Back in November of 2010, I wrote about Move’s acquisition of ListHub and what it might mean for “Syndication Quality”. I thought then that the reason why Move acquired ListHub was strategic — to control the source of listing data, in order to impose on its main competitors the same restrictions that Move had on operating REALTOR.com:
There was little doubt in my mind when the acquisition was announced that what Move was doing was a strategic maneuver to neutralize some of the advantages that its big competitors had — freedom to do whatever they wanted with the data, given the widespread ignorance of brokers and agents on intellectual property issues. Having spoken to Messrs. Berkowitz and Samuelson, as well as other players in the drama, I have confirmed that this is indeed the mutual vision of the Move and ListHub teams.
“Let’s see how Trulia and Zillow compete if they have to live up to our standards of data protection and data integrity” might be something Move executives never actually said, but I rather think they are thinking it.
Well, it only took a year and a half, but I believe we’re starting to see the strategy be implemented:
ListHub, the largest syndicator of real estate listings and website analytics, today announced the launch of the ListHub Preferred Publisher Program. Real estate brokers syndicating listings through ListHub’s Preferred Publisher Program can now quickly identify preferred publishers and publisher rules, rate publisher websites and access reports through the control panel. The new features bring greater transparency, control and protection to real estate brokers as they syndicate listings to multiple publishers. ListHub is operated by Move, Inc., (Nasdaq: MOVE), the leader in online real estate.
Earlier this week, prior to the press release, I had the rare opportunity to get a demo from Luke Glass, General Manager, and Mark Wise, VP Operations and Technology, of ListHub of these new features, and to ask them some questions about what they were doing. Well, what they’re doing is a small step, but it is one fraught with real significance for real estate data policy.
There are two things in the new ListHub that work together to create the significance. Let’s dive in, shall we?