BrokerageIndustry News

Use of term ‘MLS’ now restricted in Chicago

Policy is less restrictive than NAR guidelines

A policy enacted by the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois this year restricts members' use of "MLS" and related terms in their company names and marketing materials but is less extensive than an earlier version that met resistance. The policy approved by Realtor association-owned MLSNI, which has about 50,000 members in the Greater Chicago area, exempts those companies that were using the MLS term in their Web sites prior to the adoption of the policy on March 14, 2007. The policy went into effect six months later, in September. Some other MLSs have approved policies designed to limit members' use of "MLS" terms, and a rule change by an MLS in Minnesota led to an antitrust lawsuit. Last month, National Association of Realtors officials approved a voluntary policy that MLSs can choose to adopt in restricting members' use of "MLS" and related terms. The national group and local MLSs have said that such policies can help to clear up consumer confusion over online ...