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Data Syndication and Licensing Tool Kit. Contents Glossary What is syndication? Who can syndicate listings? How are listings syndicated? What are the.

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Presentation on theme: "Data Syndication and Licensing Tool Kit. Contents Glossary What is syndication? Who can syndicate listings? How are listings syndicated? What are the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Data Syndication and Licensing Tool Kit

2 Contents Glossary What is syndication? Who can syndicate listings? How are listings syndicated? What are the concerns? Where do you expect your listings to go? What do members think? Resources and Contacts

3 Glossary Aggregator - A term used to describe an entity that compiles and stores listing data. API (Application Programming Interface) - A set of rules and specs that allow communication from one software to another. Channel - A public (non-agent/broker) website to which syndicators distribute data; Portal. Not regulated by MLS rules. Derivative Works - Use of information from a data set, other than the original intent; Re-Purpose. EULA (End User License Agreement) - Governs use by the individual user on a particular site, product or service. Enhanced/Featured Listing - Added content or premium placement provided as an up-sell to agent/broker by Publisher. Extended Network - A shared search experience on a public website other than an original channel; Data doesn’t leave control of the original channel, but remains resident in the original database. Framing; Powered by. Framing - Surrounding the property search of Site A with the branding of Site B; data does not leave the control of Site A. Extended Network; Powered by. IDX (Internet Data Exchange) - Website owned by an agent/broker wherein other brokers have given approval to each other to advertise listings. IDX sites are regulated by MLS. Opt-in vs Opt-out - In either instance, the broker is given the means to indicate his own choice as to the display of his listing data on a given national website/channel. Opt-in - the broker chooses to participate; Opt-out - all brokers’ listings are included unless the broker actively prevents it. Portal - A public (non-agent/broker) website to which syndicators distribute data; Channel; Publisher. Not regulated by MLS. Powered By - Provider of information for a website; host or developer of website; property search of one national website framed to the branding of another. Publisher - National website operator; Channel; Portal. Re-Direct Link - Link to the property detail page of the listing agent/broker’s IDX site. Re-Purpose - Other use than the explicit purpose for which it was provided, often unauthorized; Derivative works. Re-Syndication - When a publisher to whom listings have been syndicated forwards that content to another, typically for display on another website. Syndication - Method by which the broker can instruct the MLS to distribute his listing data to outside websites other than IDX and VOW. Transient Download - Method of displaying data on a website by pulling data from another server, so that the data never leaves the original source (server).

4 What is Syndication? Syndication is a method for Brokers to authorize distribution of their listing data to consumer portals hosted by 3 rd parties Syndication allows a broker’s listings to appear on national portals such as Zillow, Trulia and other sites such as Hot Pads.

5 Who Can Syndicate? In most MLSs, any broker who is an MLS Participant may authorize syndication of his/her company’s listings only (Syndication is not like IDX). IDX authorizes brokers to display the listings of other Participants on their company websites (and agent if approved, on agent websites).

6 How are Listings Syndicated? The most common syndication method is by brokers through the use of a 3 rd party such as ListHub or Point2. Some Franchisors also syndicate listings on behalf of their franchisees. Other 3 rd party software (such as Listingbook) offer syndication options as well. Some MLSs offer a feed directly to consumer portals without the use of 3 rd party syndication partners.

7 How Does It Work? Each major syndicator provides the ability for brokers to set up a free account through which they syndicate their own listings. Typically there is a dash board for the broker to select which sites he/she wishes to authorize to display their listings. Using the channel selections of the broker, listings are then distributed to the approved sites.

8 What are the Concerns? Duplication Listings delivered from various sources Outdated information Some sources do not regularly refresh Re-Syndication Forwarding data on to another (unauthorized) site Unauthorized uses Have you affirmatively agreed to your data being used on “Powered by” sites Use for 3 rd Party Integration (Syndegration)

9 For Consideration There is no guarantee of accuracy when MLS is not the source of displayed listing. Are you syndicating from more than one source? Do you allow your agents to manually or independently syndicate? Manually entered properties are often not updated and do not link to current info. Are your listings going to places you are not aware of? (re- syndication) Are your listings being used for solicitation by 3 rd parties? What risk might your MLS and/or your brokers have from incorrect info?

10 Concerns - Duplication Multiple copies of the same listing are received by publishers (portals). Brokers may be syndicating through more than one party – as many as four/five Agents submit listings manually (paid advertisements) How does the channel publisher select the listing to display?

11 Factors used by Publishers in Selecting the Source Publishers won’t tell us their selection process but hint at: The one that was paid for as an ad From other sources that they “scrape” From syndicator (which one?) Direct Entry vs. from MLS From corporate franchisor Direct broker feed Direct MLS feed Each has their own secret formula

12 Where you Expect to Send your Data Point2 -

13 Where you Expect to Send your Data ListHub -

14 Channels →Extended Channels→ Concerns surround the use of MLS Listing data to power other websites via the data syndication to the approved Channel. Do you know where your data is being re-displayed? Example: If you syndicate to: Oodle via Listhub or Point2, expect to find your listing data on: ABC, Comcast, Cox Media, Washington Post, Facebook, Fox Interactive Media, Florida Press Association, Lycos Classifieds, Local.com, Media General, Miliary.com, MySpace, New York Post, New York Times, and Walmart. Trulia powers: the Sun Chronicle, The Bakersfield Californian, Washington Post, KTVB, Killeen Daily Herald, KOMO News, St. Petersburg times, Press of Atlantic City, Bangor Daily News, Pegasus News, Kiplinger, and US News and World Report. The list of sites powered by Zillow is too long to list but it centers around Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. providing listing data to numerous sites within 23 states. Source: ListHub Channel Scorecard

15 Channels →Derivative Works→ Also, many of the channels contracted through ListHub and Point2 use the listing data for Derivative Works. Meaning they use the data for purposes other than the stated display of listing content on their primary website. It has proven to be extremely difficult to ascertain what those works are, but by reading the Terms of Use of each channel, an MLS can isolate those that have stated this intended use. Within the Tool Kit, CMLS has provided a preliminary report of which sites have this provision in their published Terms of Use.

16 What do Members think about this? Survey conducted by Clareity Consulting, % of Brokers surveyed support MLS syndication to publishers at broker's request - 11% are neutral and 19% are in opposition. 53% participate in an MLS provided syndication service. 46% syndicate both via the MLS and independently or through a franchise. Among larger brokerage (over 26 agents), over 72% syndicate both via MLS and independently or through a franchise.

17 Data Accuracy Awareness 46% are aware that non-MLS syndication of listings is creating duplicate listings on web portals 70% are aware that many non-MLS methods of listing syndication don’t provide methods of keeping listings up to date. If you syndicate listings by means other than the MLS, do you keep them up to date and take them down when a property sells? - 46% say ALWAYS -22% say SOMETIMES -32% say NEVER

18 Data Accuracy/Distribution Concerns Are you concerned regarding the level of listing data accuracy on syndication portals? - 78% Concerned - 13% are neutral - 9 % are not concerned 79% are concerned regarding unauthorized re- syndication. Among larger brokerages, more than 83% are concerned. 52% expect that MLSs will "very aggressively" police syndication portals and protect listing data. Another 25% expect MLSs will "somewhat aggressively" do so.

19 MLS Action Items Log in to your Dashboard for ListHub and/or Point2 – review your options and be selective about what channels you open to your membership. – Read the Terms of Use for each site you select – Research via ListHub’s Site ScoreCard

20 Broker Action Items Log in to your Dashboard for ListHub and/or Point2 – review your options and be selective about where your listings are going. – Read the Terms of Use for each site you select – Research via ListHub’s Site ScoreCard Check with Franchisor (if applicable) to see if they are also syndicating your listings. Check with Agents to see where they might be syndicating or manually uploading.

21 Resources and Contacts Clareity Whitepaper “Syndication to Real Estate Portals: Problems & Solutions” WAV Group Whitepaper “Syndication: A Single Source Solution” Clareity Survey “Broker Survey on Syndication Issues” WAV Group Whitepaper “Listing Syndication 2.0” WAV Group Whitepaper “Listing Syndication Be Sure to Read the Fine Print” MLS Tesseract “A Listing Syndication Discussion”

22 Resources and Contacts CMLS Brings it to the Table 2011 Participants Bridge InteractivePace Davis ClareityTroy Rech CoreLogicChip McAvoy Homes.comAndy Woolley List HubLuke Glass MLS Data Co-opBud Fogel Move/Realtor.comBrenda Carnegie OnboardKim Prior Point2Walt Baczkowski RE Data Vault (LPS)Ira Luntz TruliaLloyd Graves ZillowGreg Schwartz White Papers and Blogs ClareityAmy Geddes Focus ForwardKevin McQueen MLS TesseracBrian Larson Vendor AlleyGreg Robertson WAV GroupMarilyn Wilson

23 Contributors In addition to those listed on the resource and contacts page, CMLS would like to recognize the many volunteers who have contributed to the “CMLS Brings it to the Table” Workshop, this Tool Kit, and the many publications written on the topic of Listing Syndication for the good of the industry as a whole. Merri Jo Cowen – My Florida Regional MLS President CMLS 2011 Greg Manship – Intermountain MLSPresident-Elect CMLS Cathy Holefelder – Heartland MLS Secretary/Treasurer CMLS Syndication Tool Kit Work Group Melanie Blakeney – Memphis Area Association of REALTORSPast President CMLS CMLS Directors Amy Geddes – Clareity Security Syndication Tool Kit Work Group Marilyn Wilson – WAV Group Syndication Tool Kit Work Group Shelley Specchio – Northern Nevada Regional MLS Syndication Tool Kit Work Group Monica Beck – Northwest MLS Syndication Tool Kit Work Group Bob Bemis – Arizona Regional MLS Art Carter - CRMLS Inc. Kathy Condon – MLSPIN Lauren Hansen – Information and Real Estate Services, LLC Jay Gordon – Willamette Valley MLS Kurt Von Wasmuth – RMLS Multiple Listing Service Wes Wiggins - Regional MLS, Inc.


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