It’s easy to lose track of where listing records go. From IDX sites to VOWs to third party aggregators to data licensees, the path of listings can be confusing. Hopefully this simplified* chart will help you better understand the flow of listing records (click on the image for a larger view).

The colors of the lines indicate what types of listings are generally passed on. Note that your MLS or brokerage could provide different types of listings under its specific policies and agreements.

  • Green lines indicate the listing broker’s own listings,
  • Blue lines represent data that usually only include active listings,
  • Purple lines represent active and maybe off-market listings, and
  • Red lines represent all listings, active and off-market.

Note the following general characteristics as well:

  • This drawing is not intended to describe unauthorized uses, only approved ones.
  • Generally, the flow of the listings is from top to bottom. Thus listing brokers are near the top and consumers are near the bottom.
  • The chart includes some efforts (like MLS consumer-facing site, CoreLogic InfoNet and RPR) that not all MLSs take part in.
  • “MLS technical intermediaries” includes folks like your MLS vendor, mobile app provider (for applications used only by your MLS subscribers).

Hopefully this chart is useful to you as you consider branding data, creating listing exposure, managing data quality, and hunting down copyright infringers.

Cheers!
-Mitch

*Can you imagine complexity if we added more levels, such as the major syndicators and the sites to which they syndicate???

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