Redfin out to change listing syndication practices and IDX display rules

Changes could give brokerage bigger boost in traffic as it expands into new markets

Tech-based brokerage Redfin is on the hunt for a vice president of real estate industry relations who will “help craft Redfin’s position on industry topics such as syndication and IDX rules and then spread the word about these positions, and their benefits, to the rest of the industry.”

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Glenn Kelman

Glenn Kelman

In an Inman News guest piece in May, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said Internet data exchange (IDX) feeds that brokers use to display each other’s listings “should include Google-friendly links to source listings.” In other words, brokers should not only provide linkbacks to the listing broker, but code them in a way that helps the listing broker show up higher in Google search results.

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

“Requiring every MLS subscriber to link to the source listing will ensure that brokers with more listings get much more traffic, from other brokerage sites like Redfin, and from Google,” Kelman said.

As for syndication of listings to third-party search portals like Zillow and Trulia, Kelman said such portals should be “a directory, not a destination, for brokers’ listings.” When brokers provide information about listings to portals, they should be more like an advertisement, “with a few photos, a price, basic details — not the entire listing.”

Portals should also “identify the listing broker prominently, with a link that appears on desktop and mobile browsers wherever the address is displayed, so consumers can easily find the full listing on the local broker’s site.”

If the industry were to adapt such practices, Redfin could get an even bigger boost in traffic as it expands into new markets around the nation, obtaining new IDX feeds and listings. According to comScore data, Redfin.com was the fifth-most visited real estate search network in June, and the most popular real estate brokerage site.

After closing a $50 million funding round in November, and announcing in May plans to expand into nearly 50 new markets, Redfin is thought to be gearing up for an initial public offering.


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