North Alabama MLS suspends listing feed to realtor.com

Negotiations continue, with MLS seeking prominent placement of listing agents' contact info, linkback to public-facing website

North Alabama Multiple Listing Service suspended its data feed to realtor.com on Saturday after months of negotiation failed to produce a new agreement the MLS called for.

The MLS, which serves 3,000 members in seven Realtor associations in North Alabama, had sent realtor.com a cancellation notice on Feb. 6 requesting a new contract that would require the portal to display listing agents’ name and contact info prominently on its members’ listings and to provide a linkback to its public-facing website, valleymls.com.

Listing data image via Shutterstock.
Listing data image via Shutterstock.

North Alabama MLS wants to bring its listing feed agreement with realtor.com in line with agreements it signed in October with Zillow, Trulia and Homes.com when the MLS took charge of listing syndication using software from Bridge Interactive Group.

“Negotiations are ongoing with realtor.com and we are optimistic that we will be able to return service to realtor.com in the near future,” Kipp Cooper, CEO of the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors, wrote in a note posted to the MLS’ Facebook page. North Alabama MLS is a subsidiary of the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors.

“The ball is in realtor.com’s court,” Cooper told Inman News.

In a statement, realtor.com operator Move Inc. said that while the company already meets “many of (North Alabama MLS’) contractual requirements, other new requests fall outside our free member-provided benefits, including listing enhancements comparable to our Showcase product.”

Realtor.com, Move said, is “committed to providing a level field of opportunity for all Realtors, and cannot extend services to some that others pay for as an investment in their business.”

Thanks to its relationship as the official consumer website of the National Association of Realtors, realtor.com receives direct listing feeds from more than 800 MLSs across the country.

North Alabama MLS has a listing agreement with realtor.com that dates back to 1996. In requesting a new agreement with realtor.com that incorporates terms it has with other third-party portals, the MLS is treating realtor.com as it would any other portal, Cooper told Inman News in March.

“We’re trying to put the Realtor and the broker back at the center of the transaction,” Cooper said.

NALMLS’ 30-member board of directors unanimously voted to view realtor.com as it does other portals at a meeting last October, Cooper said.

Other MLSs are also beginning to re-evaluate their relationship with realtor.com.

The giant Rockville, Maryland-based Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. has plans to end its long-term realtor.com agreement and to begin providing listings to realtor.com through syndicator ListHub, as it does for Zillow and Trulia.

In February, Combined Los Angeles/Westside MLS began delaying by 48 hours listing feeds it provides to portals through ListHub, and implemented the same delay to the feed it provides to realtor.com.


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