Tool Kit Presentation

Data Syndication and Licensing
Tool Kit
What is syndication?
Who can syndicate listings?
How are listings syndicated?
What are the concerns?
Where do you expect your listings to go?
What do members think?
Resources and Contacts
Aggregator - A term used to describe an entity that compiles
and stores listing data.
API (Application Programming Interface) - A set of rules and
specs that allow communication from one software to
Channel - A public (non-agent/broker) website to which
syndicators distribute data; Portal. Not regulated by MLS
Derivative Works - Use of information from a data set,
other than the original intent; Re-Purpose.
EULA (End User License Agreement) - Governs use by the
individual user on a particular site, product or service.
Enhanced/Featured Listing - Added content or premium
placement provided as an up-sell to agent/broker
by Publisher.
Extended Network - A shared search experience on
a public website other than an original channel; Data
doesn’t leave control of the original channel, but remains
resident in the original database. Framing; Powered by.
Framing - Surrounding the property search of Site A with
the branding of Site B; data does not leave the control of
Site A. Extended Network; Powered by.
IDX (Internet Data Exchange) - Website owned by an
agent/broker wherein other brokers have given approval
to each other to advertise listings. IDX sites are regulated
by MLS.
Opt-in vs Opt-out - In either instance, the broker is given
the means to indicate his own choice as to the display
of his listing data on a given national website/channel.
Opt-in - the broker chooses to participate; Opt-out - all
brokers’ listings are included unless the broker actively
prevents it.
Portal - A public (non-agent/broker) website to which
syndicators distribute data; Channel; Publisher. Not regulated
by MLS.
Powered By - Provider of information for a website; host
or developer of website; property search of one national
website framed to the branding of another.
Publisher - National website operator; Channel; Portal.
Re-Direct Link - Link to the property detail page of the
listing agent/broker’s IDX site.
Re-Purpose - Other use than the explicit purpose for
which it was provided, often unauthorized; Derivative
Re-Syndication - When a publisher to whom listings
have been syndicated forwards that content to another,
typically for display on another website.
Syndication - Method by which the broker can instruct
the MLS to distribute his listing data to outside websites
other than IDX and VOW.
Transient Download - Method of displaying data on a
website by pulling data from another server, so that the
data never leaves the original source (server).
What is Syndication?
• Syndication is a method for Brokers to authorize
distribution of their listing data to consumer portals
hosted by 3rd parties
• Syndication allows a broker’s listings to appear on
national portals such as Zillow, Trulia and other sites
such as Hot Pads.
Who Can Syndicate?
• In most MLSs, any broker who is an MLS Participant
may authorize syndication of his/her company’s
listings only (Syndication is not like IDX).
• IDX authorizes brokers to display the listings of other
Participants on their company websites (and agent if
approved, on agent websites).
How are Listings Syndicated?
• The most common syndication method is by brokers
through the use of a 3rd party such as ListHub or Point2.
• Some Franchisors also syndicate listings on behalf of their
• Other 3rd party software (such as Listingbook) offer
syndication options as well.
• Some MLSs offer a feed directly to consumer portals
without the use of 3rd party syndication partners.
How Does It Work?
• Each major syndicator provides the ability for brokers
to set up a free account through which they
syndicate their own listings.
• Typically there is a dash board for the broker to
select which sites he/she wishes to authorize to
display their listings.
• Using the channel selections of the broker, listings
are then distributed to the approved sites.
What are the Concerns?
• Duplication
• Listings delivered from various sources
• Outdated information
• Some sources do not regularly refresh
• Re-Syndication
• Forwarding data on to another (unauthorized) site
• Unauthorized uses
• Have you affirmatively agreed to your data being used
on “Powered by” sites
• Use for 3rd Party Integration (Syndegration)
For Consideration
• There is no guarantee of accuracy • Are your listings going to places
when MLS is not the source of
you are not aware of? (redisplayed listing.
• Are you syndicating from more
than one source?
• Are your listings being used for
solicitation by 3rd parties?
• Do you allow your agents to
manually or independently
• What risk might your MLS and/or
your brokers have from incorrect
• Manually entered properties are
often not updated and do not link
to current info.
Concerns - Duplication
• Multiple copies of the same listing are received
by publishers (portals).
• Brokers may be syndicating through more than
one party – as many as four/five
• Agents submit listings manually (paid
• How does the channel publisher select the listing
to display?
Factors used by Publishers in
Selecting the Source
• Publishers won’t tell us their selection process but
hint at:
• The one that was paid for as an ad
• From other sources that they “scrape”
• From syndicator (which one?)
• Direct Entry vs. from MLS
• From corporate franchisor
• Direct broker feed
• Direct MLS feed
• Each has their own secret formula
Where you Expect to Send your Data
Point2 -
Where you Expect to Send your Data
ListHub -
Channels →Extended Channels→
Concerns surround the use of MLS Listing data to power other
websites via the data syndication to the approved Channel. Do
you know where your data is being re-displayed? Example:
If you syndicate to:
Oodle via Listhub or Point2, expect to find your listing data on: ABC, Comcast, Cox Media,
Washington Post, Facebook, Fox Interactive Media, Florida Press Association, Lycos Classifieds,, Media General,, MySpace, New York Post, New York Times, and
Trulia powers: the Sun Chronicle, The Bakersfield Californian, Washington Post, KTVB, Killeen
Daily Herald, KOMO News, St. Petersburg times, Press of Atlantic City, Bangor Daily News,
Pegasus News, Kiplinger, and US News and World Report.
The list of sites powered by Zillow is too long to list but it centers around Community
Newspaper Holdings, Inc. providing listing data to numerous sites within 23 states.
Source: ListHub Channel Scorecard
Channels →Derivative Works→
Also, many of the channels contracted through ListHub and Point2 use the
listing data for Derivative Works. Meaning they use the data for purposes
other than the stated display of listing content on their primary website.
It has proven to be extremely difficult to ascertain what those works are,
but by reading the Terms of Use of each channel, an MLS can isolate those
that have stated this intended use.
Within the Tool Kit,
CMLS has provided a
preliminary report of
which sites have this
provision in their
published Terms of Use.
What do Members think about this?
Survey conducted by Clareity Consulting, 5-2011
• 71% of Brokers surveyed support MLS syndication to
publishers at broker's request - 11% are neutral and 19%
are in opposition.
• 53% participate in an MLS provided syndication service.
• 46% syndicate both via the MLS and independently or
through a franchise.
• Among larger brokerage (over 26 agents), over 72%
syndicate both via MLS and independently or through a
Data Accuracy Awareness
• 46% are aware that non-MLS syndication of listings is
creating duplicate listings on web portals
• 70% are aware that many non-MLS methods of listing
syndication don’t provide methods of keeping listings
up to date.
• If you syndicate listings by means other than the MLS,
do you keep them up to date and take them down
when a property sells?
- 46% say ALWAYS
- 22% say SOMETIMES
- 32% say NEVER
Data Accuracy/Distribution Concerns
• Are you concerned regarding the level of listing data
accuracy on syndication portals?
- 78% Concerned
- 13% are neutral
- 9 % are not concerned
• 79% are concerned regarding unauthorized resyndication. Among larger brokerages, more than 83%
are concerned.
• 52% expect that MLSs will "very aggressively" police
syndication portals and protect listing data. Another
25% expect MLSs will "somewhat aggressively" do so.
MLS Action Items
• Log in to your Dashboard for ListHub and/or Point2 –
review your options and be selective about what
channels you open to your membership.
– Read the Terms of Use for each site you select
– Research via ListHub’s Site ScoreCard
Broker Action Items
• Log in to your Dashboard for ListHub and/or Point2 –
review your options and be selective about where
your listings are going.
– Read the Terms of Use for each site you select
– Research via ListHub’s Site ScoreCard
• Check with Franchisor (if applicable) to see if they
are also syndicating your listings.
• Check with Agents to see where they might be
syndicating or manually uploading.
Resources and Contacts
Clareity Whitepaper
“Syndication to Real Estate Portals:
Problems & Solutions”
WAV Group Whitepaper
“Listing Syndication 2.0”
WAV Group Whitepaper
“Syndication: A Single Source Solution”
MLS Tesseract
“A Listing Syndication Discussion”
Clareity Survey
“Broker Survey on Syndication Issues”
WAV Group Whitepaper
“Listing Syndication Be Sure to
Read the Fine Print”
Resources and Contacts
CMLS Brings it to the Table 2011 Participants
Bridge Interactive
Pace Davis
Troy Rech
Chip McAvoy
Andy Woolley
List Hub
Luke Glass
MLS Data Co-op
Bud Fogel
Brenda Carnegie
Kim Prior
Walt Baczkowski
RE Data Vault (LPS)
Ira Luntz
Lloyd Graves
Greg Schwartz
White Papers and Blogs
Amy Geddes
Focus Forward
Kevin McQueen
MLS Tesserac
Brian Larson
Vendor Alley
Greg Robertson
WAV Group
Marilyn Wilson
[email protected]
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[email protected]
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[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
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In addition to those listed on the resource and contacts page,
CMLS would like to recognize the many volunteers who have
contributed to the “CMLS Brings it to the Table” Workshop, this
Tool Kit, and the many publications written on the topic of Listing
Syndication for the good of the industry as a whole.
Merri Jo Cowen – My Florida Regional MLS
Greg Manship – Intermountain MLS
Cathy Holefelder – Heartland MLS
Melanie Blakeney – Memphis Area Association of REALTORS
CMLS Directors
Amy Geddes – Clareity Security
Marilyn Wilson – WAV Group
Shelley Specchio – Northern Nevada Regional MLS
Monica Beck – Northwest MLS
Bob Bemis – Arizona Regional MLS
Art Carter - CRMLS Inc.
Kathy Condon – MLSPIN
Lauren Hansen – Information and Real Estate Services, LLC
Jay Gordon – Willamette Valley MLS
Kurt Von Wasmuth – RMLS Multiple Listing Service
Wes Wiggins - Regional MLS, Inc.
President CMLS 2011
President-Elect CMLS
Secretary/Treasurer CMLS
Syndication Tool Kit Work Group
Past President CMLS
Syndication Tool Kit Work Group
Syndication Tool Kit Work Group
Syndication Tool Kit Work Group
Syndication Tool Kit Work Group

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