Editor’s note: The following is a collection of readers’ comments found on Inman.com:

Local MLSs can provide value to local markets
MLS stakeholders take on syndication, public sites
"A national (multiple listing service) is a waste of time and effort. Not to mention that having NAR or any other large organization control the lifeblood of our income is a bad idea. Just look at how Realtor.com has been managed since the days of the defunct Real Estate Information Network. The fact that as Realtors we belong to the largest trade group in the United States and do not own and control Realtor.com is beyond my comprehension. I also fail to understand why we give our data to Realtor.com for free and then have to pay to showcase our listings with basic info (multiple photos, contact info, etc.).

"The suggestion that a small MLS (that) caters to its unique market by providing the solutions required by its local real estate agents will not survive is unfounded. A regional or national MLS only serves the needs of NAR and large national companies. Any discussion pertaining to economy of scale is not worth discussing based on the fact that MLS data is inexpensive when you are actually selling real estate.

"A local, well-run MLS that caters to its local market will succeed based on the fact that its members will support it. In the example of banks, look at local versus regional or national (banks). Local banks play a critical role in this industry."
–Bill Hanlon

Brokers should tap power of blogging
Mixing business with ‘friends’
"The brokerage of the future … understands. As part of their strategy, they’ll employ or partner with a highly visible corporate blogger whose job is to do what they do best … write about the market, tell the consumers everything they need to know to make an informed decision, and thus make rain for the entire company.

"Sure, blogging isn’t for everyone. But for those who excel at it, the opportunities are endless. What I’ve learned is that the more honest, relevant info we put out for the audience with no strings attached, the more business we attract. It’s a powerful online tool that brokers need to tap into if they’re to survive in the future."
Diane Cohn

Why stop seller-funded down-payment assistance?
FHA Changes make housing bill a ‘mixed bag’
"This is more government interference in the market.

"Elimination of the seller-funded down-payment assistance interferes with the rights of the homeowner/seller.

"If a property is market priced and the seller opts to pay all or part of the buyer’s down payment, the result is a reduction in the seller’s net proceeds and should be none of the government’s business.

"The licensed appraiser is the entity that should verify market value, not the government.

"What I can’t figure out is who (is objecting) and why (are there objections) to the seller paying the buyer’s down payment. It defies logic, market and common sense."
Lenn Harley

Generate referrals from relationships
Social networks: Think outside the real estate box
"Networking sites focused on something other than real estate produce a more diverse group of people with diverse networks themselves. This is where clients come from. Establishing relationships produces referrals and there are so many sites now to find ‘friends’ with similar interests."
–Catherine Read

‘Covert and blatant discrimination’ exists in housing industry
Real estate firm charged with racial discrimination
"The testers may be overzealous — but there still exists massive covert and blatant discrimination on all levels of the housing industry. Indirect or misdirected displays of discrimination are no excuse. Double-talk, use of fuzzy or gray language and terminology to promote acts of discrimination by brokers, agents, customers or clients is completely out of order. Will we ever learn?"
–Carrie Gingrich

***

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