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Rapattoni MLS Outage: Zenlist Restores Operations for 8,000+ Agents

What happened to Rapattoni MLS?

In the fast-paced world of real estate, where timing can make or break a deal, any interruption in the flow of information can have far-reaching consequences. Such is the case with the recent Rapattoni MLS outage that has sent shockwaves throughout the industry. 

Rapattoni Corporation, a widely-used software system used by over 300 real estate associations nationwide, found itself at the epicenter of a recent cybersecurity crisis. On August 9 2023,  the company fell victim to a ransomware attack, a malicious act that involves encrypting victim data and demanding a ransom for its release. The FBI is actively investigating the incident, while Rapattoni's insurance company negotiates with the attackers.

The impact of this attack has reverberated through the real estate landscape, affecting approximately 5% of the nation's MLS databases that rely on Rapattoni's MLS software system. Agents depend on this software for crucial tasks such as adding new property listings, making price adjustments, and accessing the latest property information for showings are unable to effectively navigate their listings, leading to confusion and frustration.


The fallout from the Rapattoni MLS outage is not limited to mere inconvenience. For agents striving to sell homes within tight timelines or working diligently to find the perfect property for their clients, the disruption is monumental. The inability to access listings and update information can impede deals, sour relationships, and even jeopardize an agent's income. Many agents rely on commissions from home sales for their livelihood, and this unexpected hurdle has left many of them with their hands tied.

SFAR 2023 President, Damon Knox, updates members during Rapattoni MLS outage

What are MLSs doing during the Rapattoni Outage?

Amidst the turmoil, MLSs across the nation have been working tirelessly to provide support to their agents and restore some sense of normalcy back to their business. 

MLSs like San Francisco Association of Realtors (SFAR) have been able to mitigate the negative impacts of the Rapattoni MLS outage thanks to their foresight in investing in alternative strategic vendors. Earlier in 2023, SFAR partnered with Zenlist to provide an alternative frontend of choice to agents and launched its first ever all-in-one MLS mobile app. Zenlist uses the Rapattoni MLS database of listings and stores a copy of listing data independently from Rapattoni. SFAR leadership announced to its members on August 14 2023, that Zenlist, along with other tools, was still available to agents even with the Rapattoni MLS outage.

MLSs who invested in a front-end-of-choice solution understand the importance of creating redundancies to ensure that even in the event of a single system's failure, members can continue to access listings.


How is Zenlist helping SFAR and other MLSs?

Using the duplicate data that Zenlist stored from Rapattoni, they provided a platform for agents and their clients to continue to search listings in the Bay Area. Zenlist quickly developed a process that would allow agents to copy the stale data for their listings from the stored Rapattoni data and place that data under management in the Zenlist database. With this new method in place,  by August 14 2023, agents in SFAR were able to edit their existing listings right from Zenlist, and input new ones through Zenlist. This accomplishment elevated the platform from being just a front-end-of-choice, to assuming the role of a supplementary MLS back-end system as well.

Zenlist quickly realized, however, that updating data for other agents and their clients within Zenlist to see was only one piece of the puzzle. Seller clients of agents were demanding that the most updated data for their listings be available on public search portals such as Zillow, Redfin, and Afterall, what’s the point of an open house or a price reduction if the general public doesn’t even know about it? 


To solve this problem, Zenlist began collaborating with the BridgeAPI team at Zillow during the week of August 14 2023 to take over the syndication of SFAR listings to popular real estate platforms like Zillow and Redfin. By August 18 2023, Zenlist launched its successful partnership that ensured listings on these sites were updated as edits were made in Zenlist, and new listings and open houses began appearing on these platforms, enhancing visibility and maintaining the market's momentum.  

Taking note of the work Zenlist and SFAR had done to reinstate operational efficiency for their agents, BAREIS, a neighboring MLS,  sought emergency listing management services and syndication from Zenlist on August 17 2023. In less than 24hrs, Zenlist was up and running for BAREIS members.  

Within 2 weeks, listing management and syndication via Zenlist was made available to 8000+ agents across the 2 MLSs; within that time, over 1,300 agents signed up; Zenlist’s support team ramped up its capacity, seeing a 171% week over week increase in tickets, while maintaining a first response time of just over 2 minutes. Notably, 31% and 10% of the respective MLS's listings have undergone some form of input or edit by listing agents through the Zenlist platform as of August 19 2023.