Microsoft removes portal data from Bing Real Estate after outcry


Four days after Bing Real Estate came under fire for its alleged co-opting of listing data from Zillow, Redfin and Realtor.com, Microsoft has removed for-sale listing data from its site.

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A little over a week after multiple industry leaders rang the alarm about Microsoft co-opting listing data from Zillow, Realtor.com and Redfin, it seems the tech giant has removed the data from its Bing Real Estate platform.

Searches for for-sale listings in some of the nation’s top markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta all yield the same answer: “Oops, there are no results.”

Inman first heard of the potential move Thursday night.

Microsoft declined to answer Inman’s questions, with a spokesperson noting the company “has nothing to share at this time.” However, Redfin, Realtor.com and Zillow’s spokespeople confirmed conversations with the tech giant to remove their listing data from the site.

“We contacted Bing earlier this week with a request to remove all Realtor.com content, and we appreciate their prompt response,” a Realtor.com spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“Zillow has no license agreement with Microsoft for listings or our Zestimate. Its use of our content on Bing.com/homes was not authorized by Zillow and is not permitted by our terms of use,” a Zillow spokesperson said while noting they contacted Microsoft last week. “We’ve asked Microsoft to remove content sourced from Zillow from its Bing.com/homes experience.”

Screenshot 2024 06 07 at 9.21.44%E2%80%AFAM

New York City’s Bing Real Estate page | Screenshot from Monday morning at 9:22 am CT

The can of worms exploded on Monday after Inman published a story about Real Estate Standards Organization CEO Sam DeBord’s multiple threads on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. DeBord drew attention to Microsoft’s potential co-opting of Zillow, Redfin and Realtor.com data to fuel its portal, in light of increasing questions from agents, brokers and other real estate professionals about Bing Real Estate.

“I’m getting a lot of questions from the real estate technology space about http://bing.com/homes,” he wrote in a now-deleted thread from May 28. “Can any of our friends at @bing @MSBing_Dev @Microsoft tell me the source of licensing for the data and media associated with these real estate listings? #bing #microsoft.”

DeBord explained Bing Real Estate has been around in some form for several years; however, the addition of traditional portal features — such as monetized ads, a mortgage calculator and the ability for homeowners to claim their home — sparked concerns about whether Bing Real Estate was properly following IDX (internet data exchange) regulations since they don’t seem to be an MLS participant and cannot get permission from an MLS participant (e.g. Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, etc.) to repost listing data.

DeBord and others acknowledged theories that Bing Real Estate could be a SERP (search engine results page) that is simply indexing listings; however, the tech giant’s silence about their strategy made it difficult to lean on that explanation.

“It’s been around in some form for years,” he told Inman. “A significant number of people have reported on a very light version of Bing that had been displaying homes for sale and it appeared that it was using Zillow and Redfin and other listing feeds to make these displays.”

“But the people who reached out to me more recently said this looks like a much more professional marketplace with monetized ads [and] functions very similar to a traditional portal, like the ability to claim your home,” he added. “It appeared to have moved past a test phase into a full-fledged for-profit marketplace.”

Inman will continue to follow this story and post more updates.

Developing… 





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