RISMEDIA, Jan. 14, 2008–Leading online real estate companies Yahoo! Real Estate, Zillow.com®, and Trulia.com have announced the adoption of a new standard data format for the distribution of real estate listings online. With this standard, real estate franchisors, brokers, multiple listings services, and other listings providers will be able to distribute their listings data to several of the leading real estate sites in one common format, making it easier to get critical information to consumers faster and more efficiently.
“Realtors know the Internet is a great way to promote their listings. Already 80 percent of home searches start online,” said Steve Schultz, director of product management for Yahoo! Real Estate. “But one of the biggest frustrations for publishers is complying with multiple data formats to list their properties online. With this new standard, it will be much easier for brokerages and listings providers to distribute their listings in one format to the largest online real estate companies.”
In addition to Yahoo! Real Estate, Zillow and Trulia, several other leading online real estate sites have agreed to adopt the standard, including Homes.com, Homescape, Oodle, Point2 Technologies, RealEstate.com, Vast.com, and vFlyer.
“It’s to the advantage of everyone in the industry to adopt a common publishing format,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president, partner relations at Zillow.com. “We want to make it as easy as possible for our partners to get their listings in front of home buyers.”
The companies participating in the new standard will work in close collaboration with the Real Estate Standards Organization to ensure that the data specification interoperates with the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS).
“Trulia has a history of working with brokers on listings syndication and we’re excited to join forces with other leading real estate companies like Yahoo! Real Estate and Zillow to increase the quality and quantity of listing information available to consumers online,” said Sami Inkinen, co-founder and COO of Trulia. “We want to work with all relevant standards to save brokers’ time and help them concentrate their efforts on providing the services that home buyers and sellers truly value.”
The data feed specification will be based on the XML format and will comprise all the requisite components of a listing, such as address, price, square feet, beds, baths, and additional descriptions of the home. Where as today, brokers and listings providers would need to create upwards of a dozen different formats for one listing, the new standard model will significantly reduce the amount of time spent preparing the content for distribution online.
“The formation of this universal format will ultimately save our respective franchise brands time and money,” said Craig Cuyar, chief information officer of the Realogy Franchise Group, whose CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, ERA® and Sotheby’s International Realty® brands will adopt the new standard listings feed format. “The opportunity for such wide distribution of our listings is an important facet of our marketing strategy. It’s clear these partners are attentive to the needs of our industry.”
The participating companies plan to launch the standard feed format later this year. Brokerages and other listings providers interested in participating in this standard should contact the following: firstname.lastname@example.org.