There is so little confidence in realtor.com that the major players are creating their own real estate search portals. These portals could require the consumer to at least register your name and email address, and then the solicitations will commence. The article asks agents, “Would you pay 35% referral fees for scrubbed leads?” – and 71% of them answered No.
The nation’s largest real estate brokerage, NRT LLC, is preparing to launch two new search portals that are aimed at reducing the company’s reliance on leads from Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com, attracting homebuyers by offering access to a complete set of MLS listings in markets where NRT operates, plus bells and whistles like automated valuations.
NRT is hoping to not only boost the number of leads it generates in-house, but to more than double the number of high-quality “scrubbed” leads that it can collect a 35 percent referral fee on from select agents.
One of the new search portals, code-named “Project Flanker,” will feature automated valuations like Zillow’s “Zestimates,” and Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listings sourced from the multiple listing services in the more than 40 large U.S. metros where NRT has offices. The other website will consolidate most of NRT’s local operating company websites under one URL. Both websites are expected to launch by the end of the year.
Last year, NRT handled 1.5 million Internet leads for its agents, NRT CEO Bruce Zipf told analysts attending an investor day hosted by Realogy this spring. Only 30 percent of those leads came from NRT’s local operating company websites, Zipf said. The remainder came from more than 700 real estate-related websites that the company uses to generate leads — the top sources being realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia.
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