Flat Fee MLS Listings in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana,
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Realtor.com

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
February 19th, 2014

What is the true value of Realtor.com? How does my home reach Realtor.com?

The first thing to keep in mind is that Realtor.com is not the MLS. Realtor.com is not owned by NAR. Realtor.com is similar to any other 3rd party site in that they take bits and pieces of data from the MLS and publish this info to the public. As you may have guessed, Realtor.com has lost a substantial amount of online traffic to sites like Zillow and Trulia. Zillow and Trulia give agents more flexibility with their listings by allowing agents to edit certain content on their respective websites. Realtor.com on the other hand does not have the technology in place to allow such editing. Furthermore, Realtors(R) can display MLS search features on their own personal websites. To summarize, everywhere you look, you can search the same data that Realtor.com is providing. However, most of these new sites feature ground breaking new technology that make your online experience much more enjoyable and reliable.

Getting your home listed on Realtor.com or any IDX related search is quite simple. You just have to be listed on the MLS. If your home is on the MLS, it will appear on Realtor.com. (barring some sort of error on the part of Realtor.com)

I will give two examples of why Realtor.com is nowhere near as popular as it once was. Let’s look at 2 different markets. In the Houston market, most everyone use the HAR website for public MLS searches. In Tucson, they use TARMLS.com. Both of these sites are sponsored by the actual MLS in that local market. As a result, the information these sites provide is the most accurate and up to date information available in these respective markets. They absolutely clobber sites like Realtor.com for this reason.

Getting your home on HAR.com or TARMLS.com is just as simple as getting your home on Realtor.com. The property just has to be listed on the MLS.

Our Photo tool and how/when to use it

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
January 6th, 2014

http://www.congressrealty.com/Flat-Fee-MLS-Listings/PreListing/default.aspx

The link above will take you to our photo tool. This link should be used to upload your MLS photos prior to listing activation. It is imperative that you upload your photos to this link BEFORE your listing is activated.

The way the site works is fairly simple. You can upload 10 photos at a time. The system keeps track of your photos based upon your name and address. Lets say that you have 25 photos to upload. Add 10 under your address and name…hit submit. Then go back and do it again under the same name/address and so forth… Hit submit and you are done.

What if I want to add my photos after the listing is active? We STRONGLY recommend against this. It is in your best interest to follow the instructions above. However, the alternative is to use our private customer area to add photos after the the listing is active.

Do I have to send my paperwork in before adding my photos to the Congress Realty photo tool? No, you can add your photos BEFORE you ever send us anything. Our system tracks everything by name and address and will store your photos in our system essentially forever.

Congress Realty Recognized by Agent Match

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
December 3rd, 2013

Agent Match was developed by Realtor.com to recognize the leaders in various markets and provide this data to the public. Members of the public can view this information and even rate Realtors(R) they have utilized. What is wonderful about this tool is that Realtor.com is only using the factual data from the MLS. Realtors(R) are notorious for fictionalizing just how many listings they have sold and how many listings they have in one given market. Agent Match takes away the guess work for the public. The public now has access to the exact data via Agent Match.

We are happy to announce that we have been recognized by Agent Match as one of the leading brokerages for listings, listings sold, and average days on market. This tool through Agent Match considers all full service brokerages and limited service brokerages.

Winter/Holiday Months are upon us – What to do?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
November 1st, 2013

By most all measurable accounts, 2013 has brought everyone an upturn in the Residential Real Estate Market. Whether or not this will continue through 2014…we shall see. Nov and Dec always lead to a slow down in the # of listings that hit the market in most areas, however, this year should be interesting to monitor. As most everyone is aware, inventory has been creeping up over Quarter 3, cooling the high level of appreciation many markets saw in Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of this year. I’m interested to see if the inventory #’s creep downward in Quarter 4….How might this affect Quarter 1 of 2014. Certainly, a slight decrease in inventory during the Holiday months will be beneficial for Holiday home sellers…but will it lead to a quick flood of new inventory right after the New Year?

What exactly is the MLS?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
September 26th, 2013

The MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service – but what exactly is the MLS? Is it nationwide?

First – you have to understand the process that a typical Realtor(R) goes through in order to join the MLS: All states license individuals to conduct Real Estate business in that specific state. Once you have a Real Estate license, you then join the board of Realtors in your area. When you join your local board of Realtors, you must also join your statewide association of Realtors(R) and you must also pay dues to the National Association of Realtors(R). The MLS is a product of your Local Association of Realtors(R). For example…let’s say I just acquired my Nevada Real Estate License… I find my sponsoring brokerage. Let’s’ say XYZ Realty is my sponsoring brokerage. I then go to the GLVAR (Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors) and join the GLVAR, the Nevada Association of Realtors(R) and the National Association of Realtors(R). I do this all at one time. Once I have joined/payed…I then have access to the GLVAR MLS system. I can post properties for sale or search for properties for sale in this particular MLS. The GLVAR covers all of Southern Nevada.

 

So what is the MLS – The MLS is a database for Realtors(R) by Realtors(R). It is similar to a private club. Only a Realtor(R) and member of that MLS can access the MLS.

Why is the MLS so powerful? Data – The MLS keeps data meticulously. Realtors(R) have access to sold data, pending data, etc…

What is the difference b/w the MLS and Realtor.com or other sites I see online that say…search the MLS? There is only one MLS and the public can not access it. The MLS does feed data to 3rd party sites like Realtor.com, however, they only feed a portion of the MLS data. You will notice that the MLS does not feed commissions, expiration dates, etc… to 3rd party sites.

How does Congress Realty have access to all of these MLS’s? We join each one individually. We get a license in each state, join each local board, etc… it is a long tiring process to accomplish.

So there is not a nationwide MLS? No, anyone who claims or makes mention of a nationwide MLS is simply lying to you. It doesn’t exist. You can actually verify this statement by calling the National Association of Realtors. There are over 900 local MLS’s across the country right now.

So what is the difference in the Congress Realty website and the MLS? The Congress Realty website is our personal website. It is not the MLS. The our listings tab is a quick flyer view of each of our listings…This does not reflect what the MLS listing looks like. The MLS listing is much much much more detailed.

How do I know my property is listed on the MLS? We send you a screenshot of the listing for you to review and to submit changes to us once the listing is activated on the MLS.

What is the difference in your MLS and the MLS that Remax or Prudential uses? We all use the same MLS locally. There is absolutely no difference.

 

Congress Realty Listings on Television

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
September 19th, 2013

Realtor.com has acquired their own channel through Cox Communications and will be featuring various properties over the course of the upcoming weeks. Congress Realty properties have been selected to appear and will appear on channel 2616.

How can I get my property on the Realtor.com TV channel? Realtor.com does select various properties on their own and features these properties at no cost. Realtor.com has just selected two of our Vegas listings to appear and they will run through Sept 22nd on the Realtor.com channel at no cost to these homeowners.

If I am not selected by Realtor.com, can I still get my property on the Realtor.com channel? Yes, you can. We are working with Realtor.com to determine exactly what the cost will be, however, they are going to sell this feature to individual listings. The ads will run for one month on the Realtor.com channel.

 

I was referred to Congress Realty by another company – What next?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
September 11th, 2013

In the event you were referred to Congress Realty by another firm, you will receive an email from us with the documents needed to list your home. The important thing to remember is that we need these documents filled out and returned to us in order to list the property on the MLS. It is extremely important that you submit everything that you want listed on the MLS to Congress Realty directly. This includes remarks, directions, and photos. Instructions on how to submit this info can be found within the initial email you received from Congress Realty. Should you have any questions, never hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email at info@congressrealty.com or 800 657 6579.

 

Testimonials – Online reviews

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
August 22nd, 2013

Unfortunately, not all online reviews are legitimate. Some companies produce fake reviews for themselves and other companies can be the victims of slander or false/misleading reviews. As a consumer, it’s difficult to decipher what it is real and what is not.

So how can I find out about a company? Word of mouth from your peers is still the best method in my mind. It’s certainly fine to mix in online reviews…but remember…online reviewers are essentially anonymous. The reviewer does not have to be accountable to anyone.

We receive countless emails and letters thanking us for our services after a closing. These are extremely important to us and we appreciate them greatly, but we rarely publish these. It’s one thing as a company that I want to improve on. Ideally, I want to start publishing emails/letters so that more people can see definitive proof of what we have to offer here at Congress Realty. An example from this week is attached.

photo-210

 

 

Photos Explained

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
August 7th, 2013

We preach to our clients to add your photos before you send in your paperwork… Why do we do this?

You want your photos to go up with your initial MLS listing for a number of reasons.

1) Adding your photos before you send in your paperwork ensures your photos will be posted with your initial listing. In basic terms…this means when your listing first hits the MLS, your photos will be present.

2) By doing this, you ensure your photos will show up on 3rd party sites.

3) Realtors(R) are much more likely to email a listing to a prospective client when photos are present. Potential buyers like to see photos.

4) Many MLS’s will not allow a listing to be activated until a front elevation shot is uploaded

5) It looks unprofessional to have a listing up without a single photo.

6) Adding photos at a later time only guarantees the MLS will accept your photos. There is no guarantee 3rd party sites will display all of your photos unless you upload them with your initial listing.

How do I guarantee that my photos are uploaded and I am good to go? When in doubt, email us the photos at info@congressrealty.com. If you are still unsure if we have them…give us a call at 800 657 6579.

What’s the easiest way to upload my photos BEFORE I fax in my paperwork?

http://www.congressrealty.com/FileManagement/PreListingControl/default.aspx

Things to avoid with regards to photos:

1) If you email us your photos, send us jpegs. Do not zip them or send us a link to drop box or any other file sharing website. Please just attach them as jpegs and we will take care of the rest.

2) If you add your photos to the pre listing manager…only do this before you send us the docs. Do not add your photos in this location hours/days after you have sent your paperwork in. If you need to add photos “late” to your listing…use the private client area or email these to us. This guarantees that we will get these added for you.

I have sold my home – How can I help spread the word about Congress Realty

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
June 25th, 2013

Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. If you have listed your property with our firm, please tell your friends and family about your experience. Online reviews are helpful as well. We encourage reviews through any legitimate online portal.

Google Plus 1 – At the bottom of our homepage you will notice a Google Plus 1 tab… if you have a gmail account and you enjoy our site/business, please click this icon. It helps us great with Google Search rankings.