What we Learned About Aalto, a New Private Off-MLS Listing Platform
November 5, 2019
At last week’s Networking Meeting, we were joined by Stephen Hartley, Head of Operations & Growth at Aalto, an exciting new company offering a private off-MLS platform where agents can list their clients’ homes for sale.
You might ask, why would I want to sell my home off MLS, on a private platform where fewer people can see it? Well, suppose you want to sell your home, but you aren’t in a particular rush and don’t want to deal with random people knocking on your door or neighbors asking you questions. Once you list your home for sale in MLS, your address gets sent out to all major listing platforms (Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, etc.), and at that point you have little control over who will come poking around your home unannounced. By contrast, when you list your home for sale on Aalto, your address is hidden and can only be accessed when an agent registered with Aalto reaches out directly to your listing agent. So if a buyer finds your listing on Aalto and they want more information than just the pictures you’ve posted and basic property specs (Bed/Bath, square footage), they’ll need to have an agent reach out on their behalf. In addition to providing the seller with privacy, this also weeds out lookie-loos, and ensures the people reaching out are serious buyers.
Another benefit of an off-MLS platform, is the ability to market your home for sale without running up your days on market, a feature that is incredibly valuable in itself. Your “days on market” is a metric which represents how long your home has been listed for sale in the MLS. Generally, the higher that number gets, the harder it will be for you to get an offer at your list price. So having the opportunity to market your home for an indefinite amount of time without running that number up is huge. Also, since you are listing outside of the MLS, you can set the price at whatever you want without having to worry about showing a price change if you eventually list it at a different price in the MLS. The two platforms don’t share pricing data.
For listing agents, Aalto is also a great tool for following up with buyer leads. On the back end of the website, you can go in and look at who has either viewed your listing, asked for more information, inquired with an agent, or shared it on a social media platform. It will give you a name, phone number and email address for this person, making it simple and easy to follow up with any potential leads. This is a FANTASTIC feature, as I’m sure most agents are familiar with the struggle of seeing how many people are viewing and favoriting your listing on Zillow and Redfin, but having absolutely no way of knowing who those people are or following up with them for feedback.
So what’s the catch? Unfortunately Aalto currently only serves San Francisco and Marin counties, but they hope to expand to the Peninsula by January 2020. In the meantime, we are testing the platform out with a listing we have in San Francisco. So far…. the results are promising.
Thank you for taking the time to join us, Stephen! We look forward to your expansion into our neck of the woods.
To explore the platform yourself, head to www.Aalto.com.