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Move, Inc. acquires listing syndication company ListHub

After news last week that Move, Inc. updated their operating agreement with the National Association of Realtors after 14 years, we’ve awaited their next move, namely regarding listing syndication which has been the biggest change in the industry since their last operating agreement restructure.

Today, Move, Inc. announces that they have acquired Threewide Corporation which operates ListHub.com. For those of you unfamiliar with ListHub, it is a property syndication tool that offers reporting. So, rather than deal directly with Zillow, Trulia, Oodle or the like, Move, Inc. now owns a syndication hub that pushes properties out to all of the sites.

For a reported $13 million, Threewide/ListHub is added to the Move, Inc. roster which already includes REALTOR.com, Welcome Wagon, Top Producer, Moving.com, Senior Housing Net and HomeInsight.com. Contrary to popular belief, the National Association of Realtors does not own Realtor.com, rather functions under the operating agreement, so this roster of companies works cooperatively with NAR, not necessarily for them.

Data accuracy is changing across the board

Realtor.com under Move, Inc. is known as the one of the only national listings database that has accuracy in data. This acquisition is a major move in the world of real estate listings syndication that could result in more data accuracy across the board which ultimately helps the consumer. Accuracy is a hot button issue for the real estate industry as agents have become accustomed to having to explain scams, outdated information, inactive listings and the like to consumers who are searching online portals for housing information.

ListHub President, Luke Glass said, “Our vision for the ListHub product remains to provide real estate brokers and agents with a single, neutral platform that gives them control and transparency in the online marketing of their listings.”

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We wonder what this move means for existing relationships with third party listings aggregators? Which will supercede between existing broker relationships with third parties or ListHub data feeding Move, Inc. listings? We anticipate that it will differ between third parties and whichever is most advantageous for brokers will supercede. The question that no one seems to want to answer is, could Move, Inc. just have created a way for brokers to eventually take back control and even monetize their listings feeds? Now THAT would move the chains… the pieces are all still in movement, so it is hard to speculate or anticipate how this will change the landscape, but it is certainly changing.

See the full press release:

Move, Inc. Announces Acquisition of Threewide Corp., Operator of ListHub
ListHub Enables Move to Provide National Syndication and Unified Market Intelligence Solutions
CAMPBELL, Calif., Sept 21, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —

Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE), the leader in online real estate, today announced the acquisition of Threewide Corp., operator of ListHub, the nation’s largest online real estate listing syndicator and provider of advanced performance reporting solutions for brokers, real estate franchises, multiple listing services (MLSs) and real estate web sites. ListHub products and services include syndication of 2.4 million property listings from 270+ MLSs and 38,000 brokers to more than 70 real estate marketing web sites, as well as streamlined data management and reporting analysis used to monitor online listing performance.

With the addition of the ListHub brand, Move will deliver even greater value to MLSs, brokers and real estate web sites as a single trusted source for national online listing syndication and reporting services empowering real estate professionals to reach more consumers while efficiently managing their online marketing strategy from one standardized dashboard.

“Online real estate today can be a fragmented experience for consumers and real estate professionals, and the related content is often inaccurate,” said Move, Inc., Chief Executive Officer, Steve Berkowitz. “By acquiring Threewide and elevating the ListHub brand to a primary product offering at Move, we’ll combine Move’s core competencies of listing aggregation, relationship management and the delivery of effective marketing services with ListHub’s leadership in national syndication and market intelligence. Through our combined strengths, we’ll successfully aggregate and connect vast amounts of data from a variety of sources, ensure the data remains accurate and fresh, and standardize the market reports real estate professionals rely on to guide their online marketing efforts and demonstrate value to clients. We believe this will soon result in a considerable improvement in the overall experience for both consumers and real estate professionals, regardless of where a property listing is displayed.”

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Together, Move and ListHub will consult and work with key constituents in the real estate industry to demonstrate how its newly combined products and services can help MLSs, franchises, and brokers increase their online marketing effectiveness, safeguard the use of listing data, and reach more potential buyers and sellers efficiently through the national ListHub syndication network.

“We are very excited to become a part of the Move Network and we look forward to bringing even more value to our partners and customers going forward with the support of Move,” said ListHub President, Luke Glass. “Our vision for the ListHub product remains to provide real estate brokers and agents with a single, neutral platform that gives them control and transparency in the online marketing of their listings. ListHub is committed to growing the value of the ListHub network, continuing to bring together content providers and publishers, while supporting their ability to engage with one another with ease and confidence.”

With this acquisition, Threewide becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Move Sales, Inc., a subsidiary of Move, Inc., and ListHub will join Move’s other industry-leading business-to-business brand solutions used by real estate professionals to market client listings and their brands to buyers and sellers. ListHub products, services and the management team of professionals will remain with the ListHub brand, now backed by Move.

Move completed the transaction on Monday, September 20, 2010, for total consideration of $13 million cash. The acquisition is expected to be dilutive to GAAP EPS by approximately $0.01 to $0.02 in 2011 and non-dilutive to adjusted EBITDA (earnings from continuing operations before interest, taxes, stock-based compensation and charges, depreciation, amortization and other non-recurring charges).

ABOUT THREEWIDE CORP. AND LISTHUB

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Threewide Corporation was founded in July of 1999 and has specialized in solving data management issues in the real estate vertical since its inception. In mid-2000, the company began to focus on the digital capture, packaging, and transport of data for brokerages, Multiple Listing Services, and other industry vendors. In 2007, Threewide launched ListHub, the nation’s first listing asset management system for brokers. ListHub syndicates MLS listing information from the MLS or other reliable data sources to an array of online marketing sites and provides the brokerage with reporting and analysis of online advertising results. For more information about Threewide Corporation and ListHub, visit www.listhub.com.

ABOUT MOVE, INC.

Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE) is the leader in online real estate with 12.7 million(1) monthly visitors to its online network of websites. Move, Inc. operates: Move.com, a leading destination for information on new homes and rental listings, moving, home and garden and home finance; REALTOR.com(R) the official website of the National Association of REALTORS(R); Moving.com; SeniorHousingNet; and TOP PRODUCER Systems. Move, Inc. is based in Campbell, California.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of Move’s future expectations, plans and prospects, within the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the results of Move, its subsidiaries, divisions and concepts to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. These risk factors and others are included from time to time in documents Move files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to, its Form 10-Ks, Form 10-Qs and Form 8-Ks. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on Move’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. Move cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, Move expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Move, Inc. is an advertiser at AgentGenius.com. AG has no financial relationship with the National Association of Realtors or previous relationship with ListHub or Threewide Corporation.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. stephanie crawford

    September 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I suspect this is one more way for R.com to force agents and companies into purchasing their listing enhancements. ListHub currently pulls their info from MLS’s and broker sites which means ALL the photos are included in the syndication to Zillow, trulia, etc,. If R.com becomes the initial site from which listings are pulled, many of the syndicates will only be pulling the four default photos included at R.com (unless you pay for the enhancements).

    For me, this is already included in my monthly desk dues per my brokerage. But I work at a large local firm and my splits/fess are pretty aggressive. I wonder what percentage of agents and companies pay for listing enhancements now. Maybe 30%?

    • Bruce Lemieux

      September 21, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      Stephanie – I’m don’t know how this will all shake out, but Move would have to provide all MLS photos to Trulia/Zillow/etc. None of these guys would accept a restriction on MLS data based on R.com’s enhanced/non-enhanced listings. Now, once one of these companies get the data, *they* could choose to restrict pics and charge agents to ‘enhance’ listings … but I don’t think they would. As these sites compete to become the very best consumer resource for listings, they will be motivated to provide all MLS data and photos to consumers.

      By selling MLS-based data to their competitors, R.com may be pressured to provide all listing pics and re-think their current model to charge agents to enhance listings. Why would consumers stay on R.com when they can get complete and accurate data on Trulia?

      This is all very interesting.

      • Paula Henry

        September 22, 2010 at 6:15 am

        Bruce – have you seen the new R.com (beta). They have a search assist for people to save their searches and there is an indication light whether there is an agent currently available in a particular area. Maybe that will be their new way to make money.
        Sell the leads??

        • Bruce Lemieux

          September 22, 2010 at 8:25 am

          Paula – I don’t think they are selling individual leads, rather, an agent pays to be the preferred agent for a particular area. I could be wrong. As someone posted in the last thread, I don’t think any of these schemes are cost-effective ways for agents to connect with buyers. In my area, the agents who pay for the banner and skyscraper ads do no business; and none of them have compelling landing pages. Periodically I’ll check out agents who use Google PPC, and these are not implemented well either.

          There is an infinite number of ways to spend/waste money on PPC, ‘Featured Agents’, House Values, Market Leader, etc. Right now, I stay away from them all and focus on my site and old-school marketing.

          • Paula Henry

            September 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm

            Bruce – I am with you there; focus on my site and keep working. I have no idea how all of this will play out, but it’s my guess, it will cost agents more money.

  2. Fred Romano

    September 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    This will be a “game changer” for sure! Will be fun to watch it unfold.

  3. Terence Richardson

    September 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    With Zillow and Yahoo Real Estate getting together, something had to give with Realtor.com to keep pace. It’s all about the advertising dollars. It’ll be really interesting to see how this all plays out down the road in the months to come.

  4. Jacksonville Real Estate - Brad Officer

    September 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Excellent! I love change, and this will do it!

  5. Fred Griffin

    September 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Hopefully the “Big Three” sites will compete to provide the most listing data and the most photos, in order to become the #1 destination real estate website for consumers.

    This would be a welcome shift from the listing enhancement fees and other upgrade charges that are currently imposed on Brokers and Agents.

  6. Paula Henry

    September 22, 2010 at 6:06 am

    That didn’t take long! As already stated, it will be interesting. Personally, I don’t think it was a move to save agents money. If Move provides ALL the data to Trulia and Zillow along with all the other companies in full, they would not be able to charge for enhanced listings, unless they change the description of an enhanced listing.

    Somehow, I don’t see it saving the agents money, but time will tell.

  7. Theresa Kraa

    September 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Definetely a game changer. Can’t wait to see what happens. I am a Marketing Director for a broker/agent who owns two brokerages, one residential and one commercial, in Orlando FL. I value List Hub, because it does syndicate our commercial listings where Realtor.com does not accept our commercial listings from our MLS. I have great dedicated commercial sites that showcase our listings very well, but does create extra steps because the information does not pull from our MLS. Whereas, residential, I don’t have to worry about inaccurate information since Realtor.com and ListHub pull from our MLS. But when it comes to reporting from ListHub, I would love to see a better platform to be able to send to our clients, possibly as a scheduled email direct to them, instead of having to download each one and sending it seperately. Maybe that change is coming, again, can’t wait to see what happens.

    Love Agent Genius, by the way. I anticipate it’s arrival each morning! Love the information and insight!

  8. Daniel Bates

    September 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I think they chopped the end off the quote in the article:

    ListHub President, Luke Glass said, “Our vision for the ListHub product remains to provide real estate brokers and agents with a single, neutral platform that gives them control and transparency in the online marketing of their listings…while holding agent by their ankles and shaking them upside down until all their lunch money falls out of their pockets…muaaa haa haa haa haaaaaa”

    Buy stock in Vflyer now, because they’ll reap the reward even if I do have to enter my data twice when Move tries to squeeze more blood out of us Real-A-tors.

    The only thing that would change the script at this point would be if Google swooped in and bought them all with the spare change in it’s couch and then shut then shut them all down and funnel the data through google base so that it can have another successful notch on it’s bedpost.

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