Realtor.com and several other websites run by Move Inc. experienced outages today that have made the sites inaccessible to consumers and the company’s agent and broker customer base for much of the day.
The outages, which also affected move.com and Move’s customer relationship management platform, Top Producer, generated numerous complaints by users on social media channels.
“This has thrown a wrench in our day,” Brett Godfrey, who does marketing for David Brenton’s Team brokerage in Indianapolis. Agents in his office rely on Move’s Top Producer CRM platform to help manage their client follow-up, he said.
A number of Move-powered sites, including realtor.com and topproducer.com, experienced outages today.
“The realtor.com, Move and Top Producer services are currently unavailable,” Move said in a statement. “We are working to resolve the issue. Updates to follow. Thanks for your patience.”
Godfrey says he first noticed the Move site outages at approximately 9 a.m. Eastern time. After sending an email to Move’s technical support team a little before 10 a.m. Eastern, he received an email from Move at 11:46 a.m. that noted the firm was aware of the outages.
“Our site engineers are aware of the problem and have determined that the issue does not reside with us,” a portion of the email Top Producer sent Godfrey read. “They have escalated the issue to the internet service provider who is actively working to resolve the issue. We have not been given an (estimated time of arrival) for the repair,” it continued.
Godfrey noted that some elements of Top Producer looked like were coming back, but in a later tweet remarked that it had crashed again.
Move stated on its Realtor.com Pro Facebook page late in the day that its site’s problems stemmed from an overabundance of traffic. “Realtor.com, Move, and Top Producer services are experiencing extremely high volumes of unusual Internet traffic,” the statement read. “We are working with our network service providers and other experts to identify and block the sources of this traffic. Thank you for your patience.”
As of 7 p.m. Eastern, realtor.com and other Move-powered sites still appeared to be down, with real estate professionals who rely on the technology still frustrated with the down time. At around 7:50 p.m. Eastern, Top Producer looked like it was back up.
Rubie Groves-Clay, an agent in St. Louis, Missouri, tweeted her frustration about her inability to access a client’s address to the official Twitter handles for realtor.com and the National Association of Realtors.
“This is really bad because it just so happens that I had an appointment and needed my clients address. Not happy!” Groves-Clay tweeted.
Matt Cohen, chief technology officer at real estate consulting firm Clareity Consulting, pointed out that many things could have caused a site outage like this. And he stressed that it’s too early to tell what could have caused the outage, he said.
“Outages happen to all sorts of sites and all sorts of services online,” Cohen said.
Sometimes the outage is the company’s fault and sometimes it’s not, Cohen said. He compared an outage of this magnitude to a 100-year storm. “It just happens,” he said.
Based on realtor.com Pro’s Facebook post, Cohen said the outage looked like a product of a “denial of services attack.” It’s the same type of event that took down TweetDeck last week, he said.
Currently, a number of sites across the Internet are experiencing “denial of service” attacks, he said.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but this is a lot bigger than realtor.com,” Cohen said.
Move released a statement late today confirming that it suffered a “distributed denial of service attack” that began mid-day on Tuesday.
Move said distributed denial of service attacks are sent by people or botnets, a connection of Internet-connected programs communicating with other similar programs to perform tasks.
In August, realtor.com went offline unexpectedly for approximately an hour.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly stated Brett Godfrey was an agent David Brenton’s Team brokerage. In fact, he does marketing for the firm.