little later, or enjoy their coffee at a coffee shop). It allows them to not rush out the door to sit in traffic, or on the bus or train. They can take the day off of wearing real pants, and work in pajamas. Heck, they can even save time on Saturday or Sunday by doing the laundry on their work from home (WFH) day. It could also be a great opportunity to fit in doctor appointments, or have real quality focus time – missing less of the work day.

This is NOT an implication that people work less that day, in fact working from home, you usually work more because there are not things that force you to break up the day like the commute, meetings, or lunch with your colleagues.

Some high-level things that might contribute to the desire to be an entrepreneur:

  • Your work is a main piece of your identity – usually being a product or service that YOU created, and it leverages a perfect marriage of your talents, skills, and passions
  • You likely get to be your own boss, and make your own creative decisions
  • You constantly have the opportunity to learn, and this can be great for those who love the constant change and challenges
  • It’s just never really worked out for you to work for someone else, or for a corporation
  • Something drives you to build something of your own
  • Working from home* in all its glory

*A common misconception of the entrepreneurship or freelance lifestyle is that you work from home or a coffee shop, and it’s oh so very sexy and freeing, and you get to do whatever you want whenever you want. While arguably, yes, you do have more control over your schedule, and there are perks to your own business; likely you are working 24/7, and wearing every single hat from the Producer to Customer Services to Finance to the Accounting department. This requires you to be really open to learning or knowing what you don’t know, and possibly hiring experts.

So, moving forward, will the “you can work remotely! From wherever you’d like” become the hottest recruiting trend of 2021? Here’s why we predict that may not be the best way to move forward.

  1. People are social creatures. Working from home sporadically vs 100% of the time are two completely different things. You could possibly lose the momentum with your teams if they no longer know and trust one another. Plus, no doubt there will be turn-over, and when there are numerous parts and teams, it can be helpful for them to have in person experiences together.
  2. Does this make sense for the commercial real estate industry, and the leases that have been signed? It’s unlikely that many large corporations just perfectly timed their leases that align with COVID-19. Many will likely want to bring people back just for that fact.
  3. All of this takes an enormous amount of money, additional tech support, and infrastructure, (not to mention mailing costs for all office equipment, etc.) and it’s not possible that only the most profitable firms will prevail and be able to do this.
  4. How would large cities (read: high cost of living) like the Bay Area be able to retain talent, and/or why would you pay to live there if you can live anywhere. This could drastically shift urban planning and development.

We just don’t see it moving all the way to the extreme of all knowledge workers working from home indefinitely. If you want to see how people are feeling about working from home, you have to check out this Buzzfeed article, “Zoom Fatigue is Real, And You Probably Have It If You Relate to These 16 Tweets.”

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