MLS & Associations

Irked brokers slam forced MLS membership rule

Real estate leaders consider 'MLS of Choice' as debate gains traction
  • NAR wants your thoughts on an MLS policy that allows Realtor-affiliated MLSs to force all associates in a broker's office to subscribe to the MLS.

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Should real estate agents be forced to subscribe to an MLS because their broker does? An advisory board of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) wants to know your thoughts on that question, preferably by July 1, at mls@realtors.org. The NAR MLS policy up for debate allows Realtor-affiliated MLSs to require that all of the licensed salespersons affiliated with a broker’s office subscribe to the MLS — if a broker is a member of the MLS and that broker’s office lies within the territorial jurisdiction of the association that owns and operates the MLS. According to the brokers pushing for change, the policy as-is hurts agent recruiting and retention; forces brokers or their agents to pay for MLS services they do not want or find valuable; and discriminates against newer, tech-enabled business models. On the other hand, any changes to the policy may have to contend with some MLSs' worries regarding "free riding" by agents who don't pay for the MLS as well as impacts...