Judith Lindenau led the effort to create a statewide property database in Michigan while avoiding big costs, major political snags, and operational gridlock from conflicting multiple listing services rules and standards. Sound impossible? Actually, it isn't so complicated, said Lindenau, executive vice president for the Traverse Area Association of Realtors. And that's the point. "We built a simple search engine," said Lindenau. "It seems to be something that's very good for members: To do a single search and at least find available properties. We stay away from (MLS) business rules and we stay away from everything that gives people grief," she said. While some states have worked to create regional or statewide MLSs with formal business rules, the Michigan database is a way for MLSs to pool property information at a single place while preserving the traditional roles of MLSs -- namely to facilitate cooperation and compensation among members. The Traverse association operates the Nort...
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