MLSs around the country are missing out on an amazing opportunity to maintain relevance as online companies continue to build up a marketplace without them. Public-facing Web sites are what could've saved the MLS -- and have in some markets -- but many either can't build them because of broker pressure or simply don't have the resources to do it. Bob Hale, CEO of the Houston Association of Realtors, which stands as the poster child for an MLS Web site done right, provides a reminder of this. HAR.com delivers 600,000 leads every year to its members. That's a benefit no agent or broker can afford to ignore. HAR's surveys show that the more consumers use the Internet to conduct their own research, the more they will use a Realtor. The more information consumers get on their own, the more they turn to agents to help wade through it. While the debate elsewhere over the value of public real estate search sites continues to drag on, brokers and MLSs are missing a grand opportuni...
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