Since the COVID-19 outbreak we’ve noticed several MLS’s that are allowing listing agents to put their direct contact info in the public comments section of their listings. That means the listing agents’ phone numbers and websites are showing up on our IDX sites now. Here are a couple examples from Nashville and DC:
We’ve seen this happen so far in Nashville, San Jose and Washington DC. The San Jose MLS said they’re doing it to facilitate buyers being able to contact listing agents directly for “virtual tours” and “Facebook live tours”. That seems very short-sighted of them because our IDX sites already have links to non-branded virtual tours.
Anyone else seeing this trend in their markets? I’m concerned that if this catches on it may be hard to put that genie back in the bottle when all this is over. And that’s an existential threat to IDX lead gen websites like ours. To counter this we’ve turned on Forced Registration in those markets but that’s not a great solution because even after they register with us they’re probably still going to contact the listing agent directly if we’re serving up their phone number right in front of them.