Realtor.com operator Move Inc. has hired real estate industry veteran John Whitney as vice president of industry relations for its listing syndication subsidiary, ListHub.
Whitney, who has been the executive director of the Central Valley Association of Realtors (Calif.) and also Southwest Multiple Listing Service, most recently served as director of national sales at Sentrilock LLC, the National Association of Realtors-owned electronic lockbox company.
Based in Morgantown, W.Va., ListHub is the nation’s largest syndicator of for-sale listings, serving more than 43,000 real estate brokerage firms and synchronizing listing data from more than 400 MLSs with more than 100 publisher websites. Competitors include Point2 and Postlets.
The provision of listings to third-party listing portals like Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia has long been a topic for debate among real estate brokers and agents. The debate has heated up in recent months, with a few brokers deciding to stop providing listings to third-party sites, largely because of concerns about ads and lead forms for competing agents that sometimes appear next to listings on the sites.
Luke Glass, vice president and general manager of ListHub, recently told Inman News that the company continues to add 600 to 700 brokers a month, a pace that’s unchanged in the last 18 months. Only a few brokers have stopped providing listings in the last three to four months.
ListHub is preparing to roll out a new criteria-based selection tool this month that will allow MLSs and brokerages to choose which sites they want to send listings to based on the features they offer. MLSs and brokers will be able to choose to send listings only to sites that don’t re-syndicate listing data, for example, or which promise timely removal of expired listings.
"We’re changing the paradigm, so instead of picking publishers, you pick the rules you believe in," Glass told Inman News this month.
In announcing Whitney’s decision to join the company, ListHub said it’s "committed to bringing industry-friendly innovation to the online marketing landscape." Whitney "will play a key role in leading this evolution, and translating it into direct value for ListHub’s MLS partners."
Trulia and Zillow have made similar moves in recent months to boost their standing with MLSs and brokers by bringing well-known industry players on board.
Last week Todd Carpenter, who has managed NAR’s online and social media presence for three years, announced he was joining Trulia as the company’s senior manager of industry engagement.
Zillow recently hired Duane Fouts, a past president of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) and the Arizona Association of Realtors, as director of partner relations, and has also added former ARMLS CEO Bob Bemis and Phoenix-based broker and blogger Jay Thompson to the company’s payroll in recent weeks.