An Open Letter From IDX Vendors United

Apr 27, 2011 Michael Wurzer

Dear NAR MLS Policy Committee:

Since we’re coming up on the mid-year NAR convention, that must mean it’s time to talk IDX and MLS policies.  In just the last few weeks, there have been controversies regarding a proposal to clarify that IDX allows RSS updates, posting of listings to social networks, and mobile sites and applications.  In addition, the Realty Alliance and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World sent letters to NAR objecting to the newly-enacted policy allowing franchises to display IDX listings.

Not to be left out of the action, IDX Vendors United (aka “IDXVU”) also has a bone to pick about the new franchise policy, but it’s not the one that typically gets attention.  Instead, IDXVU is wondering why franchises are exempt from the rule requiring display of the IDX logo or broker name on listing summary pages?  Here’s the applicable language:

Initial search results that provide minimal information (e.g. “thumbnails”) are exempt from MLS-required disclosures (e.g. listing firm, listing agent, source of information, notice that information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate) provided that a direct link to a detailed (“full view”) display that includes all required disclosures is provided.

(IDXVU sourced the above policy text from Rob Hahn’s post on the topic, because it couldn’t find the actual policy on-line in my few minutes of searching.)

Why does this exemption only apply to franchises?  IDXVU can think of a few reasons, but none that wouldn’t also apply to every vendor of IDX solutions.  For example, one reason for the exemption is to prevent the franchise from having to research and deal with the myriad of policies and procedures of every MLS, which is a huge pain.  But, hey, you know what, every IDX vendor has to do that and so why are only franchises exempt from the rule?  To be clear, IDXVU thinks the exemption is great, except that it shouldn’t be an exemption, it should apply to everyone.

Thanks in advance for considering our question.


IDX Vendors United

P.S.  Just in case you didn’t catch on, IDXVU does not actually exist (yet, wahaha!).  This post was written by me, Mike Wurzer, on behalf of FBS, just one of many IDX vendors with unanswered questions about IDX policies.