Chicago brokerage develops app to share pocket listings

March 8, 2013 Leave a comment

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comment from @properties that the @gent app is not intended to be used to keep deals in house. Unless sellers have requested that properties be treated as “pocket listings,” @properties places them in the multiple listing service within 48 hours of receiving a signed listing agreement.

Chicago-based brokerage @properties has developed an app that allows its 1,100 agents to market their properties to each other before they’re listed in the multiple listing service.

The app, @gent, functions like Twitter, allowing the company’s agents to post, exchange messages and track topics of interest using hashtags, @properties said.

Conversations that develop in the app — which @properties says is compatible with mobile devices, tablets and desktops — have helped agents close deals on pocket listings (listings that aren’t posted on an MLS).

“Our 1,100 agents form a powerful ‘market within a market.’ The app makes that market incredibly efficient,” said Thaddeus Wong, who co-founded @properties with Michael Golden, in a statement. “It has generated about a dozen off-market transactions since the launch. It’s a game changer for our brokers and a huge benefit to their clients.”

The app, designed by Chicago-based startup Yapmo, may also increase the odds that @properties agents end up representing both sides of a transaction, since only @properties agents have access to it and the listing information stored in it. Illinois law allows two agents at the same brokerage to represent the buyer and the seller in the same transaction as “designated agents.”

Source: Inman News

Categories: Uncategorized

Real Estate Resolution for 2013 — join!

January 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

We have a Real Estate Resolution for you: join .Why? Here’s just one reason- our Real Estate Match™ service.

Every day, we receive multiple emails of off-market (not in MLS, not yet in MLS, pocket, temporarily off market, off the market for the holidays/summer etc.) listings and buyer needs emails from non-members of . We see so many missed opportunities of matching a buyer need from one brokerage to a listing from another brokerage.

We’ve also noticed that many of these agents that email us are members of top agent networks. If top agent networks were an effective marketing platform, then why are these same agents sharing their “private listings” outside of these exclusive networks? We believe that top agent networks are an old school way to sell real estate. These membership networks only allow the sharing of listings amongst their group and are not searchable to anyone outside of that network. It doesn’t offer much more of a benefit than a mass email or sharing at an office meeting.

So make a New Years resolution not to waste time searching through old emails to find that pocket listing email or the buyer need email, from “what agent was it? ” “Did I see that email last week or was it last month?”  “What brokerage was that again?”

Let’s us do the work for you with trademarked Real Estate Match™ service.

Once you post your pocket listing or buyer need, we do some behind the scenes magic to show you potential matches for that post that might be suitable to you and your clients. If no matches display right after you submit your post, don’t panic. We’ll email you as soon as a match hits our site, and we automatically produce a Saved Search/Match for your post in your Control Panel, which you can always login and refer to later.

The old way of selling real estate is one sided: seller markets property, buyers search. We let you do that too, but now there is a new kid on the block…Real Estate Match™, enabling both sides of the equation to be heard, and matches to be made. It’s dating for real estate!


Your matches show up here in your Control Panel.


Happy New Year, Happy Selling and Happy Matching!

Pocket Listings: Myths-busted!

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

We came across an article from Bryan Robertson of the Sereno group and had to share it! There have been a slew of recent articles about why pocket listings are bad for business. We aren’t buying any of those claims, they are myths and not the real reason some agents don’t like pocket listings. Bryan will bust those myths below.

Mention “pocket listings” to most real estate agents and they’ll tell you myriad reasons why they’re bad for the agents, sellers, and appraisers.  The local MLS will try to fine agents with pocket listings and the local REALTOR leadership will raise ethics concerns.  All of this done – even if the agent has an “exclude from MLS form”.  There’s a real reason for why REALTORS don’t like “pocket listings” (aka “off market listings”) and it has nothing to do with any of that.

recently article published by NAR would have us believe that homes not placed on the MLS:

– skew a buyers perspective of the market

– aren’t available as comparables for appraisers, agents, etc

– a disservice to clients (sellers)

Let’s do a little “Mythbusters” investigation on all those claims to see which ones really hold water.  Then I’ll tell you what is really behind this movement.

CLAIM 1:  Skews a buyers market perspective – FALSE!  When an off-market listing comes on the market around Silicon Valley the listing agent often sends the information to other agents and managers to “get the word out”.  They usually get a solid response and the home sells pretty much at market rates.

CLAIM 2:  Aren’t available as comps – FALSE!  This is just plain laziness.  Seriously, you can’t look in the tax records to find a comp?  If you can’t find enough market comps the next place to look is the tax records.  It’s not that hard to do – stop whining.

CLAIM 3:  A disservice to clients – FALSE!  If the client wants to list “off market”, that’s their choice.  There are many reasons including privacy, price range, strong buyer demand, and others that mean the seller will do just fine selling off market.  It is very rare a buyer gets a “deal”.  What the buyer gets is less hassle.


The MLS is designed to ensure a level playing field by getting listings to all agents.  If a listing isn’t on the MLS it means that the only agents who know about it are the ones who are active, engaged, and networked.  The idea that a small group of agents, or a single agent, could have an unfair advantage with buyers or sellers just drives the leadership nuts.  Never mind the fact that this is already a very competitive business.

My advice for agents wanting to stop pocket listings – don’t.  Just do a better job of being connected to learn what the market is doing. Personally, the agent who knows about a lot of pocket listings is probably more on top of the market than someone who just checks the MLS.  Think about that.

Alex Clark, Founder of

“Up until now MLS was the only game in town to share listings easily between brokerages, but as we’ve said before, now there is the internet. Technology has changed dramatically in the past 5-10 years and some sellers realize they can get the price they want without ever going through the headaches of being on MLS (open houses, days on market, public price reductions, etc.). The only people that suffer are the agents programmed to only look for property for their buyers on MLS. Our job as agents (yes, I am an active, licensed agent selling real estate on and off our MLS) is to work for our clients and yield a high sales price. Exposure is the name of the game, and if a property can be exposed via internet, email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, a blog, a website, and so many other avenues that didn’t exist when MLS was conceived. The argument about hoarding commissions is just lame. Use your negotiating skills to not only secure a pocket listing for your buyer, but also make sure you get a fair commission.  Pocket Listings are not illegal, they are not unethical, and they are not unfair.  The only people that complain about them are the agents that don’t have the wherewithal to adjust to the changing landscape that is marketing real estate for sale. It’s high time an alternative to MLS comes along, and it’s just a matter of time before MLS, as we know it today, either adapts or goes away,” Alex Clark

 Source: Active Rain

Jaw-Dropping Pocket Listing

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

One word: WOW!

Location: Palmetto Bluff, S.C.
Price: $6,250,000
The Skinny: Not yet officially on the market, this classic Lowcountry estate occupies 24 acres within the 20,000-acre resort community of Palmetto Bluff, a newish conservation-minded development between Savannah and Hilton Head. This casual compound, centered around a luxurious-yet-unpretentious 5,200-square-foot main house, includes a three-bedroom guest house and a four-car detached garage. Despite the rural setting there are plenty of amenities integrated into the Palmetto Bluff resort, including an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, four restaurants, a boathouse, a lawn and racquet club, an equestrian center, and the Auberge spa. That desirable combination of first-class amenities and down-home country setting brings high prices, as this estate is asking $6.25M, despite having just two bedrooms in the main house.


Is Spring really the best time to sell your home?

December 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Monthly Home Sales 2000-2011 Infographic Provided by

I’ve been advocating for listing your property for sale during the typical doldrums for years, and occasionally a few brave souls take the plunge. Have a look at this image below and the data used to arrive at the conclusion next time you think it’s best to wait til Spring or Summer.

Why should you list your home right now and not wait until everyone else? It’s simple: Supply and Demand. The buyers are still out there, but the homes for sale are not. So when a good one comes up, it’s like chum in a pool of great whites.

As an example, I was at two open houses Sunday with a client, one at 468 Noe, the other at 442-444 Noe. It looked like a holiday block party, or a daytime Halloween Trick or Treat extravaganza. It was a madhouse! So many buyers…serious buyers…walking in and out of those homes. When I hold my own open houses I usually have to stay at the front door and greet visitors. At these open houses I was able to walk around and hear the conversations. Real conversations about what it will take to “win” it. How will their financing stack up against a potential cash buyer. They could “live with the kitchen”, or “we’re definitely going to remodel”. It’s the same with just about every other good house, priced right, in a good location. San Francisco simply has more buyers than good, quality, property for sale, and so I say again…it’s a great time to sell.

Buyers are out there. Don’t wait until your competition lists their home for sale.

Categories: Real Estate, Seller

Tis The Season For “Temp-Off-The-Market” Listings

November 29, 2012 Leave a comment

This week and last, I’ve seen countless emails like this from real estate professionals:

” My listing is off MLS for the holidays, but still available.”

” Withdrawn in MLS, but seller wants to sell before Spring!”

” Not back on MLS until January, but actively showing. Motivated Sellers!”

” Off MLS for holidays, but can still show with some notice.”

During the past two weeks, in Marin and San Francisco, almost 100 listings have been withdrawn or temporarily taken off the market- but they aren’t really off the market.  

Contrary to popular belief, homes DO sell during the holiday season. Last year, in San Francisco alone, there were over 350 homes sold from November 15th through the end of the year.

So how do you market your listing during the holidays when it’s off MLS and your sellers still expect you to sell their home before Spring? You use Why? On any post can be searched, linked to, ranked, Shared, emailed, marketed, and seen by potentially thousands of people around the world. We also feed every post you do to our Twitter page  (over 1800 followers) and to our Facebook (over 1600 friends).

Your sellers may go dark for the holiday, but your listing doesn’t have to!

“Hip Pockets”

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

In Dallas, pocket listings are “hip.”

The vast majority of home sellers who list their homes with an agent put the property in the multiple listing service and stick a sign in the yard. But more and more folks opt to market their property on the down low. Agents in Dallas call them hip-pocket listings.

The number of such off-market home deals has ballooned as the number of properties available has declined in Dallas-area neighborhoods. The trend is especially gaining steam in affluent neighborhoods in North Dallas, Highland Park and Lakewood.

“With the shortage of inventory — especially in the Park Cities — more hip-pockets are selling,” said Amy Detwiler, an agent with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. “A lot of people prefer private sales because they don’t want to put their house on the open market.

“It is privacy issue,” says Detwiler, who estimates that 30 percent of the sales in her office are hip-pocket transactions. “Sometimes I put a sign up after the transaction closes, but not before.”So rather than endure legions of weekend lookie-loos and have images of the inside of their properties plastered all over the Internet, these buyers and their agents keep the listing a secret.

Well, sort of. To sell the house, someone has to know about it. “We rely on our Realtor network to get the word out for hip-pocket listings,” said Karen Luter of Allie Beth Allman and Associates. “We have a hot sheet, and they get spread around at Realtor networking groups,” she said.

Luter said some sellers she represents don’t want to go through the entire process of putting their house on the MLS, with photographs and scheduling open houses.

“There is also an unspoken prestige with hip-pocket listings,” she said. She’s marketing another North Dallas property that the owner doesn’t want to list formally right now. If it doesn’t sell, the home might get a traditional listing after the first of the year.

“If they have a great property, they can give it a shot,” she said. “But the property has to be very unique — it has to be best in show.”The scant number of homes on the market in some neighborhoods is the chief reason off-market listings are on the rise, agents and analysts agree.

“It says that market for good listings is getting very tight,” said Steve Murray, founder of Colorado-based residential brokerage consulting firm Real Trends Inc. “This is happening in other markets as well, especially in higher-priced segments.

“This may be the case for some time as prices haven’t recovered enough to bring new supplies of inventory to match the demand from buyer.”

The number of homes for sale in North Texas has dropped about a third since mid-2010. There is only a 4.5-month supply of houses on the market. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market by real estate analysts.

“In a seller’s market, you always have more hip-pocket listings as the market turns around,” said agent Lydia Player of Ebby Halliday Realtors. “And it still only works if you have a realistic price — people aren’t going to overpay.” “We have only a two-month inventory in that neighborhood,” she said. “And the owners don’t want to have a parade of people through their home.

There’s a lot happening that never shows up in the MLS numbers.


Source: DallasNews