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Inside the Chicago MLS face-off

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

At a contentious meeting of the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois earlier this month, you could feel the tension in the room from a reading of the shareholder minutes, which were sent to Inman News this week. A recent forensic audit of the MLS "appears to be a head-hunting expedition," said Earlene Williams, association executive for the West Towns Association of Realtors in the Chicago area. She believes some shareholders have used the audit to support a personal vendetta against MLSNI CEO Jay Huffman. Williams made a motion to immediately cease the audit, which she said already has cost MLSNI in excess of $400,000. MLSNI is one of the largest association-owned MLSs in the country with more than 37,000 members in 6,000 offices throughout Chicagoland. The MLS has been in turmoil this year, with big brokers in the region pulling listings from some of their offices to instead exclusively list with a smaller, broker-owned MLS called MAP. Shareholders ordered a forensic audit...