Monitor Your Syndicated Listings
by Eric Stegemann
on Mar 10, 2010
Listed in News

Tribus offers our premier listing syndication system that syndicates your listings across hundreds of sites.  Along with our listing syndication system, we offer enhancements and advertising to major sites like Trulia, Zilow, and more.    Unlike other services like Point2, Postlets, and VFlyer, the system works along with your MLS to automatically to push your listings out to these sites.  We pull in your listing photos, property descriptions, status changes, price changes, and more so that whenever you make a change in one place, the change occurs everywhere.  Most importantly unlike the manual sites and other services, when we syndicate your listings, we have the sites link back directly to the listing on a broker or agent website, NOT a site on Point2, Postlets, or VFlyer.  (The advantage is that the user can then engage with your site, search other listings, and you can better win them as a client.)

However, whether you have an automatic syndication service like Tribus ListingSyndicator, or whether you use a manual service, you must continue to monitor your listings across sites to check for irregularities.  In the past, we’ve monitored other brokers stealing listings to advertise as their own.  (Zillow and Trulia have yet to come up with a system that allows you to authenticate that it really is your listing.  Although we’ve publicly pushed a plan for over a year utilizing a Pin system when the listing syndicates.)  As an example, the company we setup in Los Angeles had their listings syndicated by Tribus.  The company deals in very high end real estate.  A home they had listed for $17,500,000 was overtaken by a competitor company.  I’ve personally had to make 3 phone calls to other agents / brokerages indicating they were in violation of law, by advertising a listing that was not their own.  Most agents and brokerages don’t understand the difference between syndication and IDX.

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But this blog post stems from a major issue we encountered yesterday.

Yesterday, our St Louis affilaite received an email from Point2 Technologies indicating that Point2 was syndicating their listings.  After a check of Zillow and other sites, in fact the link to the property info page went back to a page on Point2.com  NOT to the brokers page.  What happened was that Point2 struck a deal with the local MLS, MARIS in St Louis, to syndicate listings automatically.  (It’s been Point2’s policy lately to extend functionality to do syndication automatically through the MLS if they can strike a deal.  The benefit being that Point2 gets the web traffic and hopefully agents see this and decide to upgrade to a paid version of their site which can cost $119/ month for a template site.)

So without any acceptance on behalf of the brokerage in St Louis, Point2 overtook the Tribus listing syndication system and started directing their leads to a Point2 page (an example of their pages here: 1649 Mount Vernon – Notice that all brokerage branding has been removed, the SEO is tremendously bad, it doesn’t follow the rules and regulations required by MO state law to display the office phone number, and they have chosen to sell ads around the listing. )  We have contacted Point2 to ask them to remove this from their site and they agreed that nothing had to be done for this to be turned on… It was a “do nothing and we’ll turn it on for you” system agreed to by the MLS.  By the time we had it shut down, hundreds of clicks were stolen by Point2 and all of the enhancements that were paid for had been removed.  We’ll have to now have someone go through listing by listing and reactivate each one.

Have you encountered similar problems syndicating your listings?  Let us know in the comments below!

Eric works with real estate technology companies and brokerages across the country to see what's next for the future of the industry and directs our internal development projects here at TRIBUS.

4 Comments
  1. Karen Goodman

    Thanks for the heads up. I know that my Keller Williams office uses Listing Hub, and my broker checked the Point 2 list and ‘unchecked’ the syndication sites that were already on our list before turning on the Point 2 system when MARIS set up the free syndication arrangement.

    I’ve forwarded this article to him so we can make sure that nothing is changed and we don’t need to just shut it down entirely.

    I appreciate you keeping tabs on what MARIS is doing and watching out for all of us!

    Posted on 3.10.10 at 8.56 pm
  2. Karen Goodman

    Thanks for the heads up. I know that my Keller Williams office uses Listing Hub, and my broker checked the Point 2 list and ‘unchecked’ the syndication sites that were already on our list before turning on the Point 2 system when MARIS set up the free syndication arrangement.

    I’ve forwarded this article to him so we can make sure that nothing is changed and we don’t need to just shut it down entirely.

    I appreciate you keeping tabs on what MARIS is doing and watching out for all of us!

    Posted on 3.10.10 at 2.56 pm
  3. Jay Thompson

    “Most agents and brokerages don’t understand the difference between syndication and IDX.”

    That’s pathetic.

    Given the number of bitter and angry calls I get from brokers that start out with, “Why is your site #1 on Google for MY listing?!”, I think there’s way too many that don’t understand the fundamentals of IDX, much less the differences between syndication and IDX….

    Posted on 3.17.10 at 10.17 pm
  4. Jay Thompson

    “Most agents and brokerages don’t understand the difference between syndication and IDX.”

    That’s pathetic.

    Given the number of bitter and angry calls I get from brokers that start out with, “Why is your site #1 on Google for MY listing?!”, I think there’s way too many that don’t understand the fundamentals of IDX, much less the differences between syndication and IDX….

    Posted on 3.17.10 at 5.17 pm
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