Confirmed: Edina Realty Pulls Its Real Estate Listings from Third Party Aggregators Trulia and REALTOR.com

It’s been officially confirmed that indeed Edina Realty has decided to pull its listings from third party real estate web site aggregators.  Trulia and REALTOR.com are specifically mentioned.  Here’s the official Edina Realty press release.

Details from Edina Realty’s press release:

We’re confident that our decision to pull our listings from Trulia.com and Realtor.com is the right one for consumers as well as our agents and brokerage,” said Bob Peltier, president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services. “Our clients are number one. And we have an obligation to represent them according to a specific code of ethics and state law. That means we are invested in the integrity of the information we publish on their behalf. The inaccuracies we’ve seen on third-party aggregator sites give us cause for alarm, and the reality is that we are no longer willing to surrender our business – or the consumer’s real estate experience – to third party aggregators, who are not required to operate under the same rules and laws as brokers.

Edina Realty has put its stake in the ground and in some ways has posed a challenge to other brokers not only in the market, but across the country given the reference to its interpretation of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics which all licensed REALTORS® and brokers are bound to follow in in our real estate practices as members of the National Association of REALTORS®  (NAR).

Edina Realty’s move caused quite a stir in the real estate industry this week when Craig Kamman, an Edina Realty agent, posted the news on his blog Tuesday afternoon.  Since then there has been a lot of traffic, discussion and debate within the blogosphere and various social media channels.  (Check out the comments on Craig’s blog post). When I heard the news, I posted this story about Edina’s decision.  No doubt Edina Realty’s decision to remove its listings from Trulia and REALTOR.com will be picked up by the national real estate media next week.  Perhaps the Star Tribune will jump on the story as well.

Stay tuned as I suspect this is not the last time this topic will be covered.  And while it may seem like too much inside baseball, this decision may have a big impact on how consumers find their real estate information online.

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MOVE Inc.’s Stock Dropped 8% Today – Social Media Picking Up on News Edina Realty to Drop REALTOR.com

MOVE Inc.’s stock was hammered today down by 7.78% to $1.54.  Many people do not know this but REALTOR.com, while the official site of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is not actually owned by NAR.  The web site is owned by MOVE Inc., a publicly traded company, which is traded on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange under the symbol MOVE.  (I do not own any shares of MOVE).

With the news that broke Tuesday afternoon this week on Craig Kamman’s blog about Edina Realty’s decision to no longer send its listings to Trulia and Realtor.com, one has to wonder, how much of an impact this will have on Realtor.com.  Social media circles are certainly picking up on it and it is a hot topic especially amongst fellow REALTORS®.  My initial thoughts on the matter are that there will be little impact in the beginning in terms of traffic to REALTOR.com.  However, the bigger issue becomes if more brokers decide to do the same thing and take back more control over their listings.  I have not heard anything yet regarding other brokers possibly following in Edina’s footsteps so perhaps they will end up being the lone ranger on this…I don’t know.  Edina Realty is a large regional broker in the upper Midwest and does about 20% of the transactions in the Twin Cities.  It is owned by Home Services of America, Inc. which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway – i.e. Warren Buffett.

As of this writing, there has been no office news release from Edina Realty regarding their decision to end their current business relationship with Trulia and REALTOR.com on a corporate level.

Move’s stock price has seen better days.  The company is currently valued at $237 million and a P/E ratio of 192 according to the data published this evening on Yahoo Finance.  While it was a difficult day in the markets for most companies, MOVE got pounded down nearly 8% to a closing price of $1.54.  Zillow, which is now a public company closed down today by 3.8%.  Zillow’s market cap is $773 million.  Looking at the trends in the marketplace, REALTOR.com has an uphill battle against the upstarts Zillow and Trulia.  I know REALTOR.com touts that they are the number one real estate search site in the U.S. and that may well be true right now.  However, Zillow now has a war chest of money available for further investment to making them the top destination for all things real estate.  Move Inc certainly has the REALTOR® brand behind them, but is that enough in today’s web driven world?  Below is the chart from Big Charts MarketWatch for Move as of 11-17-11.

MOVE Inc

Will MOVE be able to continue to be a force in real estate search?  Only time will tell.  But in the event MOVE does not fare well in the battle with Zillow, Trulia and sites like Front Door from HGTV, what impact will that have on the REALTORS®?  Has the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) thought about this?  If MOVE fails, and I have no information that would lead me to believe they will fail, but IF they do, what will the public think if the REALTORS® own web site fails?  (Note: I suspect if MOVE were to fail NAR would just figure out a way how to sell the rights to another web site operator).  Interesting times.

There is no greater brick and mortar business than real estate and yet we find out entire business now at the center of a battle in the digital space that will forever impact our business.  The future of real estate is being defined today.

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Has Edina Realty Just Declared War on Real Estate Web Site Aggregators – Trulia and Realtor.com?

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

Cool New Real Estate Search Tool – Find Any Property in the U.S. – Contact John Murphy

I can help you search for virtually any property in the U.S. now thanks for a new tool that our MLS is implementing right now.  I just checked and there are over 109 million properties in the database.  I can quickly find if it’s listed, has been listed, sold recently, find area comps quickly as well as tax assessment history.  There’s not information about mortgages at this point.  It’s pretty slick.  If you need to find something out about a piece of property in MN or elsewhere, let me know and I’ll see if I can help.  (At this point it appears to only be a tool that Realtors have access to and not the general public…sorry).

Below is the release that was just announced to my fellow Realtors.

New Agent Tool: Find
Jul
11

We are pleased to announce the availability of Find, a new agent tool created by Move, Inc. (the company that brings you Realtor.com).  This is a core service of NorthstarMLS and included in your subscription at no additional charge.

To access Find, click the link here on the Home page of Matrix in the “External Links” box (just below the WEBForms link).  The first time you access Find, you will be asked to enter your name and email address.  After that, you will automatically be directed straight to Find when you click the link.

What is Find?
Find is a database of residential properties throughout the U.S. into which information is captured from MLS’s and from public record sources. Find contains active listings data, off-market data, sold data, and property photos; county recorded data, community information, amenities, environmental, and transaction data.  Just a few of the things you can do with Find:

  • Search residential properties throughout the U.S. regardless of whether they are or have recently been for sale (information form MLS’s around the country and public records);
  • Create Community Reports with valuable information for your clients about the surrounding community that you won’t find in Matrix;
  • Create additional professional-looking Property Reports with your photo and company logo;
  • Search using map or “natural language” search (e.g. 2 bedroom condos with deck and sauna in Minneapolis);
  • View property lot boundaries and prices (list, sold in last 6 months or AVM) on map;
  • View map layers such as school district boundaries, flight paths, amenities, and map pins for active, recently sold, off market and rental properties.

Getting Started:
Find Overview Video (7 minutes)
Complete User Guide
Quick Guide: Keywords and Power Shortcuts
Quick Guide: Map Search
Quick Guide: Text Search
Quick Guide: Reports
Quick Guide: Hot Feeds

Technical Support:  Click the “Contact Support” link in the upper right corner of any screen in the Find system.

Systems Supported: Windows PC with IE7 or later or Firefox 3.0 or later.  Mac with Firefox 3.5 through 4.0.