Complying with the NAR's franchise IDX broker opt-in policy

Jun 9, 2011 Michael Wurzer

At the NAR mid-year meetings in May, the NAR Board of Directors voted to require that MLSs provide a mechanism to allow brokers to opt-in to display of their listings via IDX on franchisor (not the local franchisee but the national franchisor) web site. Most of our loyal readers are already familiar with this issue, but, if you are not (and even if you are), I encourage you to read Brian Larson’s excellent review and analysis of the issue.

Alas, despite many questions and concerns with this new policy, our customers needed a solution to comply with the rule. What we decided was to modify the syndication options in flexmls to support broker opt-in for franchise sites in combination with IDX. This approach has the benefit of both tracking the broker opt-ins by individual franchise site and also providing the MLS a way to provide a RETS feed of only those listings from opted-in brokers.

For more information on this new feature, check out this MLS Admin video tutorial and this broker video tutorial (the clear direction and calming voice on the video is our very own Kendra O’Brien, who quickly got up to speed on this complex topic to produce the tutorials). We’re hopeful this new feature will help our MLS customers comply with the new policy, if they must.

For our customers who find this valuable, thanks go to James Ridley and Troy Davisson for the guidance and development of the new features and, of course, Kendra for producing the tutorials. Given the tight time-frame and complexity of figuring out a solution to this new NAR decision, I’m very proud of the response our team provided.