A week after the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) Board of Directors announced they would end the capability for the 14,000 members of the trade group to automatically send listings to online home search portal Zillow and listing syndication network ListHub, there has been a change of heart.
According to a document obtained by Inman and dated Thursday, November 15, the GLVAR Board of Directors will now “continue syndicating its MLS data to third parties.”
The abrupt reversal came about after GLVAR heard “concerns this month from many of its members,” according to the document.
“We believed this was the right decision, but we have since heard from some of our members who expressed concern that this change could have created a hardship for them and may have the potential to detract from the way they currently do business,” said GLVAR president Chris Bishop in a statement. Read the full document of the walkback here:
The original decision to end listing syndication was publicized on November 8, 2018 in an email sent by the GLVAR board to its membership and a video posted to its YouTube account, the latter of which has since been removed.
At that time, GLVAR’s past president David Tina said the organization had surveyed its membership and that 75 percent said they wanted to have control over their listing syndication. However, GLVAR’s current system allowed brokerages to turn off automatic syndication as they saw fit.
Removing automatic syndication would have meant that brokerages would have to create their own systems (or subcontract out the creation of such systems) for automatically sending listings to Zillow and ListHub. GLVAR’s board of directors sought to end the current automatic syndication system when its agreements with Zillow and ListHub expired, in January 2019 and June 2019, respectively.
As Inman previously reported, reaction to the decision was mixed, with some agents celebrating the move but many others scratching their heads and actively bemoaning it.
“How is removing your listings from millions of buyers a good thing?” asked Mike Johnson, a Realtor at Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican, in the Raise the Bar in Real Estate Facebook group.
“Why do agents not want their listings to be advertised all over the internet?” added Marseeya Stone, an agent with Redfin. “Am I missing something?”
“At eXp Realty we have a new executive that is advocating for this exact thing,” posted Mary Standahl, a broker with eXp Realty. “I’ve been saying this for years. I hope Hawaii can follow suit.”
“Every MLS should follow suit,” added John Davison, owner and founder of The J. Davison Realty Group.
Zillow, for its part, was openly critical of the move as well, with Zillow’s chief industry development officer, Errol Samuelson, saying it would “significantly harm” indie brokers who didn’t have the money or resources to set up their own individual feeds to Zillow and other portals.
Reacting to the news of the reversal, a Zillow spokesperson provided the following statement to Inman on Saturday: “We have had a strong relationship with GLVAR for many years and we look forward to continuing to work with them and their members into the future.”