OpinionTechnology

6 questions about the new Broker Public Portal/Homesnap alliance

  • The "national MLS" might address the problems of cost and deployment of an app that people want to use, but most observers agree that competing with Zillow in search is going to be very, very difficult.
  • Nothing changes about how brokers display each other's listings and use them for lead generation.
  • Zillow will probably continue to dominate search and lead generation for many years. BPP/Homesnap will take traffic and leads from brokerage websites that do not offer a compelling user experience and valuable content.
  • Despite claims in the promotions, BPP/Homesnap is not a "national MLS." One of the primary functions of an MLS is the offer of cooperation and compensation, which BPP/Homesnap does not provide.

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Last week, Broker Public Portal became Homesnap. By way of background, the Broker Public Portal was created in 2014 to compete with third-party portals such as Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com. It describes itself as a "collaborative venture between real estate brokerages and MLSs to create a national consumer home search website." Last year, BPP adopted Homesnap as the technology for the mobile app. Now BPP and Homesnap have incorporated as one company. The app has both agent and consumer versions that directly access MLS data. BPP/Homesnap also provides a database from Black Knight that combines MLS data, property tax records, census data and geographic boundaries on virtually every property in the United States. "The parties agreed that the best path to success would be served by forming a mutual partnership with Homesnap providing technology, brand and operational expertise to the new company, rather than composing a vendor agreement," stated a press release about the...