data sharing

Is Data Sharing Still a Viable Option?

by Marilyn Wilson on September 14, 2016

Iphone Holding Hands

The world we operate in is getting smaller and more connected every day. Now that the real estate market is solid again, brokerages are reaching out and expanding into new markets.  Consumers are getting more sophisticated and expect their agents to be able to provide them access to all listings in their region. Homebuyers don’t care that there may be more than one MLS in the region where they live. They just want ALL of the listings available in their area from their agent. WAV Group thought it would be interesting to take a look at the state of data sharing today.  Due to increased focus on consolidation opportunities, data sharing has not gotten as much press recently as it has in the past, but there are many regions where it is alive and well and solving important business challenges.  Many of our MLS/Association clients are considering data sharing initiatives so we thought it might be helpful to interview those that are already involved in data shares to help future data sharing programs. Check out the attached white paper WAV Group 2016 State of Data Sharing reviewing the latest trends in data sharing.

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ListTrac, known as the “Google Analytics for real estate listings,” today unveiled its revenue model, a breakthrough for the real estate industry as it allows, for the first time, a method for real estate professionals to monetize their own listing content as it’s distributed across the Internet. “Just as musicians are compensated each time their song is played on the Internet, ListTrac wants real estate professionals to be rewarded every time their listing is viewed on the Internet,” said Trent Gardner, CEO of ListTrac. ListTrac is a free tool allowing real estate professionals to monitor their listing’s online performance in their MLS system, broker and agent IDX websites, and real estate portals. Rapidly growing ListTrac is now partnered with many of the nation’s largest Multiple Listing Service firms, providing listing metrics and reports to over 400,000 agents while monitoring over a half-million listings. According to comScore, real estate listing content across thousands of sites attracts some 300 million “eyeballs each month,” Gardner notes. “For years, companies have taken listing content and assembled multi-billion dollar business models by monetizing the ‘eye-balls’ looking at this valuable content,” Gardner explains. “However, these business models don’t allow brokers to participate — so they have been sidelined watching others make millions of dollars in IPOs off of their content. ListTrac helps change that paradigm with a framework allowing real estate professionals to monitor andmonetize their listing content.” Gardner notes that ListTrac went through an arduous process meeting with MLS tech committees, syndication task forces and MLS boards — all populated with agents and brokers — to ensure that no personal information would be shared and that no MLS listing content would be licensed or sold. “ListTrac appealed to our leadership for two primary reasons; their commitment to security in guarding personal information and listings content, and their deep bench of analytics,” said James Harrison, CEO of MLSListings Inc. “The real estate professionals in our Silicon Valley marketplace are Google neighbors, so the bar for analytics is a high one. ListTrac and its growing list of participating portals gives our community what it needs to serve their clients,” said Harrison. ListTrac has been awarded a U.S. Patent for both the method of measuring and monetizing real estate listings and the business process of sharing this revenue with the real estate professionals that are the content owners. Through its patented-approved process, ListTrac, working with MLS firms, help […]

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We are lucky enough to work with brokers and MLSs around the country.  It provides us with a unique perspective to notice trends that may not be readily apparent any other way. Here’s just one of the trends I have noticed in our work over the years.  While many parts of the country have been successful in joining together to create highly successful and productive regional MLSs, there is one weakness I have observed again and again.  Many times a luxury or second home market close to a larger metropolitan region will join the regional effort. I’m not going to pick on any specific area, but we see this phenomenon in Nevada, Massachusetts, Florida, New Mexico, California, and many, many other states.  The MLSs are sometimes stuck in the middle. Many MLS executives see the advantages of joining forces with a regional MLS because it will provide more exposure for their member’s listings as well as encourage referral activity.  Unfortunately, many of these same MLSs in luxury and second home markets are met with resistance from their members who do not want to provide access to agents outside of their immediate area. They believe the “big city” guys may come in and steal away the listings and of course, the commissions. While I certainly understand a certain level of protectionist behavior, especially in this economy, it does baffle me at some level.  Doesn’t every deal have two sides?   Don’t agents want as many potential buyers as possible to be able to see their listings?  Aren’t agents looking for more referral business?

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