Point2 launches MLS Certified™
Real estate marketing and listing syndication company Point2.com, a Yardi.com brand today launched MLS Certified™ “an initiative designed to drive higher standards in property data publication” with a pending trademark on the MLS Certified logo depicted above as a “trust symbol to support higher real estate data standards and consumer expectations online.” Point2 syndicates from over 240 MLSs with over 1.1 million listings to more than 50 consumer sites.
MLS Certified™ launched today in Texas where the MLS Certified™ logo will appear on Realtors’ listings received from local MLS organizations and associations and displayed on the Texas Association of Realtors’ site.
Such a heated debate on the topic
The heated debate about MLS accuracy and IDX rules is at an all time high leading up to this week as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) hosts their Midyear legislative meetings and expo with panels on the topic as well as committee votes that will alter rules across the board.
Point2 has launched the MLS Certified™ as their response and is the first of its kind, a move we have been calling for over the years- a stamp of authority on listings that not only Realtors can understand but consumers as well.
“MLS Certified™ is another great advance for the industry and one of many key MLS 5.0 concepts that will shape the world of real estate and consumer expectations online,” said Saul Klein, Senior VP of Point2. “Point2’s long term priority publication contracts and strong relationships with our syndication network partners put Point2 in a unique position to influence and drive data consistency and standards on the Web. MLS Certified™ will be key towards that end.”
FAQ about MLS Certified™
Q. What is MLS Certified?
A. MLS Certified is a symbol of authority, quality and trust for real estate listings. A Point2 initiative, the symbol signifies that the listing originates from the local MLS, the ultimate authoritative source for real estate listings.
Q. Why the initiative and why now?
A. Point2 has played a key role in the automation of real estate listing postings across the web, which has resolved serious issues with data accuracy and integrity. The MLS Certified program aims to address a proportionally small percentage of listings that still appear to lack the accuracy and integrity compared to MLS listings. We believe the MLS Certified program will take the industry to the next level.
Q. How does Point2 provide the MLS listings to the Internet portals?
A. Point2 has executed syndication agreements with over 200 real estate MLSs and Associations in the United States, which provide direct feed technology integrations that send updated listings from the MLS to Point2’s portal partners at least once every 24 hours.
Q. How do you know that an MLS Certified listing displayed on a third party site is not obsolete? Some sites are not always fast at updating their listings.
A. The agreements signed between each portal partner and Point2 provides for publishing audits to be performed at least once every five days. If the information published is not current, the data feed will be turned off until we are assured that the information will be updated at least once every 24 hours.
Q. Have all your MLS partners approved your use MLS Certified for their listings?
A. All of our MLS and Association partners are keen on seeing their listings be the primary reference listings for consumers online. MLS Certified is an initiative by Point2 to communicate to consumers that the source of the listing they are looking at is an MLS, to give them that confidence.
Q. Will you be using MLS Certified in Canada as well, as MLS here is a CREA trademark?
A. At the present time, this initiative is only for US listings.
Q. When will you start to publish MLS Certified along with your listings?
A. Effective May 1, 2011, all Point2 feeds have included the symbol. A number of our partners have already surfaced the new listings featuring MLS Certified.
Q. Can anyone else who syndicate or posts listings use the symbol?
A. No, Point2 is in the process of trademarking the term and the symbol. The symbol can only be used under license or legal written agreement from Point2.
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, SelfStorage.com 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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, Realtor.com, 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 Realtor.com’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
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