Is It Time For a Multiple Buyer Listing Service?

Is it time for an MLS database of active buyers?

I ponder this on the heels of difficulties in locating quality resale homes amidst the bank owned rubble of today’s market.

We have long been beholden to the seller in the Real Estate hierarchy as a home listing sets all subsequent wheels in motion. Cooperating agents are alerted to the new offering. Those agents, in turn, seek matches for the property against their current active buyer rolodex.

Is it time we turned that seller oriented paradigm on its ear?

I’m wondering if I’m alone in my thinking when I posit that it would be beneficial to reach agents via the broad scale of the MLS with our buyer needs. We tout such needs at office meetings and tour groups, so why not disseminate them across a collective platform? No need to be strictly beholden to the current crop of listings when we could create a database for all agents to peruse based on buyer specific criteria (location, price, size, etc preferences).  In addition to helping match up buyers with forthcoming properties that have yet to hit the market, I imagine such a beast could help potential sellers gauge the level of demand for their properties prior to “testing the market.” What a tremendous listing tool as well. Imagine looking through the day’s hotsheet for new buyer needs to find a potential match for a would-be seller who has been on the fence about putting his home on the market.

“Mr. Seller, there are now 7 listed buyers for a home that fits your exact parameters. That is up from 3 last month. It’s time to throw this thing on the market.”

In this regard, such a dual database of homes for sale and active buyers could serve the interests of both parties. A seller could opt to keep the general public at bay and make his home available only to those buyers his listing agent targets as candidates (no sign in the yard, no nosey neighbors, no showings with little to no notice), and a buyer could tap into the burgeoning inventory of almost sellers.

If we are to consider the Multiple Listing Service as Match.com for Real Estate buyers and sellers, why does half of that equation gets the benefit of perusing the pictures and profiles of prospective mates while keeping their own buckteeth hidden behind a pixelated avatar?

Precautions would have to be taken for privacy concerns, of course, but such obstacles are not insurmountable. Only buyers signed to Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreements would constitute suitable “listing” candidates.

What say you forward thinkers of the Real Estate industry and interested members of the consuming public, care to join me for some impromptu brainstorming? Is it time for dual databases for buyers and sellers?

Or have I been eating too many paint chips again?

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  • We have a system in our MLS called reverse prospecting. Agents that have searches saved for a buyer client come up. I can pull up with agents (not their clients) have searches saved that my listing might work for.

    I have sent many listings to specific agents because their buyers meet the criteria. I also have sent those agents a “pre-MLS” note if I have a house coming on the market, but say the sellers are doing some work and it isn’t quite MLS ready. I will send them an email to let them know so that buyers can do drive bys and such while the seller’s finish projects.

    It might be that your MLS already has a system, but no one uses it?

    I also know an agent on the east coast that has a Buyer match part to her website where she lists what her buyers are looking for and she lets other agents put their buyers on there as well. Apparently it has done pretty well.

    You aren’t alone on this idea.
    Melina Tomson´s last blog post ..Like a bad party hangover…

  • We’ve had reverse prospecting capability for awhile, Melina. It gets some use, but it’s kind of the red-headed stepchild of the MLS. It’s more of a function than a database. I’d like to see a big, shiny resource for actually listing client needs instead of deconstructing search parameters to find possible overlays.

  • Chuck Williams

     Paul check out http://www.BuyerMLS.com and let me know what you think.

  • Intriguing, Chuck. Appears to be pretty much the exact platform I had in mind. Of course, now with the market swinging back towards limited inventory, not sure how relevant it will be in the immediate future. I like it as a long-term strategy, though. 

  • Marketing Dept
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Paul Slaybaugh is here to sell houses and chew bubble gum. He's all out of bubble gum. More About Me >>>

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