On today’s Power Hour Web Conference, I asked all Help-U-Sell brokers to do a little analysis. I asked them to see just how accurate the big real estate aggregation sites (Trulia, Zillow, et al) are in their local marketplaces. I asked that they search for homes for sale in a reasonable, manageable price range in their own Zip Code on, say, Zillow and then to compare those results with the same search done on the MLS. This is the same experiment the broker mentioned in my last post did – the one where she found 159 bad or questionable listings out of the 220 her search turned up on the aggregator site. But I’m asking Help-U-Sell people to go one step further: identify which listings on the aggregator site are not in MLS and then find out why. Are they duplicates? Old sold listings that have not been purged? Are they FSBOs or broker listings not on MLS? It’s probably an hour’s worth of effort but I think it will pay big dividends.
See, the aggregators are getting slammed right now for having bad or stale data. It is my belief that the housing information available on your own Help-U-Sell website with an IDX feed from the local MLS is far more up to date and accurate than anything a national site could offer. What I want to do is document that – locally, office by office. We can then start talking with consumers about this and (hopefully) switch them off the national sites (where they are vulnerable to any agent) and on to our own.
Please, Help-U-Sell Brokers: Get Busy! Do this book work and share your results with me. And if you’d like a little inspiration, check out this article from today’s Inman News