Is the term MLS dead?

Aug 30, 2007 Michael Wurzer

More and more real estate multiple listing services (MLSs) are being re-named “broker exchanges” or “listing exchanges” or something similar.   There are  several reasons for these changes, such as wanting to distinguish themselves from the MLS organizations being attacked by the DOJ and to make clear that their MLS is for brokers only and not the consuming public.

On a slightly related note, Greg Swann writes today about wanting a new certification for the best agents, similar to Underwriter’s Laboratory.  I peaked at the UL web site and was surprised to see them promoting a Mutliple Listing Service.  Alas, it has nothing to do with real estate MLS.  Nor does Major League Soccer.  Now, not too many are going to confuse soccer and real estate, but, on the web, those terms matter.  Of course, the term MLS also is a registered trademark of CREA in Canada.  So, there are plenty of reasons not to invest too heavily in the term MLS.

Yet, anecdotally at least, real estate consumers in the United States today, more than ever, are familiar with the term MLS and think of it as the real estate marketplace.  So, if it’s time to start thinking of moving past the term MLS to something new, there will be plenty of re-education to do.