Residential Settlements

The Pros and Cons of Listings Syndication

There’s been a lot of debate lately about whether agents should be putting their property listings on syndication sites – sites like realestate.com.au, and domain.com.au.

The debate has been triggered by some American real estate companies pulling their listings from syndication sites – most recently, ARG – prompting some Australians to ask if they should do the same.

But what’s so bad about having your listings on other websites?

Why listings syndication is detrimental

Unique content is valuable for bolstering search engine optimisation (SEO). When you put your listings in more than one place on the web, your content loses uniqueness. Coupled with the fact that some syndications websites put “no-follow” tags on links back to the agents’ websites (thereby telling search engines to ignore those links), listings syndication is not great for SEO. And SEO is essential if you want clients to find your website and contact your business – see Sam DeBord’s explanation of the issue.

Syndications on some websites is also costly, as Glenn Batton points out.

Why listings syndication is valuable

The biggest advantage of placing your property listings on a syndication website is the exposure. Agents’ primary concern is creating sales, and one way to do that is by creating leads with online listings. The hard truth is that large websites such as realestate.com.au are more likely to appear in search results when potential clients search for “homes for sale” than smaller websites belonging to individual agents are – so they remain a valuable way to increase the exposure of your listings.

So while some real estate agencies are taking a stand, it’s unlikely that listing syndication sites will be going away any time soon. In the meantime, videos such as ARG’s explanation of their actions and Fred Glick’s rebuttal argument give us the opportunity to watch the debate unfold.