BrokerageMLS & Associations

Brokers vs. MLSs: Is there a winner in this mud match?

Panelist: Association execs resistant to change should step aside
  • Out-of-touch leadership and "absurd" rules are among the reasons disagreements between brokers and MLSs remain, according to Inman Connect panelists.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Three years ago, Craig Cheatham of broker network The Realty Alliance announced that brokers had "lost faith in the system," read out a list of grievances against MLSs and cryptically hinted at an upcoming big initiative that he said would not endanger MLSs "swimming upstream." The ominous-sounding warning caught MLSs by surprise, though both Cheatham and the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) have publicly said that relations between brokers and MLSs have improved since then. Still, even as the initiative, Upstream, begins rollout and pledges unity with MLSs, disagreements between brokers and MLSs linger, as evidenced by a session at Inman Connect last week. "The MLS industry is one of the few where competitors work together. Today we're in a mud match when the reality is we're all on the same team," said Jeremy Crawford, executive director of the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), which counts MLSs and brokers as members. "There are som...