What is the Multiple Listing Service?
Iím going to go out on a limb and say that most of us are guilty of taking for granted the tools we use to conduct business on a daily basis. Itís okay, Iíll put my hand up first.
At a discussion during our Boardís recent strategic planning exercise, we asked each other to describe what we thought the Multiple Listing Service?(MLS? involved and how it benefi ted our members. Some said it was a means of sharing property information; others that it was a system for engaging REALTORS?in the process of fi nding buyers for properties. Others talked about it in terms of a technology tool, and its advertising extension, www.realtor.ca, as a means to communicate listings to the public. We all agreed that we put listings on the MLS?as a tool to assist our clients with the buying and selling of properties, and as a tool to assist with market valuations. We turn the
computer on and, presto, itís there!
Then we began to truly delve into a discussion of what is involved in the background of MLS?and how so much of the work that takes place at the Board is connected to it.
Here is a description you might find illuminating:
What is MLS?
1. Residential and commercial property listing service. Pretty straightforward.
2. Comparable sales data, market statistics and basic REALTOR?marketing tools. Again, fairly self-explanatory, though not all members make use of the wealth of statistical data available through the MLS?
3. A regulatory framework that provides public-protection and assurance. You might be scratching your head over this one. But how else would we describe our MLS?Rules of Cooperation; standards dealing with data, forms, contracts, rules, and education; quality control to ensure accurate, reliable, trusted and authoritative data; and dispute
resolution mechanisms that ensure fair procedures for handling disagreements. Now weíre beginning to explore the complexities behind the system that are beyond just a listing service.
4. A professional framework that involves professional standards, business practices, government relations, and education to achieve knowledgeable and trained professionals.
5. Ultimately, an effective marketing system that gains public trust and brings value to your clients.
In 1925, some of the earliest leaders at our Board began work on a cooperative listing system. Even then, our members understood the power of working cooperatively. Today the MLS?signifi es to the public that there is professional involvement of a REALTOR?throughout the entire transaction. It represents a quality of service, a set of high standards
and an integrity of information.
To us in the profession, the MLS?should by recognized as much more than a property listing tool. Itís a refl ection of the structure, cooperation, accountability and standards that REALTORS?commit to and that we gain from being part of a professional community of practitioners.
(Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver)