Good news! Changes to Realtor.com mean cost savings for you

Good news! Changes to Realtor.com mean cost savings for you

Do you remember the “red spinning house”? Answering “yes” might date you, but for those who haven’t been in the business as long as some of us, this was an icon on Realtor.dom listings. The icon linked to a listing’s virtual tour.

Over the years the red spinning house has disappeared, replaced by various text links and now reduced to the single word “Tour.” But for all these years, whether it was a red spinning house or just a word, that link cost you $20-$25 per listing. Or, you could avoid the fee by upgrading to a Showcase Listing.

But now that fee is going away. As of July 1, Realtor.com will no longer require PicturePath® program members like Mediamax to collect the fee. Confusingly, their API (instructions that let platforms like Mediamax, Obeo and others talk to Realtor.com) will still show the fee on the screen to post the link, but you won’t be charged. Here’s hoping they fix that soon.

I always thought it was odd that Realtor.com charged its members for links to virtual tours. That they’ve done this for so long, I think, has put them in an uncompetitive position compared to Zillow and Trulia. Anyway, why not encourage members to make their listings as robust as possible? Apparently, the site’s powers that be think so, too. Realtor.com has announced a series of upgrades to its listings, including allowing agents to post up to 36 photos, and allowing brokerages to include hyperlinks to listing display pages on their websites. Read the whole news release here.

These changes are good news for all of you – and for the real estate industry in general. They suggest to me that Realtor.com is on a mission to regain its No. 1 ranking compared to Zillow and Trulia. I’d say it’s about time.

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