Zillow has an agreement with one of the biggest MLSs in the nation that helps secure the timely flow of listings to the site by bypassing a syndicator owned by rival realtor.com’s parent company.
Brokers who belong to My Florida Regional MLS, which serves more than 39,000 members across central and southwest Florida, now have the option of sending their listing data directly to Zillow as often as 15 minutes, ensuring that information that appears on the site is in sync with MLS data.
My Florida Regional MLS, which is owned and operated by 15 Realtor associations, is the latest member of Zillow’s Partnership Platform, which allows brokers at participating MLSs to bypass third-party syndicators like ListHub and Point2, and send listing data directly not only to Zillow but partner sites like Yahoo, HotPads, AOL Real Estate, MSN Real Estate and HGTV’s FrontDoor.
Trulia, which is set to be acquired by Zillow next year, has agreements in place to receive listings directly from more than 100 MLSs, including My Florida Regional MLS, the Combined Los Angeles/Westside MLS, the Austin (Texas) Board of Realtors, the Arizona Regional MLS and Boise, Idaho-based Intermountain MLS. Trulia has been working to convince more brokers to take advantage of that capability by “opting in” to their MLS’s direct feed.
Thanks to its ties to the National Association of Realtors, Move Inc.’s realtor.com gets listings directly from nearly all of the nation’s more than 800 MLSs.
Move — acquired last month by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. for nearly $1 billion — owns ListHub, and acquired the listing distribution arm of Point2 in August.
Some have speculated whether Move might try to use its control over the syndication of 85 percent of listing data to its advantage, by withholding listings from sites that compete with realtor.com — an idea Move CEO Steve Berkowitz has dismissed as harmful to ListHub’s agent and broker customers.
Another potential threat to the provision of listing data to third-party sites like Zillow and Trulia is the possibility that, in the future, MLSs, real estate brokers and agents will decide to provide only truncated listing data — an idea floated in May by Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman.
In an Inman guest piece, Kelman suggested that brokers treat listing data they provide to third-party sites more like advertisements, providing only the asking price, basic details about the property and a few photos, and insisting on linkbacks to the full listing data on the listing broker’s website.
In September, RealTracs, an MLS serving nearly 10,000 members in Tennessee, northern Alabama and southern Kentucky, began providing truncated listings to third-party sites including Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com with the intention of driving more consumers to its own members’ websites. Zillow, which allows brokers to provide listings to the site directly, has said it will not accept “degraded” listing feeds.