Coming Soon is a feature on Zillow many agents find useful — although they have to pay Zillow thousands of dollars to take advantage. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Fox & Roach found a way to bring the feature to all its agents.

“Coming Soon” is a listing feature that many agents find useful on Zillow — although they have to pay Zillow as Premier Agents to take advantage.

The mid-Atlantic brokerage Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Fox & Roach figured out a way to use the feature on behalf of all its agents through an arrangement with Zillow and its own added automated Facebook ads.

Fox & Roach agents enter their “Coming Soon” listings into the brokerage’s Buyside platform. That system then syndicates the listing to Zillow’s Coming Soon section and at the same time creates an automated Facebook ad through Homespotter. An agent’s buyer clients are also alerted about the upcoming listing through the system.

“We’ve taken a Premier Agent benefit and democratized it,” Fox & Roach vice president for digital innovation Rajeev Sajja told Inman in an interview.

The strategy is one example of how brokerages are reconfiguring tech tools in a way that serves their agents. Other brokerages list all their listings on “Coming Soon,” Zillow confirmed to Inman, but Fox & Roach has added the automated Facebook ad to create an entire ecosystem for a property about to hit the market. Zillow declined to answer questions from Inman about how many other brokerages or which brokerages send all their listings to Coming Soon.

A Coming Soon listing on Zillow. Credit: Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach

Agents’ listings need to be listed on Zillow’s regular listings separately; the “Coming Soon” listing doesn’t automatically turn into a live listing when the time comes.

An automated Facebook ad. Credit: Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach

Fox & Roach came up with this strategy because of a dearth of inventory in its mid-Atlantic markets, Sajja said. The brokerage decided to find a way to better promote listings about to hit the market.

The Zillow-MLS-Facebook trifecta system went live last week for Fox & Roach agents.

“At Zillow, we are focused on providing a platform that gives sellers the most exposure for their homes and buyers with the largest number of options,” Zillow Chief Industry Development Officer Errol Samuelson said in a statement released by Fox & Roach. “By partnering with BHHS Fox & Roach to promote their Coming Soon listings, we are benefiting both agents and sellers looking to market their home to the largest number of buyers.”

Email Emma Hinchliffe

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