Craig Kamman just posted this big news story on his blog about Edina Realty pulling the plug on sending listings to real estate web site aggregators Trulia and Realtor.com. Please read Craig’s post for all the details. (Note, there is nothing official yet from Edina Realty on their news page). Needless to say, as a REALTOR and web publisher myself, it has caused me great angst when I’ve seen sites such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor build themselves in to $500 million to $1 billion companies and yet the data is coming from the REALTORS. Now that said, I don’t know what Edina Realty was getting paid to provide the data feed for its listings to go to Trulia and Realtor.com, but my guess is those two companies are deriving a significantly greater value from the listings than Edina Realty was getting paid.
Apparently there is no word yet what the plans are with Zillow. It’s also unclear if this means that these sites can’t scrape Edina Realty’s listings. That may be difficult to track as listings are populated on many sites beyond Trulia and Realtor.com and perhaps those sites can still pull the data from elsewhere to grab Edina Realty’s listings. I hope that Edina Realty follows through and does some continual data checking at Trulia and Realtor.com to see if indeed those sites are still somehow getting Edina’s listings. My sense is they are not doing this in a vacuum. Perhaps other big regional brokers have started to do the same thing across the county. I’m not sure.
I do not know the background technical details on this to know does this action by Edina Realty truly shut Trulia and Realtor.com out from getting their listings. I’m not sure. If it does really shut them down from receiving those listings then consumers in the Twin Cities are going to need to make sure they are using a local broker’s web site to make sure they are getting ALL the listings in the market.
My initial take on this is to root for Edina Realty on this one. That said, I don’t know the full back story on this nor some of the technological work-arounds that the web aggregators may employ. There’s also part of me that is wondering if this is too little too late. We won’t know for some time.
UPDATE as of 11/18/11: Confirmed: Edina Realty Pulls Listing from Third Party Aggregators Trulia and Realtor.com