MLS & Associations

NAR won’t let US-based MLSs use new ‘.MLS’ top-level domain

Trade group partnered with Canadian Realtors to outbid auction rival

With backing from the National Association of Realtors and U.S. multiple listing services, the Canadian Real Estate Association has emerged victorious in a bidding war that drove up the price of owning and managing a new ".MLS" top-level domain to $3.36 million. But for reasons that remain unclear, the price of NAR's support in the fight is that, for now at least, U.S.-based MLSs will not be allowed to use the new domain to create public-facing website addresses like "chicago.mls" and market them to consumers as trusted websites, as originally planned. Nearly five years ago, 15 U.S. multiple listing services banded together to form the nonprofit MLS Domains Association with the goal of securing and managing a new .MLS top-level domain for exclusive use by multiple listing services. Membership in the MLS Domains Association would grow to include 55 U.S. MLSs representing more than 600,000 agents and brokers. But instead of applying to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names...