A Step Towards Making IDX More Broker Friendly

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Many of our clients operate consumer websites across multiple MLS markets around the country. While we often talk about the complexities of aggregating, managing and standardizing MLS data from many markets, we cannot understate how challenging it is for brokers to deal with the display of that data. Despite a NAR template for IDX rules, no two MLS display rule sets are alike. Building a website that can actively handle all of the disparate compliance rules is an unnecessarily daunting and costly task. Fortunately the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, in conjunction with Marilyn Wilson of WAV Group, have collaborated to get four recommended changes to NAR's IDX rule policy on the agenda for the MLS Policy and Issues Committee meeting November 8th at the NAR convention. All four of these proposed changes will help make IDX more broker friendly, cost effective and consumer focused.

  • 12 Hour Data Refresh requirement from MLS to website
  • Permit Co-Mingling Data from Multiple MLSs
  • Broker option to receive sold data via IDX
  • Require Adoption RESO Data Dictionary by January, 2016

You can read more about these recommendations here. Onboard fully supports each of these recommendations. And since we're on the topic, here are a couple of other changes we'd love to see made to IDX rules on a national level:

Require reasonable turn-around on IDX approvals from MLSs on behalf of brokers/agents (3 business days?).

In most MLSs we need to receive written permission to provide a broker/agent with access to IDX data for their websites. Sometimes this happens very quickly. Sometimes it can take many days, several weeks, in some cases months. In competitive markets, delays like this would lead to customers taking their business elsewhere. MLS members often don't have that choice, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't receive the high level of service they deserve.

Allow brokers ability to download their listings from IDX data feed (direct or via third party vendors) without requiring additional written permission from MLS.

Once a broker has received approval to access IDX data from an MLS, they shouldn't have to go back for an additional consent to pull down their listings (directly or via third party vendor).

Require MLS to offer IDX data access via API.

We've often spoken about the inherent security, visibility and flexibility an API offers to producers of data (e.g. MLS). Equally as important, API's are the gateways to innovation. Properly managed, APIs will help MLSs foster innovation in their markets while increasing their ability to protect the data.