With all the talk about a US Program to achieve national energy independence by some future date, I fear the first man on Mars is more likely to have a Planetary or Lunar MLS than a National MLS. So much for "The Sea of Tranquility". "Dah?"
Who will do it?
The NAR: Not likely. The NAR had its best chance for a National MLS when it was in negotiations with Google to provide home listing search. Google's stated vision to: "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", must have conflicted with our history of "CONFDENTIAL" listing books. The NAR decided to contract with that paragon of virtue, HomeStore, aka Move.com. And the rest as they say is history. We bet on the wrong horse.
We got out-lawyered in our 1000+ page contract with HomeStore/Move which prevents us from starting a new/competing home search Website with our own listing data. Our contract leaves all the online ad revenue on the table for the likes of Google Base, Yahoo Real Estate, MSN Real Estate, Trulia and Zillow, to name a few. "Dah?"
Our new Second Century Venture Fund also refuses to even review business models proposing to give a Website to every home. "Dah?"
Our Gateway Project, which hopes to provide a data base for every property in the US, will be just for Realtors, until the Discounters, the Search Engines, the DOJ and the FTC get a hold of it. All that money for "A Gateway to Nowhere?"
Google with Google Base, would be a good pick, but they haven't entered the fray to any great extent yet. I guess Google's too busy frying their mega-traffic fish of Video Search (YouTube), Blog Search (beaten by Technorati) and Social Networking (beaten by MySpace ad LinkedIn). Microsoft and MSN have even been winning Map-Wars with their contract Pictometry and those "Birds-Eye Views" they serve up for Zillow and other B2B applications.
Micro-hoo is/are too busy courting and un-sparking to do anything in the near future, but the Zillow boys are out of Microsoft and Yahoo has the best and most visited major search engine site for Real Estate.
Trulia has great mapping with Google Maps. Trulia relies on Brokers/Agents to submit their properties to them and may have a map of every property, but they don't have a Website for every property.
Experian, who provides Realtors with property data through intermediaries like First American, has shown no interest in doing anything but selling their data B2B.
At the 1/08 Inman RE Connect Forum in NYC, Lloyd Frink, 2nd in Command at Zillow, denied Zillow was interested in a National MLS (or a MLZ). And Mr Clinton didn't have sex with that woman. The National MLS is "The Holy Grail" of Internet Real Estate and if Zillow isn't going after it, then they better hide all their stained blue dresses.
Zillow has borrowed many pages from the Google Playbook. And Zillow's vision could be said to borrow from Google's vision as well: to "organize the world's Real Estate information and make it universally accessible and useful". Take that NAR.
Zillow already has a Website for almost all of the 83M homes in the the US. They haven't made great use of their data yet, but they were just 2, on 2/8/08. The rest of the Online Real Estate Search Community better get ready for a bad case of "The Terrible Two's".
"Man on the Moon by the end of the decade." "The Human Genome Project." "Energy Independence." and now the "National MLS."
Now we know "Who?", it's just a matter of "When?"
Posted by: Cliff Jacobson
Adapt Or Die!
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