There’s no question though that news about real estate listing syndication is now coming at a fast and furious pace.
Back in November, Edina Realty lobbed the first round when they announced they were pulling their listings from Trulia and Realtor.com
Then a couple of weeks ago it was Jim Abbott and ARG Abbott Realty Group in San Diego doing the same, and adding Zillow into the mix.
Yesterday Metrolist, the Denver, Colorado area MLS announced they were not renewing their contact with leading IDX supplier Diverse Solutions, which was recently acquired by Zillow.
And today brings the announcement that Sandicor, the San Diego area MLS is making significant changes to what they will be feeding listing syndication sites.
Take a moment to go read Lily Leung’s article in the San Diego Union Trbune Business section, San Diego MLS turns table on Zillow, Trulia.
Here are some highlights:
Sandicor, the county’s MLS, has added a text field to its listings that allows members to enter contact information, including names, email addresses and brokerage websites. The information, along with the usual listing data, would be disseminated by syndication websites such as ListHub and Point2 Agent, which are sources of information for popular real estate sites.
The main idea is that the contact information in the extra field would be displayed prominently for home hunters to see, nixing any confusion over the listing agent and an agent who is advertising on Trulia or Zillow.
Soon, the company will decrease the number of photos that can go out to syndicators to four, down from the maximum of 25. Another upcoming change: Images sent out to outside parties will bear watermarked contact information of the listing agents.
Well howdy doody! To my knowledge this this is the first time a Multiple Listing Service has taken steps to — what many will argue — take back some semblance of control over listing data.
Good move? Bad? Meh?
Must. Ponder. Implications. Further.
My immediate thought in reading what Sandicor was doing was, “Interesting!” Followed immediately by, “I wonder if other MLS’s will follow suit?”
It wouldn’t surprise me if they do.
Personally, and this is coming from someone who is obviously “pro syndication”, I like the idea. Or at least parts of it.
While I am not one to believe that we need to wrest all control and display of listing data away from third-party sites, I don’t see anything wrong with including additional information about the listing brokerage. BUT, if you are a home buyer, think about why you’d want to work with the home seller’s agent. The seller’s agent has THEIR best interest in mind, not yours. If you are buying a home, work with a buyer’s agent that will have YOUR best interests in mind..
Reducing the number of photos? Well, there is zero question in my mind that potential home buyers searching for home online like to see listing photos. Generally speaking, the more the merrier. (Though seriously people, it is quality not quantity that matters when it comes to photos. Maybe we could cease & desist uploading photos of toilets? Particularly those images with the seat up?) I’m speculating that Sandicor feels limiting the number of photos displayed on third party sites will drive those photo-seeking visitors back to the local agent/broker site (or, in the case of Sandicor and a handful of other MLS’s, to their public-facing MLS site).
Only time will tell how or if that pans out. Personally, I think it’s more likely to frustrate home searchers. Why make them hunt around for photos? Oh, that’s right. To capture them as a lead. ::sigh::
In the mean time, it is going to be very interesting to see if other MLS’s step forward and make an effort to better highlight the listing agent on third party sites, how this additional info (along with fewer photos) might impact the sale of advertising on third party sites, and what the next salvo will be that is fired in the Syndication War.
What are your thoughts?
More info: Sandicor’s formal announcement.