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What a national real estate MLS might look like

Guest perspective: Problems with current structure lend clues

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The idea of a national multiple listing service has been floating around for years. Lately, with the arrival of Google Base and consolidation of some large MLSs, the talk of a national MLS is heating up again. It makes one wonder, what would or should a national MLS look like? That depends on one's point of view. One of the most common definitions for MLS is a group of brokers joined together in a cooperative marketing organization for the purpose of pooling their respective property listings. In exchange for a potentially larger audience of home buyers, the brokers agree to share commissions. This seems like a fairly accurate description. So in some ways the MLS is a marketing organization in which brokers "share" their "marketing assets" (listings) with other brokers. Realtors clearly favor a national or some form of consolidated MLS, at least at a state level, according to the recent National Association of Realtors' 2006 MLS Technology Survey. The survey also highlighted a few rea...