MRED Calls a Halt to Listing Syndication Madness

by Chicago Agent

laptop_man“If you are like me,” said MRED President and CEO Russ Bergeron, “you are getting tired of listening to the constant barrage of announcements on how multiple listing services (MLSs) are going to take control of listing syndication by making decisions on behalf of their brokers, even if those decisions fly in the face of what the brokers really want. Do people seriously think that delaying data feeds, or forcing brokers to distribute listings on their own, or telling brokers on which sites they can and cannot display their listings, are the answers?”

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service, announced today that it is officially making no changes whatsoever to its policy regarding the distribution of brokers’ listings to web sites. MRED’s policy has been and continues to be that the real estate companies themselves decide where and when their listings are distributed.

Within the real estate industry, the redistribution of listing content to third party advertising, marketing, lead generation and public portal destinations is known as listing syndication.  There are two schools of thought on listing syndication: (1) to maximize exposure of listings by displaying to the most eyeballs possible with the hope of generating leads, prospects, customers and sales; or (2) define a smaller target market that matches your company philosophy or the type of market in which you work.

Recently, announcements have been made by real estate associations and MLSs who have decided in some way or another to restrict the distribution of listing content that they make on behalf of their brokerage customers. MRED has not had to take this step because it has never sent listings anywhere without direction from the brokerage who owns the listings.

“MRED’s policy has always been and continues to be that the brokerage controls where their listings are sent to,” added Bergeron. “Why would an MLS or real estate association tell brokers how to run their businesses? MRED does it the way we think everyone should be doing it. Our job is to facilitate the buying and selling of real estate. If we can assist brokers in their marketing efforts we are happy to do so, but only at their request.”

“It is important to us and our brand that we maintain control over our listing content,” said Fran Broude, President and Chief Operating Office of Coldwell Banker Residential, and member of MRED’s Board of Managers. “We’ve always worked hand-in-glove with MRED, and are very satisfied with its approach to data syndication.”

“Clearly, the control of listing content should be solely within the purview of the brokerages with which the properties are listed,” said Jennifer Alter Warden, President, Baird & Warner Residential Sales. “We’re pleased that MRED’s policy is, and has always been, to follow our direction regarding the distribution of our listing content. We agree that this is the most sensible approach to listing syndication.”

The Realty Alliance (TRA) is a network of large real estate firms across North America. TRA speaks on behalf of these companies on issues affecting the real estate industry. They have recently identified MLS issues, including listing syndication, which they feel are hampering their ability to do the best job possible for their clients.

“The Realty Alliance always supports MLS policies that do not interfere with complete broker control of listing content,” said Craig Cheatham, President and CEO of The Realty Alliance. “Brokers are held accountable for their required stewardship of that data on behalf of the consumers they serve, so we are pleased with MRED’s policy that leaves content distribution a decision consumers make with their listing broker.”

“I don’t want to see any more press releases about what someone is thinking about doing. I would much rather brag about something we are actually doing,” added Bergeron.  “This is a non-issue for MRED customers, and we plan on keeping it that way.”

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