In markets throughout the U.S., a substantial number of home listings for sale are still marketed with either a handful of low-quality photos, just a few high-quality shots or no photos at all. Often, this isn’t due to lack of care, but instead reflects a struggle with outdated tools that make the process of creating listings arduous and limiting.
While this is disappointing to sellers and the buyers who are searching for properties online, it’s led to the development of a new listing creation tool that’s giving real estate professionals and their MLSs an edge over the competition, one listing at a time.
Bridge Interactive’s Listing Input tool uses a clean design, machine learning and a rich set of features to make the process of creating listings easier than ever before—and with no limits on high-resolution photos.
The Bridge Listing Input tool was introduced a year ago, and 11 MLSs have already signed up for the service. It’s currently live in four markets, where 3,200 brokers are using the product, and more are set to go live over the next several months.
Jenna Rozenblat, chief operating officer of Village Realty in Atlanta, and her team have been using Listing Input to streamline their entire process for creating listings. She notes the flexibility, time savings and ease of use the tool has given her staff and her agents since they began using it.
“In our old way of creating listings, the tool only worked on a specific desktop machine in our office, which meant agents often had to wait until Monday to create a listing that they signed over the weekend,” says Rozenblat.
Since Listing Input is a web form, it can be accessed from any web browser (including on a tablet or mobile phone), doesn’t require any special software to be installed on the broker side, and gives agents flexibility in terms of when or where they can get the process started.
“As a technology-focused brokerage, we’re always looking for ways to do things better,” says Rozenblat. “This tool is one of the ways we’re able to free up more of our agents’ time so they can focus on their clients.”
Agents and staff save time by not having to manually enter or re-enter a lot of information, in addition to no longer having to resize images to suit the various platforms. “What used to take about an hour-and-a-half to do now takes about 30 minutes,” she says.
The tool also makes collaboration with photographers simple and fast by enabling them to directly load images into the workspace, eliminating the back and forth that agents and staff previously would’ve done to get images edited down to the acceptable size.
Serving Agents of All Technical Abilities
Listing Input is a versatile tool that can be used by a brokerage’s staff or agents without having to purchase a bunch of licenses. Many of the brokers using the tool say they’ve introduced it as something for use by agents and staff members because some agents prefer to create listings themselves, and others like to have a staff or team member handle it.
The ease of use and modern experience make Listing Input a good fit for a wide range of ages and technical abilities: simple enough for those who may struggle with technology, yet sophisticated enough to satisfy those with advanced skills.
This has made adoption smooth for brokers introducing it to their offices.
“From an operating standpoint, it’s been really simple to get the Listing Input tool up and running with agents and staff using it across our company,” says Tony Stephens, COO of Atlanta Communities, which has five offices in Atlanta and surrounding communities. “They’ve made it easy to use with no significant learning curve.”
Solving Dual Entry
Bridge Listing Input is a great tool for single-MLS markets. A big plus, however, has been its ability to eliminate dual entry of listings for those markets where more than one MLS operates.
For brokers in Atlanta, Listing Input solves the challenge of having to manually enter listing information into more than one MLS. Both of the MLSs in that market—Georgia MLS and First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS)—have made the tool available to members, making listing creation a less complex, less time-consuming task for brokerage staff and agents.
“In the Atlanta marketplace that has two competing MLSs and shares over 20,000 agents between both services, it’s imperative that brokers and agents have an efficient method to upload their listings into our MLS platform,” says John Ryan, chief marketing officer of Georgia MLS.
“Bridge Interactive creates those efficiencies through an easy, straightforward listing input process. The adoption of the Bridge Listing Input software is increasing every week, and so far, Georgia MLS members have entered over 4,000 listings using the tool,” adds Ryan.
“Not having to manually enter every listing twice—which also means not having to upload and resize images twice, and rekey all information twice—has saved our company significant time and hassle,” says Robert Duncan, director of Operations at Atlanta-based Palmer House Properties, which has more than 1,800 affiliated brokers and agents. “We’ve heard a lot of good feedback from agents and staff so far.”
Listing Input can also be used as the main system of entry for listing information that needs to go into a broker’s back-office system, further eliminating even more rekeying of data.
A Benefit to MLSs
MLSs find implementing Bridge Listing Input uncomplicated. Adding the tool to their member offerings doesn’t require them to move away from any current technology platforms or pull the plug on any existing relationships, which also significantly condenses the time it takes to go live.
“Bridge has been very easy to work with—both as a team and as a technology—and has helped solve a lot of problems for our members without disrupting our current platforms and offerings,” says Marsha Buice, chief operating officer of FMLS, which has about 39,000 licensed real estate members in Georgia.
Some MLSs Bridge has worked with have considered using Bridge Listing Input as a system of choice for members, where they would offer more than one MLS system in a given market.
With every MLS that wants to offer Listing Input to members, Bridge offers live training sessions at launch to help build excitement and answer questions that come up when learning the tool. Bridge is also committed to helping educate agents post-launch about the tool’s capabilities through live training either onsite at the MLS or brokerage offices.
Bridge’s overall goal is to be a partner to the industry—MLSs, brokers and agents—to ultimately benefit consumers. The company’s tools—which, in addition to Listing Input, include a real estate-specific API with all the functionality of RETS and an agreement management platform for MLSs—aim to support this mission every step of the way.
To learn more about Bridge Interactive, please visit www.bridgeinteractive.com.