Zillow and Trulia have been on the hunt to garner partnerships with MLS’s and Brokers across the country in order to provide a direct RETS access to listing data.
According to The Data Advocate “While REALTOR.com has some 800 plus direct MLS data feeds, Zillow, has few direct feeds, and depends pretty heavily on the data provided by Listhub.
This reliance on Listhub by Zillow increased when Listhub acquired the data contracts from the number two aggregator and provider of MLS listing data, Point2, in early September” 2014.
So, what happens if MLS’s give in and provide a direct feed to Zillow or Trulia? Is there really a true benefit to the MLS member and their clients?
Pros to why an MLS or Broker should send listings direct to Zillow/Trulia
- All property listings from the MLS would show up on Zillow and Trulia. (hmm this may be a con)
- Listings will be marked with something showing that the listing was provided by an MLS (something like a watermark, etc).
- For the consumer, if they’re educated with the differences in listing information, this could reduce the amount scams that happen on these websites.
- Listing information will be updated automatically.
Cons to why an MLS or Broker should NOT send listings direct to Zillow/Trulia
- When listings are sent to these websites, leads on those listings don’t just go to the listing agent.
- Consumers information are often sent to multiple agents and/or lender at once regarding your property.
- Listing your property on zillow or trulia will often not help sell a listing. The purpose of these sites is to generate general interest from consumers that are often at their beginning stages and either not qualified to purchase or just browsing.
- Fueling these sites only allows advertising networks the ability to utilize your listing information for their own financial gain and not for the benefit of your members or originating party.
- Reduces the overall value of an MLS.
- Reduces the value of a Broker or MLS search portal.
- Increases to cost of doing business for agents and brokers.
The cons to sending MLS and Broker listing data direct to Advertising portals like trulia and zillow outweigh the benefits. In fact, we encourage all MLS’s to restrict or eliminate syndication to these websites on a large scale. Unless the websites you’re syndicating to provides a listing agent the ability to receive all contacts submitted on their listing (without sending to multiple agents), listing information should only be sent direct to Brokers or licensed entities that are regulated by local and state real estate laws.