A New MLS Model: Providing Equitable Ownership Fills a Critical Industry Gap

Change in MLS is here

The real estate industry is under dramatic transformation. It’s constantly and rapidly changing with technological advancements that have ignited new and fierce competition for brokers. Online portals powered by big data, AI, AR and block chain technologies are becoming the new marketplace. This gives consumers access to much of the information they want, when they want it.

All of this change is necessary to evolve and advance the real estate industry from its outdated ways.  However, it is also compromising the very premise of our industry that people do business with people.

The top 10 technologies driving real estate innovation today are helping to transition and modernize the industry yet they also pose new and competing challenges for brokers.

Aggressive and heavily-funded online platforms & portals like Zillow, Redfin and Homes.com are geared towards capitalizing on changing consumer expectations and digitally native Gen Z buyers who delight in engaging mobile apps and social networks.

The Value of the Human Connection

The human connection and the significant value that brokers and agents provide for their customers cannot be replaced by automation. Nor should brokers and agents have to compete with all of this new technology that is fueled by their listing data.

Yes – all of this new technology is fueled by the listing data. And therein lays the irony.

Selling a home starts with the listing data – data that is initiated and owned by the broker. However, once the listing is entered into a MLS, it’s available to access, analyze, assess and aggregate in so many ways by Big Data – all of which invite competition and dilute the value of the broker.

The Changing MLS Landscape

All of this change has also dramatically impacted MLSs as well.

At the start of 2022, there were approximately 546 MLSs, which some would argue is still too many — and dwindling. This represents a 60% decline in the number of MLSs since 2010 with a staggering 14% decline in the past three years alone.

The number of MLSs in the U.S. continues to decline as technology takes center stage.

There is a direct correlation in the timing of real estate technology investments and when MLSs began to consolidate or enter data sharing agreements. MLS leadership is aware that the current MLS infrastructure is outdated and unsustainable – change was and is still needed.

MLSs today need scale and resources to serve their communities of real estate professionals. MLSs need to reduce operating expenses, balance budgets and gain financial buying power.

We believe it goes far beyond just that.

At REsides, we believe in creating valuable staying power for MLSs.  If we don’t invest in ourselves as an MLS and create sustainable leverage, who will?

Championing Change: Beyond Data Sharing

We believe that the MLS path forward is simpler and smarter. We also believe that the path forward should be driven by more than a merger or simply sharing data.

At REsides, we believe and are fully committed to a new and different MLS model.

Our model is very unique. It’s the first of-its-kind in MLS. It provides participants an equitable share in the business. Having a shared interest in the success and growth of the company provides significant and long-standing competitive advantages for all participants – the way it should be.

The value of the MLS is real. It has been since MLSs started in the 1800s. However, the time is now for us as MLSs to harness the power of what we do and the data we have to come together and unite for the good of the industry in new, different and meaningful ways. When we do, we all win.

Colette Stevenson

Colette Stevenson is passionate about creating staying power for MLSs by focusing on data and empowering brokers to own their future like never before possible.
Read more about Colette →

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Let's change MLS together.