by David Perlmutter

What is the greatest barrier to trying a new commercial real estate listing service?

We understand that people are reluctant to try new real estate technology, and we want to understand better what those reasons are. That's why we conducted the following poll, "What is the greatest barrier to trying a new commercial real estate listing service?" The results were quite interesting. Only 24% of the respondents said that their greatest barrier was that they were happy with their existing service. That's hardly an enthusiastic endorsement for the market leaders.
The largest cohort, 48%, responded that they did not try new a new listing service because of the expense. Another 15% felt that the time to add listings was what's holding them back from trying a different service. 13% answered Other, but did not specify what in reply comments.

At QuantumListing, we're trying to remove the friction points for people to try our service. First, we give a three month trial to new users, and after that, we offer several low cost Premium Membership options for individual users and enterprises. Premium Membership comes with an incredible array of features, and it's all for the same price. We don't ask you for your payment information up front, so there is no automatic charge if you don't opt out. You have to opt in to remain a Premium Member. If you don't want to add listings, it is free to search all of our users' listings nationwide.

In order to help prospective users with the other pain point mentioned in the poll, the time to enter their listings, we've got a solution for that as well. We've started offering users "white glove" set up, where we'll enter your listings for you. However, even if you add your listings yourself, it does not take much time. Yesterday, we timed Eli the Intern as he added a listing on the website. It took him one minute and fifteen seconds to add a listing. This was the fourth listing that Eli added, so he knew what he was doing. He's also competitive and wanted to put up a good time. Nonetheless, it gives you a good sense of how fast and easy it is.

Ideally, we prefer that you pay for a year's Premium Membership for us to do the white glove set up, and since we offer all new members three free months, it would give you fifteen months of membership. In this particular case, though, we decided to give this user (actually three users at the same brokerage) white glove set up because we had an interesting conversation with him. This company is situated in Rockland County, NY and are members of the Hudson Gateway Association  of Realtors (HGAR). He puts his commercial listings on HGAR MLS site. He feels that the MLS has one thing going for it that other listing services (including QuantumListing) don't. They require that the brokers send a signed exclusive agency agreement (and extensions if/when applicable) before they'll permit a listing on their site. As a result, the information is more accurate and reliable. All of the commercial listing services have bad information of one kind or another, either naming an agent who isn't the current exclusive agent, or having a property that is no longer available. I wrote about this issue back in November of 2015 in a post, The Fallacy of Accurate Information Services.

One of our objectives at QuantumListing is to keep the cost of Premium Membership low. We don't have the infrastructure in place to review listing agreements for each of our users' listings, and since that is not the current standard in commercial real estate, I think there would likely be substantial resistance to requiring that. We are working on a new module that will help with the issue and accelerate user acquisition but I prefer not to discuss it until it's ready, which will be quite soon.

So, what should be your takeaways from this post? 1) Not many people are happy with their commercial listing services, but don't want to change because of the expense and time required to change. 2) QuantumListing can alleviate those two pain points. 3) We have something in the works that is really exciting!