"The Pocket Listing Service"? A Must know in this market! | #KeriTV Episode #7

KERI: Hey guys!  It’s Keri TV.  I have a very special guest today.  I’m super excited to introduce Chris Dyson, a fellow colleague at the agency.  We have something we’re so excited to share with you that’s become a little bit more mainstream in the agent circles.  It started as an agency exclusive, and it’s called the PLS, which stands for the...


CHRIS: Pocket Listing Service.


KERI: Pocket Listing Service.  We’re going to explain a little bit today on our episode on what that means and how it benefits you, agents, and why It’s so great.


KERI: First, to start things off, what is a pocket?  That can be a very confusing term.  Pocket is slang for listings that we have that are not on the MLS.  If something’s on the multiple listing service, it’s pushed out to Zillow, RentFin, and every website possible.  It’s a pocket, so It’s something secretive that you have in your pocket.


CHRIS: Correct.


KERI: It’s an off-market property.  Off-market, but with sellers that are willing to sell.  That being said, Chris, tell us a little bit more about the PLS.  Thanks for being here today, too.


CHRIS: My pleasure, thanks for having me.  Very exciting.


KERI: Very exciting.


CHRIS: It’s what Keri perfectly described.  Pocket listings have actually become more and more prominent in our market, as you know.  Frankly, it was born from frustration in, as you know as well, we would get sent hundreds, probably, sometimes thousands of emails a month from clients saying that I have this pocket listing.  I’m looking for that pocket listing.  Frankly, I was frustrated.  There was nowhere we could go and search for that information when you needed it.  If the email came and you didn’t have a client, and it was gone and it was forgotten about.


KERI: Yeah.


CHRIS: It was really born to try to fix that problem.  To have somewhere agents could find information that they’re already sharing in an email.  If that could live in a searchable platform, that was the goal.


KERI: Yeah, and it’s amazing.  Who gets too many emails?  I know I do.  I’m trying to find that random email that had a pocket when you get a new call if the new buyer is just super hectic.


CHRIS: That was really the impetus that started the platform.


KERI: Cool.  How does it work?  You’ve got the platform.  Tell us more about how it functions and helps agents and clients.


CHRIS: The biggest key with PLS is that it is an agent-only platform.


KERI: Okay.


CHRIS: Obviously, the conundrum is, how to do you market an off-market property?


KERI: It’s off-market.


CHRIS: Exactly.  What does that mean?


KERI: How do you do that?


CHRIS: The only way you can really do that effectively, the key with it, is that these are sellers who want to adopt an off-market strategy.  They either demand discretion, which in the big cities, especially Los Angeles, we have a lot of celebrities who don’t necessarily want their information in the public realm.


KERI: Exactly.


CHRIS: I don’t know an agent who doesn’t have a client that would say, I will sell it at this number, but I don’t want to go to the hassle of putting it on the market. 


KERI: Exactly.


CHRIS: What do you do with those?


KERI: Hey guys, want my very expensive listing?


CHRIS: Yeah!  The key is to make the platform only accessible to agents.  That, one, helps keep the information out of the public domain, which is what the seller is asking for in the first place.  Secondly what that does, which is probably the most important thing that this site is designed to try to achieve, it lets agents leverage this information to give us all a competitive edge.  I think what’s really become a huge problem or an issue for agents is now the MLS is sharing information with the Zillow’s, the Trulia’s, and the Redlfin’s. Clients are saying, why do I need an agent?  Everything’s available online.


KERI: Right.


CHRIS: Part of what the PLS allows the agent community as a whole to do is take the information that sellers want to be kept out of the public realm and leverage that to give us all the information that our clients don’t have access to, and in turn, make everybody more valuable.


KERI: Very valuable  What happens if somebody’s got their property listed on the PLS and nothing happens?  Say there’s no showings or offers.  What happens next?


CHRIS: This is probably where, again, the PLS can be valuable to potentially all listings.  I’m sure you have clients that think the house is worth more than you think it’s worth.


KERI: Not at all!


CHRIS: Not at all, right?  One of the coolest things that we’ve seen over the last year is that agents have used the PLS to list properties in a ‘coming soon’ capacity, before putting them on the MLS.


KERI: Ah, okay.


CHRIS: That’s right.  In a lot of instances, the property is sold, which is amazing.  A lot of agents have actually used it as a tool to get a price reduction out of their sellers.  Those sellers who think it’s too much, if it hasn’t moved and they haven’t gotten the activity, it’s given them the ammunition and the data to go back to the seller and say, listen.  The agent’s have seen this.  We haven’t got a call.  Let’s put it out and get it onto the MLS at a more realistic number.  Zero days on market.  That has been a really cool thing to see honestly.


KERI: Yeah.


CHRIS: I’m delighted that that’s really happening.


KERI: Because days on market can translate to a lack of value.  If something’s on the market too long, it becomes a stale listing.  You know.  The whole nine yards.  So the type of agents that are on the PLS, when you say to your seller, it’s been on here and say we haven’t had much traction, who’s in this, besides the agency’s agents?  These are some of the top agents in the nation.  What other types of agents?  How do we explain to our seller’s who’s looking?


CHRIS: I mean, the majority of our agents are LA based.


KERI: LA based?


CHRIS: It’s only effective if you have a critical mass of agents in any particular place.


KERI: Exactly.  Those agents are on the site.


CHRIS: That’s right.  We now have just a shade under six thousand agents.


KERI: Six thousand agents, oh my gosh.


CHRIS: I include them.  If you can reel off all the top agents in town, they all have memberships.


KERI: Mh-hmm.


CHRIS: You can really argue to your seller that the best agents in the business are going to see your information


KERI: Mh-hmm.


CHRIS: If it’s not selling, maybe we should rethink our strategy, going to the MLS.


KERI: That’s an amazing, coming-soon platform, to make sure that you hit the market at the right price that attracts buyers.


CHRIS: Yeah.


KERI: Brilliant! I didn’t even think about that.




KERI: What about for buyers that are looking?  How would they benefit working with agents who are members of the PLS?


CHRIS: Again, it gives those buyer’s agents access of entry that their clients don’t have.  It makes you look better.


KERI: Okay!  We like that.


CHRIS: That’s exactly.


KERI: Good.


CHRIS: I think, in any business, someone’s only going to work with you if you offer value and have information they don’t have access too.


KERI: Exactly.


CHRIS: Part of this is to try to give that to the agents and help protect and ensure the industry as a whole, Keri.


KERI: Yeah.


CHRIS: That’s the plan.


KERI: Transparency and value is the highest of important qualities all our clients want.  They want agents that are doing something, that are different, and that provide valuable information, because there’s so much of that online.  They can get properties and comps.  They can get all the tools they need, but something like this creates another echelon in our industry.




KERI: Which is amazing.


CHRIS: Perfect.  That’s it.


KERI: What are some examples of times where PLS has made a huge impact?  What are some of the success stories you’ve heard of?


CHRIS: Listen, again, I’m delighted to say that I get texts and emails all the time.  I actually got a text from Marshall Peck, mentioning him.  Marshal listed a house.  He texted me in the morning to say that he had a house that was coming on the flats, Beverly Hills.  He put it on and then texted me back half an hour later and said, just got three calls in ten minutes.  Now, I’m able to go and actually get the listing signed.  We got a listing signed as a result of putting it on the site that he didn’t have the executed contract in full.


KERI: That’s amazing.


CHRIS: That’s unbelievable.


KERI: That’s a huge benefit.  Yeah.


CHRIS: Yeah.  We’ve had deals done, we had a deal that we followed.  An agent brought a property on at six point five and sold it for seven point two within in a week.


KERI: What!  Multiple offers off-market.


CHRIS: Multiple offers off-market, yep. 


KERI: That’s brilliant.


CHRIS: A lady at PLG estates, Carey Moore.  This was for a property in Griffith Park.  She got her asking price through the site.  It’s really working.


KERI: Amazing.


CHRIS: It’s amazing.  I’m delighted.


KERI: I actually had an interesting case.  I met some buyers, some clients, at an open house.  They knew eight other agents.  They were like, Keri, we know this person.  We know purple bricks.  We know all these different agents who are willing to give us money back, this whole thing.  When I met them for the second time, I let them know about the PLS, and it showed them inventory on there that wasn’t available through their other agent friends who were on the MLS and they were like, Keri, we love you.  Can’t wait to work with you.

CHRIS: Amazing.


KERI: Yeah.  It’s been an incredible tool in this day, with all the information out there.  Yeah.  Okay, speaking of the PLS and some of these beautiful properties, I was just looking through, a couple days ago, I saw this one on Oriole in West LA.  Not West LA.  The one for twenty-nine million, that was just listed.  That is unbelievable.  I’ll show you a picture.


CHRIS: It’s a cool house.


KERI: A few pictures of that one.


CHRIS: Yeah.


KERI: Then the one in Malibu, on Murphy.


CHRIS: Yeah.


KERI: Those views are amazing.  The one in Playa on Trolleyway, that’s very rare for that area, on the beach there.


CHRIS: I mean, we’re very lucky to have a ton of really relevant inventory, and, quite frankly, if you’re not on there, you’re unnecessarily putting yourself at a disadvantage.  I mean, God bless what everyone wants to do, but this is really information you should have access to.  And it’s free.  Still.


KERI: And it’s free!


CHRIS: There’s no excuse.


KERI: It’s free.  We like that.


CHRIS: Yeah.  Still free.


KERI: Definitely, if you’re an agent, let us know if you’re interested in the PLS, and if you’re looking to work with an agent, make sure they are a member of the PLS so you have all the access.  Here Chris, I know you’re busy with this entire new amazing website and obviously servicing all your clients.


CHRIS: Yeah.


KERI: Thank you so much for being here.


CHRIS: My pleasure.


KERI: I can’t wait to post this.  Thank you guys for watching.  See you next Tuesday on Keri TV.