The National Association of Realtors board of directors approved a policy Friday morning that gives brokers the right to get back the listing data they put into a multiple listing service.

The policy, first proposed by the Council of MLSs (CMLS), gives MLS participants (defined as brokerage principals) the right to receive a data feed of their own listing information without restrictions on what they can do with that data. The mandatory policy applies to Realtor-affiliated MLSs nationwide. The vast majority of the 565 MLSs in the U.S. are owned and operated by Realtor associations.

“Most MLSs already allow brokers to access their own MLS content. The new national policy will close a loophole for MLSs that haven’t had a protocol in place for providing that data to their participants, and will unlock efficiencies for brokers, ensuring they don’t have to manually enter the data multiple times into their various systems and reports,” NAR said in an announcement.

“The new policy will also allow brokers to innovate and develop new ways of delivering services to consumers. Some MLSs have expressed concern that the requirement will add staff time and costs that may have to be passed on to member participants.”

Previously, brokers could receive their own data back through Virtual Office Website (VOW) or Internet Data Exchange (IDX) feeds, but had to follow the extensive rules that come with those feeds. VOW and IDX feeds contain the listing data of all brokers in an MLS, not just a broker’s own data, so the policies surrounding those feeds are designed to protect misuse of other brokers’ data.

The new policy takes effect on January 1, though MLSs can choose to implement it earlier, the trade group said. Last week CMLS told Inman it will be crafting a best practices and procedures document for the policy’s implementation well before it goes into effect.

The policy is unchanged from when it was voted on in NAR’s Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee last week, and reads:

A Multiple Listing Service must, upon request, promptly provide an MLS Participant (or the Participant’s designee) a data feed containing, at minimum, all active MLS listing content input into the MLS by or on behalf of the Participant and all of the Participant’s off-market listing content available in the MLS system. The delivery charges for the Participant’s listing content shall be reasonably related to the actual costs incurred by the MLS. The data feed must be in compliance with the RESO Standards as provided for in MLS Policy Statement 7.90.

Note: MLSs will not limit the use of the Participant’s listing content by the Participant or the Participant’s designee.

Real estate brokerage network The Realty Alliance supported the policy and last week said a data feed of a broker’s own data would be key for multiple systems that brokers use to do business, including:

  • brokerage websites
  • various marketing platforms (internal and outside vendors)
  • social media management programs
  • relocation/referral network databases
  • transaction management platforms
  • company CRM databases
  • appointment/showing services
  • company intranet
  • testimonial/ranking software
  • customer/client surveys
  • customer/client status update systems
  • back-office platforms (accounting, commissions, etc.)
  • agent activity reports
  • days on market reports

Friday’s board meeting was the last session for the Virtual Realtors Legislative Meetings, NAR’s first-ever virtual midyear conference. Two-thirds of the sessions for the conference were closed to nearly all NAR members and press, including the board meeting. Interest in the conference’s work and content appeared to be high as more than 28,000 Realtors registered for the event, according to the trade group.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.
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MLS | NAR
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