More on Syndication
Key Questions You Should Ask About Syndication
Today, the concept and the benefits of having the ability to distribute your listing data through a single point of entry should be well understood. The questions for MLSs, associations, brokers, and agents to ask now, in 2018, are:
1. To what entities should I allow my listings to be distributed?
2. What is the real value proposition offered by destination sites? Is the “exposure” promised by the portals all that they claim it to be, or is it more hype, made impressive because it is reported in large, aggregate numbers?
3. How and what does each portal do to de-duplicate when it receives the same listing data from multiple sources? What are portals determining factors in deciding which source is its authoritative source?
4. What, if anything, are the portals doing to reduce the chances of non-featured listings, those where the listing agent pays nothing to the web portal, from being found on their sites by interested consumers?
5. How are the search results manipulated by the portals?
6. Is it in my best interest, the best interest of my customers, and in the best interest of the industry to allow these sites to use my listing data to make commerce for themselves, perhaps at my present and future expense?
7. What are some of the unintended consequences of listing data being freely available to destination sites under current terms and conditions of those sites?
8. What are the destination sites doing with the data that they should not be doing?
Of course, the answers will depend on who you ask. There are many stakeholders in this game, more than just those consumers interested in buying or selling real estate in the next few months. It is an entire ecosystem, where lots of different players have a lot of different motivations.
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