Real estate brokers will soon be required to "opt-in" if they want their listings to be displayed on the national websites of real estate franchisors like Century 21, Keller Williams and Re/Max under a rule change approved Saturday by the National Association of Realtors’ board of directors.
The board’s vote, which takes effect in 30 days, follows on the heels of a controversy surrounding the board’s November decision to allow franchisors to index and display Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listings in any market where they had obtained permission to do so from their own franchisees.
Before the rule change was implemented in January, franchisors could display listings represented by their own franchisees, but not listings represented by other brokers.
IDX listings include all listings of participating brokers in a given market served by a multiple listing service. Critics, including brokerage networks The Realty Alliance, and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, said NAR’s decision to allow franchisors to index and display IDX listings could give franchisor websites an unfair competitive advantage by helping them boost traffic that the companies could then refer to their franchisees.