Do Listings (Yahoo!)

February 26, 2002

ERealty And Search Engine Bring Listings To Web

Inman News Features

ERealty, which pioneered the innovation of giving consumers direct access to the MLS online, is pushing the envelope again by extending its home listings solution through Yahoo!

To view listings on Yahoo! Real Estate through eRealty, prospective home buyers must register and agree to terms of use that declare them to be serious about buying a home and not working with another agent. This online path gives them access to listings through eRealty in the market where they are looking for a home.

Up in several markets across the country, eRealty listings have not gone unnoticed. Several news groups wrestled over the weekend with the latest twist on the new Internet Data Exchange (IDX) and virtual office rules that allow brokers and agents to put listings on the Web.

Features of the new service have already become controversial with some brokers and agents who participate in such online chat forums as the Internet Crusade's RealTalk.

If a prospective home buyer clicks on the listing broker?s name or number on the Yahoo!/eRealty listings service, an error message appears that mimics a standard Microsoft error message, but is really a warning to the consumer to work with a buyer?s agent, in effect steering the consumer away from contacting the listing agent.

While grumbling on news groups often is nothing more than that, it sometimes is an early indication of the angst caused by innovation.

Erealty does not shy away from such battles. One year ago, the Austin Board of Realtors sued the Houston real estate brokerage, accusing the company of copyright infringement for posting the board's MLS data on eRealty's Web site. A district court judge found in favor of eRealty and issued a preliminary injunction allowing the brokerage to continue displaying the listings data. The parties were ordered to settle their differences with the help of a mediator.

Yahoo!?s move with eRealty is evidence that Yahoo! may finally be getting serious about real estate. The Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine company is also recruiting staff in the real estate area.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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