Nearly a dozen Web sites that aggregate for-sale real estate listings — including Trulia, Zillow and Yahoo! Real Estate — have agreed to adopt common data standards that will make it possible for brokers to send a single listings feed to multiple Web sites.
The companies partnering to develop the new data standard, which will be based on the XML format and launched later this year, are working with the Real Estate Standards Organization to make sure it is compatible with the existing Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS). The standardized data format will include price, square feet, bedrooms, bathrooms and additional descriptions of each listing.
Homes.com, Homescape, Oodle, Point2 Technologies, Realestate.com, Vast.com and vFlyer are also adopting the standardized feed format, which is open to “anybody else who wants to join us,” Zillow spokeswoman Amanda Hoffman said. “It’s a statement to the community — we want to make it easier for you to get your listings in front of as many people as possible.”
A spokesman for Realogy Franchise Group said its Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA and Sotheby’s International Realty brands plan to adopt the new standardized format.
“The opportunity for such wide distribution of our listings is an important facet of our marketing strategy,” said Realogy spokesman Craig Cuyar in a press release. “It’s clear these partners are attentive to the needs of our industry.”
Zillow — once known primarily for its “Zestimate” home valuations, had nearly 400,000 for-sale listings on the site Wednesday, and more than 100,000 potential sellers seeking “make me move” offers from buyers.
In a separate announcement, Zillow said it had revamped its Zestimate algorithm and expanded its database, giving it the capability to provide valuation estimates for 67 million homes — about three out of four U.S. homes — up 68 percent from the site’s 2006 launch.
The new Zestimate algorithm uses 20 times as many statistical models to take into account variables specific to local markets and individual homes, and integrates facts entered by homeowners, such as the number of bedrooms or square footage.
Zillow claims the new algorithm has improved the accuracy of its estimates by 12 percent nationwide, with even greater improvements in local markets like San Francisco (18 percent), Miami (21 percent), Los Angeles (22 percent), and Atlanta (28 percent).
In other news, Trulia said it has launched a publisher platform that allows Web sites to integrate the company’s search function and online tools like heat maps into their own sites, free of charge.
Signing onto the co-branding campaign were Kiplinger.com, Village Voice Media and AmericanTowns, with Trulia expecting more online newspapers, national media Web sites, blogs and search engines to launch in the near future.
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