Earlier this year a leading US real estate portal (Zillow) introduced ‘coming soon’ listings, a feature that sparked a lot of debate in the industry and found real estate agents grouping on both sides of the fence.
So what’s all the fuss about? What exactly is the ‘coming soon’ feature and why is it such a big deal? Don’t worry; we’re going to give you the lowdown on it, plain and simple.
‘Coming soon’ listings are nothing new
Given all the hype, you might think this is an innovation or a radical idea, but it’s not. Basically, coming soon listings are used for premarketing and advertising properties which are going to hit the market in the future.
Zillow, the US real estate portal which introduced the feature amidst a lot of hype, is not the first to do so. Real estate agents and sellers have long been using social platforms, forums and other means to premarket their properties and attract buyers before they officially hit the market.
In effect, the only thing Zillow did was to bring this practice to the forefront, validate it and force the real estate industry to notice it because of the strong user base the site commands.
The nitty-gritty of it
Zillow’s typically gets listings from agents, brokerages and multiple listing services, and the coming soon feature is only available to Zillow Premier Agents.
A coming soon listing can be put up on the website (manually or through a feed) up to 30 days prior to the property hitting the market and going into the MLS.
Moreover, a coming soon listing only features advertisements from the actual listing agent, and a biweekly report is also sent to the agent, detailing the listing’s performance.
In order to list a coming soon property agents only need a couple of photos, a small description, a price tag and a date for when the property will be available on the market. As soon as a coming soon property hits the market, Zillow automatically removes the coming soon tag.
These listings are also prominently shown on top of any property search results on the website, giving them a lot of exposure.
The pros of premarketing and ‘coming soon’ listings
As mentioned earlier, coming soon listings are used to premarket properties. They allow sellers to garner interest and invite queries before their properties officially hit the market. This way they can gauge popularity, attract offers and sell their home much faster once they go onto the MLS.
For sellers, this speeds up the whole process considerably, and they don’t have to worry about their home being unsold on the market for a long time, affecting its value and buyer interest.
But that’s not all. Agents also benefit from the coming soon feature. Firstly, these listings are exclusive, so there is a much higher chance for a single agent to bag a dual agency contract (representing both the seller and the buyer), which means more commission for him/her.
Up until now you coming soon listings probably seem like a good idea to you; a feature which benefits sellers and agents, selling properties faster and bringing in more commission. However, a lot of agents and associations are apprehensive about these listings becoming a major practice, especially if they are promoted on major real estate portals which have millions of users.
There are several issues and questions that arise, and we will be discussing all of them in future posts. Meanwhile, what do you think are the disadvantages? Share your thoughts with us the in comments section.