The MLS syndication movement continues; large New York brokerage stops syndicating to Trulia & Zillow
In January, a San Diego-based ARG Abbott Realty Group took a very public stance in its decision to immediately stop syndicating listings to third-party websites — including Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com — with Jim Abbott, the company president and managing broker, explaining the decision by his 25-agent firm in a YouTube video.
The company’s action echoes a similar move announced in November ’11 by Edina, Minn.-based Home Services of America subsidiary Edina Realty Inc., a brokerage company with about 2,100 sales associates and 60 offices.
Now, a big New York-based brokerage is the latest to stop syndicating listings to Zillow and Trulia, claiming the sites do a disservice to homebuyers and sellers by serving up stale data, and that their platforms are not worthwhile advertising outlets for the company.
Rochester, N.Y.-based Nothnagle Realtors closed 8,070 transaction sides last year and, by that measure, was the 37th-largest U.S. brokerage, according to rankings compiled by Real Trends Inc.
Nothnagle Realtors President and CEO Armand D’Alfonso said complaints from buyers and sellers about listing inaccuracies on sites like Zillow and Trulia were one of the main reasons the brokerage decided to withhold listings it represents from the portals.
D’Alfonso also said the brokerage doesn’t want “to pay to direct traffic away from our site.” Some third-party sites, including Zillow and Trulia, sell ad space to agents with competing brokerages that appear next to listings that aren’t “claimed” by agents or “enhanced” by the agent or brokerage representing the listing.
A recent study sponsored by technology-focused brokerage Redfin found more than one-third of agent-represented listings on Trulia and Zillow were no longer for sale. The study, published last month, found the sites also lacked data for about one-fifth of properties that were listed for sale in an MLS (Realtor. com, thanks to its ties to the National Association of Realtors, gets listings directly from MLSs, and has not been a target of complaints about listing accuracy).
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