OpinionIndustry News

Liberating real estate data creates new biz models

Perspective: Zip and HouseValues have traditional industry data to thank

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ZipRealty and HouseValues both went public in the last 30 days and have created almost $800 million in investor value. They have the Internet to thank for their success, but also the coveted multiple listing service. Their ability to access the MLS and use the Internet to give consumers entry to real estate data is part of Zip's and HouseValues' secret sauce. While the real estate industry has put up many barriers to unleashing the MLS to the public, the data in fact has been spread around rather freely thanks to the Web. Companies like Zip and HouseValues have figured out how to use the MLS data and are benefiting handsomely from the trend. While these two business models are Realtor-friendly, industry fears about third-party interlopers could be realized as the Internet combined with multiple listing data is changing the face of real estate, hatching new business models and giving traditional firms less control over the data. With new consumer propositions around listing data emerg...