Backtracking on a controversial decision earlier this year, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has adopted a new policy that allows real estate professionals to have their sites — including home listings that belong to others — indexed by search engines.
The controversy reached a peak this year when the NAR agreed with a local decision in Indianapolis that said real estate agents couldn’t let Google and other search engines index the property listings on their sites if those listings belonged to other brokers/agents. In March, the Indianapolis board sent a letter to some agents that essentially called search engines “scraper” sites:
“…the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is in agreement with our interpretation of the policy that the above described practice of ‘indexing your Web site’ as you have called it, is a method of scraping or reproducing the data”
At their meeting this week, the NAR Board of Directors revised its policy on home listings and search engines to say that participants “are not required to prevent indexing of their Web sites by recognized search engines.”
That Realtor.org link is also interesting for its comments about the development of REALTORS® Property Resource, which many say is essentially a national search engine for property listings.