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Inside the MLS crystal ball

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Editor's note: David Charron, CEO for Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. (MRIS), the nation's largest multiple listing service, shares his predictions about the MLS industry in this essay, submitted as a part of the forward-looking Inman News Roadmap to Recovery editorial project. Click here for details. By DAVID CHARRON Believe it or not, it's that time of year. Time to dust off the crystal ball, peer deep into its hazy core, and make a few predictions. This is always a dicey exercise. No doubt I will be wrong on some counts. And some of you may think I'm off-base from the get-go. But as a guy who runs a multiple listing service, it's my job to try to see around the corner. So bear with me. Here are a few things I think are coming in 2009: 1. Predicting the death of the MLS will become less fashionable and more ridiculous. The MLS industry is fragmented, sometimes slow to move, and subject to a host of competing political considerations. We are also facing incre...