The real estate industry is increasingly alarmed by the prevalence of web scraping of real estate web sites, the unauthorized use of listing data.
“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,” says Rami Essays, 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.”
Ninety-four percent of MLS executives recently surveyed say that vendor’s information security practices and sophistication of anti-scraping technology are important to them when selecting a technology vendor, according to a new report, “2015 Study on Real Estate Website Scraping and MLS Data Security,” released by Distil Networks Inc. and Clareity Consulting. Yet, prior to this study, 43 percent of IDX and VOW vendors that operate on behalf of the MLS to serve agent sites and other websites that display listing data said they were unaware of how pervasive bots and scraping were across the entire industry.