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Zillow Provides Public Records to MLS’

I just saw this press release, via Spencer on Twitter.

Zillow Group to Give MLS Partners Free Public Record Data

Bold move indeed. That’s a pretty big incentive to get MLS’ onboard, depending on what the data rights are that go along with using the data. Another sign of the serious commitment Zillow is putting into getting direct MLS deals, as I imagine this is costing them a pretty penny. I can’t imagine their data providers are letting them distribute data for free to every MLS in the country.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Jeff Hoffmann

    The big thing here is that it sounds like they’re giving boards access to is all of the “crowd sourced” corrections that they have been collecting from property owners over the years. It doesn’t matter who they’re getting data from (and who’s to say they’re not collecting it themselves?), there are a lot of counties where even the best data straight from the county is plain awful.

    • If all they are distributing is the crowdsourced updates, that makes it less valuable since the mls would have to have a base data under it. I would guess they found a way to provide the whole dataset. But I of course could be wrong.

      • Jeff Hoffmann

        I didn’t mean to suggest that was all that they would be providing, it’s their differentiating factor, though. Also, it seems like this is API-type access not bulk data access. It’s certainly possible that type of use might be already included in any existing license. Or worst case not much more money if they stay away from the bulk use cases. I don’t really get how this is that different than RPR if you’re not focusing on the crowd sourcing updates.

  • Surbiton

    Since when have Zestimates been ‘public data’? If Zillow adopt this strategy they at least need to have a correction process that allows homeowners to correct nonsense Zestimates, especially so when 17% of Zestimates are more than 25% inaccurate according to Clareity Consulting.

  • Peter Goldey

    Didn’t they get unlimited license for $10M / year from BlackKnight? You can imagine them providing this to the MLS for free to help with data quality and matching during listing entry and a host of other uses. It seems unlikely that the MLS would be allow to redistribute, but who knows….

    • Robert Drummer

      A license doesn’t always include the right to sub-license. Either one the 4 companies with national data decided to give up on MLSs. or Zillow is doing it on their own.

      I’m sure the contract is being reviewed to see what else Zillow gets out of the deal.

      Plus it’s hard to imagine an MLS ceding their public records quality control to Zillow, a company not known for high quality data standards.

    • I’m not sure their current contracts for the data, either provider or costs or rights. I only know the deals they had 5 years ago.

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