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November 12, 2018

Distribution Trumps Destination

What is syndication and why is it important to agents, brokers, buyers, and sellers? 

Back in the Day

When I was actively involved in real estate brokerage in the 1970's and 1980's, syndication was the term used to describe group investing. Pooling investor funds together in groups and acquiring real property. The most common form of real estate syndication was the limited partnership, public and private placements. (We will discuss this type of syndication in future posts.)

Today, the word syndication is used in the real estate industry to express the distribution of listing information to various websites and web portals.

This use of the term is similar to the publishing meaning of the word syndication. A good writer’s work is often “syndicated” to various newspapers and publications. The result of the syndication is greater visibility for the writer’s work. The same information published in different publications and venues resulting in wider exposure.

Now let’s consider listing content. While it was once thought that exposing a listing in one spot on the Internet and driving consumers to that spot (the early theory for was the best way to market a listing on the Internet, in today’s Internet environment, this no longer makes any sense. Why? A real estate listing is a marketing asset owned by the listing broker.

In addition to the direct economic benefit of having a listing (the opportunity to earn a commission on the sale of the listed property). A listing widely marketed, for sale signs, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, and exposure on many websites, provides the listing broker with other less tangible benefits including increased brand awareness and the ability to attract new buyers and sellers.

The Distributed Approach
All your listings on one website only will result is the loss of some of the benefits that can be derived from taking the listing. On the internet today, distribution trumps destination as content moves to where users go, and users go to many different sites on the internet. Yahoo!, Google, Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia,, and many others.
Once again, the incentive for brokers to acquire, produce and distribute rich listing data to ensure consumers have access to listings goes beyond the benefit of commission dollars earned when a listing sells. Remember, a listing is a marketing asset. It is important to note that not all listings sell and consequently, commission dollars are not earned on every listing, but, costs are incurred for every listing, both direct and indirect costs. Part of the value proposition in the taking of a listing and the advertising and marketing of a listing is the marketing and brand benefit the brokerage derives. Multiple Sites results in Maximum Exposure.

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