Commentary, SPS News »

[13 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]

There’s probably no doubt that you’ve heard about the whole debacle between the ListHub listing syndication service (owned by Move, Inc) and Zillow (who also owns Trulia). The situation has been quite fluid and has changed quickly over the past few weeks.

In a court hearing yesterday (March 12th), the current temporary restraining order against ListHub was lifted by a San Francisco Superior Court judge and an agreement was reached to continue providing a data feed to Trulia until April 7, which is the same day a syndication agreement between Zillow and ListHub officially ends as well.

In other words, Trulia, the second most popular consumer-facing real estate website, now has less than a month to come up with a different data source for more than a quarter of its listings.

This news may not matter for brokerages and agents who are members of MLSs that already have agreements in place and feed listings to the major consumer real estate portals, but for those who have solely relied on ListHub in the past for listing syndication, the time has come to find another solution.

So if you’re in the group of agent or brokerages that are looking for a new way to make sure your listings continue to appear on all major real estate portals (including Zillow and Trulia) and be viewed by thousands of potential buyers, below are a few options to consider:

  1. Manual input – Trulia and Zillow both allow you to manually input your current listings, including all photos and information. This can obviously become a very tedious process for an agent or brokerage with a large amount of listings, and can become a full time job all by itself. This is not very scalable.
  2. Third party products -  Here at SPS Property Marketing, we provide individual agents and entire brokerages alike with solutions for marketing their listings, including syndication to all major real estate portals. While the AUTOMATED syndication piece is of course a big deal, we also provide all sorts of additional features and benefits for a nominal monthly or per-listing fee.
  3. Contact your MLS – Many MLSs already pushes out data to all of these real estate websites, which is of course great for agents in those MLSs. But if your MLS currently does not have an agreement in place with Zillow / Trulia, consider contacting them. If enough of the agents and brokers in your area do the same thing, the MLS will likely have to listen (eventually).

Will YOU or your brokerage be affected by this change? If so, what solutions do you have in place to make sure your listings continue to be viewed by the masses of homebuyers out there?

Commentary, SPS News »

[25 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

Zillow Trulia ListHub :: SPS Property Marketing :: Single Property SitesIf you keep up on your real estate industry news, there’s no doubt you’ve probably heard about the recent developments between ListHub, Zillow, and Trulia.

In case you haven’t kept up to date on the fast-paced developments, here is a brief recap of what has happened up until now:

ListHub recently announced that it would end its syndication agreements with Trulia and Zillow beginning February 26th. This news came on the heels of Zillow finally closing the deal on their acquisition of Trulia this past week after a six-month investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Basically this meant that if you use ListHub to send your listings to Trulia, they would no longer appear on Trulia after February 26. Additionally, April 8 was to mark the beginning of the same thing for those agents who use ListHub to send their listing to Zillow as well. The developments came fast and furious, and late last week Zillow announced that it has filed for a temporary restraining order on ListHub to keep listing going to Trulia.

Then the news broke yesterday that Judge Ernest Goldsmith of the San Francisco Superior Court granted Zillow’s restraining order and set a court date of March 12, meaning ListHub must continue to send listings to Trulia until at least that date.

According to Trulia’s president Paul Levine, “The court’s order is a win for brokers, agents and the home sellers they represent. Since News Corp announced its decision on Friday to prematurely cut off the listing feed to Trulia, we’ve received an influx of calls from MLSs and brokers who were concerned that they and their clients wouldn’t be able to effectively market their listings ahead of the home shopping season”.

What does it all really mean? 

Well that depends on who you ask. On one hand, some agents now see ListHub’s parent, Move Inc. (a News Corp. subsidiary), as the playground bully. On the other hand, there are quite a few folks who applaud Move’s decision to end its agreements.

There are a few important questions that come to mind from this whole situation:

1) What is Zillow’s real “beef”?
Zillow claims it’s not necessarily about whether listings themselves continue to flow to Trulia, and says it is instead over the short notice that Move gave Trulia before pulling its listings.

2) Why wasn’t Zillow prepared?
Move Inc and ListHub brought up a very valid question – why wasn’t Zillow prepared for this type of a situation? Doesn’t Zillow have the ability to simply push all of its listing data to Trulia to replace the ListHub data?

3) What will happen from here?
Well, there’s really no telling what will happen… Perhaps Zillow will come out victorious and things will remain the same. Or perhaps brokers and agents need to start thinking about what they are going to do in case ListHub data no longer gets pushed out to T & Z!

Check back for more updates as they develop!

Commentary »

[23 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

Trelora :: My Buying Buddy IDX CRM

If you practice real estate in Denver, you have likely already heard about the major controversy surrounding Denver-based brokerage Trelora, especially the news over the past couple of weeks.

Although this topic probably only interests my fellow Coloradoans, I wanted to post this and see what other agents around the country think about all of this.

If you have not heard, Trelora recently came under fire after they announced the launch of a searchable database that revealed specific brokerage commission amounts offered on every property in the Denver metro area. The database allowed home buyers to see the actual dollar amount a seller had set aside to pay a buyer’s agent. REColorado (a Denver MLS) then slapped Trelora with a cease-and-desist letter, claiming that the company had broken MLS rules that say brokers “may not distribute, provide or make any portion of the MLS database available to any person or entity that is not authorized by the MLS Rules & Regulations.”

Trelora has already created a stir in the Denver market because of their unique commission structure (or lack thereof). Trelora has done away with the practice of listing agents taking a listing at 6% and giving 2.8% to the buyer’s agent, and instead charges sellers a flat $3000 fee to pay the buyer’s agent. The listing agent only gets paid when they help a seller find a new home. In other words, it doesnt matter whether the purchase price is $100,000 or $900,000 the agent representing the buyer will still receive $3000 paid for by the seller.

Since REColorado issued their cease-and-desist letter, Trelora responded by agreeing to take down the commission displays from their database. They also attempted to throw other local brokerages under the bus by submitting a list of over 60 infractions of REcolorado rules across 30 other real estate websites.


So my questions to all of you are:

What do you think of the waves Trelora is making here in Denver?

Is this the type of change the real estate industry desperately needs, or is it just a desperate attempt for a company to make a name for themselves?

What would you think if a company in YOUR area did the same thing?

Please post your opinions in the comments below!

How To Use The SPS System, SPS News, SPS Tips »

[9 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

In order to stay up to date with Google’s ever-changing search engine optimization (SEO) policies, we have updated the way property sites are optimized. The updates will help potential buyers find your properties in Internet searches and increase visibility for your listings!

Whenever a new single property site is created in your account, you’ll see a bunch of options for promoting those sites (directions below). An important marketing feature available on all of your sites is the “search engine metadata” option that can be found on the “Edit & Promote” page in your account.

This allows you to manually adjust the SEO tags (the keywords search engines look for when determining where your website shows up in search results). From here you can configure:


This is probably the most important tag with the biggest impact on the visibility of your property site in search engines. This tag is what shows up as a clickable link in search results. When determining what to type in here, be sure to think about the specific keywords potential buyers are searching for, and include them here. Try to stay away from using punctuation, and be sure to keep this to about 12 words maximum.

META Description 

This should be a short paragraph or one sentence about the property. Don’t go crazy here! Make the description re-enforce the TITLE tag by reusing your main keywords whenever possible.

To configure your metadata options:

1) Log in to access your account dashboard

2) Scroll down near the bottom of this “Manage Sites” page, and click the “Edit & Promote” link to the right of the property site you want to configure.

3) Click the “Search Engine Metadata” link under the Promotion column

4) Follow the instructions on the right side of the page, and click the SAVE button at the bottom of the page.

We have made this as easy as possible, and all you have to do is fill out the fields and click the save button. The information will then automatically be put into the HTML code of your single property site, so you never have to worry about messing around with headache-causing HTML!


How To Use The SPS System, SPS News, SPS Tips »

[9 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

Single Property Sites :: Property Marketing :: Listing Marketing

In order to provide our customers with a one-of-a-kind experience, we are constantly striving to update and upgrade our products and services. We have received a lot of feedback regarding the recently released new theme for your single property sites, and have completed a series of updates and bug fixes to the new theme.

Here is a complete list of all updates:

  • Agent’s full address now shows up without error
  • Description under property details showing
  • The white label solution now shows correct credits at bottom of Agent profile page. If there is no agent tagline then this will not appear.
  • Agent’s social media icons and links all work correctly
  • “Assumptions and Disclosures” under financing options are now appearing
  •  The Facebook share link has been improved, making it easier than ever to quickly share property sites to Facebook
  • Image slideshows now included in menu under “Property Information”
  • Video and Virtual Tours were experiencing problems when opened in Internet Explorer. This has been fixed, but you need to make sure that videos and virtual tours are not set to “auto-play” as the video will load straight away.

To see example sites for the new theme, click the links below:

There are still a few big upgrades we have coming down the pipeline, so please let us know how we can help make your experience the best possible.

How To Use The SPS System, SPS News, SPS Tips »

[7 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

In case you didn’t already know, the SPS Property Marketing system allows you to create property flyers in HTML / CSS format and post them to different locations across the Internet. This is especially useful in posting to ActiveRain, any WordPress website, or other platforms that allow you to post HTML or CSS code.

Our old flyers were pretty good, but we wanted them to be GREAT. We have been hard at work completing the following HTML property flyer enhancements, which are now live for all accounts:

  • Flyer design is now more robust and better looking.
  • Previous photo distortion issues have been FIXED.
  • Tidied up layouts for a sleek, clean look
  • All flyers  now include Agent, Loan Officer, and Office license data

To see a couple examples of our new flyers, click the links below:

To create a property flyer for any of your single property sites:

1) Make sure the property site is turned on, by clicking the green “Turn On” button to the left of the site in your account dashboard.

2) Click the “Edit & Promote” link to the right of your property site.

Single Property Sites :: Listings Marketing


3) On the “Edit & Promote” page, simply click on the “HTML Flyers” link (pictured below) and follow the instructions to copy the pre-coded HTML for your digital property flyer, and then post this code wherever you want to promote your single property site across the Internet!

How To Use The SPS System, SPS News, SPS Tips »

[7 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

Facebook recently rolled out a new feature that lets you advertise on Facebook specifically to people who have previously interacted with your website(s). This is called the “Custom Audience Pixel” and is a fantastic new tool that lets you re-target people who may have been previously interested in your listings or real estate services, and allows you to get back onto the top of their mind!

We have incorporated this into the SPS Property Marketing system, and have now added a new feature that allows you to utilize the Custom Audience Pixel to your advantage.

So what exactly is the Custom Audience Pixel? Here are a few of the main ways it is used:

The Custom Audience Pixel is basically a way for you to reach people on Facebook who have previously visited your website and deliver them highly relevant ads based on the interest they previously expressed in your listings or services. This means you can:

  • Remarket to people using your website(s)
  • Make your existing Facebook ads more efficient by excluding audiences of people who have already converted on your message
  • Create lookalike audiences of people who look like the people browsing your website

How does the Single Property Websites system utilize Facebook Custom Audience Pixels?

We have added a new field on your user profile page that allows you to input your own Custom Audience Pixel. This will then be put into the HTML on all of your single property websites. You can then utilize Facebook’s advertising platform to create ads for individual property websites and target people who have previously interacted with you.

To learn more about how this whole thing works, read the FAQ section on Facebook Custom Audiences.