The Benefits of Flat Fee MLS Listings

Home sellers today have multiple options for listing their homes for sale and in the current economy, many are opting to go the route of ‘For Sale by Owner’, more commonly coined as ‘FSBO.’ While employing the FSBO sales method may be cost-efficient, there are also limitations that one does not face when employing a real estate broker.

One such limitation for FSBO sellers is the inability to use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) directly. The MLS replaces an earlier system wherein each real estate company had its own ‘internal inventory.’ With the MLS, real estate agencies post their inventories in one central database for the geographical area, which is open to the public for viewing. Sellers employed “selling agents” to place their property on the MLS for a commission on the sale price, often between four to seven percent, paid to the selling agent at closing.

Increasingly, more brokers are offering flat fee MLS listings to FSBO’s and any others interested in the service. With a flat fee MLS listing, a broker provides the service of placing information about a property into the MLS system for a one-time low fee.

This service has a positive effect for all parties, buyers, sellers and real estate agents. From the buyers’ standpoint, the MLS provides a more straightforward way to look at a range of properties. Buyers also know that since FSBO sellers operate without an agent, there will be one less cut taken out of the sale price. From the sellers’ side, it is important to utilize the MLS in the sale of their real estate and the MLS flat fee listing service is the most economical method to sell a real estate property. For the broker, while the MLS flat fee listing service decreases the revenue stream under the selling agent method of yore, the broker receives payment immediately at the time of service. It is a win-win method.

The idea of flat fee MLS listings is also part of a greater movement where Web access to information is reshaping conventional business methods. Traditional systems that operated on a more closed information pattern are yielding to more flexible purchasing strategies for large investments like cars and homes.

Flat fee MLS listings are one of the most economical and efficient methods for sellers to get information about their real estate on the market and into the public eye. They are a low fixed cost alternative to high buyer and seller agent commission fees.

Real Estate Text Messaging Benefits When Marketing FSBOs

Due to the rising popularity of robust smart phones, real estate agents who utilize text messaging systems can benefit, substantially, from an exposure and lead generation perspective. On a “for sale” sign, your text messaging code can help you share information about properties with people that pass by through a message that sends out detailed property specs and photos. Chances are that the vast majority of passers by who notice a property you’ve listed will have a cell phone and by texting the system right then and there, they can quickly receive detailed listing information on a home. As soon as they do, you’ve gotten a lead that you can follow up with on that property or another listing. Did you know that this could also work to your advantage with FSBO (for sale by owner) properties? Read on to learn how.

Many realtors have realized the potential benefits of marketing through mobile messaging. By subscribing to a real estate industry messaging service, you can market to people via their cell phones. Not only can this tool help you market through properties that you are listing but you can also extend this ability to help you market through properties that you’re not listing. Any realtor that sees a FSBO sign can take that as an opportunity to build their brand and get new leads as well. Approach the homeowner and position the messaging service as a free and valuable marketing tool and you could both benefit.

If you already use real estate text messaging services, you know that it can help you capture new buyer leads. But did you know that you can also use your account on more than just your own listings? By offering use of the service to homeowners attempting to sell their home on their own, this could benefit in several ways:

Build Relationships with FSBO Homeowners

By offering to share your lead generation service for free with FSBO homeowners who don’t have the benefit of marketing and exposure offered by a real estate agent, you can build a relationship that results in business and / or referrals. For example, if the homeowner that is trying to sell without a realtor is unable to sell the property on their own, they may turn to you for assistance later on. It costs you nothing to share your service with the homeowner and in the meantime, if people text for info on the FSBO property and they don’t buy it, they become a lead for you.

Branding

Increased exposure in your area is always good, especially if you’re focused on a community that is highly competitive. People who get text messages from properties on your subscription will learn about you. And, they may or may not choose to look at that FSBO property but even if they do, they may also want to look at other neighborhood listings (that are listed by you). And, if the lead doesn’t already have a buyer’s agent, this is an opportunity for you to extend your services.

Lead capture possibilities of real estate text messaging are substantial. By utilizing this service and by offering use of your service as a free marketing tool to local homeowners, you can increase your exposure, build relationships, and sell more homes.