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“It’s important to dig deeper and ask, Is that information accurate today in our local marketplace? Whether it’s dated information or estimates that don’t add up, our job as real estate agents is to validate the online information based on our local knowledge. That’s a huge value we provide,” says Kruse.

5. Just say “no” to syndication?
A number of companies have decided to withdraw from the major portals over issues of cost and dissatisfaction with the portals’ policies. Edina Realty is an oft-cited success story of this approach.

Is opting out the answer? Certain large brokerages, such as Edina, are very good when it comes to their website strategies, and drive a great deal of traffic to their sites. Yet, for most smaller brokerage firms, opting out is not a perfect solution, since many don’t have the resources to commit to developing a strong Web presence. Moreover, most REALTORS® hold to the fact that they still get a lot of activity and exposure from being on portals.

“Home sellers want to sell their homes quickly, and for the best possible price. Most brokers understand that, and operate in the best interest of their clients by assuring their listings are seen on the most-used marketing platforms in their area,” says Cynthia Nowak, senior communications manager at Zillow.

Nowak goes on to say that home sellers also want the exposure offered by portals, citing a January 2013 survey conducted by Ipsos: “More than two-thirds of sellers said they would either reconsider using their agent or specifically ask their agent to include their listing on large real estate sites and mobile apps if they found out their home would be excluded from these marketing platforms,” she explains.