Category Archives: MLS

Can I get a death watch for the MLS DeathWatch?

The real estate industry spends WAY too much time worrying about going out of business. I guess some of it is warranted. Things change; just ask a former travel agent. Certainly, a new model for buying and selling a home will come along, and when it does, it will be pretty obvious to all of us that we’re screwed. That day is not here yet, and I happen to think it’s a long way off.

outbizFears of disintermediation often peak in the lead up to Inman Connect. New companies/models launch, press releases are written and pundits ponder. As a result, the establishment freaks out and tries to figure out how to quash the innovation uprising. Relax. Unless someone figures out how to improve on your core value proposition, you’re going to be okay. Continue reading

Special Report: Why online consumers love Zillow and Trulia more than you


Some topics are just too big to blog about. Today, I’m releasing my first special report. It’s an explanation of the core competencies that have lead Zillow and Trulia to become the most visited real estate web portals in nearly every market. As the Midyear meetings were strongly focused on, “owning the online relationship with consumers,” I think the REALTOR® family would be well served to fully understand the scope of the task at hand. Visit the new Special Reports page to download for free.


Additional commentary. 

A view of Zillow and Trulia from Todd Carpenter –

Why Consumers Prefer Zillow and Trulia to the REAL Real Estate Professionals Search Sites –

Did you here? –


NAR Executive Committee seeks to send public MLS issue back to Advisory Board. #narmidyear

Updated; See below

What started as a lockbox issue, and evolved into a debate about classifying public MLS web sites as a basic service, has further evolved into a power struggle between large brokers and MLSs. I certainly understand why a large broker would not want a public MLS site. I also understand why small and medium brokers would. It’s a tough issue and it looks like one that NAR is not quite ready to make a definitive decision on. While the MLS committee approved amendments on Tuesday that list public MLSs as a basic service, NAR’s Executive Committee moved to add an amendment that sends the issue back to a workgroup in their meeting today. I received some clarification on this from Laurie Janik, NAR Chief Counsel:

punter“The MLS Committee’s recommendation will be presented to the directors tomorrow morning. The Executive Committee will recommend to the directors amending the Committee’s recommendation to delete the one sentence that lists public facing websites as a “basic” service. The Executive Committee would like this aspect of the policy to receive further study by the Advisory Board over the summer. The Executive Committee is not recommending a prohibition on the operation of public websites. There will be no loss of NAR-provided professional liability insurance should the amendment pass.”

This is mixed news for MLSs already operating public sites. While NAR is stating that no immediate action will result if passed, the move certainly leaves those MLSs in limbo, especially now that the issue is far more public. It definitely looks like tomorrow’s BOD meeting will be lively. Stay tuned.

Update: NAR’s BOD passed the MLS amendment as presented by the MLS Committee. The Executive Committee’s amendment failed. Good news for publik facing MLSs

Photo: Creative Commons license via Flickr user  Ron Cogswell

How NAR and Google can partner to build a member-centric real estate “portal”

File this under crazy ideas that Todd came up with that are full of risk and not likely to happen. 

According to Dale Stinton, NAR’s leadership is ready to “get in trouble“. That’s great news. Here’s  a way to get started.

outside the boxMany members want a national website that allows a listing agent to post their listings without  ads from competing agents. NAR could pull this off, but it will be really tricky.

NAR currently has a partnership with Move Inc to operate I think the partnership is a fair deal. REALTORS® get to publish their listings on for free. Move funds the site by charging for premium or competing advertising on the site. However, this isn’t good enough for members who essentially want an ad-free platform. The operating agreement is evergreen and includes non-compete language. Changing the agreement is difficult, and going around it is even harder. Continue reading