Some Big Opportunities to Discuss The Future of MLS

Nov 19, 2008 Michael Wurzer

Both Inman News and Brian Larson announced recently some new efforts to create vibrant discussions that could have a big impact on the future of MLS.

Brian has created a new blog called MLS Tesseract, with the goal of “looking for a multi-dimensional conversation on the MLS and organized real estate industries.”  Brian’s first few posts are delving into the new VOW policy following the settlement of the NAR/DOJ litigation.  A great example is his post 100,000 VOWs by the end of 2010.  Backing up Brian’s argument, Jim Duncan recently wrote about the limitations of IDX in his MLS and I commented that a VOW feed could help correct that problem.  Brian is one of the smartest people I know when it comes to MLS issues and his new blog could be a great place to advance the future of MLS.

Brian also has created an excellent and exciting resource he’s calling a VOW Clearinghouse.  The VOW policy contains a lot of pieces that are going to require interpretation over the years to come and Brian has created an excellent forum for doing that collaboratively.  If, indeed, there will be 100,000 VOWs by 2010, then understanding the policy as best we can is critical, so head on over to the VOW Clearinghouse and get to work.

Inman News also posted an editorial today entitled a “Roadmap to Recovery” with one aspect being a new forum on the future MLS.  Given our position as an MLS technology company, I found the “technology” branch of their project of most interest:

Technology: New innovations will lead the housing market out of its current mess. The Web brings transparency to the process through the publication of listings, the addition of related information, and through new applications. Core to this new future are better real estate analytics. The market desperately needs better information on the pricing and the sales trends in micro, regional and national markets.

Analytics.  Yes, absolutely.   Especially the “micro” part.  As I wrote a few weeks ago, neighborhoods are difficult but this is a problem that needs to be solved so we can truly embrace the maxim that real estate is local.  Standardizing this process will allow better data to be aggregated and indexed and provide more transparency into the true real estate values as opposed to the distorted aggregations that exist today.  There is no national or regional real estate market — real estate is local — and we need better data aggregation practices to reflect that.  Data aggregation is one of the central purposes of MLS and so I can’t think of a better topic to explore.

I’m excited about these opportunities to engage on-line in an extended discussion about MLS and hope you join in the fun.