Two Tennessee Realtor associations are the latest to take real estate marketing software firm Point2 up on its offer of free, public-facing multiple listing service websites.
The two trade groups are at opposite ends of the Volunteer State: the Great Smoky Mountains Association of Realtors, which services more than 700 Realtors and ancillary service providers in east Tennessee, and the Reelfoot Regional Association of Realtors, which has about 60 members in the northwest corner of the state.
Last year, Realtor associations in San Francisco and El Paso, Texas, rolled out their own, Point2-powered sites. And in about 60 days, the San Diego Association of Realtors will do the same “with some new twists,” Saul Klein, industry principal at Point2, told Inman News.
“Associations and MLSs across the country are beginning to see the value of consumer listing portals as another way to serve their members and the public,” Klein said in a statement.
Point2 announced its “white label” listing websites for MLSs and Realtor associations in May 2013, less than two weeks after the National Association of Realtors ruled that if Realtor associations and MLSs choose to operate public-facing sites, they are allowed to require that members pay for the costs of operating and promoting them as a “basic” service — a move that proved controversial.
The two new sites, GSMAR.com and RRAR.org, allow users to search active MLS listings by neighborhood, ZIP code, or custom-drawn radius or polygon, as well as filters such as price, property type, number of bedrooms, agent name, and open houses, among others. Listing detail pages provide demographic information and crime data.
Registered users can save favorite properties, compare homes side by side and get basic property reports. Listing agents are prominently displayed next to each listing along with their contact information, a lead form and a link to their brokerage website.
On the Smoky Realtors’ site, users can also search off-market properties by address, a feature not available in the Reelfoot Realtors’ site.
Point2 pays for the sites, and any revenue generated from advertising on the sites will be split equally between Point2 and the association, Klein said. Currently, the sites display Google AdSense ads, but Klein said that was merely a “placeholder” until individual ads could be sold.
“It’s not really about generating millions of dollars, but about getting exposure [for] the properties and the people that work so hard” to get listings, Klein said.
Visitors to GSMAR.com can find recommended affiliate services on the site, including appraisers, mortgage lenders, contractors and title agencies, under a “Locate Services” tab. The tab was a custom addition to the site, and contains links that route back to a site managed and maintained by the association, Point2 said.
Inclusion in that directory comes with affiliate membership to the trade group, which costs $100 per year. Point2 receives no revenue from the directory.