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New Study on Web Scraping of Real Estate Websites Shows Serious Cause for Concern
SAN FRANCISCO, California, Oct. 7, 2015 — Distil Networks, Inc., the global leader in bot detection and mitigation, and Clareity Consulting, the premier technical consulting firm for the real estate industry, today announced the, "2015 Study on Real Estate Website Scraping and MLS Data Security." The report examines two surveys that sought to understand the barriers to adoption of anti-scraping technology - one with Multiple Listing Service (MLS) executives, and another with the owners of companies that provide Internet Data Exchange (IDX) websites and Virtual Office Websites (VOW). "The real estate industry faces serious challenges with intellectual property infringement via web scraping, yet they've been slow to adopt effective anti-scraping tools," said Rami Essaid, co-founder and CEO of Distil Networks. "Scrapers use bots to grab online real estate content, like property listings, and then create derivative products such as lead gen programs and appraisal data." The study reveals the perceptions of MLS and IDX executives regarding web scraping and how each member of the MLS data supply chain can align to protect the integrity of real estate industry data. The Findings MLS Executives - One hundred MLS executives responded to the survey, representing over half a million MLS members, brokers, and agents. 99 percent of MLS executives say compliance with rules protecting misuse of MLS data is important and 95 percent agree that IDX sites should be subject to rules specifically mandating anti-scraping protections. 98 percent of respondents want a set of standardized tests to facilitate anti-scraping compliance reviews, yet no test currently exists. 94 percent of MLS executives indicate a vendor's information security practices and sophistication of anti-scraping technology are important to them when selecting a technology vendor. IDX/VOW Vendors - 14 vendors representing over 400,000 websites were surveyed. IDX and VOW vendors operate on behalf of the MLS to serve agent sites and other websites that display and syndicate MLS listing data. Prior to this study, 43 percent of IDX/VOW vendors surveyed were not aware of how pervasive bots and scraping were across the entire industry. 62 percent rated compliance with MLS rules as the most important factor in having IDX/VOW vendors implement an anti-scraping solution. Only 17 percent of IDX/VOW vendors are using a commercial service to protect against scraping. Some are using services with limited protection, especially against sophisticated web scraping bots. "Most IDX/VOW vendors are using reactive monitoring mechanisms and other outdated methods to stop scrapers, which are not effective against today's nefarious actors. For those attempting to implement proactive tools to combat scraping, almost all indicated they were using old IP-address-based methods, like rate limiting, CAPTCHAs, web application firewalls and IP blocking services. On their own, these methods are not effective," said Matt Cohen for Clareity Consulting. "Based on the near unanimous support for rule changes and a standard for testing compliance, combined with advances in affordable anti-scraper services available, there is a path forward for the industry to solve the scraping problem once and for all." Resources To download a copy of the full report, visit: 2015 Study: State of Web Scraping Data Theft Across Real Estate Websites & MLS Data To view a recent webinar, titled "Ensuring Real Estate Website Listing Data Security," visit: http://bit.ly/1Lu4ucQ For more information and case studies: http://resources.distilnetworks.com/h/c/175726-real-estate About Distil Networks Distil Networks, the global leader in bot detection and mitigation, is the first easy and accurate way to identify and police malicious website traffic, blocking 99.9% of bad bots without impacting legitimate users. Distil protects against web scraping, brute force attacks, competitive data mining, account hijacking, unauthorized vulnerability scans, spam, man-in-the-middle attacks and click fraud. Slash the high tax that bots place on your internal teams and web infrastructure by outsourcing the problem to the team with a maniacal focus on blocking malicious bots. For more information on Distil Networks, visit us at http://www.distilnetworks.com or follow @DISTIL on twitter. About Clareity Consulting Clareity Consulting provides management and information technology consulting for the real estate and related industries. Clients include software and service providers, Multiple Listing Services (MLS), real estate associations, franchises, and brokers. Specialties include strategic and business planning, system selection, compliance and risk audits, software product planning and review, and public speaking. More information: http://clareity.com
Listingbook Unveils Custom Offering for Its Top Agents
Greensboro, N.C. – July 29, 2015 – Top real estate agents know the power of personal brand promotion and the value of keeping brand consistency throughout all of their marketing material. That's why Listingbook LLC today announced a new offering for its Listingbook customers: My Listingbook, which will give agents the ability to personally brand Listingbook for them and their clients. "Now that agents can include their personal photo, name and custom colors throughout the site with My Listingbook, they are able to provide a seamless brand experience for their buyers and sellers," says Randall Kaplan, CEO of Listingbook, the real estate industry's proven lead nurturing and client servicing platform that allows consumers to "search like an agent." The psychology of color is powerful, researchers say, as 84.7% of consumers cite color as a primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% believe color increases brand recognition, reports Fast Company magazine. This is why Kaplan believes that agents will especially value being able to choose custom colors to brand their Listingbook site, and even match Listingbook to their own private websites. Kaplan notes that the agent's brand value is also increased with the improved client experience created by My Listingbook, as the client associates the advanced technology experience and benefits that Listingbook delivers with the individual agent. "Our research shows that customer loyalty and customer satisfaction improves significantly when home buyers or sellers engage with an agent through Listingbook," adds Kaplan. "With My Listingbook, when clients move from the agent's website to their Listingbook home page, the look and feel of their home site remains so that Listingbook feels like it's part of the agent's private environment." "We have priced My Listingbook to encourage personalization for only $9.95 a month with a Listingbook Pro subscription." Recently, Listingbook announced the deployment of its new Listingbook system in markets that reach over 500,000 real estate agents nationally, which brings dozens of new features and innovations, including a new robust agent-branded mobile app, allowing clients to connect and collaborate with their agents no matter where they are, new embedded social share features, as well as a breadth of data sources that provide detailed local information. How Listingbook Works When buyers and sellers receive an account from a Listingbook agent, they are able to "search like an agent," getting access to the most current and complete data, directly from the MLS. Listingbook is augmented with a breadth of additional data resources, including community, school and public records information, such as current tax data. Listingbook also allows agents and clients to collaborate online, adding the benefits of the agent's expertise to the online data. Agents can share new information on a listing with buyers, or provide a personally branded digital CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) report to sellers. Everything is stored all in one place and accessible online 24/7. Listingbook Agents also have the ability to see the actual properties that their clients are viewing in real time. It's patented Client Management System (CMS) helps keep busy agents organized and informed. About Listingbook Listingbook LLC is the real estate industry's proven lead nurturing and client servicing platform that allows consumers to "search like an agent." Over 180,000 real estate agents have a Listingbook account. Because buyers and sellers register for Listingbook, their agent gives them access to the most current, accurate and complete data, directly from the MLS. Listingbook also provides consumers additional data resources, including community, school and public records information. Agents can instantly collaborate online with their clients and view their clients' search activities. For more information about Listingbook, based in Greensboro, NC, call 336-722-3456, go to http://www.Listingbook.com or Facebook.
Listingbook Delivers a "Better than Zillow" Platform to 500,000 Agents