RISMEDIA, October 1, 2008-Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (NYSE:FNF), a Fortune 500 provider of products, services and technology solutions to the financial and real estate industries, is now offering a consumer Web site solution for MLS organizations, the company has announced.Cyberhomes MLS Portal creates a customizable public-facing website that allows consumers to search an MLS’s listings data before engaging a real estate professional. This independence, according to industry studies, results in a greater understanding by consumers of the need to employ a Realtor® for their home purchase.
The Cyberhomes MLS Portal tailors rich listing content, updated hourly for virtual real-time viewing, in a layout customized for each MLS’s branding and design. Search functions are also customized to suit specific markets and regions. And, because Cyberhomes MLS Portal sites integrate with the Cyberhomes Vertical Ad Network, they generate revenue from national, regional and local advertisers contracted by Cyberhomes Media Group, as well as advertisers contracted by the MLS itself.
“Rich reliable content, powerful consumer features and flexibility are the big advantages of our portal framework over other choices today,” said John Hensley, FNRES SVP and General Manager of Broker Agent Products and Data Aggregation. “We have been building successful consumer real estate portals since 1995. That experience plus our proven technology make for a powerful solution when combined with all the valuable data Fidelity has been aggregating.”
The Cyberhomes portal framework provides the content consumers currently want, from market statistics to local school reports. And, in addition to Multiple Listings Services, Cyberhomes MLS Portal is a proven and viable Web site solution for brokers and franchisers.
The first to launch a consumer-facing site using Cyberhomes MLS Portal was 55,000-member SoCalMLS, California’s largest and the nation’s second largest MLS.
“Within just a few months of launching www.SoCalMLS.com powered by Cyberhomes MLS Portal we have grown to over 200,000 unique monthly visitors viewing two million properties, and have yet to start our advertising campaign,” said SoCalMLS CEO Russ Bergeron. “And most importantly, our members are now receiving thousands of quality leads per month.”
A Positive Change
The 2007 report from the National Association of Realtors Center for Realtor Technology found that more than half of MLSs now provide public Web sites. Initial resistance by members and affiliates is dropping as consumer-facing sites gain increasingly higher search result placement than individual broker-agent Web sites. Houston Association of Realtors, which pioneered the concept with its own consumer-facing site, annually delivers over a half-million email and phone leads to its 29,000 members, and millions of click-throughs to agent and broker Web sites.
According to HAR President and CEO Bob Hale, “Surveys bear out that the more consumers use the Web for their real estate research the happier they ultimately are with their Realtor. The more valuable information we provide for the consumer, the more the Realtor is going to win at the end of the day.”
In 2008, HAR was the focus of a comprehensive Consumer Website Effectiveness study by The WAV Group that again confirms that consumer-facing Web sites are among the most valuable tools MLSs offer their members.
According to Hensley, “The WAV Group survey indicates that consumers appreciate and trust listings portals delivered by MLSs more than any other source. MLSs have the unique ability to provide the most comprehensive, up-to-date and localized listings and they need to leverage that ability on behalf of their Realtor members.”
“Some in the industry need to let go of the belief that MLS Web sites are competitive with their own Web sites and recognize the power of consolidating marketing efforts to counter the well-funded initiatives in play by third parties already capturing the top spots in search engines,” Hensley added. “To protect the role of the agent and broker, we must make sure that traffic is going back to them and the leads are not being solicited for other functions.”
For more information regarding the Cyberhomes MLS Portal contact Larry Lokker at (888) 265-9173 or email@example.com.
More information about FNF can be found at www.fnf.com.