The Future of the Multiple Listing Service
As MLS evolves into an “eco-system of innovation,” leaders will take bold steps, unfathomable just a few years ago, to attract consumers. Online, transparent agent rating systems mentioned in last month’s column will allow home buyers and sellers to share and publish their experiences about a broker or agent’s service, effectively engaging the consumers while pushing professionalism in real estate to new heights.
Relaxing our stranglehold on sold property data is another extremely powerful resource in the MLSs’ arsenal that can deliver unique information and value to consumers and subscribers.
There are political hurdles to overcome, however, but one of the biggest lures of eyeballs to websites is the promise of sold data.
Consumers want the information and have proven that they will settle for anything, even inaccurate stats. The owners of the most accurate historical sold data are the MLSs. There is no aggregated sold data in existence that is as good as the sold data contained within our MLSs.
Making certain aspects of that data available to consumers, with the statement to always consult a Realtor when attempting to determine value, would be valuable in the battle for the consumer’s attention on the Web and valuable to Realtors as well.
While sold data is available on the Web, the one place you will not find it is on a Realtor’s website (with some exceptions). All brokers and agents want more traffic to their sites, and they do not want to buy leads…and they have the asset that will help them rule the online world of real estate.
Yet, they don’t use that asset for fear of losing control. MLS 5.0 will reflect a major change in this attitude as the industry battles to regain its position with consumers.
Saul Klein is CEO of Point2 Technologies Inc. and InternetCrusade, the creators of RealTown.com.