With every day of innovation and aggregation by competitors, the MLS is becoming fast becoming a guide toward property offerings and valuations rather than “the” or even “a” definitive source.
There are at least two reasons for this change –
1) The innovation of data aggregation competitors with whom many are familiar – Zillow, Homegain, Trulia, Yahoo, AOL, Google, the list seems to grow every week.Â – whose goals are to gain their own market share and disintermediate agents.
2) Realtors seem to have taken the MLS for granted as something that has always been and will always “be there.” The time/opportunity may have passed for Realtors to regain control of what is currently the single-greatest data source for property information out there.
The MLS is in the process of devolving/evolving into just another data source. The root cause is the lack of accuracy of the data input by the agents. To be the best data source, one has to input the best raw data. That simply has not been the case for some time, due partially to the strength of the real estate market for the past six years, but also to simply laziness and lack of accountability. How can one maintain a market lead when the data lack integrity?
One aspect that differentiates the MLS from its competitors is the offer of cooperation between Brokers and the fact that at this moment, the vast majority of properties are marketed through the MLS. The MLS remains the single largest aggregation of property data out there. For now.
The solution: just what it has always been when faced with the competition. Be better then they are.
My prediction: the MLS as we know it will be almost unrecognizable in less than three years.