Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Stuart White, CEO of Realtracs, on why the MLS will continue

A couple of things from Stuart’s opinion post on Inman News I thought were interesting.

“The network effect has provided a dependable listing and buying network — creating a singular destination where an area’s buyers and listings are in the same place. The network effect has always been more important to consumers (and professionals) than publishing compensation and will continue to benefit consumers (and professionals) after the settlement. “

Stuart White

We don’t really think about how much the network effect matters in our business. We are just so used to it.

“MLSs must continue to make platforms easier to use. Designing an accessible and intuitive interface with user-friendly features allows seamless navigation, as both real estate professionals and consumers will be seeking enhanced productivity and efficiency. By making their products more accessible, MLSs reinforce their role as indispensable tools and empower users to achieve their goals with ease.”

Stuart White

Making MLS system easier to use has been a thing since I started in the business in 1992. I believe the industry has done a good job with point solutions based on features of MLS systems, but coming up with a new take on a MLS system itself is something I think about a lot.

  1. Stuart White is spot on. The bargain between participating brokers and the MLS will continue to benefit professionals and consumers – and appraisers. The historical detail and accuracy of listings creates a trusted system that generates confidence in the marketplace.

    There is only one hitch. If bots scraping the internet are tied to machine learning, large language models, and AI – the internet will become the MLS system. The moment that all internet records that have ever been published in the MLS can be organized and assembled in seconds by AI, the MLS will be over. (SEE bing.com/homes)

    UNLESS – the MLS takes data licensing seriously and dedicate resources to protecting the copyright.

    I hate to say “bring back RED PLAN”, the effort by leading MLSs to collaborate on stoping data theft, but something like that may very well be needed. MLSs are responsible for protecting the data of the broker. If they fail in this measure, brokers will lose trust.

    We are at an inflection point where if the MLS do not protect the MLS compilation, the bargain between brokers and their MLS will be broken. I would not expect brokers to suddenly run away. But the moment that broker technology vendors can access data using AI tools rather than MLS feeds, a slow migration will occur.

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