Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

The Syndication Hustle


I was just reading John Heithaus, Chief Marketing Officer, of MRIS blog post titled; Reality Check Ahead: Data Mining and the Implication for Real Estate Professionals. He does a great job of outlining the implications of syndication has upon the real estate business.

Unfortunately it seems nobody cares.

To me, and others, it’s clear that the risks of syndication far out weigh the rewards. Yet brokers continue to sign agreements they never read with fine print they never see. Granted there are some best practices to follow, such as making sure the syndicator’s site has much less information than yours, and to make sure you understand what rights to the data you are giving away.

But, with sites like Facebook and Google people have become accustom to surrendering their personal/business data for “free” products and services.

The frustration is that many MLS professionals understand the dangers of listing syndication but are powerless to dissuade their board members to stop, look and listen. Bob Hale at the recent Inman Connect conference did an excelent job of listing off the battles that MLS/Real Estate Industry has lost in recent years, citing “agent ratings” as the latest defeat. And if Bob Hale can’t get anything done? Can anyone???

  1. Greg, I think the problem is that there is a perception among both sellers and most brokers that the syndication endpoints / property portals add more value in the listing marketing effort than they really do. I’m not saying they’re not significant, but if 36% of buyers found their home online, and a major portal site has 6% of online market share, that means that even a major portal makes up about 2% of the overall listing exposure. Unless there is a more widespread understanding of the actual rewards of syndicating to particular property sites, I don’t think there can be a productive conversation about risks versus rewards.

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  3. Realogy, Keller Williams and RE/MAX have figured it out. Like HAR and many other leading MLSs, if third parties want the data, they sign a data license agreement – no passive acceptance of the Terms of Use.

    It is the independent brokers and small players that are victims here. Businesses that are using good lawyers and consultants are covered. Enforcement is the real issue.

    How do you catch a third party behaving badly? Require annual Clareity audits!

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