Howard Hanna, ranked the third largest real estate company in the nation, with almost 12,000 agents and $37.7 billion in sales volume announced in a recent video that it would be leaving the Northern Ohio Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and becoming a Vendor-Operated Web (VOW) brokerage. This means that Howard Hanna listings will no longer be available on the standard IDX search portal, but will instead be hosted on the company’s own website. If this works out for Howard Hanna in the Northern Ohio market we have to wonder if Howard Hanna will make the same move here in New York. Howard Hanna has offices across NY, PA, OH, VA, MI, IN, WV, NC and MD.
The decision to leave the IDX was not made lightly, according to Howard Hanna CEO Hoby Hanna. In the video announcement, he cited several reasons for the move, including:
- A desire to have more control over the way its listings are displayed online. Howard Hanna believes that its VOW platform will allow it to provide a more user-friendly and informative experience for homebuyers and sellers.
- A belief that the IDX system is outdated and inefficient. Hanna argues that the IDX system is not as user-friendly as it could be, and that it does not provide enough information for homebuyers and sellers.
- A desire to protect its agents’ commission rates. Hanna claims that the IDX system allows other brokerages to undercut Howard Hanna’s commission rates.
The decision to leave the IDX has been met with mixed reactions. Some real estate agents and industry observers have praised the move, arguing that it gives Howard Hanna more control over its listings and allows it to provide a better experience for its clients. Others have criticized the move, arguing that it will make it more difficult for homebuyers and sellers to find information about Howard Hanna listings.
UPDATE 6/30: Howard Hanna listings do appear on Zillow through a direct feed from Howard Hanna.
Only time will tell how the decision to leave the IDX will impact Howard Hanna and the Northern Ohio real estate market. However, it is clear that the company is making a significant change in the way it does business.
What is IDX and VOW?
IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange. It is a system that allows real estate agents to share listings with each other. IDX listings are typically updated more frequently than MLS listings, and they can be accessed by anyone, including consumers.
VOW stands for Vendor-Operated Web. It is a system that allows real estate brokerages to control the way their listings are displayed online. VOW listings are typically not as widely available as IDX listings, and they may not be updated as frequently.
In general, IDX is considered to be a more transparent and consumer-friendly system than VOW. However, some brokerages prefer VOW because it gives them more control over their listings.
What are the key differences between IDX and VOW?
- Transparency: IDX listings are typically more transparent than VOW listings. This is because IDX listings are required to be updated more frequently and they must include all of the same information as MLS listings.
- Accessibility: IDX listings are typically more accessible than VOW listings. This is because IDX listings can be accessed by anyone, including consumers, while VOW listings may only be accessible to real estate agents who are affiliated with the brokerage that owns the listing.
- Control: VOW gives brokerages more control over their listings than IDX. This is because brokerages can choose which listings they want to make available through VOW and they can also control how those listings are displayed.
Which system is right for you?
The best system for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for the most transparent and consumer-friendly system, then IDX is the way to go. However, if you are a real estate agent who prefers to have more control over your listings, then VOW may be a better option for you.