MRED in Negotiations with Zillow on Direct Feed, with Comments from Russ Bergeron, CEO of MRED

According to MRED's CEO, the MLS has been in talk with Zillow about a direct feed to the site.

By Peter Ricci

Zillow was in the news yesterday when Inman News reported that the syndication site had contacted 50 or so MLSs at the end of June about establishing direct IDX feeds. Though Zillow maintains secondary feeds through ListHub, which initially receives property data from nearly 200 MLSs, the email from Zillow Vice President of Partner Relations Bob Bemis indicated the site is looking to receive the information directly from the MLSs and eliminate any gaps between MLS updates and Zillow’s listings.

Zillow’s new strategy got us wondering about MRED’s relationship with the site (especially in light of its recent agreements with Trulia), so we talked with Russ Bergeron, MRED’s CEO, for some perspective.

MRED, Bergeron told us, was not contacted by Bemis because the MLS has been in discussions with Zillow about establishing a direct feed with the site.

“We are currently negotiating a deal with them to do this for our brokers who choose to do so,” Bergeron said, adding that regardless of the site, MRED does not feed any broker’s listings to any site unless he or she directs MRED to do so and opts-in to the feature; thus, rather than operate under the presumption that the listings are sent, the broker directs the process.

Such a deal would not be new for MRED. In addition to MRED’s aforementioned arrangement with Trulia, Bergeron said they have had a similar deal with Realtor.com for years, and currently 95 percent of MRED’s brokers’ listings appear on the site (compared to 80 percent on Trulia and 85 percent on Zillow).

Ultimately, Bergeron said the consumer benefits the most from MLSs working with syndication sites.

“The big saying these days is that the consumer is king, and in this case they are kings of their respective castles,” he said. “And all of us – MLSs, brokers, agents, public site purveyors – need to be focused on making them happy.”

MRED’s most recent step in that goal of happiness, Bergeron said, is working with other MLSs on establishing a “seal of approval” that would appear on listings on other sites. Called sourceMLS™, the badge would notify the consumer that the site they are visiting contains information directly from the MLS, and as such, is timely and accurate.

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  • Lyn Sims says:

    Sounds like a sell out with no inquiries or response from the MLS membership. I personally do not want Zillow’s little finger controling any of our MLS feeds. Notice I say ‘ours’. It is our proprietary information that we allow them to have.

  • Nancy Kowalski says:

    I absolutely agree 100% with Lyn Sims.
    PLUS, I’m don’t even want them (Zillow), at all.

  • Daniel Covarrubias says:

    I agree keep Zillow away from our information. We pay to give us the edge not Zillow. “The big saying these days is that the consumer is king, and in this case they are kings of their respective castles, MRED Remember we (agents)are the consumers of this information. With out the agents inputting information there would be no MRED.

  • Jacek says:

    This is amazing. We do the work , collect the information, post the listings, update changes and same time everybody is doing profit out of our work. Consumer is King? King of what? Misinformation published by Zillow? This is nonsense repeated by every mindless person. How consumer is benefiting from this? Explain to me.
    What Bad is if we control the information, Thank to that is simply accurate.
    What about us and fruits of OUR WORK. Everybody is behaving like the MLS info is growing on trees without our work.
    Maybe we should start sending out invoices to every site publishing our work. (For example Every artist owns copyright to his work and can do that.)
    Are we slaves required to do the work, pays the fees and be severely punished for smallest mistake. and we have no say what is done with fruits of our work.
    Who owns fruits of their work in any other occupation?
    Would MRED send out their staff to collect their own listings?
    Please DO and than sell it out.

  • Judy Orr says:

    I love how we do all the work and 3rd party websites like Zillow and Trulia take our work for free and then try to sell it back to us. Now they want their paws on direct feeds from our MLS.

  • LInda DiBenardo says:

    I would like to see the MLS membership vote on this. We have no control over the information when it goes to other sites. Not to mention they “sell” our leads to other agents. I’d say “NO”.

  • Jeff Lasky says:

    Can all of you please carefully read the article and Russ’s comments?

    MRED does not and will not send any of your listing content to anybody without the consent of the company. Never has.

    MRED is not telling you to send your listing content to Zillow and Trulia or anybody else and won’t send it unless you ask us to. However, you should know that your real estate brothers and sisters ARE giving Zillow and Trulia their listings, in large numbers. Should you choose not to, that’s fine.

    All we are offering to do is provide a cleaner, more current set of data to third party aggregators on behalf of brokerages, AND ONLY WHEN THE BROKERAGE WANTS US TO.

    Where in this article or anywhere else does it say that Zillow is getting some control over MRED feeds? The comments being made just are not factually correct.

    Please take another look at the article and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about this.

  • Howard Meyers says:

    In a perfect world, it would be a wonderful thing if syndicators such as Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com, and realestate.com et. al. were in business to publicize our listings to maximize exposure to get them sold.

    Unfortunately, in the real world, these are businesses and their business model includes selling the leads they receive for our listings to agents whose only connection to the listing is the fee they pay the syndicator.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  • Lyn Sims says:

    As Jeff Lasky states as our MLS attorney, we must be negotiating whether to ‘check the box’ on where our listings are to be sent. That sounds like a good idea for the listings portion.

    What I want to know is how are we going to keep the ‘Z fingers’ out of our closed data base file? Once they are in, there is no turning back & they will spin off whatever info sites, manipulations of our information that will make them $$.

    I’m sure that we(collectively as MRED or as an input consumer myself)won’t be getting a portion of that will we?

  • Sasha says:

    This could potentially eliminate many agents and miscellanious jobs.

    What’s next? Why even hire a real estate agent anymore? Next Zillow and the rest will be doing contract negotiations from their call centers.

    It’s sad and no matter how positively someone can interpret this story, it’s bad news in the end for us, the agents, that dedicate countless hours to our profession, our passion.

  • nick says:

    I do not see the issue with us… our job is to expose our clients real estate to as many people as we can… maybe instead of being against zillow, trillia, redfin. You should learn there back ends for us agents. They have a lot of good tools for us and maybe buying into a zipcode could help you grow. Hey at the end of the day if I can market myself on the king of web traffic…. may be I can sell more!