Crye-Leike Embraces Broker Reciprocity

Nashville, Tenn. – Crye-Leike, the largest real estate company in Tennessee and the Mid-South, is one of the first in Middle Tennessee to embrace a new mandated industry policy that allows real estate brokers to post property listing information from other participating brokers on their Web sites. Industry sources claim this new Internet data display policy to be the most important industry development since the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), making it the next evolutionary step for MLS systems into the electronic age.

Crye-Leike made this business decision of including other participating brokers’ listings on its Web site, “to promote the best interests of its clients, to enhance cooperation between Realtors and to use the Internet to better serve its clients and customers,” announced Harold E. Crye, chief executive officer.

Posting all participating brokers’ listings for sale in the Middle Tennessee area onto Crye-Leike’s Web site (www.crye-leike.com) allows consumers to access a complete inventory of what is on the market. They can view not only Crye-Leike’s current inventory base of over 2,500 listings within eight counties in the Greater Nashville area but also an additional 23,000 active listings for sale in Middle Tennessee. Those Middle Tennessee listings span 41 counties and include residential, condos, lands, lots, farms and multi-family dwelling properties. Crye-Leike of Nashville, Inc. represents 13 percent of the listings within eight counties in Middle Tennessee. (See chart)

Millions of consumers visit Internet Web sites each month to search for information on real estate for sale. Property listings are available on thousands of sites everywhere on the Web, from local newspaper Web sites to national real estate listing aggregator sites such as Realtor.com, many of which are not broker owned or controlled by Realtors.

In anticipation of the increasing use of Web sites by Realtors, leadership at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) determined how real estate applications on the Internet could be enhanced so that all Realtors can inform and serve their customers. They developed a new Internet data display policy, known by several names, including Internet Data Display (IDD), Internet Data Exchange (IDX) and broker reciprocity, that enables brokers to participate in displaying one another’s MLS listings on their own Web sites.

The NAR policy mandates that IDX be available through local Multiple Listing Service systems by January 1, 2002, a date selected to encourage uniform Internet listing opportunities for all Realtors. Brokers can elect whether to participate or not, referred to as ‘opting in’ or ‘opting out.’

“Out of the 815 real estate brokers in the Middle Tennessee Region, there were less than 2 percent (15) that decided to ‘opt out’ of the IDX program,” said Stuart White, chief executive officer of RealTracs Solutions, formerly Middle Tennessee Regional Multiple Listing Service.

“It makes perfect business sense for the industry, ” said Crye. “Online, the only commodity is information. Enabling brokers to display on their Web sites a vast listing of all real estate properties for sale in their area is a significant development. It’s a powerful new tool that positions real estate brokers as information providers as well as service providers.”

Crye-Leike of Nashville Inc., which has 21 branch and franchise offices in 10 counties in Middle Tennessee, initiated its broker reciprocity Web site in October 2001 within the Middle Tennessee area.    “Crye-Leike is a strong proponent of broker reciprocity,” said Gurtej Sodhi, chief information officer of Crye-Leike. “We feel it enhances the consumers’ experience, giving them a full view instead of partial view of the listings available in their areas. Consumers become more confident that they are not missing anything when they can view more than just the companies’ listings.”

Crye-Leike’s information technology division reports that the company’s Web site has experienced a 25 percent increase in Web traffic since broker reciprocity was enacted on its site. By late January, Crye-Leike plans to broaden its Web site database to include other brokers’ listings within the Greater Memphis and Chattanooga areas. Since Crye-Leike belongs to a total of nine Multiple Listing Service networks, it has future plans to include on its Web site listings from its other market areas. Those areas include:  Athens, Tenn.; North Mississippi; Tupelo, Miss.; West Memphis and Jonesboro, Ark; and Johnson City, Tenn.

The Web sites of the John L. Scott and Windermere real estate firms in Seattle (where reciprocity has been working for three years) are experiencing between 12 and 18 million hits per month, according to senior firm managers. They attribute this to the relatively complete databases of listings that they can offer consumers.

“A nationwide adoption of broker reciprocity won’t affect the basic underpinnings of the real estate industry because all real estate transactions are based on trusted relationships, including those between listing and selling brokers and brokers and agents,” said Crye. “Realtors have always taken the position that an open exchange of information benefits both sellers and buyers.”

Crye-Leike (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for 25 years, is the nation’s 13th largest real estate company and the largest serving Tennessee and the Mid-South. It has a network of over 2,200 sales associates and 55 branch and franchise offices located in 25 counties throughout a five-state Mid-South region in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia. Crye-Leike attained sales of $2.9 billion and 20,406 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2000.

The National Association of Realtors, the voice for real estate, is America’s largest trade association, representing nearly 800,000 members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

RealTracs Solutions, formerly Middle Tennessee Regional Multiple Listing Service, is a regional

multiple listing service (MLS), providing MLS services for 41 counties in Middle Tennessee and affecting over 7,000 real estate agents in more than 650 offices. As a full service corporation, it provides telecommunication services, networking Web hosting services for brokerages and agents through their service area as well as sells cell phones and Realtor Web pages.

 

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