Back in 2013, I called for a Grand Conversation on the MLS because I saw that changes in NAR’s MLS policy suggested a new understanding of the role of the MLS in the real estate industry. That grand conversation never happened.
In this Red Dot, I am calling for another Grand Conversation, possibly with the same outcome as the last time. Recent events in the real estate industry strongly suggest that things have progressed even further down the road to perdition.
Brokers and agents still say that they value the MLS and the services that it provides. But they act in ways that suggest otherwise. Technology companies are either frustrated with the MLS as a barrier to innovation if they are small and want to be vendors to the industry, or ignore the MLS almost completely if they are large and want to change the way things are done.
And the MLS and Associations are so mired in the day to day details that they have never come to terms with the changed world around them and what that means for the MLS.
The MLS remains important, remains vital to many segments of the industry, but it is unclear what it is about the MLS that people value. It is high time for a Grand Conversation about the role, the value and the future of this all-American institution: the Multiple Listing Service.