Technology

MLS alters controversial pay-per-access program

Agents can offer property details that formerly required a consumer subscription

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A regional multiple listing service in Virginia is changing the structure of a unique and controversial program that charges consumers for online access to detailed property information. The E-Pass program, which drew criticism from a group of MLS members when it was launched in June 2005, will continue to be available on a subscription basis to consumers through the Real Estate Information Network public Web site at hrmls.com, though agents and brokers who are members of the MLS can offer the same information for free at their Web sites after June 5. Maggi Davis, broker-owner for Buyer's Broker of Hampton Roads in Virginia Beach and a member of a group that opposes E-Pass, said today she is happy that REIN is altering the program. "I think we were one aspect of the forces that were opposed to the E-Pass. I think the overall market conditions as much as anything have driven our MLS to realize that people need access to listings if we are expecting to sell them. I do think we had an i...