In the last several months there's been a discussion war going on. Syndication of realtor's listings has been on a lot of Brokers, Agents, anyone in the Realty businesses, minds, the worst of it is there are many different twist to the troubles that syndication channels like Zillow, Trulia, NAR, etc are responsible for, like "because they make most of their money by selling ads to brokers and agents on top of the listing data, which is inherently non-cooperative, this practice of selling ads on top of, often inaccurate listings, to competing brokers really irks many listing brokers", basically "The MLS should not send the MLS aggregation to any advertising site, because the business models of those sites conflicts with the cooperative model of the MLS." They are making money off of Brokers' and Agents' hard work, with no rewards given.
The discussions seem to go both ways, that what these channels do isn't right! - but going the other way its like its the cost of doing business. There is a bit to read out there on the net, and after reading a few, the ideas all seem to run together.
What I'm wanting to do here is not try and take a side, unless it's on my side of my business. Its like sitting on the outside looking in. Most of us really don't have any say so in these discussions, but the out come could (or might not) effect us. Perhaps decisions made could lead to our agents, our clients, having to pay more out of pocket expenses which could mean some of my business gets cut, and in an environment that's already pretty thin I don't need that.
Recently, our local (Knoxville, TN) MLS offices sent this out to all KAAR members:
"As noted in President Amanda Stone's September Greetings, KAAR will cease syndicating MLS listings to Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads and Yahoo Real Estate. This action taken by the Directors, as recommended by the MLS Committee, was because of numerous complaints from agents and sellers regarding inaccurate listing information on the sites. KAAR will cease syndicating MLS listings effective October 1, 2012. All KAAR Brokers still have the option through ListHub to syndicate their firm's listings to any site the Broker chooses. There is no cost for the ListHub syndication service."
I want a discussion that will give everyone (me) more information about this "MLS syndication discussion war". The agents I've spoken to about this haven't really seemed to concerned. But, if this situation is enough that an office stops its syndication practices then perhaps attention is warranted, if for no other reason then to know whats going on in our business.
Some things to, maybe read.
A Listing Syndication Discussion
Syndication isn’t deadly but it also isn’t the MLS or IDX
The Great MLS Listing Syndication War
More Syndication Debates and Logic Traps
The major players in my area are all pulling syndication because of the headaches that is has been causing. I don't think that advertising is the problem with most syndicated sites. The major issue that agents I have talked to complain about all of the incorrect information on those sites. It just creates confusion.