Close Up On a Major Marketing Fail

You’ve got to pity some sellers. Granted, they are the ones who choose their agents but you sometimes have to wonder if they really know what they’re signing up for when their agents tell them all the wonderful things they do for marketing.

There’s one brokerage out here who has a specific, mandatory form that sings that praises of listing syndication because marketing is about “maximum exposure” and that the brokerage strong believes syndicating listings is a solid business practice.

I wonder how they would explain this to their sellers, then:

This bit of marketing stupidity does not come from one of said brokerage’s listings. Rather, it comes from another of the scores of agents who have drunk deeply from the maximum exposure as marketing panacea Kool-Aid, someone who sent the listing to our friends at Zillow and never took a look to see how the listing looked.

Perhaps they’d be interested to know that I have a buyer interested in the home, based not on the list price but on the estimate of value (her words) as provided by Zillow. It seems she believes the Zestimate to be the gospel truth so, rather than starting a discussion about the home’s value based on the reality of the market, our conversation is beginning with trying to convince a buyer they can’t believe the Zlies that Zillow tells.

As it turns out, the comps don’t really justify the list price but the house comps better than the Zestimate. We’ll be having that conversation into the night, me thinks.

In the interim, there are thousands of other buyers (if you believe the Zmarketing Zhype pimped by Zillow) that are going to look at this house and see it as overpriced.

Maximum exposure means nothing when the exposure sends the wrong message. And, call me crazy, but I think “overpriced by 30%” definitely is the wrong message.

I would say that I’d be interested to see how proponents of blind syndication will spin this in the comments, but it’s a false hope. After all of these years, and during these months of increased focus on the foibles of listing syndication, not a single one of these people – the syndicators, the proponents, no one – has been able to explain how an online listing picture like the one above helps a seller.

Could be that the answer – there’s no way it does – is unassailable. And yet the debate continues.

Want to know how I handle syndication? Click here. It’s a remarkably simple concept.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at

1 Comment

  • Another Investor 6 years ago

    Looks like it sold in 2009 for $170,000.  The somewhat larger house next door is listed at $237,900.  There is apparently a disconnect between optimistic sellers and buyers with checkbooks in this neighborhood, even without Zillow weighing in. 

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