Broker Public Portal with Homesnap: A Look Back and What’s Ahead in 2020
By John Mazur
Last year was an extraordinary year for the Broker Public Portal (BPP) with Homesnap. We’re now working with over 200 MLSs serving more than 1 million agents. We have almost 90 percent of the country’s listings from 48 states.
Our online traffic has jumped nearly 30 percent. Our rating as a Top 100 mobile app and a Top 10 app for real estate continues.
Our commitment to our dual pro-consumer/pro-agent philosophy of “your listing, your lead” has fueled our success. We remain the only national search portal that follows Fair Display Guidelines.
We’ve delivered more than 2 million “free” leads to agents. Perhaps most importantly, the BPP with Homesnap is on a trajectory to double that number every year.
Now is the time for every MLS and brokerage in America to work with the Broker Public Portal. What’s coming next in 2020 will be a game changer for consumers and real estate brokers.
The OpenTable strategy
BPP skeptics said, “You can’t build a portal that can compete with Zillow.” If they meant we weren’t spending $100 million-$200 million a year to drive traffic, they were right.
But to understand our approach, take a look at what OpenTable did. They first got all the restaurants on board. Then they created and perfected their technology over a long time. Their consumer growth was organic, largely built by their partners, the restaurants. OpenTable now has more consumers booking restaurant reservations than any other platform in the world.
We’re getting the MLSs and brokerages on board. We’re building out the broker side, following all the rules, delivering the technology, sharing the data and building the relationships. This infrastructure allows us to scale.
It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Today, even the busiest portals are seeing significant changes. Zillow used to be the place to search for homes, but there are so many other places that consumers now look for homes. Brokerage websites are a part of that, so is Homesnap, and so are Google and Facebook.
It’s why Homesnap is building breakthrough opportunities with Google and Facebook. Our Facebook Marketplace test, where we share rentals, is driving incredible traffic. Some participating MLSs have seen a boost in lead flow of 400 percent.
Facebook Marketplace will be a game changer in 2020. For brokers and MLSs that are supportive of the BPP, there are opportunities for immense amounts of traffic and leads. Think about this: Zillow’s annual traffic is 7 billion visits. Facebook gets that in five days.
We tell our partners, “Here are the rules that you have to follow,” protecting our broker and MLS stakeholders. Guess what? The biggest players are following them. That’s why this is a huge path for us to continue to grow next year and beyond.
A Look Ahead With Big Improvements
2020 will be awesome. MLSs, brokers and agents are going to see the biggest update we’ve ever done for Homesnap Pro. We’ve spent more than a year developing a host of new features, from predictive analytics to tools that make agents smarter, more productive and increase their GCI.
Honestly, for $1 a month per agent, where else can you get a mobile platform for your agents, listings on a national portal, a revenue share back to your MLS and free leads for agents? If you work for an MLS and brokerage that do not support the BPP, why are you waiting? Contact me. We need to talk.
Note: This column originally appeared in the January edition of Real Estate Magazine and online at RISMedia.com