A HomeServices of America Inc. brokerage that’s the largest franchisee in the Prudential Real Estate network has partnered with Realtor.com to "enhance" its listings on the portal with agent contact details and photos, and other information sought by consumers.
Listings represented by San Diego-based Pickford Real Estate Inc. — one of a number companies that does business in California as Prudential California Realty — will also include custom property descriptions, up to 36 high resolution photos, optional videos and virtual tours, and open house promotions. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Some brokers have complained about advertisements for competing firms’ agents that sometimes appear next to listings on third-party websites like Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia. After Realtor.com operator Move Inc. announced last year that it would allow unbranded lead forms to appear next to some listings, two brokerages stopped providing listings to the site.
Minnesota-based Edina Realty, the largest brokerage to cut off the flow of listings to third-party portals including Realtor.com, is also owned by HomeServices of America.
Many other brokerages have taken the opposite tack, paying for listing "enhancements" or providing direct listing feeds to national portals in exchange for assurances that ads for competitors won’t appear next to their listings — or that their agents will at least be featured more prominently.
"Realtor.com’s online success is unmatched in our industry, and this new partnership will give our agents and their clients a significant advantage," said David M. Cabot, CEO of Pickford Real Estate, in a statement.
Pickford Real Estate claims 3,200 sales associates in 62 offices across Southern California and the Central Coast, who the company says last year represented buyers and sellers of homes valued at more than $9 billion.
Other brokerages that do business as Prudential California Realty, including San Ramon-based Pearson Properties Inc. and Modesto-based California Valley Real Estate Inc., were not part of the agreement announced by Realtor.com operator Move Inc. today.
Pickford Real Estate and eight other Prudential-affiliated brokerages owned by HomeServices of America will be among the first to rebrand as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices after the new franchise brand is rolled out some time next year, Earl Lee, CEO of HSF AFfliates LLC, told the Orange County Register last month.
HSF Affiliates LLC is a joint venture formed by HomeServices of America and Brookfield Asset Management to operate the Prudential Real Estate, Real Living, and Berkshire Hathaway HomeService franchise networks.