There is a common misconception that MLS’s make money off of broker/agent listings by selling them to third party companies. NorthstarMLS does not and never has sold agent listings to Zillow, Trulia or any other company. Period.
Any listings appearing on these sites that are sent by NorthstarMLS is done so at the direction of the broker of the firms to which the agents/NorthstarMLS subscribers belong.
Our role is a convenience for the broker in that listings they submit to the MLS are accurate, complete and up-to-date. This means that when Zillow or similar sites get NorthstarMLS feeds, they are getting almost “up to the minute” additions and changes that the broker (or their agent) do not have to re-enter and maintain. Also, we were able to negotiate fair display and other terms that individual brokers might not be able to get on their own.
NorthstarMLS recently announced its involvement in the National Broker Public Portal initiative (BPP), which was founded by brokers all over the country along with MLS’s to create a consumer home search experience provided by real estate professionals, as opposed to media companies like Zillow and Realtor.com.
The BPP selected Homesnap as its technology provider and the Homesnap product is available today to more than 500,000 agents across the country through their MLS. NorthstarMLS is in that group.
If your brokerage participates in the optional NorthstarMLS data feed to Zillow and Trulia, your listings may still not make it to the sites. That is very likely because, on the Listing Input Form, you selected “No” for the field “Allow Auto Valuation Display?” (page 3, field #322, SFR).
On all Zillow and Trulia listings, they display a Zestimate, their proprietary auto-valuation. Zillow Group does not allow an option to display a listing without it. Therefore, if you selected “No” to allowing Auto Valuation, NorthstarMLS must exclude it from the Zillow Group data feed.
If it’s important to your seller that their listing appear on both Zillow and Trulia, review the Auto Valuation Display option with them. If they agree to change the response to “Yes,” change it on the listing in Add/Edit, and then it will automatically be included in the Zillow Group feed in their next data refresh. If the Allow Auto Valuation Display selection is switched from No to Yes before 6am PST, the listing addition will be reflected in that day’s data refresh at 6am PST – if afterwards, it will be reflected the next morning at 6am.
If you are unfamiliar with the NorthstarMLS data feed to Zillow Group, click here for last year’s announcement outlining the very favorable terms we negotiated, and how it works. If you do not know whether your brokerage participates, ask your broker or contact our Help Desk at email@example.com or Zillow Group at LA@zillowgroup.com.