Tag Archives: ListHub

Clareity Goes Back to the Future Beyond Syndication

Back To the Future

“Marty! I went back in time before Listhub! It was amazing!”

My friends at Clareity, Gregg Larsen and Matt Cohen, have just released a white paper they co-authored titled Beyond Syndication that is worth reading in full if you’re interested in this sort of thing. They include an overview of where things stand today, and then make a recommendation or two. Despite the fact that I declare Syndication dead as an issue a couple of years ago, it’s like a zombie that refuses to go away, so I have to write on it to see what I think about it.

At the same time, I think this white paper is significant in that it strikes a different tone in some respects, and perhaps we can consider it a step forward in putting the syndication issue to bed once and for all.

Having said all that… I was expecting something a bit more… ah… dramatic given the title. I suppose the role of the dramatic overstatement and questions no one wants to ask is mine and mine alone. :)

So let’s get into it.

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A Small Step, Fraught With Significance: ListHub Introduces “MLS Preferred” Concept

 

Oh my...

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?

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Deceased Equine Shall Be Assaulted: Start Thinking Beyond IDX

 

Oh jeez, not another post on syndication and IDX...

It’s late, and I’m fairly certain that this horse I’m about to pound on some more is long since departed for greener pastures in the hereafter… but hey, what the hell, right?

So by now all readers of Notorious ROB have seen the latest developments in the Syndication Serenade:

This carousel is making me dizzy!

The responses from the peanut gallery are… well, predictable. You have the lamentations of the Transparency Mafia, the chortling of the KillZillThrill Cult, various declarations of how bass-ackwards the real estate industry is, and people who just love that the MLS is “fighting back”, and so on and so forth.

And yet, no one appears to be picking up on the most important trend here. So let me beat this dead horse one more time: brokers, REALTORS, vendors, Romans, friends, countrymen… it’s time to start making your plans for the post-IDX world.

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Zillow Acquires Postlets; Perceptive MLS CEO’s Draw Up War Plans

As you have probably heard by now, Zillow has acquired Postlets, the popular listings syndication platform. The initial reaction has been quiet, or supportive.

Brian Boero of 1000watt Consulting wrote about the acquisition:

This comes just a few months after Move, Inc’s acquisition of ListHub, a deal that upped the competitive ante between the leading online real estate sites. I likened this acquisition to Move “Cutting in” on the content/distribution dance between Trulia, Zillow and their industry listing partners.

It was a smart play by Move. And now Zillow has countered.

Postlets, while claiming 500,000 registered users, is to my knowledge a smaller syndication player and has struck me as more agent-focused than ListHub, which serves many large brokerage companies.

And Matthew Ferrara of Matthew Ferrara & Company tweeted (in response to my tweet):

Note that my immediate reaction to the news was, “What the hell is Zillow thinking?”

Given that Move has already acquired ListHub, and commercial real estate software giant Yardi has acquired Point 2, leaving not a whole lot of potential syndicators for Zillow to buy up, that reaction may seem puzzling. Let me explain.

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Move, Listhub, and Syndication Standards (NROB)

Originally posted to Notorious R.O.B.

Back in September, when Move, Inc. (which operates Realtor.com, among other units) acquired ListHub, the leading syndicator of listings, there were a number of opinions and speculations on why Move would buy a syndicator of all things.  Given that Move gets a direct feed of all MLS listings under the NAR Operating Agreement, it didn’t make much sense to buy a supplier of listings.

I thought then that I knew the real strategic motivation behind Move’s acquisition, and how we’d eventually see it play out.  But I didn’t write anything about the acquisition at the time because I felt I was in possession of information I should treat as confidential, given how I acquired it.  Well, at NAR yesterday, I got a few minutes to speak with Steve Berkowitz, the new CEO of Move, as well as Errol Samuelson, President of Realtor.com, more “on the record” so to speak.  I confirmed most of my hypotheses, and learned a bit more about how Move intends to utilize its latest asset.

Short version: Move, with ListHub, will be creating and enforcing syndication standards across the industry that will both increase data protection for brokers and agents, and provide Move with a competitive advantage (or at least remove the competitive disadvantage) vis a vis other publishers, such as Trulia and Zillow.

Read the whole thing on Notorious ROB.