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If We Disconnected Every IDX Feed In Every City Across America, Would We have Your Complete Attention?



google_logoGood, because you need to know

What if I told you that your use of IDX is about to be severely limited in a world where agents have been left to compete with the likes of Trulia, Zillow, et al within Google? It’s true if a rule up for debate is solidified next week in DC.

If you haven’t read this post, you should do it now- don’t let the already 240 plus comments overwhelm you, stick to the post.

Now that you’ve read that post, and have some understanding of what’s going on, what you need to know is that this greatly impacts all of our ability to compete in the global community if other local boards pick up this ruling and adopt it in your local city- and they will.  We already know that our local MLSs/Boards compete with us for use of keywords and key terms in our local markets, and this power grab only solidifies that you will inevitably be buying your own leads back from someone else without a single drop of compensation for your hard work.

The ramifications are absolutely endless, but a few  examples of the immediate impact are those folks who have spent several years building local community blogs around their niche markets, use craigslist, or allows any search engine to index and promote all local listings within their site, could be forced to cease or risk penalty- there are so many more examples, I cannot list them all.

All is not lost

This issue is huge, and unfortunately a few Realtors have been drug to the forefront of this issue to defend your use of Google as a tool to promote listings, and they’ll soon be on their way to DC to stand before the committee, the question is, will you stand with them?  I know Agent Genius readers will, but what about your friends?

Here’s what you can do NOW

  • Read the thread of comments to the post for suggestions (some are as follows)
  • Bring this post to the attention of your local board leaders
  • Email, blog to fellow Realtors with this link and ask them to weigh in with their thoughts
  • Simply trackback with excerpt to this post with this link
  • Call MIBOR and ask them to reverse or suspend actions until NAR can fully weigh their decision on ‘scraping’ – MIBOR CEO Stephen J Sullivan (317) 956-5000 x237 or email here (be professional)
  • Email Cliff Niersbach and politely ask Cliff to please reconsider the Google is a scraper issue.
  • Go to DC if you can and attend the committee hearing on this issue to lend support.
  • Have a look at local issues in committees now locally and get on committees that you feel you can add expertise that is forward thinking- help them!

I realize that we all wanted at one time to keep MLS data in the MLS, but that fight was lost (and in some cases given up freely), however, what you must now understand is that that train has left the station, and your only ability to compete with those same media companies is being threatened.

We thank all who will participate, and want everyone to know that we believe that issue can be resolved, but it will take your constructive voice to make it happen.

If you have further suggestions, drop them in the comments, if you know of a way this will impact your business, drop it in the comments.

Blog about this issue on your local blog, let us know in comments, we’ll link to you in this post.

Incoming Links

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. Ken Brand

    May 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    My 2cent sharing – Blog, FB & Twitter –

  2. Doug Francis

    May 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Thursday morning, I’ll be there!

    Maybe someone can create a little badge for us to wear?

  3. Benn w/AG

    May 8, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Doug, I’ll make up the kick me signs and send them to you, all you need to do is add tape and attach to the backs of anyone you feel needs one, namely @jaythompson 😉

  4. Benn Rosales

    May 8, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Btw Ken, thanks, good to see you back in the fray.

  5. Brad Officer

    May 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Attention NAR: It’s a new place called the World Wide Web. You should check it out, it may become useful.

  6. Jay Thompson

    May 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Benn – you’ve got my email address, please send a “kick me” badge before Wednesday morning. 😉

    Great summary post. What’s really frightening is: 1) the vast majority of agents out there have no idea this is even happening; and 2) many that may be aware of it don’t understand the potential ramifications.

    The only thing I’d add to your list is to reach out and contact your states MLS Committee members as Jim Duncan mentioned in the comments on the original post.

    If ever there was a time and a need for a “grass roots” movement, that time is now.

  7. Benn Rosales

    May 8, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Ah I knew I missed something Jay, thanks, kick me sign on the way 😉

  8. Mike Askins

    May 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    The fact of the matter is this is truly a non-issue for NAR. The fact that they ruled in favor of MIBOR against Free Trade should have every Realtor concerned. This is a huge anti-trust issue that has damage suits written all over it. To that extent NAR has left itself open to legal action and damages does not serve the interests of NAR’s members and this is certainly NOT what a professional trade organization is for.

    I’ll be damned if I am going to allow the representatives of our Nation’s Realtors to essentially throw a sack of cement on our backs as we try and stay a float while NAR issues the Queen Mary to, and other listing sites who are seeing Dollar Signs a pleanty.

  9. Lee Ellis

    May 8, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    All kidding aside about Jay’s “kick me” badge, anyone got ideas for a button/ribbon/icon and slogan to help enlighten those unaware of the issue and to rally support? For those who’ll be in DC, please join us (including two people invited to speak) on Wednesday evening May 13th at a “REALTOR Mixer” to share ideas and insight. Please check Facebook for event details.
    It’s a complex issue — creating fair, lasting policies and interpretations which won’t be irrelevant with the next rounds of technology innovations. Thanks Benn and Jay for your issue-illuminating and support-rallying suggestions. May many act on them.
    Presented with a CLEAR, reasonable “campaign” message, more folks may participate in the issue and its solutions (beyond the DC Mid-Year meeting) if it’s EASY to do — like wear a button, forward e-mail, follow links and feature an icon on sites.
    Slogan ideas: “IDX Rules, for Now!” or “I support Killer IDX, not IDX Killers” or “IDX & Indexing, Please” Anyone?

  10. Lani with Agent Genius

    May 8, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Jay, any ideas?

  11. Benn Rosales

    May 8, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Yeah, it’s a little late for me to try and attend, anyone else?

  12. Paula Henry

    May 9, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I’ll wear a “Kick Me” badge or anything else we come up with. I like IDX, For Now! I may not be proud of the NAR decision, but I am proud to be a member along side all of you. Alone, I could not make a difference.

    Together, we can!

  13. Missy Caulk

    May 9, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Just posted on it on AR, I agree Benn, most agents don’t know it is happening or even understand the implications.

    I am trying to get a flight to go.

  14. Cal Carter

    May 10, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Kind of funny that at the top of all the Agent Genius posts is – “Yay, you found us! Google’s cool, isn’t it?”

    For some reason I think Listing Clients would want their listings popping up all over the place – “Yay, you found our house for sale! I’m glad my listing agent has tech savvy buyer agents that are getting our property to show up on Google!”

  15. GenuineChris Johnson

    May 10, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    If you rely on any tool to acquire comments, you are clueless, stupid, and need to be bailed out. IDX whatever, it matters not. Raise your ability to acquire and serve clients.

  16. Carolyn Gjerde-Tu

    May 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    GenuineChris – having more pages indexed in google, if done the right way does increase the ability to acquire and serve clients. There continues to be this argument that agents who get business through lead generation are often percieved differently – it’s just prospecting.

    For people familiar with the Sarasota MLS issue Knox, an SEO, was helpful in keeping the pressure on that board.

  17. Robert Worthington

    August 22, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Too many scary rules that appear to becoming into the horizon!

  18. Nashville Grant

    February 23, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Here’s a thought, but what if Google was also indexing all of your information along with the property information and that raised your overall Google ranking? Now I have you attention. I am not sure that would be the case, but it’s possible.

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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