Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Celeste Starchild, VP, Sales and Marketing of ListHub. ListHub is the industry’s leading agent/broker syndication tool for managing the complexities of marketing your listings online. ListHub’s syndication marketing service is available to all MRIS customers for free. Learn more about ListHub on MRIS.com or at ListHub.com.
Accurate online listing information has been a sore point for the real estate industry since the proliferation of real estate websites. They started collecting information by any means possible, and suddenly vendors started offering ‘syndication’ as an add-on service to their primary products. In many cases, the agent was not even aware that their listings were being syndicated.
Because many vendors rely on agents manually entering listing data, and most of them didn’t have processes for removing old listing information, some listings were still showing up months – and in some cases even years – after they had sold or expired.
How are brokers and agents supposed to make sure that their listing information is accurate across multiple real estate web sites?
About six years ago, a couple of new products emerged with the goal of solving this problem. One of these products is ListHub, a provider of MLS-connected listing syndication. ListHub allows brokers to syndicate their data through ListHub to ListHub publishers, such as Homes.com, Yahoo Homes, and AOL Real Estate. Brokers can choose individual publishers, or send their listings to all ListHub publishers.
Even in the early days of MLS-connected syndication a broker may still have had problems with listing accuracy on ListHub publisher sites for two reasons:
- The data refresh cycle for most publishers averaged a couple of days
- Some publishers were still allowing agents to manually enter listing information, which would “trump” the broker’s ListHub data from the MLS
Over the past two years we’ve seen major improvements in both areas: ListHub publishers have signed agreements acknowledging that the MLS-sourced, broker-authorized feed should trump all others; and publishers can update listing data from ListHub up to 4 times a day. Since ListHub pulls new and updated listings from the MLS 4 times per day, the update schedule is now typically less than a day.
In one month we had only 15 accuracy-related cases out of more than 90 million syndicated listings (the number of listings multiplied by the number of sites we send them to). We think that’s a pretty good record, but we’re still looking at ways to improve accuracy.
To ensure your listings are kept accurate on real estate sites, log in to your ListHub Dashboard to see which publishers you have selected, and make sure that ListHub is the only source syndicating your listings!