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Independent study ranks Homes.com #1 ahead of Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and others

NORFOLK, Va.— Homes.com, a division of Dominion Enterprises, was ranked the #1 industry-friendly real estate portal in an independent study published April 18, 2011 by respected industry leader Clareity Consulting. The paper, entitled “Syndication to Real Estate Portals: Problems and Solutions,” ranked Homes.com #1 ahead of Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and others.

The study examined whether practices adopted by real estate portals were serving the best interests of real estate professionals, Multiple Listing Services and consumers. MLSs and brokers are increasingly expressing concerns about the misuse of their data being syndicated to real estate portals. While syndication provides increased exposure for listings, the paper indicated that some real estate portals use syndicated data in ways that do not necessarily benefit real estate professionals.

The real estate portals studied were evaluated on several different criteria, including data accuracy, respect for the intellectual property of brokers and MLSs, and efforts to ensure the listing pages serve the best interests of the brokers and MLSs. The study identified several methods used by publishers “that don’t always appear to be in the best interest of the consumer, or the real estate professional.” One of the more questionable methods reviewed in the paper was the practice of displaying multiple agents, competing with the primary listing agent, as contacts on the listing detail page, a method not offered by Homes.com. Clareity also suggested the industry pursue adoption of a Syndication Bill of Rights “to define a set of rules which would demand free carriage of brokers’ listings and free lead-generation.”

The sites included in the study were evaluated based on their avoidance of these practices that benefit the real estate portals at the expense of MLSs and brokers. Based on these criteria, Homes.com ranked as the #1 “Industry-Friendly” real estate portal, ahead of Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia.

“The results of the Clareity Consulting study prove that Homes.com understands and respects the requirements of the industry, the brokers originating the listings, the MLSs organizing and publishing the listing content, and ultimately the agents connecting online with consumers. We work hard to balance the needs and requirements of everyone involved.” said Jason Doyle, vice-president of Homes.com. “We believe strongly in the principles of running a website with the highest quality data, protecting the rights of content providers, and matching over 6 million monthly Homes.com visitors directly with listing brokers and agents in their local markets.”