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4 Reasons We’re Excited About Immobel’s Global Listing Exchange

July 11 2011

In the process of writing our product review for Immobel's multi-language IDX translation and REAL-Buzz portal, we learned about several other Immobel innovations. We had to keep a narrow focus for our product review, but we made a note to come back to these other features at a later date. We've decided that today is the day. We got in touch with Janet Choynowski of Immobel and she brought us up-to-speed.

Here are several of the features we found most exciting:

1) Revenue generation in a struggling market. Many agents in the U.S. are having a difficult time moving their own properties. As they get creative to ensure a consistent income for themselves and their families, new methods of revenue generation are incredibly valuable.

With Immobel's global listing exchange, real estate professionals worldwide agree to share their listing data. At the same time, many of these professionals have expressed their interest in Immobel's referral network. To help you understand how this listing exchange/referral network works, let's give an example:

French real estate agent has many clients who would like to purchase property in Florida. French agent does not know any real estate agents in Florida, but hates telling his valued clients that he can't help them. French agent signs on for Immobel's listing exchange and shows Florida properties on his site. If clients express interest in buying in Florida, French agent can locate a Florida agent on the referral network.

French agent can verify Florida agent's credentials and, if he finds them sufficient, he can communicate with the Florida agent. This is easy, even if French agent doesn't speak English. Over Immobel's global listing exchange and referral network, all communications are automatically translated. In addition, Immobel lists the different languages that each agent speaks, so French agent can search specifically for a Florida agent who can speak his clients' language.

So, let's say French agent and Florida agent connect. They establish a mutually beneficial referral fee – a fee, we'd like to add, that is typically up to 25% of the selling agent's commission. French agent wins because he gets a referral fee. Florida agent wins because he has made his commission and discovered a new source of business: international clients.

2) Building a lasting client relationship. The global IDX feature may encourage clients to maintain a more lasting and more comprehensive relationship with their agent. "As agents," says Ms. Choynowski, "people like to believe that they will be the 'go-to' person for all of their past clients' real estate needs. They're disappointed to discover that, when a past client begins to look for property in another area (particularly another country) it may never occur to them to call their local agent." Global IDX is intended to change that.

"With our global IDX, agents are showing clients that they have an international presence," Ms. Choynowski explains. "The client will think of that agent when they go to buy their next house, even if it's not in the same area."

In a similar way, global listing exchange may help agents capture clients. Any homebuyer likes to hear that their property will be placed in front of as many eyes as possible. The fact that an agent has international listings on their website and shares domestic listings with international agents is sure to inspire confidence. In fact, it could be the factor that helps the seller decide to choose the agent.

3) Compliance with rules. Global IDX listings are served under the rules for the area in which the properties exist. Protections are in place so that agents do not have the power to do anything that will impact the data, particularly changes that aren't compliant with local rules. Permissions exist at every level to ensure that the data is accurate, compliant with rules, and is being shared with the data owner's specific intent.

Different, but along similar lines: anyone can opt out at any time. ("Not," says Ms. Choynowski, "that anyone actually has opted out.")

4) It's pretty. No – really! Thumbnails of chic apartments in Paris are certainly eye candy, particularly if they're living in an agent or broker's website and are consistent with that website's branding.

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