Realtors – It’s Time To Stand Up In The IDX / Syndication Debate
on Feb 7, 2012
Listed in News, Professionalism

Realtors – it’s time to wake up and get a voice. Leaders of your MLSs are playing chicken with your livelihood and don’t understand the ramification of their actions.

This week two MLSs said they would no longer allows their agents to use Diverse Solutions IDX products because they were now affiliated with Zillow. MetroList, Denver’s MLS, and the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors MLS.

Why? Because people at the MLSs didn’t like that Diverse sold their company to Zillow.

“The (Diverse Solutions IDX) product is actually a fine product, it’s just that they sold to Zillow,” said Laurel Abbott, the association’s president-elect and a board member. Abbott is also chair of the association’s multiple listing service committee.

This is no different than the government saying “we’re not going to allow you to buy any products from China anymore because we philosophically disagree with how they run their government.” A whole lot of really great products would go away overnight. That iPad you have? Gone. The Mac computer? Your TV and probably half the items in your house – you can no longer own, because an arbitrary body got into a fight with some other body. Instead of working out their differences… They just reacted.

MLS executives – Do you realize what you’re doing here? You’re playing God with people’s lives? Agents have spend countless hours investing in their websites. They’ve set up clients on email drips of properties, they’ve built pages to attract buyers, they’ve built advertising campaigns around their IDX. The IDX is the lifeblood of their marketing platform – and you’re giving them a month, during their busiest season to change this, potentially costing them thousands.

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And now, you’ve told them they can’t use it anymore because you don’t like their parent company’s business model.

“Zillow is not a friend to organized real estate, so we’ve voted not to support (the company). There were concerns of misuse of our data. (The Zillow website) is grossly inaccurate. (The site overinflates) what our (for-sale) numbers are (and) includes information from properties that have sold months ago. It’s not an accurate site,” Ms. Abbott goes onto say…

If you understand the difference between syndication and IDX, how could you possibly make this statement? How could you claim that anything with syndication changes how IDX works? Two different databases. Two different data sources. Two different sets of rules that have to be followed by each business.

I urge Realtors to speak to their MLSs and make sure this isn’t a power play by either MLS executives or instead from agnets on boards of the MLSs whom are scared of other agents using these products.

Marketing Director for MetroList, Melissa Olson says the following about their issue with Diverse Solutions:

In Colorado, Olson said that they have a “local favorite” in IDX provider Hillside Software. More than 200 real estate companies are using Hillside’s product, with Olson saying it has a number of unique features.

Should MLSs have a “local favorite” IDX vendor? I think not. Shouldn’t they allow their members to choose the technologies they want? Isn’t the MLS a member driven organization? Does this statement not ring the DOJ “Antitrust” bells?

Quotes on this page taken directly from Inman News and from GeekWire

With more than 17 years experience in the real estate industry, including being a Realtor and Broker / Owner, Stegemann brings a wealth of knowledge to this job as CEO of TRIBUS. He focuses his time on helping brokers enhance and expand their business and working with the TRIBUS labs team to consider what's next in real estate.
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