Edina Realty has hit their tipping point with third party aggregators and are going to pull their listings from Trulia.com beginning Nov. 30. They also intend to follow suit soon after with Realtor.com.
This news should send shockwaves throughout the industry.
With advent of the internet and the MLS information being piped throughout the internet, 3rd Party Aggregator sites began to pop up. 3rd Party Aggregators are private companies that compile real estate information then collect leads and sell the leads to Realtors and Brokers.
At first this was welcomed by the industry, as this initially provided additional exposure to the marketplace. What has transpired over time has become a liability to the clients we serve. These 3rd Party Aggregators such Trulia, Zillow, and shockingly Realtor.com are not held to the same standard as Licensed Realtors and Brokers. The information they publish does not always reflect the clients best interests and sometimes contains bad information and has become a liability for Brokers in some cases. We have seen cases of people’s homes that are not for sale or have been sold are still published on these sites. We have seen instances where a homeowner falls behind on a payment or two and these Aggregator sites publish their home online being mistaken as for sale. Being that these sites are not owned or governed by the same rules makes it difficult if not impossible for us to correct the information posted there.
This poses liability, grief, and headaches for the Realtors, Brokers, and Clients they serve.
Edina Realty is leading the industry to pull their information from these 3rd Party Aggregators to protect their clients and their own best interests.
From Edina Realty:
Edina Realty is responding to the changing business models of third party aggregators. Third party aggregators are not brokers and they are not required to abide by the same rules and regulations as a broker. They get listings for free from brokers around the country and then display them online, collecting and distributing leads for a profit. [Ed. Note: an earlier version incorrectly reported that NAR was not affiliated with Realtor.com; it is, through an operating agreement with Move, Inc.]
We’ve since discovered that much of the data and information showcased on aggregatorsites is inaccurate if it comes from non-MLS sources. According to a recent data qualitystudy conducted by Trulia.com and published on Inman.com, 69 percent of errors in online real estate listings information were directly related to third-party syndication ofinformation by non-MLS sources. This points to the need for more diligence regardingownership of our clients’ data and where we send it – be it directly to an aggregator site orthrough syndication.
“The company reviewed about 1.2 million listings from about 250 data sources during thethird quarter and found about 120,000 inaccuracies in listings information. More than half(51 percent) of those inaccurate listings had errors in price, 41 percent had status errors, and 8 percent had errors in both price and status.”*
*Source: Trulia.com and Realtor.com respectively
Edina Realty will no longer provide a broker feed of our listing inventory to Trulia.comstarting Nov. 30, 2011. We also intend to discontinue sending our listings toRealtor.com by the end of the year. Third party aggregators are not brokers. They get listings for free from brokers around the country and then display them online, collecting and distributing leads for profit. We believe it makes the best business sense for our agents and Edina Realty to control our own listings in order to ensure that:
- · Our agents don’t lose future business opportunities because a non-listing competitor pays to present themselves as the contact for your listing.
- · Our agents don’t have to pay – directly or indirectly – for leads on their own listings.
- · Our sellers can be assured that leads on their listing are being handled by an expert –
- · The quality and accuracy of your listing data is assured.
- · Potential buyers are provided with fast, knowledgeable responses via the listing agent or our seven-day-a-week customer service department.
I think Edina Realty should be applauded for their leadership.
UPDATE 11/18/2011 (thanks for catching the typo!)
Update: 11/23/2011: Opinion Perspective piece by Matthew Ferrara on this story.
- Budd Batterson, Edina Realty Agent, Named REALTOR of the Year 2011 by MNAR (johnmurphyreports.com)