This missive was emailed to San Diego Realtors from our MLS company:
Dear Brokers, as you may know, the relationship between Zillow and ListHub ends on Tuesday April 7th. If your listings are going to Zillow by some means other than ListHub, this does not affect you. However, if you have been using ListHub, your listings will no longer be going to Zillow on the 7th.
Sandicor has been in the process of implementing a replacement syndication system and negotiating an agreement with Zillow that would offer substantial benefits and protections for you and your listings along with protections for Sandicor, in the event you elected to send your listings to Zillow. While our syndication system is being put into production, our negotiations with Zillow have not resulted with an acceptable agreement between us.
Please know that the terms of the agreement were developed by a fifteen member Broker Group, representing a wide variety of brokers, from a 2 person office to our largest brokerages. All were unanimous in the terms developed, which included protections for the listing data, brokers / agents and Sandicor. The terms are very similar to other licensing agreements we have with IDX vendors and other vendors.
Unfortunately Zillow was not agreeable to those terms and appeared to be unwilling to consider much beyond their terms. We revised the agreement such that we felt we addressed some of Zillow’s issues, at which point we were told they didn’t have the legal resources available to discuss it any further. We then tried to negotiate an interim agreement, which also was not successful.
While Zillow does not have the resources to negotiate with us at this time, we have not given up and will endeavor to work on an agreement that is acceptable to all parties.
While our 15-member team probably believes that Zillow will come around as soon as they can drum up a few more lawyers, the tone has already been set.
If the MLS wants direct uploads, then we’ll have to comply with Zillow’s rules. Other MLS companies are already toeing the line:
All that has to happen is for Zillow to hold out, and either our negotiators will cave and allow them to pimp our listings however they feel necessary, or we will be forced to manually input the listings onto Zillow – where Z will pimp our listings.
Either way, they will pimp our listings.
Zillow owns us now, and this is the MLS death march.
The MLS only provides a basic product for agents to use, while Zillow builds a dynamic, engaging product for consumers. There is no impetus for change – those who control the MLS don’t see a need to compete with Zillow. Realtor.com is supposed to be competing, but they haven’t done much yet.
Who cares? The realtors who don’t have listings should care. They are the ones who will get squeezed out slowly, as Zillow helps to convert the industry to single agency.
News Corp doesn’t care about realtor.com, they care about News Corp. The best hope to keep the MLS relevant is to privatize it. Here is more on that from the Notorious ROB:
So this was the inflection point where brokers around the country could have beaten back Zillow, but instead are choosing to capitulate. If none of the individual MLS’ would have signed direct with Zillow, and Zillow had to pimp listings one at a time, Zillow would have been done.
Yep – we had our shot.
Agents think it is a MLS problem, and the MLS companies think they need to auto-upload to make the agents happy.
Private monopolies always die long and hard, but die nonetheless.