Broker members of My Florida Regional MLS, which serves over 33,000 subscribers in central and southwest Florida, will now have the option to send their listings directly to Trulia.
My Florida Regional MLS brokers can now opt in to send their listings directly to Trulia as part of the portal’s “Data Connect” program, which significantly increases how frequently listings get updated on the site and gives participating brokers’ agents increased branding on Trulia, in lead emails to consumers and in Trulia’s agent directory.
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Brokers’ listings are refreshed as frequently as every eight minutes with the direct MLS feeds. When relayed through other platforms, like listing syndication services ListHub and Point2, listings on Trulia take from six to 12 hours to refresh, Trulia spokesman Matt Flegal said.
Trulia now has partnerships with more than 60 MLSs — representing opt-in and a handful of opt-out MLS data feed agreements, Flegal said.
My Florida Regional MLS is the second regional MLS to join Trulia’s “Data Connect” program this year. Arizona Regional MLS, the sixth-largest MLS in the U.S. with over 30,000 subscribers, signed an opt-in data licensing agreement with Trulia in March.
“The direct feed option increases the listing data refresh process for those brokers that choose to participate in the program and supports their ability to market listings on Trulia in near real-time to maximize exposure for sellers and optimize the volume and quality of leads,” said My Florida Regional MLS CEO Merri Jo Cowen, in a statement.
Brokers can also send Trulia listings directly through the Trulia Broker Program. However, the ability to send listings to Trulia through an MLS is helpful to smaller brokerages that may lack the tech infrastructure to syndicate their feeds to the portal themselves, Flegal said.
Direct feeds are the holy grail of third-party listing portals like Zillow and Trulia, as their listing databases suffer from accuracy, comprehensiveness and timeliness deficiencies in markets where they don’t have complete feeds.
Trulia and Zillow are beginning to make inroads with MLSs, however. New York State MLS, which serves 10,000 members, began feeding its listings to Zillow in March.
Both Zillow and Trulia also get direct data feeds from the Houston Association of Realtors, Bay Area Real Estate Information Services in the San Francisco Bay Area, Massachusetts-based MLS Property Information Network Inc. and Connecticut MLS, among others.
The opt-in MLS feeds that Trulia and other sites typically get are inferior to the opt-out feeds realtor.com enjoys from more than 800 MLSs across the U.S. thanks to its exclusive relationship with the National Association of Realtors, which gives it an upper hand on listing accuracy in many markets because brokers have to take action to keep listings from being sent to the portal.
However, the increasing number of relationships the portals are building with MLSs may signal the beginning of a shift in the industry’s view of realtor.com as exceptional and worthy of blanket opt-out data feeds.
North Alabama MLS in Huntsville, Ala., Rockland, Md.-based Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. and the Combined Los Angeles/Westside MLS have recently taken actions to treat realtor.com as they would any other portal.
To help build relationships with MLSs, both Zillow and Trulia have recently raided higher-ups from realtor.com operator Move Inc.
In a bid to improve ties to MLSs, Zillow recently brought on board former realtor.com President Errol Samuelson and Move’s former vice president of industry relations, Curt Beardsley. In February, Trulia hired John Whitney, former vice president of industry relations for Move’s syndication platform ListHub, to help grow its MLS partnerships.