Brokerage, Marketing

Do agent websites need listing search? [VIDEO]

Two agents and a consultant debate the pros and cons

Some agents are beginning to question the value of offering consumers the ability to search listings on agent websites. But is foregoing listing search a smart strategy?

As a follow-up to one of Inman News’ most popular articles last week, we invited two agents who aren’t offering listing search on their websites — Greg Fischer, broker-owner of Fort Worth, Texas-based Fischer Real Estate Services, and Alyssa Hellman, an agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. in the Washington, D.C. area — to discuss the topic with residential real estate consultant Victor Lund, founding partner of Southern California-based WAV Group.




Both Fischer and Hellman say the decision to leave listing search off their sites was a strategic one, not a monetary one.

“It’s basically a marketing decision,” Fischer said. “As I decide what it is that I want to communicate as a real estate agent and a broker and a brand, I’ve made the conscious choice that our representation services are what clients are looking to purchase from us, not the actual home.”

Hellman had a similar take. Listing search “is not the value I’m adding to clients,” Hellman said. “I think the role of the agent has shifted as the industry has shifted.”

Victor Lund, however, thinks agents should have search on their sites.

“Property search is one of the very unique opportunities that agent have. There’s a role that data and technology play in servicing your client,” Lund said. “At some point there needs to be a dialogue or conversation between the agent and their customer specifically around properties and sharing that information is really hard so you need tools to do that.”