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Monday, February 23, 2015

The Syndication War

The Real Estate industry is very important to the overall health of the United States economy. Because of that, a fight, or more importantly, the control over how information being distributed (syndicated) to sites like Realtor.com and Zillow has broken out. RE/MAXLakes Area Realty syndicates our listings in order for information to show up on the aforementioned sites. We use a company called ListHub to supply that information from our MLS to these sites, and they do an excellent job of making sure the information is correct. So what’s the rub?

Zillow and Truila have merged to create the “Zillow Group”. Realtor.com and ListHub are owned by News Corp, and they are both fighting to become the number one search portal for real estate. But ListHub is no longer going to supply information to Zillow and Truila, and because of that, Zillow and Truila may be in trouble. Here’s why; when Zillow and Truila independently receive feeds from all of the MLS systems around the world, it is virtually impossible for them to properly match or “map” the information they are receiving correctly. For instance, one MLS system may call waterfront property “lakeshore”. Another MLS system may call it “lakefront”. Now, multiply that by thousands of different MLS systems, and Zillow and Truila have a problem matching things up. That’s where ListHub comes in. What they have done (using the same example) is to come up with a way to make all waterfront properties match, and that is why the information being syndicated through ListHub is important to the accuracy of the information that we as agents, and you as consumers rely on. Once a property is listed through MLS, and it is subsequently syndicated to these huge search portals, and in most cases, control over that information is taken out of the agents hands.


So what is a person to do? Well, RE/MAX LakesArea Realty has a very user friendly, state of the art website that DOES have accurate up to date information. More importantly, in the rare occasion we find something that is not correct on our site, we can fix it. Agents and consumers alike are frustrated with the inaccuracy of the information on websites like Zillow and Truila, and unfortunately, because of this fight over control, that is probably going to get worse before it gets better. The argument can be made that even if the information is not correct, it’s better to be found on these sites rather than not be on them at all. That may be true, especially if it generates a phone call or email inquiry at which time your agent can update them with the correct information. The bottom line is this though; if you want accurate up to date information, with searches that will produce the results you are looking for the first time, use our website. You can find everything you need at www.lakesrealty.com. You will not only find accurate information regarding our listings, but through Broker Reciprocity, you will find information regarding thousands of properties throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.