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Industry Relations 14: ‘MLS of Choice,’ Sam DeBord and Jeff Young of RPR

by Greg Robertson on September 27th, 2017

Hang around the hotel bar at CMLS2017 long enough (we’re looking at you, Greg), and you will overhear conspiracy theories about ‘MLS of Choice’ somehow leading to a national MLS. The MLS community has long feared that NAR is looking to get into the MLS business, and the rhetoric ‘of choice’ raises alarm bells in the industry. What is NAR’s intent in changing MLS Policy Statements 7.42 and 7.43? Could RPR eventually evolve into a national MLS?

Today Rob and Greg dig into the ‘MLS of Choice’ debate with Sam DeBord and Jeff Young. Sam is a member of the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board that revised 7.42 and 7.43, and he will serve as the Vice-Chairman of MLS Policy for NAR next year. He also serves as the managing broker for Seattle Homes Group and VP of Strategic Growth for Coldwell Banker Danforth. Sam writes for a number of real estate news outlets, and he was named to SP200’s Top 20 Social Influencers and Inman’s Top 101 in Real Estate.

Jeff Young is the Chief of Operations for Realtors Property Resource (RPR), an NAR resource providing comprehensive data, powerful analytics and client-friendly reports for each of NAR’s constituencies. Jeff has been a REALTOR since 1996, serving in various NAR leadership positions including President of the Michigan Association of Realtors in 2008. (In this live recording Jeff happen to walk by as the podcast was being recorded and coaxed in to participate.)

On this episode of Industry Relations, Greg, Rob, Sam and Jeff walk through the details of ‘MLS of Choice,’ discussing how the policy change will offer greater flexibility for brokers and agents in the MLS marketplace. They explore the MLS community’s skepticism around NAR’s intent, and whether there is any merit to the theory that this new policy might eventually lead to RPR becoming a national MLS. Listen in to understand the arguments for and against ‘MLS of Choice’–tin foil hat optional.

What’s Discussed: 

The broker pain points that led to changes in MLS Policy Statements 7.42 and 7.43
The role of the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board
The current jurisdictional rules around MLS dues
How ‘MLS of Choice’ provides greater flexibility for brokers/agents in MLS marketplaces
Why the previous policy was endorsed
The arguments for and against ‘MLS of Choice’
Sam’s response to industry fear of NAR establishing a national MLS
The rumors that RPR could become the national MLS
Jeff’s rebuttal concerning the rumors around RPR
– RPR contracts with MLSs prevent national MLS
– RPR depends on relationships with 661 of 694 current MLSs
The confusion around ‘MLS of Choice’ as a naming convention
The concept of which MLS not if MLS
How the policy change will adversely affect MLSs that don’t provide value
CMLS’s response to the ‘MLS of Choice’ policy change


Sam at Coldwell Banker Danforth
Realtors Property Resource
‘MLS of Choice’ Article in Inman News

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website
Greg’s Website

  1. Janet Gresham permalink

    I think MLS of choice is a good idea in theory, but how do you prevent participants and subscribers from sharing their login? We have issues with this already and I’m afraid this is only going to get worse.

  2. Ryan Castle permalink


    I think good strong enforcement of of technology that can indicate password sharing is essential. In addition, it may cause MLSs to rethink access models where they create a fee structure per brokerage instead of per subscriber. There are some MLSs already on that model.

  3. Janet Gresham permalink


    I would love to see how they have structured that model. I’ve wanted to switch to something like that for years but can’t seem to come up with a formula that works.

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