Zillow, Trulia, et al

10 Replies

Just a heads-up.  There was some discussion about this a few months ago.  At that time, I made the comment that some local Realtor associations and some individual brokerage firms were ceasing to send their listing data to Zillow, Trulia, and others (for several reasons).  Now today, I received an email from my local association/mls stating that all of the listings in our local mls would no longer be automatically syndicated out.  Each and every individual broker would have to contact the syndication company and make arrangements for their listings to be syndicated out (if they wish for this to continue).  However, all of our listings will still automatically go out to Realtor.com.

Thanks for the heads up @Bryan L.  

This could have huge implications on the way independent investors and those of us that don't have access to MLS search for properties online. I wonder if this change is specific to any region or nationwide?

@Payam Dastmalchi - This specific change that I mentioned is specific to my local MLS only (it's local/regional and covers maybe 10 counties in TN). However, there are many other local associations and MLSes (and brokers) who are considering (or have already) stopped sending out their listing data to Zillow, Trulia, and others.

You need to be very careful relying on these other websites anyway, since their information is often inaccurate, out-dated, or both.  That's part of the reason that many brokers and MLSes are no longer sending them the data.

This is great news. Z&T only had about 60% of the listings anyways from what I read. Also, Z had inaccurate pricing 47% of the time. All they were doing was taking our info & selling it back to us. Brilliant, but we are fighting back. Realtor.com is only slightly better in accuracy. My other problem with Z is that when pressed about the inaccuracy, the didn't care and said it was up to the agents to provide accurate info.

My company spoke about this same thing in a webinar recently. Shameless plug: Our app is in 97% of the MLS's nationwide with 100% accuracy. It is free as well;)

@Matt M.
What's the name of your company/app, if you don't mind?

Thanks for the heads up Bryan! I had little trust in both of those sites as is now I know not to put any faith in them from here forward. Especially since we are in the same market. 

@Wane Tango  There is some useful info there.  But you have to be careful with it.

I hope Zillow and Trulia had/have some sort of mitigation for this sort of thing.  To create publicly traded companies based primarily on information that can only be obtained by one (very temperamental, mind you) source is kind of foolish.  

Then again, if you were an agent/broker, why would you NOT market on Zillow and/or Trulia?  I guess you could always put your properties in the classified section of the Sunday newspaper, or, even better, one of those color booklets that they give away for free right by the door of the supermarket...now that is some up-to-the-minute information there.

I'm curious why this is "great news"? I mean, if you are developing a competing service it could be (but unless you are in tight with the board of the NAR and/or a lobbyist or 3, won't competitors be running into the same exact problem?). Also, I'm still a little fuzzy on how limiting the amount of data easily available to the consumer is "great news"? I have no rooting interest here, but limiting access to information seems punitive at best and collusion at worst.

Also, Realtor.com is a joke.  Half the time the app doesn't even work.

NAR is also loosening their rules allowing brokerages now to have sites where they can display closed data without requiring users to fill in their contact info. I started a forum post on it, but it got very little traction. It is a pretty big step allowing agents/brokerages to compete with Zillow and Trulia.

thank you for the information update.   

Jay T. from Zillow here. 

I wouldn't say there are "many" brokerages or MLS pulling data feeds. There are a handful. And there are FAR more joining the Zillow Pro for Brokers program (sending direct feeds to Zillow). There are currently over 2,000 partners in that program, with many representing multiple brokerages.

Just a little perspective... 

And of course we have mitigation in place for the few that do pull listings. Many individual brokerages start sending direct feeds when their MLS's pull listings.

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