Real Estate

The secret is out: Agents use this free tool for lead generation

Agents in most markets are operating in a limited inventory environment. For brokers, top agents keep an eye out for the next brokerage that will best position them for growth. They need to retain their team and find new talent. That’s why both agents and brokers need to expand their toolset to include rentals.

This brings us to the secret way top performers leverage rental listings for new business: sending their MLS feed of rentals to Apartments.com. We went straight to the source and asked the experts at Apartments.com for a deeper understanding of how it works and why it matters.

Q: Isn’t Apartments.com only for big apartment complexes in urban areas?

Apartments.com has all types of rental properties in every corner of the country—including houses, townhomes, condos, and duplexes—not just big apartment complexes in urban areas. In fact, we have over 300,000 active listings that are viewed over 20 million times a month and 38% of searches are from outside the market where the renter currently lives.

We’ve also seen an increase in out-of-market searches, as the coronavirus pandemic is no doubt having a big impact on where the labor force will live and move in the coming months and years.

Q: How does an agent receive leads from rental listings shown on Apartments.com?

By partnering with MLSs across the country, all of the rental listings on those platforms are placed across seven popular rental websites in our network including ForRent.com, ApartmentFinder.com, Apartmenthomeliving.com, Forrentuniversity.com for those looking for off campus housing near colleges and universities, Westsiderentals.com for Southern California, and Apartamentos.com for Spanish speaking renters.

Not only does this ensure that those listings get huge exposure from our renter audience, but all leads coming in from those listings are free and exclusive.

“As a Broker Associate and Property Manager, I found Apartments.com very beneficial to my business,” said Amanda Garcia of Sunshine Realty Group in Austin, Texas. “Their tools are useful, easy to navigate, and the leads are real. I recommend that agents, new or experienced, use Apartments.com for leads and to syndicate all lease listings when placing a home on the MLS.”

Q: What is the actual process of getting an MLS feed onto Apartments.com?

The first step is to have your MLS work with us to set up a data feed. You may have to go directly to your MLS and opt in to share your listings. If you’re not sure where your MLS stands, you can use the MLS Lookup tool to find out if your local MLS is currently a data feed partner.

“This is a win-win for both renters, brokers, and agents because getting more listing data onto our site provides the renter with the most extensive rental information,” said Barbara Perez, Apartments.com West Coast Regional Industry Relations Manager. “Getting more rental listing data directly from MLSs helps to keep the quality of the listing data high as well as consistent.”

If your local MLS doesn’t support rental listings, you can feed them directly to Apartments.com by contacting the team at industryrelations@apartments.com.

Q: What are brokers missing when they do not leverage Apartments.com?

As the largest rental listing network, we set a record in 2020 with over one billion total renter visits, strengthening our position as the #1 online rental network ahead of RentPath and Zillow.

Also, Apartments.com is the leading choice among renters. In a recent NMHC/Kingsley renter study, 3 out 4 said they would start their next search with Apartments.com, while only half said Zillow. And most buyers begin as renters. Statistics show 56% of Millennials (age 25 to 40 years old) and 46% of Gen-X (age 41-56 yrs old) were renting when they decided to buy.

“We deliver value to brokers and agents that sites like Zillow and others can’t,” said Simon Law, Apartments.com Senior Vice President – Operations. “Not only do we not charge for MLS listings or leads, but we don’t compete for their business as a broker.”

This is why incorporating rentals and prioritizing renters into an agent/broker business plan is so important. It will feed your pipeline for the future!

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