Yesterday I posted my opinion on ARG, Edina Realty, and other brokerages pulling out of listing syndication. The discussion is divided with some smart, articulate people joining in for a solution.
One thing that some miss is that listing syndication is was an attempt to clean up the listing data. Rather than rely on broker or agent manual load, syndication pulls data from local multiple listing systems and feeds it to third party sites.
ListHub is the broadest, most widely adopted network for listing distribution, and works in concert with MLSs, franchises, and core real estate technologies to bring real estate brokerage firms a single dashboard for controlling their online marketing strategy. ListHub brings realty firms a comprehensive system for maximizing listing exposure.
For real estate brokerages and brokers, or for that matter, any industry to be so arrogant in believing they have power to control and clean up the Internet is fighting a hopeless battle.
Doing away with syndication will not solve the problem, it will just return us to the early times of Zillow and Trulia relying on manual real estate agent load, sometimes by the listing agent, and many times not.
Consumers are not stupid and realize that data from the Internet has to be taken for what it is, certainly I don’t believe that any home buyer is going to rely on Trulia, Zillow, or Realtor.com as there single source of real estate knowledge. Choice, however is always a good thing.
There are those in our industry that would love to turn back the clock and go back to the 2 per month paper MLS books, once again reclaiming the position of the gatekeeper of the information. That is not going to happen.
We live in a world of data overload and it’s everywhere. Locating a home is a small part of what a REALTOR® can do for you. Local real estate market knowledge, contract and disclosures, ability to recommend reliable services, and guidance is what the real estate industry offers.
Rather than be angry and trying to boycott the Zillows and Trulia’s of the world, we as in industry should do a better job of offering better technology for the consumer. The only one that has done that in my mind is Realtor.com which rivals the technology offered by Zillow and Trulia.
Consumers are going to search where they want to search. By locking down the data, they are not going to return to us, in fact we open the door for an outside company to offer a nationwide solution far less expensive and much better than the majority of the multiple listing systems.
IDX and VOW’s were an excellent way to level the playing field, but politics, committees, and resistance to change has made them secondary compared to other providers. Only a few IDX providers offer a level of service comparable to the 3rd party site.
What are your thoughts?
Photo courtesy of Peter Vanderheyden via Flickr