I saw the news that Homesnap and Broker Public Portal formed an equally owned joint venture.
A few things…
First, I’m still unclear EXACTLY what the goal of Broker Public Portal is?
Second, is the new joint venture a FOR PROFIT initiative?
Third, I ask again — why exactly will a consumer care about BPP/Homesnap?
Fourth, consider the following:
“HAR.com and a number of other MLSs have been able to capture a reasonable share of voice in online consumer search,” said Rebecca Jensen, President and CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED). “But we believe that the best opportunity for success will be paved by MLSs who focus on a single, national strategy.”
As Bryn has mentioned in prior comments and this blog post, public facing MLS websites are competing against its own members for traffic. Broker Public Portal is a consumer facing portal — and thus in the same situation of competing against its own members. There are not more buyers secretly lurking that a new portal will magically attract; buyers are all already using a website or mobile app to search for homes for sale. Thus, if BPP/Homesnap attracts traffic — someone is losing traffic. That someone is more than likely high producing agents/brokers who invest in their web presence and online marketing.
The point I’m getting at is broker public portal seems to be a strategy to help distribute traffic/leads to the bottom 90% of agents — who are likely doing near zero online marketing now. That helps with membership dues by (hopefully) decreasing agents leaving the business entirely — which of course is where an MLS’ revenue comes from — but it doesn’t help raise the bar in the industry.
Comments are welcome below…