A pocket listing is a strategic advertising move made by the listing agent of a property. This move is designed to provide sellers with the best probability of obtaining a high price for their property while experiencing the convenience of a sophisticated selling process.
Pocket listings are most often used by celebrities, government officials, folks with privacy concerns and sellers who have high trust in their listing agents’ strategic recommendation for their property.
Tech’s role in agent improvement
Technology is improving the listing agent’s performance similar to the way it has made improvements to professional athletes: technology has not improved the skill set of the professionals, but it has allowed them to better serve their clients with tools that make them individually better.
For example, in the past, competition swimmers did not have goggles, swim caps, water repellent suits, pools with improved gutter systems and wave reducing lane ropes that absorb splash from nearby swimmers. These things made it possible for competition swimmers to achieve a higher performance without making a change to their skill set.
In the same sense, technology has empowered the listing agent. Proactive listing agents are using technology designed for their business so they can leverage their strategic advantages to serve their client and hold true to their promise of excellence in service and fiduciary responsibility.
With large consumer advertising conglomerates in the industry leveraging property advertising for sellers, the industry is seeing professional real estate brokers and agents designing advertising services around the pocket listing concept.
Tech’s role in pocket listings
Mauricio Umansky and Chris Dyson of theagencyre.com, along with James Harris and David Parnes, stars of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, launched pocket listing service thepls.com in 2016. This is one of the purest agent-to-agent, B2B pocket listing services available.
This and others are great examples of professionals managing their clients advertising and using technology to communicate with cooperating agents on a universal scale.
They are drawing a distinct line for the consumer, defining what the advantages are for listing with a professional agent and providing the seller with a clear distinction of the strategy and potential success of working exclusively with a professional agent network.
Pocket listings and ‘coming soon’ signs
The technology-powered pocket listing can be a proactive action, and it allows the seller to harness the power of the agent’s professional sphere prior to working with the general public.
For example, a property that blindly follows the standard practice of being placed directly to consumer advertising portals may publicly incur days on the market, thereby decreasing the asking price on the property. For this reason we are beginning to see the “Coming Soon” listing in our neighborhoods and on advertising websites.
As the pocket listing undergoes a process of metamorphosis, listing agent professionals are working to clearly communicate to the seller their professional value as a strategic partner in the property’s listing process.
Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin said it is most effective to work with the worldview of your audience, and the “Coming soon” listing compliments the consumers desire very well.
As humans, we are hardwired to want to be the first to know. The question now becomes about who is going to drive this strategy the best — the advertiser or the professional listing agent? Could it be that a redesigned pocket listing approach that emphasizes and captures the power of the skilled listing agent is the linchpin that leverages the agent over the do-it-for-less mindset of the consumer?
If we compare where we are today (with regard to internet and how we promote properties) to where we were twenty years ago, it’s clear to see that we are at a pivotal point in time. We must define how we want to position the professional listing agent and the value proposition of the real estate broker.
In my professional opinion, there is a lot of good going on in the industry. We are a diverse group of people, and what I have experienced working intimately with many of you is that you have courageously chosen this complex industry to collaborate so that each group of professionals can facilitate a win and make a positive difference in the lives of many.
These are the groups: the broker, the advertiser and the technology provider. We need to focus on reaching an outcome where everyone can experience a simultaneous win when the broker leads the listing process.
What do you think?
Brad and the Inman team are looking to know what you think about the pocket listing, its metamorphosis and best practices. As an entrepreneur of the real estate industry, how are you going to take action toward making the positive difference you want to see happen in the industry?
Do you think the consumer knows the difference in value between what listing agents do and what buyer’s agents do in real estate transactions?
Would it transform our industry if the consumer knew that the listing agent was a strategic partner and that they could do more than place an ad on advertising portals?
Do you think if the consumer knew the strategic value of a great listing agent they would choose to list with a real estate professional first, rather than choosing to list with a technology driven advertising service?
If there was no stigma attached, would you take the opportunity to use a pocket listing strategy with cooperating agents before you marketed your listing to the public?
We are interested in hearing your thoughts. Let’s start a conversation that elicits positive change for the entrepreneur of real estate!
Anne Sperling is based in Los Angeles and is the chief visionary officer of Collabra Technology. Her new book, “Rise of the Elite Listing Agent,” is now available on Amazon. Connect with Anne on LinkedIn.