Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Listing Bits Episode 67: The Pros and Cons of LEAP – with Sam DeBord & Michael Wurzer

At present, MLS data access is unnecessarily complex. And brokers are calling for a more efficient system with a single set of rules around how the data can be used. In response, the CMLS Data Access Concepts Workgroup drafted the Listing Exchange and Access Policy or LEAP. But does the new policy really solve these problems? Could it be improved in a way that recognizes the changing landscape of the real estate industry?

Sam DeBord is the CEO of the Real Estate Standards Organization, the trade group responsible for developing standards for the industry, and he writes for publications including REALTOR Magazine and Inman News. Michael Wurzer is the CEO of FBS, the leading innovator of MLS technology and one of the most respected real estate software brands, and he covers industry issues on the FBS Company Blog. Both Sam and Michael are active participants in the LEAP debate on Twitter and have written long-form posts on the topic.

On this episode of Listing Bits, Sam shares the goals of the proposed Listing Exchange and Access Policy, describing how it seeks to simplify the rules and make access to MLS data more efficient. Michael discusses his concerns around the draft policy, explaining why licensing should be a part of LEAP and what a usage-based pricing model might look like. Listen in for Sam’s speed limit versus toll road analogy for the issues at play and hear both sides of the debate on whether LEAP solves the fundamental problems brokers face in using MLS data.

What’s Discussed:  

LEAP’s goal to simplify the rules and make access to MLS data more efficient

Why Michael sees a problem with how LEAP treats IDX, VOW and Back Office the same

Michael’s argument that the value of aggregated MLS data as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts 

Why Michael believes that licensing and pricing should be a part of LEAP

How the definition of a Participant is evolving and why Michael thinks LEAP should address the shift

Sam’s concerns around using policy to penalize companies who are using data well

Sam’s speed limit vs. toll road analogy for the issues at play in LEAP

Michael’s point that portals would be worth dramatically less without MLS data

The potential to charge licensing fees for MLS data based on usage (with free low-usage plans available)

Sam’s view that MLSs should make local decisions about pricing rather than NAR policy

Connect with Sam:

Real Estate Standards Organization

Sam’s Website

Sam on Twitter

Connect with Michael:

Michael’s Blog on FBS

Michael on Twitter


Michael’s First LEAP Post: Look Before You LEAP

Michael’s Second LEAP Post: MLS Content Is Uniquely Valuable, License It Accordingly

Michael’s Third LEAP Post: A Picture Is Worth More Than…

Sam’s Post: LEAP Forward — Six Questions to Answer on Broker’s MLS Data

Rob Hahn’s Blog on LEAP

Vendor Alley


The Realty Alliance


Draft of the Listing Exchange and Access Policy (LEAP)

Victor Lund on Twitter

FloPlan by FBS

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  3. This podcast was fantastic. The issues are complex and not simple to solve. We’re so lucky we have leaders like Michael and Sam at the forefront of these policy decisions.

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