Tag Archives: ListHub

Listhub Acquires Point2; I Think of TS Eliot

point2

[EDIT: Please see the clarification posted below.]

I’ve been hearing rumblings about a big game-changing deal for a couple of days, and this morning, it’s been confirmed. Listhub, a Move entity, has acquired Point2 from Yardi, bringing all listings syndication in the United States under one roof.

From Celeste Starchild, General Manager of Listhub:

Move has acquired the Point2 U.S.-based syndication business to further our shared vision of delivering a single listing aggregation, storage and distribution service.  As one of our key partners, we wanted to make sure that you were among the first to hear this good news.

Point2 realized the benefits to the industry of having a single platform, and ultimately worked with ListHub to help bring it to fruition.  The ListHub vision is to provide the industry with a single platform to improve data synchronization between systems, organize appropriate data licensing provisions for participants, and solve for the fragmentation and duplication of efforts that occurs throughout our industry today. Combining the Point2 and ListHub technologies into a single platform is a giant leap forward in reaching these goals.

Benefits to the industry of the single platform include:

  • Better access to listing data for thousands of brokers and franchises who operate across multiple MLSs
  • Increased accuracy for online listings, as agent-entered listings will be transitioned to MLS-connected solutions wherever possible
  • Enhanced customer service to the industry through a single help desk
  • Ability to better measure the results of online marketing across sites and across MLS markets 
  • Leading data protections for all brokerages through ListHub’s comprehensive publisher agreements
  • Ability for software and website technology companies to focus efforts on innovation for REALTORS®, not managing data from multiple sources

How will the acquisition work?

  • The ListHub platform technology will be provided to all of Point2’s previous MLS customers (in the U.S.)
  • ListHub and Point2 will work collaboratively with each MLS to cutover all of Point2’s U.S. based MLS customers to ListHub over the next six months.
  • The MLS-connected Point2 syndication service will operate unchanged for each MLS market during the period prior to their ListHub cutover date to ensure no disruption in service.
  • Once an MLS market is transitioned, the Point2 syndication service will cease operations.

NOTE: While it’s nice of Celeste to say I am a “key partner”, I assume this was a blast email that went out to their actual key partners. :) As the main thing I partner with Listhub on is karaoke with their people, I doubt the phrase applies to me.

In any event… a couple of thoughts.

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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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