The Pocket Listing Service is officially launching in South Florida.
ThePLS.com, a website for real estate agents to share their off-market listings, is launching at a broker event on Thursday at The Agency’s Boca Raton office. The website was founded in 2017 in Southern California by Chris Dyson, along with The Agency’s CEO and founder Mauricio Umansky, and James Harris and David Parnes of “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles.”
Membership is free in South Florida and in California, although the company plans to launch a subscription service in the coming months for California agents. The platform allows licensed real estate agents to search and share pocket listings around the country without accruing “days on market,” in some cases testing their listings before going live on the Multiple Listing Service.
Since it began operating about two years ago, the PLS has more than 8,000 members and has listed more than $8.2 billion in inventory nationwide. That includes just under $1 billion in inventory in South Florida and about $150 million within the last two weeks, Dyson said.
Whisper or pocket listings are typically shared between agents by email blasts or word-of-mouth. “There’s always a lag between getting a listing and putting it on the MLS,” Dyson said, adding that the PLS gives sellers maximum exposure and helps keep the agent community relevant. The website is not for consumers and includes information that sellers want to keep private, he added.
Critics of pocket and whisper listings argue that they create an unfair advantage, rewarding agents with direct deals and limiting exposure. In September, Compass launched a feature called “Compass Coming Soon” that allows its agents to post their listings to Compass’ website before sharing them on the MLS.
The Agency, which does not have a direct ownership stake in the PLS, recently expanded to South Florida with its first office in Boca Raton.
While agents have put their pocket listings in the tri-county region on the PLS, “the site is really only effective if you have a critical mass of properties in one area,” Dyson added.