MLS Syndication Rats Nest

by Victor Lund on January 21, 2015

ZiplogicUrban Dictionary is a hoot. It is also a helpful way for the father of a pre-teen to understand the contemporary meaning behind the terms used by kids. In this case, I refer to Urban Dictionary for their crowd-sourced definition of Rats Nest “Commonly used in the technol- ogy sector to refer to a software design or implementation that is hopelessly convoluted and difficult to understand….” Listing Syndication is a Rats Nest and it is about to get worse as firms like Zillow defect from Listhub-Point2. With Zillow pulling out, MLSs will need to offer different services or parallel services to get broker data to Zillow. I hope that Zillow’s actions do not create a slippery slope for other publishers to follow. It will only send us back to 2007 when brokers did all of the listing syndication themselves. Download white paper here. MLS Syndication Rats Nest

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick Jones January 21, 2015 at 11:40 am

Victor,

Please help. I’m reading your “MLS Syndication Rats Nest” paper and I love it but I’m having trouble with this statement under the Terms of Use heading: “What we discovered in 2009 is still true today unless a broker or an MLS has a contract directly with the publisher.” You then go on to list terms unfavorable to brokers. Are you saying that today, if an MLS syndicates through Listhub (not directly with the publisher), that there is nothing in Listhub’s publisher agreements to protect brokers and the MLS from these unfavorable terms? What happened to Listhub’s “data protections”? Isn’t that a big part of this whole episode? Maybe I misread or I’m confused. Thanks for your attention.

-Nick Jones, MLS Manager
Memphis Area Association of Realtors

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Michael Wurzer January 22, 2015 at 9:34 am

Great white paper, Victor. I especially agree with your point that MLSs should “[o]nly send the data that is authorized” instead of just sending the portals a list of opt-outs and relying on them to cull out the non-authorized listings. The broker-directed syndication built into our Flexmls Web and RETS systems does exactly that, to ensure that the portal only gets data authorized by the broker.

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