Understanding Syndication: What is it and How it works
June 18, 2015
The hot word in the world of real estate news today is “syndication” and that term certainly cannot be ignored today with the vast changes hitting the industry today. MiRealSource believes strongly in educating our members about these changes and the methods for syndication. Syndication is the act of sending listing data to advertising websites for the general public to view. Not only do REALTORS® advertise on these sites for additional exposure of their listings in hopes of selling it for their Seller Clients, REALTORS® also generate leads from syndicating their listings to potential buyers.
The MLS is used in many different ways, the obvious is that the MLS is the keeper of the data with the most accurate and up-to-date listing information. However, our services do not stop there; we also work with our Brokers, third-party companies, and advertising websites to negotiate agreements that protect the Broker’s listing data which is solely based on Broker permissions.
Changes regarding syndication are happening at a rapid pace; knowing how syndication works and the options available, make those changes less confusing.
Syndication starts with the brokers. The brokers have ultimate control where the listings for their brokerage are sent and how they are sent to those sites which include several platforms (i.e. directly through the MLS, their brokerage, the franchise, or one of the most popular methods – a syndicator (i.e. ListHub). Once the broker decides if their data will be syndicated, it is important to know which method should be used for syndication. The MLS abides by the method that the broker chooses, however, it is important to know that the necessary safeguards are in place to protect the integrity and ownership of the Broker’s data.
Agents are tempted to add listings directly to these advertising sites to start promoting the property even quicker or to show their seller that their home is getting as much exposure as possible; this is not the suggested method for getting your listing data on these sites for many reasons, but primarily for those noted below:
1.By entering or adding listing data directly on the site, you are signing over full rights to those advertising sites—meaning the seller, agent, broker, and MLS cannot reverse any unauthorized use of the data and/or photos.
2. Brokers ultimately have the final decision regarding which method (i.e. directly from the MLS, the Brokerage, or the franchise) they will use to syndicate the data for their Brokerage. Agents that go directly to the site to enter or modify listing data (i.e. price change or add/delete photos) may cause confusion and chaos than they did not anticipate. As previously stated, the Broker controls the method for how their listing data for the Brokerage is syndicated. The data that was entered by the Agent may be trumped (overwritten) by “other sources” which may not include the same information or changes that the agent entered directly on the site – resulting in different listing prices, different or missing photos than in MLS or IDX sites.
MiRealSource’s method for IDX and Syndication are being updated and ensuring that the proper protections are put in place to protect the Broker’s data, which are in the best interest of brokers and agents — not the advertising sites. We will continue to update the members as changes occur.