In a new video released today by It’s My Business, several leaders within the California real estate community speak out about the need for a single statewide solution for MLS listing access. Those featured in the video include brokers from across the state, Association Executives, and even a past C.A.R. President, Jim Hamilton.
The fresh testimonial comes after the It’s My Business campaign traveled to Sacramento, CA in April to attend the most recent meetings of the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). In the video, leaders are asked to describe the problems with the current MLS system in California.
“I think that the public still has better access to information than I do as a REALTOR®” and “I can’t be a good counselor without information,” says Jim Hamilton, who was President of C.A.R. in 2005. Other interviewees go on to echo Hamilton’s description of a “fragmented” MLS system across the state. “You’d have to join sometimes as many as 10 different MLSs,” says Kathy Kelly, Association Executive of the South Bay AOR in Torrance, referring to the plight of brokers in her area before South Bay joined with CRMLS as their MLS provider.
As the tape rolls on, one interviewee after another proclaims the need for statewide access to MLS listing data. “It’s about creating the future. It’s about creating the next generation of real estate agents and brokers,” states Nick Solis, a broker and President of One80 Realty in Brentwood.
The video is also quick to rebuke popular arguments against statewide access, like the notion that open access to listings will encourage agents to list outside their areas of expertise, thereby taking business away from local agents and brokers who are more qualified to sell there. West DeYoung, Past President of the Pasadena Foothills AOR, sheds some light on the issue: “It’s not that I’m going to fly to any of those areas to sell…a home. Of course, there’s going to be somebody who does that. But that’s the kind of person who’s going to do that anyway.” “You can do that now whether you belong to an MLS or not,” Jim Hamilton points out, but “our Code of Ethics clearly states that you need to have expertise in the area you’re working.” A number of the people interviewed also stress that access to listings outside your area is often necessary to provide a strong referral to clients moving somewhere else in the state.
The piece also addresses the fear of lack of representation for Associations within a larger MLS organization, such as CRMLS. In response, a number of Association Executives from smaller Associations testify to the high level of participation and communication they experience with CRMLS. “Everybody gets one vote on the [Operations] Committee, and we’ve had tons of things that we’ve been able to accomplish through CRMLS,” says Peggy Mead, Association Executive of the Chico AOR.
In the end, industry leaders state outright their support for statewide MLS listing access, and for the campaign, revitalizing the movement’s brand name as a statement of purpose heard from brokers and agents statewide: It’s My Business.