Your Listings. Your Choice. Here’s what you need to know to make the right decisions for you and your clients!
What is VMLS doing about syndication? Will my listings still go to Zillow? Trulia? Realtor.com? What am I supposed to do? Read on to get all of your questions answered.
What is syndication?
In the real estate industry, syndication refers to an agreement between a broker and a third-party to advertise the broker’s listings on non-MLS websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, REALTOR.com, RE/Colorado.com, ColoProperty.com (“Portals”). In most areas, your MLS service makes these agreements on your behalf, sending all the active listings while allowing you to opt-out per listing or by brokerage.
What is the big deal about syndication right now?
On a national level, some of the big players are changing their agreements. One of the biggest syndication services, Listhub, (the ‘middle man’ between MLSs and the portals), has chosen to stop sending listings to Trulia and Zillow. So if any MLS or brokerages want their listings to continue to be shown on Trulia, a separate agreement must be made.
What is VMLS doing about syndication?
VMLS has been working for almost a year to ensure our area’s listings will continue to be delivered to the major portals with stronger controls for data integrity. Utilizing a national MLS attorney, we’ve negotiated direct agreements with Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com and Realtor.com
Do I have to send my listings to these portals (Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Realtor.com)?
No. You can opt out on a per listing basis when entering a listing into VMLS, or by brokerage. If you want to opt out by brokerage, please contact VBR directly for assistance.
Should I send my listings to these portals (Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Realtor.com)?
You have the ability to choose how and where you send listings for advertising purposes, as broadly or as narrowly as you deem necessary. We encourage all brokers to learn more about syndication, the pros and cons, and what choices are open to you. We provide links to more information on syndication in the member area of vbr.net.
What do I do when I find inaccurate information on my listings on a portal’s website (e.g. Zillow, Trulia, etc)?
To correct listings errors, you need to find out how the information was syndicated to that website:
- Some of the largest brokerages have direct feeds to the various portals. You would reach out to the brokerage’s designated person to correct the problem.
- If the listing was manually uploaded to the website, you would reach out through the website's support department.
- If VMLS handles the syndication for you, you would contact VMLS staff for assistance.
Who owns these websites?
Trulia is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Zillow Group, which is a very recent development. These websites continue to operate separately for now, but the agreements for data syndication covers both.
Realtor.com is owned by News Corp, the newspaper publisher controlled by Rupert Murdoch. This is a recent acquisition. They compete directly with Zillow and Trulia. Realtor.com is NOT owned by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). There is only an agreement between NAR and News Corp to cover usage of the REALTOR® trademark.
The Zillow Group and News Corp are direct competitors. The recent changes in ownership is creating major changes in data syndication that affect all MLSs and Brokerages directly. VMLS is working to stay at the forefront of these changes, and ensure our brokers have access to all the tools they need, including syndication.
To syndicate or not, that is the Broker’s choice. VMLS ensures you have the tools to make your decisions either way.