Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

On Real Estate Nomenclature

Funk_&_Wagnalls_Company_Logo_(Hoyt,_1922)This is kind of a weird post. But when you write enough copy in this industry it feels like you are walking in a “language land mine field”.

The term “MLS” can mean several things. It is an acronym for Multiple Listings Service or Multiple Listing System . It it also used as a name for the organization operating the MLS or the company that created the MLS software. It gets kind of tricky. So over the years I’ve come up with names for each as to keep everything straight.

MLS provider – This is the organization that runs the MLS, think MRED, CRMLS, MRIS, etc.
MLS vendor – This is the company that created the MLS software, think Corelogic, FBS, Rapattoni, LPS.
MLS system – The is the name of the MLS software, think Matrix, flexmls, or Paragon.

Many times I might capitalize these terms this way, MLS Provider, MLS Vendor, MLS System. I don’t know why, but I sometimes do.

Sometimes the MLS provider can also be the vendor. This is the case with IRES, RMLS (Portland), CLAW/The MLS I’ve used terms “home-grown” or “proprietary MLS system” in the past but don’t like either (any suggestions?). Sometimes the MLS provider might brand their MLS system. This is the case in MetroList Services (Sacramento) where they branded their Rapattoni MLS system, “Propsepctor“.

I call products like Cloud CMA, Goomzee, and others “third party software solutions“, or sometimes “apps”, hell Matrix is an app, but Apple has seemed to hijacked that word and it gets the REALTORS confused. So “apps” nowadays means things you can download from iTunes or another type of online store. And yes, some MLS vendors offer third party software solutions. Confused yet?

Then there’s the word/term REALTOR. Which should be all caps and have a registered trade mark (at least once). Sometimes I switch this out with “real estate professional” or “real estate pro” but both are too long.

Then there’s IDX (Internet Data Exchange) vs VOW (Virtual Office Websites). IDX (I guess IDL never caught on eh?) traditionally means active listings (but don’t some IDX feed now include SOLDS as well?) and VOW means all listings (assuming you did some sort of secret handshake on the internet).

Anyway, if you ever wondered what the hell I was ever talking about, now you know. So put that in your Funk & Wagnalls!

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