Since listing data feeds came into existence, they have been the providence of MLS vendors like FBS and their peers. There are also controls that go down to the listing detail level that enable listings to be opted out of things like IDX (with written seller approval in most markets). In a blog post today, FBS CEO Michael Wurzer discusses this functionality that is delivered through a standard feature in FlexMLS called Listing Export.
Arizona Regional MLS serving the greater Phoenix, AZ area is among the first FBS clients to use this functionality for a wide range of syndication to publishers. Brokers may now Opt-In or Opt-Out of a number of portal channels including IDX, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Trulia, and the local newspaper website – AZ Central, powered by Homefinder.com.
Listing syndication has followed a philosophical pattern first envisioned by German philosopher G.W.F Hagel in his triadic process – thesis, antithesis, and then synthesis. The “thesis” was along the lines of Listhub, where brokers accepted the strategy of listing syndication as they first found it. Today we seem to be in the second phase of antithesis, where brokers and MLSs are tearing apart the existing foundation of listing syndication in order to find something profoundly more adhesive to the needs of firms.
WAV Group is watching this next round of listing syndication emerge in real estate. Some MLSs have chosen to opt out of providing listing syndication services all together. Others offer Listhub and/or Point2 syndication services to brokers. Some are making Realtor.com a syndication channel. Still others are entering into direct licensing arrangements with publishers like Realtor.com, Trulia, Homes.com, and Zillow. The freedom of syndication is clearly the providence of the broker, but how that manifests itself in practice is more variable today than ever. Broker control is the only fundamental pillar of the process.
WAV Group is preparing an update on listing syndication for publication this summer. If you have anything that you would like to discuss or contribute to that effort, please contact Victor Lund.