When you put your Big Rapids home on the market, your most effective marketing mechanism isn’t the front yard For Sale sign — although that sign is certainly one way to generate valuable neighborhood awareness. It’s not the well-designed ad your Realtor® publishes, even in the most well-read Big Rapids newspaper or magazine — although those expensive insertions can draw valuable inquiries.
Without a doubt, the most powerful marketing mechanism at your disposal is the Big Rapids Multiple Listing Service. (A related short video) Through it, your home’s listing in the Big Rapids MLS is far and away your most potent advertising tool. Although today this seems so obvious that it’s barely worth restating, in important ways that’s a relatively recent development. The Why and the How of today’s listing availability provides an interesting peek ‘under the hood’ of how 21st century real estate works.
Back in real estate’s medieval past (before the Web reached everyone — say, 20 years ago), Big Rapids “listings” took the form of printed sheets distributed between cooperating real estate brokers and agents. They were headed by mug shots of the properties, sometimes — when there were printing issues — less than flattering reproductions.
But even that practice was a modern development. Early in formation of the United States, groups called “Real Estate Exchanges” — the antecedents of today’s Boards of Realtors® — would meet on appointed days to exchange lists of properties their clients wished to sell. In practice, these meetings would often become auctions, with brokers bidding on behalf of their principals for properties they wanted to buy from other brokers.
It was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that the word “multiple” was sometimes applied to the “listing” of properties; but by the Roaring Twenties, the advantages of “multiple listings” were widely accepted. The difference was that now brokers cooperated to combine their separate portfolios of client offerings into integrated master lists…which usually translated into all those sheets of paper in the “orderly collections” of binders on the shelves and in the briefcases of real estate pros. Orderly or not, it took a lot of diligence to keep everything current…
It was a far cry from today’s Big Rapids listings, which can be summoned up instantaneously on computer screens in homes and offices anywhere. Actually, on phones and tablets, no matter where they are! When you think about it, the technology has fundamentally changed the nature of how listings are used. Instead of being information that had to be gathered and shared by real estate professionals who would physically gather for that purpose, today’s MLS listings are available to be inspected and compared by you, the client, yourself — with your Realtor acting as expeditor rather than limiter. It’s the real estate professionals who make sure the parts of the listings on public view are as accurate as possible, and who guide clients all the way from their discovery of the most likely candidate properties through visiting, negotiating, and closing on their next Big Rapids home.
The upshot is that today’s Big Rapids listings are all right here, right now. And as soon as you find the ones you’d like to look into further, I’m right here — standing by for your call!