You Can Beat The National Portals With This Strategy Today

[When NorthstarMLS staff and its Directors meet with brokers and agents, one of the most commonly heard complaints is the prevalence of third party real estate portals for consumers and what NorthstarMLS can do about it. The article below is a summary of what you, NorthstarMLS and the entire real estate industry can and are doing. It’s well worth the read and a print version is available here.]

Imagine a world where every real estate agent, broker and franchise in the nation promoted their real estate mobile app to consumers. The app is white-label branded to the agent, broker, and franchise offering direct access to every MLS listing without any competitive ads. That is the way it would need to work. Guess what, we have it. You have it. Our industry has it. Today.

There are two models of how the app works. If the consumer is working with a franchise, a firm, or an agent – that trusted relationship is honored. The professional service provider selected by the consumer is there with them at any time. That’s you. You remain connected to the consumer to help out with any questions they have. If the consumer is looking out of that service provider’s region, the provider can refer that business however they like.

The second model of the app is for a consumer who has not selected a real estate service provider. In that circumstance, every listing is branded to the listing broker and agent with no competitors advertised on the listing other than the seller’s representative. Your listing, your lead!

Some 850,000 agents (including all NorthstarMLS subscribers) have access to this app today, but many agents still do not know about it. It is offered by NorthstarMLS as a participant in the Broker Public Portal. The app is called Homesnap. It is ridiculously easy to use. Download the app, select NorthstarMLS, and your personal branded app is created.

Next, the app prompts you to send an invitation to everyone in your phone’s address book with one click. Why would any consumer use an app from an advertising company’s app if they had this service from their agent? Accurate listings. No advertising confusion found on those other apps. It’s the best app for real estate search.

And if your clients prefer a web-based search tool, have them check out It easily matches the national portals in features, functionality and, most importantly, quality of listing data because it comes directly from the MLS.

Our industry is at a crossroads. The advertising companies have intercepted the consumer, and try as you may, individual franchises, brokers, or agents will never have enough individual horsepower to beat the portals. However, with cooperation amongst the 670 MLSs, the 85,000 brokers, and the 1.3 million real estate professionals – we can offer an alternative. You have two choices. You can stand around and complain, or you can step up and lead. The hard work has already been done. It’s built.

Go to the Android Store or the Apple App Store and put Homesnap on your phone right now. Invite your clients right now. They will love it, and they will appreciate you more for pointing them to the best app and website the way it was meant to be for a home search experience.

Are you sick and tired of advertising portals and want to create an industry alternative that is motivated by cooperation and business rules that promote your relationship with consumers? You must engage. The app will not load itself.

By the way, it is important you know that there is no profit motive behind this. Nobody involved in the Broker Public Portal may ever receive a dividend or profit from your listings. In fact, the founding shareholders may not even redeem their unit shares. Those investments made by founding MLSs and Brokers only allow them to participate in guiding the company to make sure that the Broker Public Portal and Homesnap does not stray from its course, providing consumers with professional quality property information from you and your cooperating peers in the MLS.

Adapted from an article by the The WAV Group, consultants to the Broker Public Portal/Homesnap

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