2 dozen MLSs plan public-facing sites to compete with Trulia, Zillow

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The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is the first of two dozen Realtor associations planning to deploy a new system from vendor Solid Earth that allows both Realtors and consumers to use the same platform to access multiple listing service data, with levels of functionality appropriate for users.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the new platform, which includes a public-facing search portal, homes.gcar.net, is designed to help the Chattanooga Realtors’ MLS “compete against national real estate website competitors like Trulia and Zillow, and allow agents and buyers to access information from both their personal computers and their mobile phones and tablets.”

The association had previously announced the launch of the portal in May, which it is now characterizing as “initial testing.” Full rollout of the new listings search site and a related site for commercial listings, commercial.gcar.net, took place Monday.

The National Association of Realtors adopted a policy in May intended to allow MLSs to operate and promote public-facing websites as a “basic” service paid for by all members. Some large brokerages have objected to the change, saying they would rather not compete with MLS-run websites or be forced to pay for MLS-provided services that they can provide to their agents themselves.

NAR will revisit the policy at its annual conference in San Francisco, which was opposed by The Realty Alliance, a group made up dozens of the largest brokerages in the country. The Realty Alliance  has warned that it considers public-facing MLS websites to be a potential source of conflict between MLSs and their member brokers. Source: timesfreepress.com