With Consumers Hungry for Real Estate Data How Much Control is Safe to Give Away?
We all know the Real Estate business in Canada is a multi-billion dollar industry, however the past few years have seen the big players battling for control of an asset other than residential and commercial properties…
Data… Listing info… home price indices, historical data, listing histories and more.
Experts in the real estate industry agree the debate over listing syndication is among one of the top controversial issues in the upcoming years.
Large third party corporations and websites have caught the scent of this gold mine and have begun aggressively accumulating this information and selling it back to consumers, realtors and the very brokers and MLSs who created it.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Who should control this data?
Who are the players?
- Consumers – they are the innocent bystanders simply looking for reliable and accurate information on home evaluations, foreclosures, comparative historical data and things like dates of property on and off the market.
- Real Estate agents – Would like consumers to also receive quality data but at what price?
- Real Estate agencies – Many are pulling back on syndication while others are more aggressively searching other avenues to place their data
- MLSs/Realtor.ca – They own the data so obviously want to control it. On one hand they don’t like losing traffic to their site to syndication but they also see how much money is being made with this information and are tempted to reach for a bigger piece of the pie.
- Big business corporations like zoocasa.com, Rogers Media, Shaw and Bell Media amongst others looking to sell consumers goods and services around offering this valuable information and potentially charging you as a realtor to advertise your services to your potential clients where you could have provided the same data for free through Realtor.ca
As you can see there are a lot of powerful players all with their own agenda and end game.
Excellent points are made for both sides but in the end who wins? Is it the consumer or big business?
Which way do you lean?
Please don’t just read this without letting us know how you feel about it…
Pro Listing Syndication:
- Recognize the rising demand from consumers and real estate professionals for higher quality data and aim to meet it by flooding the marketplace with this information.
- Believe listing syndication offers greater exposure to listings at a much lower price with more measurable results
- Claim syndicating to vendors who provide analytic type traffic data allows the MLS to share property stats with members giving them better ability to measure the effectiveness of their marketing.
- State syndicating listings for MLS members is an ideal way to increase offerings without having brokers do the work to duplicate the data feed process.
- Try to gain online consumers from brokers who have decided not to syndicate.
Anti Listing Syndication:
- Believe broker control of listing information and the distribution channels it is presented on is critical.
- Want to insure only the highest quality and credible data reaches the consumer by only allowing it on sites providing the most value.
- Do not feel sites like Zoocasa and other third party media sites provide adequate return on value.
- Feel strongly third party real estate sites are not in the brokerage business but rather the business to “sell advertising to anyone who will buy it” and therefore do not have the best interest of the consumer or the industry in mind.
- Will not syndicate in an attempt to force consumers to their own site for the data they seek.
- Believe if a realtor/broker does not know where their listings are available, they can not track them or verify the accuracy of them.
As you can see there is a lot at stake and many willing to go to great lengths to get their way.
One side is wanting the listing data out there to as many places as possible and let the consumers find it at every angle.
Proliferation of websites can possibly mean good news for consumers trying to find a home online and greater exposure for sellers trying to sell their home with organized real estate and increased lead generation of sales for real estate sales professionals and their business production.
With this model only so much search traffic ends up at the industries official portal realtor.ca This can be seen as a huge enhancement for sellers, buyers and the real estate professional.
The other side is concerned with preserving integrity of the data as well as insuring the data does not lose it’s primary goal to give consumers the information needed to make educated real estate purchase and sale decisions in lieu of becoming a bargaining chip for the highest advertising bidder.
Being a realtor or broker I encourage you to look into this further, start up a conversation here on AgentsBoost or back in your home office and let me know what you think or feel about it.
Strength and courage,
Speak out with a comment below or move the discussion to a social site using the buttons below…
Cast Your Vote in the Heated Listing Syndication Debate