I have been trying to warn anyone who will listen to me in the real estate industry that with the proliferation of listing syndication with vendors like ListHub and Point2Agent that are setting up feed partnerships with just about every MLS in the country which then feed into sites like Google could potentially be a really bad thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big proponent of syndication at the agent level as syndication is great as it gets more eyeballs on listings, but the recent trend that syndication is being done so frequently at the association level is potentially that pretty soon Google will have a nationwide MLS database completely for free!
For some time now you were able to access those listings via the search, on Google Base or overlay those listings on Google Maps. Well earlier this week, Google decided to remove the listings from the map as they claimed the usage of this feature wasn’t high and the market already has a mature market of competitors (see article http://tinyurl.com/5rzmp25).
In my opinion, this is a smoke screen and they are probably planning on removing this info from the maps for a short period of time and later come back with a fully functional real estate portal site to rival Realtor.com. I guess we will have to wait and see if Google really is not interested in using all this data and participating in the real estate sector (unlikely) or if they are planning something totally different for the future.