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Consumer Direct

March 11, 2002

MLSs Get Into Listing Business


Inman News Features

After following the National Association of Realtors? jagged politics and the crash-and-burn fate of HomeStore for so many years, many of the nation?s Multiple Listing Services now are striking out on their own to deliver homes-for-sale information directly to home buyers and home sellers, in addition to real estate brokers.

Taking their lead from no one but the local market opportunity, MLSs are delivering compelling new Web-based products and services to their own broker and agent members?and directly to consumers.

Take the Metro Denver MLS, which offers direct consumer access to current listings at REColorado.com. The service uses a no-nonsense interface that puts the user directly into the MLS for the Colorado area. Other than an area map and a simple mortgage calculator, the Web site is focused exclusively on local listings.

Metrolist was formed by six boards of Realtors in the Denver metro area. There is no confusion about who Metrolist represents.

"We are the premier regional real estate database and our sole obligation is to the real estate community, providing it with comprehensive databases, superior service and meaningful applications of technology," according to a description on the Web site.

Realtors get Web-based access to the Metro MLS through MyMLS.com.

One of the first Realtor boards to go it alone was the Houston Association of Realtors, which is respected nationwide for its entrepreneurial spirit to delivering listing services to both its members and consumers.

Listings on the Web for years were driven by HomeStore because the company dangled stock options in front of MLSs and NAR leadership pressured them to stick with HomeStore. MLSs complied because they suffered from low self-esteem and a lack of boldness about their own abilities.

But those days are over as HomeStore struggles to survive. MLSs now work with a variety of different partners and venture alone.

Copyright: Inman News Service



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