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Syndication to 3rd Party Websites (Zillow, Trulia, etc)

How does syndication work?

  1. Once your tour has been marked as active in our system, it is moved to the export bucket
  2. Partners that we syndicate too have access to this export bucket. Each of them has a list of parameters or filters that it searches for
  3. Tours that meet the required parameters are then exported to the site, while those that don’t are passed over
  4. Active tours are passed into the export bucket at least once every 24 hours, but often more frequently than that
  5. There are two important factors to consider about syndication:
    1. The rules and parameters that an outside company uses to search within the export bucket are determined by their policies, not ours. While we make every attempt to be sure the information needed is available, there are times when this might not be possible without extra manual steps.  For instance, let’s say that a requirement for Trulia is that the number of bedrooms and bathrooms must be listed.  If a tour is posted without that information it may be active, but will not meet the parameters required for syndication until this information is manually entered onto the tour.
    2. Not every tour will be syndicated to every possible outlet. We make the tours available to every site, but the ultimate decision on syndication lies with the outside source.  This is a highly desirable feature as it allows MLS systems to only pull local listings for their area.  
  6. We attempt to send each site the information that they request through their filters to be sure syndication is successful as quickly as possible. About 90% of the sites we syndicate too require only the tour link or YouTube video link. 
  7. For those sites that require the full information available there are two different options for them to receive this information:
    1. Incremental – when a change is made, only the change is sent. This is not the most common method, but is used by some outside sources.
    2. Full – each time a change is noted all the information is resent. This is the most common method used in posting changes through syndication.  It allows for many changes to be posted in a much more efficient and trouble free manner.

Who do we syndicate to?

We make syndication information available to all the national real estate portals such as: Trulia, HomeFinder, Zillow etc.  However, it is important to keep in mind that each of these sites has their own set of filters and ultimately make the decision on what will be syndicated and what won’t.  Syndication also takes place to many local MLS systems, Realtor.com, and many client systems as well.

More important than the amount of sites we syndicate too is which sites we syndicate too.  In this instance, quality is definitely more important than quantity. 

What is the normal timeframe for syndication to occur?

Once a tour has become active the information is sent to the export bucket and is available for syndication.  This happens at a minimum of once every 24 hours.  Once in the export bucket it will normally be searched through by our partners within the next 24 hour period.  As long as the information in the bucket meets the criteria for our partner’s filters you can expect syndication to occur within 48 hours of the tour’s becoming active. 

This is not a timeframe that we can guarantee because it is quite possible that even though we have made the information available within the export bucket, the partner sites have control over when the information is actually passed on.  If there happens to be a problem on the partner’s side there could be a delay.  Also, if for some reason we are missing information that the partner’s filters require, this could cause a delay as well.

We have an internal tool that allows us to view a specific tour and see if there is an issue with it syndicating.  This tool will search through known filters to be sure that the information we have made available meets their criteria.  Although this can be extremely helpful in many situations, always keep in mind that we have no control over the filters that our partners use and that they can change at any time.  We try to keep these up to date, but don’t always receive notification from our partners when they decide to implement changes to their system.

What are some of the problems that may arise with syndication, and how do we solve them?

As stated above, there are times when we may have to manually check a tour to try and determine why syndication has not taken place.  We can use the previously stated tool in most instances to evaluate the information and make correctional changes.  However, there are times when we might have to manually view the tour information and make changes based on our best educated guess as to what filters the partner may need that are still not being met.  This is as much an art as a science, and there are times when this may become a more lengthy process than we would prefer.

Other possible issues include: Incorrect MLS information, customer stating they are a preferred Realtor.com customer when they aren’t, address corrections etc.  Almost any issue can be resolved fairly quickly once it is determined what the actual problem is.


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