The MLS conversation expands

One of my greatest sources of aggravation regarding the NAR MLS PAG is this:

… he said he is largely in the dark about an NAR-created MLS Future presidential advisory group that is studying the feasibility for creating a national real estate data repository, also known as the “gateway.” Such a system could have important repercussions for MLSs, he said.

“There is sort of this elephant in the room with this gateway. I’m on the governance committee for RETS. I think I should know more of what that is about. There is a lack of information or discussion about the gateway, yet there is this potential huge thing coming down the pipe. What is it and how is it going to be structured?” he said. By contrast, the RETS community is “wide-open … all you have to do is show up and speak up,” he said.

Today’s Inman story (to be locked behind a subscription wall after today)

Rain City Guide
Tales from the Techside
Michael Wurzer’s FBS blog
My story last week
Bloodhound (on a related subject)

Regarding the data feed standards – this caused me to think of a story I wrote last year – What if – Zillow is Right? – in which I questioned the following:

Yet I have been wondering – what if Zillow’s reach becomes so great, their data become so vast and inclusive, that their Zestimates significantly impact what is fair market value? What if the purchasing and selling population refer to Zillow as the end-all, be-all estimator for their homes’ valuations? What if “close enough” is “good enough”? What if they become the de facto standard for home valuations?

Give us – consumers and Realtors – one place with everything, that has all the data, all the content, and you’ll see something that is used by everybody.

Aside from my fascination with technology and change, Russell Shaw sums up why I am involved with the Realtor associations at the state, local and national levels:

I totally agree that Realtor associations tend to award “sweetheart deals”. to (formerly) Homestore has to be the poster child for such deals. But at the end of the day, some committee somewhere, has to make a decision and award the contract to some company.

If you know better who those contracts really should have gone to, perhaps become a part of that process.

The infrastructure is there and the organization, while flawed, is in place. Let’s change it from within rather than reinvent the wheel.

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  1. Michael Wurzer September 17, 2007 at 12:33

    Jim, I agree that changing from within is an excellent approach; that’s certainly been my objective. At the same time, I think Greg makes a good point that many times Associations don’t have to make a technology choice at all, but rather could or should create opportunities for competition and choice. That’s fundamentally been my concern regarding the Gateway, that in pursuing MLS consolidation, the NAR will anoint a single technology solution instead of creating a policy fostering competition.

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