Realtor.com Follows Zillow's Lead, Introduces Paid Listings and Visibility Boost Products

September 14, 2023
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The Newscorp-owned U.S. real estate portal Realtor.com has introduced a new series of products and services to help agents grow their sell-side business.

The move sees Realtor introduce a paid subscription service for agents to enhance their listings' presentation and boost their visibility on the portal's results pages for the first time. The new suite of products represents a notable shift in the company's business model and will be widely interpreted as a mirroring of similar features introduced early this year by rival, Zillow.

To quote a company press release, the new selection of products and features available to agents on Realtor.com includes:

  • "Featured branding to connect with more sellers: Get in front of motivated sellers who are actively seeking agents by amplifying your agent profile and getting higher placement in search results on Realtor.com's pay-at-close seller leads platform.
  • Enhanced listing presentations: Master your listing presentations with local market data and buyer intel from Realtor.com plugged directly into pre-listing tools from Cloud CMA by Lone Wolf.
  • Promoted listings in Realtor.com search results: Showcase your listings to buyers on the first page of Realtor.com's search results for relevant market searches.
  • Find the right buyer for your listing: Lift close rates by uncovering local buyers searching Realtor.com with matching budgets and home preferences, and communicate directly with their buyer's agent about your listing."

The features are collectively known as 'Listing Toolkit' and are already available to agents across the United States. Commenting on the release of Listing Toolkit, Blake Elmquist, Realtor.com Vice President, Seller Category said:

"To succeed in the current market, brokers and agents need a strong partner like Realtor.com, who can help them attract and communicate with the millions of soon-to-be sellers who visit our site each month. Compared to the competition, a higher portion of our audience is ready to find an agent to help them buy and sell,"

"Leveraging the insights and tools in our new Listing Toolkit can help agents get in front of and wow seller prospects, beat out the competition for listings and seamlessly close deals and sell homes faster. The comprehensive toolkit is just one of the many ways Realtor.com is aggressively innovating to drive results for listing agents and helping to grow their business."

Whereas in most European markets, portals charge agents to list on their website and app, in the United States residential real estate portals have typically made money by charging agents for leads rather than on a pay-to-list or premium placement basis.

With Zillow's introduction of its 'Listings Showcase' in June and now Realtor.com's 'Listing Toolkit' the landscape has shifted for agents.

Previously a selling agent would be unlikely to pay a real estate portal as all listings are included in the portal's results pages free of charge via the MLS. Now with the advent of Zillow and Realtor's new products and the rise of Homes.com's premium visibility model, selling agents may find themselves in an arms race to make sure their listing gets enough exposure.

September 14, 2023
Since March 2020 Edmund's job has been to read about, write about, collect data on, analyse and generally know about real estate marketplaces and the companies that run them. Before that he worked at the aggregator Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect) for five years.

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