The Logistics of Listing Distribution
Understanding Where Your Listings Go and How They Get There
The most important fact you need to know about listing distribution with Stellar MLS is that brokers decide if they want to syndicate their listings, and brokers also choose which third-party websites may display their listings.
We understand that listings are our customers' most important asset. That is why we not only protect all listings, but we enable our brokers, in partnership with their agents, to send their listings exactly where they want, whether that's to their websites or to third-party portals.
No matter how you want to manage your listings, Stellar MLS is here to help you get the exposure you and your sellers prefer!
Listing Distribution, as the name suggests, is the syndication of listings to consumer search websites (often called portals). At Stellar MLS, this distribution occurs via a data feed from the MLS system that brokers control from their MLS dashboards.
Quick Reference Guide
Review and download this flyer for quick references to the listing distribution options available to Stellar brokers and agents.
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Dispelling Common Myths
Over the years, the notion of distributing listing data has been plagued with misconceptions, misinformation, and myths. We know how important the promotion of listings is for real estate professionals and consumers alike. It's important to us that you know brokers control their listings and where they get distributed to. It's Stellar's job to facilitate the how, not to decide the where.
Let's dispel the common myths surrounding MLS syndication once and for all!
The MLS chooses where my listings go.
Several direct distribution options are included in the Stellar MLS subscription for brokers who want to publish their listings on third-party websites. We also partner with ListHub so brokers can have access to their vast publisher network at no additional cost.
The MLS makes money by selling my listings to third-party websites.
Stellar MLS does not sell listings. Brokers own their listings 100% and have control over whether or not the listing data is syndicated to third-party websites.
IDX and Syndication are the same thing.
IDX refers to a set of fields in the MLS that are allowed for public display on the Internet. IDX feeds are available to Stellar brokers and authorized agents as part of their MLS membership and participation.
Syndication is a method for brokers to authorize distribution of their listing data to consumer portals hosted by 3rd parties.
Information Every Broker Should Know About Listing Distribution
Broker Distribution Options and Where to Access Them
Click on each bar below to expand the information
Homes.com is one of the oldest (and easiest to remember) home listing resources that provides home buyers, sellers, renters, and home value seekers with up-to-date real estate information, tools, and home listings across the US and Canada.
Brokers can access Homes.com from the Stellar MLS dashboard by clicking on the Homes.com icon to explore their distribution services.
Stellar MLS sends data daily and directly to Realtor.com. Also, Realtor.com has developed “distribution partners” with many other websites, such as Move.com, allowing consumers from other websites to automatically link to the Realtor.com search engine.
Brokers can manage their opt in to Realtor.com from their Stellar Portal.
P.S. Have you and your agents setup your Realtor.com profile so consumers can find you? Easy steps right here.
Homesnap, the leading mobile app made for real estate agents (and home buyers alike), is the power behind Stellar MLS’ consumer experience. Consumers can connect with you from your personal branded link, you can review agent-only data like commission splits and showing instructions, and you can search for and share available listings all from your mobile device.
Homesnap has partnered with Facebook Marketplace to give you the option to distribute your rental listings from Matrix to Facebook Marketplace.
Brokers can manage their opt in to Homesnap from their Stellar Portal.
Apartments.com is the newest rental listing distribution option now available to brokers within the Stellar Portal! Not only does Apartments.com reach 20 million Florida renters a year, but all the leads sent from your listings are free and exclusive.
Full Network Access — Once you’ve opted in, your Stellar MLS rental listings will automatically be placed on the Apartments.com network of popular rental websites, including: ForRent.com, ApartmentHomeLIving.com, ApartmentFinder.com, and Spanish-language Apartamentos.com, giving you even more exposure to get your listings noticed and filled quickly!
ListHub allows brokers to manage the advertising of their listings with online publishers through their easy-to-use platform. With ListHub, brokers can opt-in or opt-out of each publisher website individually or maintain publishing default settings.
How Does It Work?
- Broker Registration: The head broker in charge for each office can register online at no cost to use the service.
- Broker Choice: The broker chooses the publisher sites, lead management settings, and where to drive consumer traffic according to the company's business rules, all from one platform.
- Accuracy: ListHub pulls the most up-to-date listing information and distributes according to the registered broker's settings.
- Automation: As new listings are added to the MLS, or as existing listings are updated, ListHub distributes the new and updated information automatically, ensuring that the broker's online marketing is MLS-ACCURATE!
If you are interested in using ListHub and have not yet setup your account, click here to get started. Important: Be sure to select "Stellar MLS" as your MLS provider, not your local board. You can setup a ListHub account for free (with options to purchase reports).
IDX Feeds for Custom Development and Back Office Use (Firm)
Requesting a Data Feed for an Internet Data Exchange (for Brokers)
There are many vendors who specialize in IDX solutions. We have compiled a partial list here. Costs may vary. Visit our reDataVault site to sign your IDX agreement and submit your paperwork to Stellar MLS here.
Note: Brokers will need to approve licenses for agents.
For brokerages with an in-house tech team, MLS Grid is our Web API for custom development. This allows you to pull data to store on your servers and create a custom website. MLS Grid is RESO Data Dictionary compliant and gives you control on the data to pull and the ability to store it on your own servers or make live calls to MLS Grid's API. This option is great if you are creating a custom website or working with a vendor who does not already offer an IDX solution. We have a comprehensive broker guide on this tool available here.
We also have options for custom development for Broker Back Office Data Feeds, Virtual Office Websites and Product Development. If you are not working with a vendor and working with your own In-House Development team, fill out our online questionnaire here to start the process. Once received, our Data Delivery team will contact you to discuss the next steps. Complete information on customer development can be found on our Data Delivery page.
To learn more about IDX feeds for custom development, visit our Data Delivery page at the link below.
Listing Data Options Video Review
This video reviews the various options for listing distribution, and the steps brokers need to take to set up their preferences.
Broker Listing Distribution Webinar
This webinar takes a deep dive into everything brokers need to know about listing distribution.
Information Every Agent Should Know About Listing Distribution
A Broker's opt-out within their Stellar Portal will always override an opt-in made by the agent or admin at the listing level in Matrix. If your broker has opted into various websites made available through Stellar MLS, you are able to send your listing to those websites within Matrix on a listing-by-listing basis during data input. Located under the Realtor tab in the Listing Distribution section, the listing agent or admin can also opt an individual listing out of specific sites at the seller's request by unchecking the boxes.
Internet Yes/No Field
This field allows the listing agent and seller to completely opt-out a listing from Internet distribution. Using this option is the only way to opt-out of an Internet Data Exchange (IDX feed). If “no” is selected here, the listing will not display on any IDX feeds or consumer portals.
There are options to opt-out of IDX feeds, and Virtual Office Web Sites, as well as Comment feeds and Automated Valuation Models.
Distribute To Field
This field gives the listing agent and seller options on where the listing is displayed on third-party consumer sites. However, the brokers' opt-out always trumps the agents' opt-in. If a broker chooses not to send listings to a consumer portal, no listings from that office will go to that site, even if the agent has the box checked here.
Conversely, if a broker opts into a site, the agent can opt-out of that site for this specific listing by unchecking the appropriate boxes.
Agent Listing Distribution Video Review
A Closer Look at Rental Distribution Options
Where could your Rental listings go?
Distribution via Matrix
After you input your rental listing into Matrix it will be distributed to the websites shown below if your broker is opted in to these websites.
- Apartments.com network of websites (includes single family properties)
ListHub (Requires broker approval)
Brokers may send their listings to the ListHub publisher network at no additional cost through their Stellar MLS subscription, including rental websites. Brokers can visit ListHub.com to learn more and setup an account. If you're an agent, discuss your rental distribution options through ListHub with your broker.
Reports from ListHub are a premium feature, and cost extra.
Interested in having your rental listings be distributed to Zillow? Here is some information to get you started.
Once completed, we will send you the information to complete your setup with Zillow.
Listing Distribution/Syndication and IDX Feeds Are Not the Same
Internet Data Exchange (IDX)
- Internet Data Exchange (IDX) gives brokers and agents the ability to display listings on their real estate websites.
- IDX refers to a set of fields in the MLS that are allowed for public display on the Internet.
- IDX feeds follow comprehensive rules and display guidelines.
- While a brokerage can opt out of IDX, opting out of sharing listings with individual sites powered by IDX is not allowed.
- Syndication is a method for brokers to authorize distribution of their listing data to consumer portals hosted by 3rd parties.
- Syndication allows a broker’s listings to appear on national portals such as Realtor.com, Homesnap, Homes.com, and Apartments.com.
- Brokers control which third party portals receive listings from their office.
Video: IDX Feeds Available Through Matrix
For agents who want to create their own website but need a free and simple IDX search or gallery of their listings, Matrix offers a great tool! This video explores the free IDX feeds available through Matrix and how to get HTML code to embed into an agent's website.