Property Listing Syndication for Property Management and Real Estate Companies

Let’s say you are a property management company dealing in individual residential units and multifamily community rentals and asset management. Your property managers and leasing agents manage over 3,000 units and 400+ are available for rent. Your admins, agents and/or managers are spending hours every week manually uploading their listings to MLS, Rentals.com, Apartments.com, Zillow.com, Google Base, Truli, Hotpads.com and dozens more (or worse they don’t do this at all). This is time consuming and inefficient in your mind, as you would like to see the property managers driving business, growing your inventory and keeping their owners and tenants happy. This is a common scenario and I am going to talk a little bit about how you can work toward reducing the number of touch-points when marketing and advertising listings. This applies to standard real estate brokerages as well, so real estate agents and brokers, this is for you too!

The first step is to identify where in the setup of a new listing into your systems (Yardi Voyarger, Propertyware, In-house system for listing management) you would like to have as your “source” for all listing information, such as the property description, marketing title, address, photos and all other associated information. This is important because it will determine whether you will need to hire a developer to integrate with those systems. Some of them provide built-in ability to pull this type of information out, while others do not without very expensive support from the vendor.

Step two is to decide which real estate websites you think are most effective for your listings. For rental listings I recommend the following websites to syndicate to (automatically send your listings):

Syndication

Unpaid Syndication Partners (free):

Yahoo Real Estate
Googlebase
Zillow
Trulia
Oodle
Military.com
Walmart Classifieds
BackPage.com
Local.com
Lycos Classified
Rented Spaces (AOL)
MySpace classifies
CLRSearch
HotPads
Vast.com
Enormo
RentBits
Yakaz
Layar
Aloqa
Trovit
Twitter – Hotpads
Twitter – Your house account
Facebook – Oodle
Facebook – Your house account

Paid Syndication Partners:

RentalHomesPlus.com
Rentals.com

In order to be able to automate your rental listings I recommend using one of three primary technologies (although not the only method):

1. HTTP DATA POST
2. XML POST
3. Third party syndication

HTTP Data Post and XML Posts both require a developer or consultant to build the system out for you. There are some advantages of these first two options that #3 “third party syndication” cannot do, such as allow you to have aggregated reporting and tracking for all leads. In the case of option #3, I recommend using Realbird.com – a real estate agent/broker targeted site that allows you to manually upload your listings and syndicate to many of the sites I listed above for $89/year. Because this does require a manual upload and management of the listings (expired, etc…) it leaves something to be desired in the way of efficiency, but will be the least expensive from a hard cost standpoint. After you factor in time of your employees to manage the inventory you may be surprised how much it is costing you and your staff.

Using HTTP Data Posts or XML to pull your listing data from your management software to your company’s website, then syndicating it from there is the ideal method. It allows you to integrate with CRM or leads management software to track all calls, email and other touch-points across your own websites and other websites you don’t own! I will have an entire blog post about leads management sometime next week, so keep an eye out for that.

Unfortunately there’s no do-it-yourself guide to listing syndication, but it is absolutely possible with the right consultant driving the project. Plan to spend anywhere from $10,000 – $50,000 depending on the complexity and nature of the project. This should give you some idea of how to budget. The investment is well worth it long term especially when you factor in integration with leads management.

Please post any questions you may have about your business and I will try to respond with specifics to help point you in the right direction. Until next time.

Managing Your Real Estate – Call the Experts

Sydney is right now the hottest real estate investment hub. As the capital of the New South Wales, this city has a vibrant feel to it as it takes position as the financial center of Australia and one of the leading financial capitals in the Asia Pacific. Housing Australia’s skilled workforce in the largest numbers and vying for attention as the leading provider of services in the areas of insurance, real estate, communications, manufacturing and of course, finance, Sydney is poised to take a gigantic leap as far as property prices are concerned.

If you are a property investor holding prime property in the city of Sydney, it is necessary to ensure that your valuable investment is properly managed. Consulting companies understand the time constraints faced by their clients and ensure that all aspects of property management of your real estate investments in Sydney are taken care of professionally. With their vast expertise in property management, they are the ideal property consultants to help you manage your real estate investments in Sydney.

If you have investments in the fast growing areas of Sydney such as Glenorie, Bellevue Hills, Malabar, Artamon, Palm Beach and Leura, they will make sure that you get the best rentals based on the locations and the type of property that you have. Consulting Groups maintains a positive and pro-active approach in the area of property management. They make sure that your valuable real estate investments in the prime areas of Sydney have the relevant protection by way of proper insurance. They also make sure that all mandatory payments connected to the property such as strata fees, water rates and council rates are organized for timely payment.

Proper maintenance of property is of prime importance to ensure that they attract high quality tenants and you get the best rentals. For this purpose, Consulting Groups has a team of experienced utility service providers such as plumbers, contractors and janitorial services providers who services have been utilized by the company and who are known to deliver on time and at rates that are highly affordable.

Real Estate Wealth Management – Tangible Secured Investments

With the volatility of the market today, many investors are seeking to secure their investments in traditional, conventional, and parsimonious investment vehicles. With the Recession of 2008 still lingering in the United States and throughout most of the industrialized world, consumers and investors are becoming increasingly risk averse. Safety and security has become the norm for the once thrill seekers in the financial world; the days of “cowboy financing” are over.

Today, real estate has become synonymous with adverse volatility and wanton recklessness. The layman investor cringes at the sound of real estate investments and “quick buck” short sales. However, there is one facet of this industry that may still prove stable and profitable for the serious and disciplined investor, commercial property. Unlike residential properties, there are no emotional ties to investment property; commercial property itself holds no intrinsic value. What makes commercial property valuable is its income producing potential, the proverbial rate-of-return.

Despite the dire prognosis of a declining commercial property market, prudent underwriting and proper wealth management strategies of commercial property portfolios will produce more security for investors. The term “real estate wealth management” in and of itself is a novel concept which encompasses the idea of managing a portfolio not of intangible securities in the form of stocks, bonds, REIT’s, MBS’s and futures, but of tangible income producing property. Commercial investment real estate wealth management is not merely a single “quick and dirty” transaction concept but a long well developed relationship between firms and clients. Instead of seeking refuge behind the steadiness of gold and the trustworthiness of the T-bill (which offer at best rates of return equal to CPI), innovative investors can seek comfort and profits in commercial a asset that is properly underwritten and managed. Investors looking to place vulnerable capital in secure investments can look towards commercial property to provide at minimum twice the rate of return of T-bills and commodities. After all, the main intention of commodity/ETF trading is to protect investors from anticipated inflation.

Well managed commercial property portfolios have historically offered investors between 8% – 12% net return on their investments depending on the type of property and its market. Firms that manage commercial real estate property portfolios should always begin by assessing the amount of risk their clients are willing to incur. For instance, an investor in his mid to late 40’s can incur more risk than someone in their mid to late 60’s. As a result, the former investor, after consulting with his/her investment real estate wealth management firm, can determine that purchasing or lending capital on hospitality properties is appropriate since capitalization rates for those types of properties tend to be higher in today’s market. The latter investor, being closer to retirement age, may prefer acquiring or lending capital on properties such as multifamily or Class-A office that do not offer such exuberant returns, however offer substantially less risk.

The rise of investment real estate wealth management firms that can advise, broker, manage and seek financing for serious commercial property investors will bring more stability to the commercial real estate market. “Cowboy financing” will be reduced thus decreasing the amount of frivolous commercial real estate loans written as witnessed during the recent bull market.

The economic concept of the “principal-agent problem”, which arises in the existence of asymmetric information will be reduced as it exists between a borrower and lender/ mortgage broker where the agent (borrower) is weary of the self-interest motives of the principal (lender/mortgage broker). This reduction of inefficiency will occur since commercial real estate wealth management firms will be representing investors’ best interest in their future financial endeavors, thus establishing a relationship of trust and benevolence. This is a concept similar to the relationship investors have with their accounting and legal advisors, whereas in the instance of a real estate wealth management firm, investors can rely on a professional to acquire, finance, and manage their real estate investments hence increasing their net worth.