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IDX is Dead Long Live IDX

4 – There’s a better chance that the listing company can sell their own listings (read: Dual Agency) 5 – Single-property websites – they have branding, but also more comprehensive information – maps, HOA documents, video tours, etc – branded information is banned from public display in our MLS/IDX feeds (and unbranded websites might be in violation of the Code of Ethics and the state regulatory agency). … The arguments for participating in IDX – 1 – It benefit the seller with dramatically increased exposure 2 – Participation benefits all Realtors in the MLS – the spirt of cooperation and all of that 3 – IDX service providers often have better interfaces than MLS’.

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The whole pie – that’s what we want to give to our consumers, buyers, sellers …

I’ve entered a new world in the past few weeks – I finally purchased and am in the process of integrating an IDX solution (Diverse Solutions) on my blog and other sites. In going through the announcement and listening to feedback from my readers and clients, I have encountered something a bit unexpected – there are a few companies in my market that refrain from participating in IDX. For the life of me, salient and substantive reasons for this are elusive.

A few of the arguments made for not participating in IDX

1 – The companies don’t want uneducated agents showing their listings.

2 – They don’t like the concept of having their listing on other companies’ sites without clear and explicit disclosure – contact information for the listing company included.

3 – They don’t like that agents with good web presences but no listings benefit from their work/content.

4 – There’s a better chance that the listing company can sell their own listings (read: Dual Agency)

5 – Single-property websites – they have branding, but also more comprehensive information – maps, HOA documents, video tours, etc – branded information is banned from public display in our MLS/IDX feeds (and unbranded websites might be in violation of the Code of Ethics and the state regulatory agency).

6 – Buyers see everything on Realtor.com anyway, why should they care about IDX?

The arguments for participating in IDX

1 – It benefit the seller with dramatically increased exposure

2 – Participation benefits all Realtors in the MLS – the spirt of cooperation and all of that

3 – IDX service providers often have better interfaces than MLS’.

4 – Sellers benefit from the increased exposure

5 – Realtors with good web presences benefit everybody – buyers, sellers and Realtors.

On the surface, it would seem that competing in a listing presentation against these holdouts would be a no-brainer – “If you let me represent you, you will get greater distribution of your marketing on the web” – but … what if they’re right? Could a return to holding our listing data close to the vest be around the corner?

Just a few thoughts for Tuesday afternoon.

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Dad, Husband, Charlottesville Realtor, real estate Blogger, occasional speaker - Inman Connects, NAR Conferences - based in Charlottesville, Virginia. A native Virginian, I graduated from VMI in 1998, am a third generation Realtor (since 2001) and have been "publishing" as a real estate blogger since January 2005. I've chosen to get involved in Realtor Associations on the local, state & national levels, having served on the NAR's RPR & MLS groups. Find me in Charlottesville, Crozet and Twitter.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Brian

    November 18, 2008 at 10:08 am

    BestHomePro is an IDX solution and we deal with these types of issues daily. For the most part we have seen many of the walls coming down. In North Carolina we have faced several MLSs that only allow a brokerage to have 1 or 2 IDX vendors. As of recently, one MLS has opened up to unlimited IDX providers. MLSs are now working on sharing data (NC Data Share). We aren’t sure where this will take us, but it looks like possible progress.
    From an IDX vendor standpoint we find that many of the MLS rules, and the actions of some brokerages, stifle our ability to innovate and create better design and functionality.
    Each agent and/or brokerage has their reasons for supporting or not-supporting IDX. My personal opinion is that consumers will drive the market. If they want open access to data, they will eventually get it.

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    November 18, 2008 at 10:45 am

    These arguments always fascinate me because I’m in a market where everyone (or almost everyone, just in case) participates in IDX.

    I’d not be in business if not for the IDX, since it’s buyers that have constituted 90% of my business this year. So naturally there are some who would prefer to see folks of my ilk disappear for lack of data to share.

    At the end of the day, though, I can’t see a compelling argument that not participating in IDX benefits the seller.

    If you have an issue with my web presence, come and compete with me.

    If all you want to do is double-dip the listing, be up front about it. Tell your sellers you’re less interested in the buyers that I’m working with than your ability to collect both sides of the commission.

  3. Jim Duncan

    November 18, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Jonathan –

    That raises an interesting question that has been asked about whether a listing agent should market a listing everywhere T,Z,C,etc –

    But isn’t IDX use saturated enough where a listing agent may have to disclose to the seller that the listing won’t be sent through IDX? (Especially when a company doesn’t have a dominant web presence?)

  4. Michael Wurzer

    November 18, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Jim, with the NAR/DOJ settlement near final, your MLS will be compelled to offer a VOW feed, which includes all listings and no opt-outs. Though initially claimed as of no consequence, I believe your case demonstrates that the settlement will have an impact in some areas of the country where there are significant opt-outs. Currently, the settlement allows/requires registration for consumers to access the feed but I believe a graceful transition can be made from IDX without registration to a registration-required VOW access with all listings.

  5. Marc Grossman

    November 18, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Jim, Just signed up yesterday with Diverse Solutions. It was as interested with the IDX itself, even though I’ll use it, as much as with the RSS feed that I can create. My MLS has a great IDX, just no RSS feed nor is that even anticipated. But you bring up an interesting point in regard to disclosure.

  6. Jim Duncan

    November 18, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Michael –

    I didn’t know it, but your comment is one of the reasons I wrote this post. Thank you.

    Marc –

    Ah, the RSS feeds – one of the primary reasons I went with DS. My MLS has given me lip service about it, but nothing has been mentioned since and pushing them wouldn’t give me any real benefit. Better to get it done than fight a battle that wouldn’t bring commensurate benefits.

  7. Missy Caulk

    November 18, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    I have been using IDX for years as our MLS gladly gives us the feed. I wouldn’t do much business without it. I’m sure you will like it Jim once you are up and running.

  8. Daniel Rothamel, The Real Estate Zebra

    November 19, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    first of all, Diverse Solutions IDX rocks. Really, it does.

    I was very glad to see Michael’s comment, and even more glad to read its content.

    If folks were opting out of IDX and I knew it, I would destroy them in a listing presentation. I would hammer it hard. Or, at least, I would make sure that my potential clients knew enough about IDX to ask each broker if they participate.

    For me, the issue is simple– if your client comes to you and says, “why isn’t my house being shown on “site X?” You better have one helluva a good answer. “I want to sell the listing myself,” ain’t it.

  9. Matt Wilkins

    May 6, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Our MLS just recent added the fields necessary to comply with the recent ruling. The one I find most interesting and think will be most unfollowed and misunderstodd by the Industry in general will be this one:

    Seller Authorizes Blogging Features – This will default to YES and be a mandatory field. By choosing NO, the web site owner must turn off any comment or blogging feature used to provide feedback about the property. A blogging feature or comments is a tool on a web site which allows a consumer to post comments about the property. These comments may be viewed by other consumers. (Courtesy of MRIS)

    I also wonder how many lstings agents will ocnvince their sellers to not authorize this for fear the transparency it creates is soemthing they cannot handle.

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Opinion Editorials

4 ways to stand out against the competition in today’s job market

(EDITORIAL) Are you trying to figure out how you can stand out to recruiters and hiring managers in this job market? Look no further than these 4 steps.

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Are you trying to figure out how you can stand out to recruiters and hiring managers in this job market?

Recruiters often have aggressive hiring goals and are sorting through many resumes to discover the hidden gems that will help organizations achieve their business transformation and growth goals. If you have had a non-traditional education or career path, or have a resume gap due to a layoff, being a caregiver, or any of a multitude of other reasons, it’s important that you know how to share your story in a way that will empower recruiters to advocate on your behalf in this job market.

When I’ve mentored diverse job seekers through the years, these are the four key steps I recommend they follow:

  1. Develop your personal brand

Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If so, when is the last time you audited it? Is it telling the story of who you are now and where you want to go?

It’s important to make the most of the eight (8) seconds that recruiters are spending on your profile. Because, on average, and as lazy as ‘we’ recruiters sound, unless in that time we can tell what you do, who you are, etc., we might not keep reading on.

  1. Tell your story

You have probably heard the phrase “elevator pitch,” but did you know this doesn’t just apply to businesses? As a job seeker, you need to know your story and how it aligns with the roles you are looking to get hired for. If you were to record yourself and tell YOU how great YOU are, would you hire you? If not, remember what value and experience you bring (no matter how seemingly small), your story is you and some of the best stories can be told badly, and some of the most challenging stories can become the most inspirational. Only you have the power to decide what you want your story to be.

  1. Build your network

Your network is your net worth. The more contacts you have, the more chances you create, and the single hardest part of the journey is just to start. Have you built a network in the job market that has the type of job you want? If not, how do you? First, go and find hiring managers. Start by searching on Linkedin, use “job title” and “hiring” in the search bar. Then connect with the people who have posted that they are hiring, sending them a message about your interest, and/or asking them for help (industry tips, thought leaders to follow, who else is hiring). People are generally very open and friendly, and in this landscape, they will be willing to either hire or connect you with someone else. If they don’t, is that someone you would want to be connected with anyway?

  1. Focus on your goals, your “why”

The most important thing! Focus on your WHY. No matter what, job searching can be one of the most challenging things in the world! So don’t just focus on the results, because you will get a job; focus on why you are doing this. Remember you are going through a journey and that you will have a good day, and you will have a bad day, and the best advice I can give (which I repeat to myself ALL the time!) is this… “You either WIN or you LEARN.” Make sure you remind yourself of this and remember WHY you are doing this because the why will keep you going and the experience is something you should embrace, no matter what.

Job seeking can often be all about the numbers and let the saying “Your network is your net worth” be inspirational to build your personal brand and grow your network daily. You will be amazed to see the kinds of opportunities that the network will open for you!

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Opinion Editorials

Finances in my 20s: What I wish I knew then that I know now

(EDITORIAL) They say money makes the world go round. So, let’s discuss how to be smart with finances before it’s too late.

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Being in my early twenties, something I’m still getting used to is the fact that I’m making my own money. This is not to be confused with the babysitting money I was making 10 years ago. Twice a month is the same routine: I get my paycheck and think, “Wooo! We goin’ out tonight!” but then I snap back to reality and think about what that money needs to be put towards. The smallest part of it going towards fun. It’s been tricky to really start learning the ins and outs of finances. So, I do what I usually do in any type of learning process? I ask for advice. I used to be fixated on asking those more advanced in age than I what they wish they knew when they were my age. Now that I’m determined to learn about finances, that question has been altered.

I reached out to a few professionals I know and trust and they gave me solid feedback to keep in mind about building my finances, about what they wish they had known in their 20s. However, I don’t think this only applies to those just starting out, and may be helpful for all of us.

“It’s important to simply know the value of money,” says human resource expert, Nicole Clark. “I think once you start earning your own money and are responsible for your housing, food, etc. you realize how valuable money is and how important it is to budget appropriately and make sure you’re watching your spending.”

Law firm executive director, Michael John, agrees with Clark’s sentiments. “I wish I had kept the value of saving in mind when I was younger,” explains John. “But, still remembering to balance savings while rewarding yourself and enjoying what your efforts produce.”

There are so many aspects of finance to keep in mind – saving, investing, budgeting, retirement plans, and so on and so forth.

In addition to suggesting to spend less than you make and to pay off your credit card in full each month, Kentucky-based attorney, Christopher Groeschen, explained the importance of a 401k.

“Every employee in America should be contributing everything they can into a 401k every year, up to the current $18,000 maximum per person,” suggests Groeschen.

“401ks present an opportunity for young investors to 1) learn about investing and 2) enter the market through a relatively low-risk vehicle (depending on your allocations),” he observes.

“An additional benefit is that 401ks also allow employees to earn FREE MONEY through employer matches,” he continues. “At the very least, every employee should contribute the amount necessary to earn the employer match (usually up to 4%) otherwise, you are giving up the opportunity to earn FREE MONEY. Earning FREE MONEY from your employer that is TAX FREE is much more important than having an extra Starbucks latte every day.”

Whether we like it or not, money is a core aspect of our daily lives. It should never be the most important thing, but we cannot deny that it is, in fact, an important thing. It’s tricky to learn, but investing in my future has become a priority.

This editorial was first published in May 2018.

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Opinion Editorials

Dopamine detox to rewire your brain from internet addiction (it’s common!)

(EDITORIAL) So, you’re addicted to the internet. Whether your drug of choice is scrolling, posting, or interacting – it’s time for a dopamine detox.

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Upside down photo of man holding iphone case saying "social media seriously harms your mental health" representing dopamine.

Ah, smartphones. The best friend we can carry around in our pockets. This small device that’s nearly glued to our hands gives us instant access to many worlds.

It’s exciting to see what’s up on Instagram, take up to six stabs at Wordle, and scroll recipes you’ll never make on Pinterest. It’s also a place where we can share the highlights of our life and, in return, get validation through likes.

With that validation comes a small rush of dopamine, something we’ve all become accustomed – and some of us addicted – to.

While I’m not addicted to posting, I would say I have an addiction to scrolling. I can’t make it through a 50-minute episode of “Dexter” without picking up my phone to check an app or two.

And there is that dopamine rush with it, where you feel like you’re the most up-to-date you’ve ever been. But what about when this becomes too much and we’re overloaded with information and feel bogged down by the constant updates?

First, we need to understand what dopamine is.

It’s a neurotransmitter that works in two spots in the brain: first, its production helps us begin movement and speech. Second, we feel it when we receive or expect a reward. It even creates a kind of “high” similar to what’s found in nicotine and cocaine.

So, if we expect these dopamine hits from social media and we don’t get those results, the dopamine crashes to the ground creating burnout.

Well, this can cause burnout. And, while tempting, the solution isn’t as easy as just deleting all of your social media and walking away clean. Additionally, “take a break” features are too easy to swipe away.

So what can you do?

Mana Ionescu at Lightspan Digital recommends a Dopamine Detox.

While breaking an addiction takes longer than a day, Ionescu recommends starting there and tailoring it to your needs.

Here is what she describes is necessary for a detox:

  1. Turn off all notifications on your phone. ALL of them. You will be looking at your phone every 10 minutes as it is. You won’t miss anything. We lose endless hours of productivity because of those pings.
  2. Tell people to call you if it’s urgent. And teach them the difference between urgent and important. So do keep call notifications on.
  3. Stop over-messaging. The more you message, the more you’ll get responses.
  4. Shed the pressure to respond right away to messages that don’t need a response right away.
  5. Take detox days. Nothing but calls, confirming meetings, and using the GPS is allowed on those days.
  6. Put your phone on sleep mode at night. You can, at least on iPhone, set permissions so that certain phone numbers can get through, in case you’re worried about mom.
  7. If you’re dating, remember that texting is for laughing, flirting, and confirming plans. Please pick up the phone and talk to that person to get to know them. I will not take you seriously if you just keep texting.
  8. And yes, we all know the game, whoever looks at their phone first over dinner picks up the bill.

This won’t be easy, but your brain will likely thank you in the long run. And, when you’re back online, hit up the comments and let us know how the detox went!

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