Listing syndication revisited by MLS

The Columbus & Central Ohio Regional MLS has a long-standing policy that the only destinations to which we send member listing data for public display is Realtor.com, which promotes our REALTOR® brand, and members’ website Internet Data Exchange (IDX) displays.  

Over the last couple of months, the MLS Board of Directors has considered changing policy to expand the options for syndication. Results from the listing syndication member survey last year were reviewed, as well as recent feedback from members on Zillow’s announcement as of May 1 they will no longer accept manually loaded listings 

During its March 13 meeting, the Board decided to maintain the existing MLS policy which provides direct listing syndication to only Realtor.com and IDX feeds to member websites.  This decision supports the local member website with an IDX display and Realtor.com as the best places for consumers to find accurate, up-to-date listings of property that is for sale in our central Ohio market.

The MLS Board of Directors wants to be sure members know there are still ways to get their listings to the other national websites; and MLS staff has identified three avenues:
  1. Use an MLS-approved third party developer – There are several IDX providers who already provide this service to members, some currently developing this service, and still others that may be interested in doing so. Contact your current third-party developer first, or contact MLS staff for a list of providers.
  2. Direct Brokerage feed – A brokerage with internal resources familiar with IDX or RETS knowledge can work with the MLS to establish the access required.  RETS information and requirements are available from MLS staff.
  3. Manually upload listings through a third-party vendor who syndicates to the national websites in question.  There are likely several companies that accommodate this type of listing syndication; at this time MLS is aware of only one - RealBird, which still requires manual entry and updating, as RealBird does not have direct access to MLS data. 

Your MLS leadership and staff understand that this upcoming change is an issue for members whose clients want their listings on additional web sites and will continue to seek additional information to help REALTORS® remain at the center of the real estate transaction.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please again feel free to contact Bryan Dean, MLS Director.