Northwest MLS members continue to use No 'dramatic decrease' in use since bulk feeds cut from NWMLS

While Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the largest MLS in the state of Washington, earlier this year stopped sending broker-supplied property information to the search site, most brokers continue to supply listings information to that site on their own, according to operator Move Inc.

Julie Reynolds, a Move spokeswoman, said Monday, “We have not seen a dramatic decrease coming from Realtors in that area,” though she did not provide details on how many brokers in that market area have ceased sending the bulk of their property listings information to following the NWMLS decision.

Board members for broker-owned NWMLS, which has an estimated 2,100 member real estate companies representing about 26,000 sales associates, last year voted to end the submission of property information to at the conclusion of its contract with this year.

Even before the NWMLS decision, brokers for Windermere Real Estate did not permit a bulk feed of property listings by NWMLS to Since the decision, “There has been a greater interest (by company brokers) to send individual listings to on a case-by-case basis — and that choice I think is important,” said Pat Grim, president of Windermere Western Washington Services Co.

Grim said that its franchise brokers in the Washington area believed that was serving “more as a destination than a portal” for real estate consumers, “and if it was more of a portal then it would get more support.” Under the new system, brokers can be more selective about which property listings to include at, he said. “It’s the appropriate way for to get its listings, and in my opinion it’s more appropriate for the MLS,” he said. on May 29 sent a notice to broker members of NWMLS to describe how individual brokerage companies could submit property listings information to The notice stated, “Unfortunately, the NWMLS has decided to no longer license the display of your listings on or to continue to send those listings to us on your behalf, effective July 1. While we will not receive data directly from your MLS, we do have the ability to accept your office’s listings directly from you, as the Realtor broker of record, and we can continue to display your listings and primary photos on at no charge.”

The letter described a process through which brokers could complete and return a “Broker Data Content Provider” agreement with and to work with a vendor to manage the data exchange with

Also in May, Portland, Ore.-based Regional MLS, a Realtor association-operated regional MLS with about 14,700 members in Oregon and Washington, had sought to attract new members from NWMLS and other MLSs with RMLSlite, a service that pushes brokers’ property listings information to the site.

RMLS, like most Realtor-operated MLSs, automatically forwards its subscriber-supplied property listings information to the National Association of Realtors-affiliated search site, though this new service allowed nonmembers to post listings at via RMLS.

The site was free at first, and RMLS began charging for the service on Sept. 1. “We saw there were MLSs that didn’t send their listings to and there were other MLSs ceasing to send their listings to — we thought it was creating a vacuum in the marketplace and we thought we’d try to fill it out,” said Kurt von Wasmuth, senior vice president for RMLS.

The only requirement for submitting listings for inclusion at is that the nonsubscribers must be Realtors, he added. At $5 per listing, nonmembers might consider joining RMLS if they are planning to upload more listings

Von Wasmuth said it’s no secret that RMLS was hoping that the RMLSlite tool would bring new members to the MLS. “We’re hoping that in seeing how friendly our MLS can be and how quickly we can react to a need like that” nonsubscribers would join, he said, adding that he did not have exact numbers on how many Realtors are using the RMLSlite system. NWMLS officials offered no comment about the RMLSlite system.

Reynolds said that several of the major brokers that are members of NWMLS, including John L. Scott, Coldwell Banker and RE/MAX affiliates, “continue to want to have listings on and they submit them to us in their (Internet Data Exchange) feed. Unfortunately, the brokers that chose not to continue to send listings directly to just means more work for them,” and that the NWMLS policy change was led by “one or two brokers (who) decided they did not want to list on anymore.”

Ben Kakimoto, a Realtor for John L. Scott Real Estate in Seattle, said that he rarely asks his clients if they use, and his out-of-area clients “find me through Web searches, predominately Google.” He stated in a blog posting last year that the NWMLS move is “probably not a big deal. In speaking with the general public and my own clients, no one ever mentions using to view listings. In the Seattle area, company Web sites such as, and probably get the lion’s share of user home searches.”

Meanwhile, Chris Nye, broker for flat-fee real estate company said he believes is an important marketing tool. The transition from NWMLS-submitted listings information to broker-submitted information was smooth, he said. “NWMLS gave us time to transfer over to a new vendor,” and extended its original deadline for the transition by several months.

When his clients are choosing how to market properties, “ continually comes up in the conversation,” he said.