Trulia is set to get a direct data feed from North Alabama Multiple Listing Service, which serves more than 3,000 agents who belong to seven Alabama Realtor associations and represent more than 14,300 listings.
The feed will be part of Trulia’s new “Data Connect” program the portal launched earlier this month that gives a participating MLS’s member brokerages enhanced branding on their agents’ Trulia profiles in exchange for the direct listings feed.
“Over the past few years the proliferation of inaccurate and stale data through third-party sites has been a major concern for our members and their clients,” said Kipp Cooper, CEO of the Huntsville Area (Alabama) Association of Realtors and its wholly owned subsidiary North Alabama MLS, in a statement. It will be the first feed the MLS sends through its new MLS direct listing distribution platform from Bridge Interactive Group.
“This is why we took the very bold step of discontinuing our previous data feed on Sept. 15, 2013, and chose to enter into MLS Direct Syndication agreements with major third-party sites through the help of our MLS Direct Syndication partner Bridge Interactive Group,” Cooper said.
Brokers whose MLSs send direct feeds to Trulia through its “Data Connect” program will get enhanced branding and receive weekly, premium listing performance reports from Trulia. Listings data will be updated as frequently as every 10 minutes — a capability often touted by rival realtor.com which, thanks to its ties to the National Association of Realtors, receives listings directly from nearly all of the nation’s MLSs.
Third-party portals like Trulia and rival Zillow receive listings from a variety sources, which can affect the accuracy and timeliness of their data. They also don’t have complete sets of listings in some markets because they don’t have complete feeds.
In March, ZipRealty conducted a study that revealed that 17 percent of the listings listed for sale on Trulia in the markets it looked at were not for sale in the local MLS. And, the study showed, Trulia had an average of 78 percent of the listings that the local MLS had. Zillow had similar issues.
In July, Bob Bemis, an industry vet Zillow brought on board in 2012 to secure relationships with MLSs to get direct feeds for the portal, left his job with the portal, citing a belief that many MLSs would not choose to send direct feeds to Zillow anytime soon.
“By providing a direct feed of listing data, (North Alabama MLS) maintains direct control over its data while making listings accurately available to our valuable audience of homebuyers and generating valuable leads for their members,” said Alon Chaver, vice president of industry services at Trulia.