Technology

Zillow Group says it’s ready for life after ListHub

Firm has signed 79 MLS deals in the last 2 months -- including 16 in the last 5 days

After roping in direct feed deals with 79 multiple listing services in the last two months, including the 16 it’s announcing today, Zillow Group claims that life after ListHub will be better than ever.

The firm’s star portals, Zillow and Trulia, will have a greater percentage of all active listings on April 8 — the day after their deals with the ListHub listing syndication platform end — than the two sites had on Jan. 1, before news first broke that Zillow and ListHub would not be renewing their contract, Zillow Group spokeswoman Amanda Woolley told Inman.

ListHub is owned by Move Inc., a News Corp. subsidiary and operator of Zillow and Trulia rival realtor.com.

Zillow and Trulia, however, still have distinct listing databases, so it’s not clear whether they will be in better shape as stand-alone sites when their dependence on Move for a chunk of their listings ends. Zillow Group would not answer that question.

A Zillow spokeswoman said the site would have missed “a few hundred thousand listings” if its ListHub feed had been cut off on Jan. 6 when news first broke that the firms would not renew their agreement.

In February, attorneys for Trulia said more than 25 percent of the listing data the site receives from ListHub is unique — Trulia is not getting information on those homes from another source. On March 12, Move and Trulia agreed in court to terminate their ListHub contract early, on April 7.

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With listings on Zillow and Trulia taken together, Zillow Group said it’s in good shape without ListHub, thanks to how quickly it has signed up new MLS feed agreements, Zillow Group Chief Industry Development Officer Errol Samuelson said in a sit-down interview with Inman Publisher Brad Inman this week.

“The team has signed more MLS direct feed agreements in the last three months than it had signed in the last three-plus years,” Samuelson said.

Massive franchisors Realogy and Keller Williams Realty have also recently set up direct feeds to Zillow Group. The firm is also courting more MLSs at an invite-only event in Las Vegas, which will take place April 15 -17.

Eventually Zillow and Trulia will share just one set of listings, but it will take some time for Zillow Group to merge them, Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff told Inman on Feb. 17, the day Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia closed and the two firms were united under Zillow Group.

Trulia has agreements to receive listings directly from more than 125 multiple listing services and thousands of brokers. But Zillow Group will have to approach many of those organizations on an individual basis to seek out permission to display their listings on Zillow and other Zillow Group sites, Rascoff said.

All 79 of the MLS feed agreements Zillow Group has signed recently cover both Zillow and Trulia, Woolley said. Those include the nation’s biggest MLS, California Regional MLS, as well as other large MLSs.

Many of those MLS agreements are opt-in deals, meaning that brokers must take action to send their listings to the firm, but Woolley clarified that Zillow Group’s post-ListHub outlook represents actual listings Zillow and Trulia currently have, not just the potential listings it could have if all member brokers of MLSs it has signed deals with elected to send their listings to the firm.

“This is a positive step forward for the industry, enabling brokers and agents to take complete control of their listings and decide exactly where they should be marketed,” Samuelson said in a statement.

The 16 MLSs announced today are:

  • Baldwin Multi-List Inc. in Milledgeville, Georgia
  • Brazoria County MLS in Lake Jackson, Texas
  • Central Missouri Board of Realtors in Marshall, Missouri
  • Consolidated MLS Inc. in Columbia, South Carolina
  • Fayetteville Regional MLS Association of Realtors Inc. in Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Kanawha Valley Board of Realtors in Charleston, West Virginia
  • Kerrville Board of Realtors in Kerrville, Texas
  • MiRealSource Inc. in Troy, Michigan
  • Multiple Listing Service of Ulster County in Kingston, New York
  • Navarre Area Board of Realtors in Navarre, Florida
  • Reelfoot Regional MLS in Union City, Tennessee
  • South Central Wisconsin MLS Corp. in Madison, Wisconsin
  • South Padre Island Board of Realtors in South Padre Island, Texas
  • Southern Illinois Regional MLS in Collinsville, Illinois
  • Superior Area Association of Realtors Inc. in Duluth, Minnesota
  • Western Kentucky Regional MLS Inc. in Benton, Kentucky

Email Paul Hagey.

Editor’s note: Consolidated MLS Inc. is located in Columbia, South Carolina, not Norwalk, Connecticut, as a previous version of this story incorrectly stated.