On Monday, November 11, 2019, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Board of Directors voted to approve the Clear Cooperation Proposal, also known as MLS Policy Statement 8.0. MLSs can adopt the policy at any time, but it must be implemented no later than May 1, 2020.
The policy, which is now part of the NAR Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy, reads:
“Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.”
The Path Forward
As your MLS organization is considering options for adopting the new policy, you are not on your own. Many MLSs have already adopted similar policies and have provided guides to help you in your decision making.
RESO, NAR and CMLS have many resources to assist you. Policy 8.0 will cause many MLSs to consider new forms, statuses, and ways to define listings and real estate data in their MLS systems. Industry standards exist to ease that process for you, and we are available to assist at any time.
NAR MLS Policy 8.0: Questions and Solutions
Clear understanding of current resources and best industry practices will be critical for MLSs to efficiently make this transition. Below are some important definitions and resources to help MLSs through this process.
Statuses: Coming Soon, Delayed Showings
Policy 8.0 doesn’t require or forbid “Coming Soon” listings. Many MLSs will consider Coming Soon statuses or Delayed Showing statuses within the MLS if their participants request this flexibility. They may simply use a Delayed Showing form for properties that are MLS-ready but not showing-ready.
RESO’s Data Dictionary provides well-known statuses for MLSs, including Coming Soon, to use with their software vendors. MLSs don’t need to create brand new statuses. Standard statuses allow listings to be shared between many systems and to be displayed in a timely and accurate manner. This is critical in today’s digitally networked marketplace.
Timelines: Listing, Showing, Calculating Days on Market (DOM)
MLSs will consider many different ways to calculate DOM as they develop delayed showing and coming soon rules. DOM has always been determined locally.
RESO has done extensive survey work to illustrate how the industry defines DOM today. There are many ways that DOM is named and calculated across the industry. At the same time, standard ways of reporting DOM through data are important to create accurate insights for industry participants.
CMLS’ Clear Cooperation Resources offer examples of how other MLSs have instituted DOM policies in this new environment.
A Common DOM Question Regarding Policy 8.0
NAR’s MLS policy continues to allow for seller-requested exempted listings, known as “Office Exclusives,” which are not shared with other MLS participants. How should an MLS calculate DOM for a seller who requests an office exclusive and then later requests exposure via the MLS?
MLSs will consider whether DOM starts on the MLS exposure date, the original listing date or another date. These situations will also cause MLSs to consider Coming Soon statuses that allow for MLS listing input while a property is not yet ready for showings.
In all cases, there are RESO standard ways of reporting statuses and DOM that ensure an MLS is providing the most possible value to customers through its data.
What’s Required, How to Classify (Residential, Rental, Commercial, New Construction)
Policy 8.0 only affects residential real estate. The required listing turn-in for publicly marketed properties does not affect commercial, rental or multi-unit new construction development.
RESO’s Data Dictionary classifications of property types are essential to identifying an MLS’s listing data correctly. This allows for those listings to be properly and accurately shared across technology systems.
MLSs should be aware that as standards progress, greater adherence to these kinds of classifications will be required for RESO certification. You can ensure that your MLS listings are properly classified with RESO standard property types by working with your MLS software provider.
IDX and Internet Display
Policy 8.0 requires an MLS participant’s publicly marketed listing to be shared with the MLS participants. It does not require that listing to be displayed via IDX to consumers, though that exposure will likely coincide with most public marketing campaigns.
MLSs can reference RESO’s standard fields related to marketing with their MLS software providers to ensure participants’ marketing decisions are defined clearly for use across a wide range of industry technology systems.
Which MLS Organizations Can Provide Guidance?
Many MLSs have successfully instituted similar policies and may be able to offer guidance to your organization. Some of those include:
- Canopy MLS
- Bright MLS
- First MLS
- Northwest MLS
For comprehensive resources on policy and best practices, please see CMLS’ Clear Cooperation Resources.
As always, RESO values our MLS member organizations and is here to support you in your efforts to bring a more efficient, competitive and valuable experience to professionals and consumers.
Thank you for being RESO members. Thank you for continuing to encourage your industry counterparts to join our efforts for a streamlined real estate technology industry.