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First MLS system to announce compliance with new IDX rules

MLS data’s final destination

Last month, at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Midyear Conference, the board of directors took a vote on how franchisors may index and display IDX listings, ruling that if brokers want their listings displayed on national franchise websites (like KW or RE/MAX), they will have to opt in. The vote followed their November 2010 vote to allow franchisors to index and display listings in all markets from which their franchisees granted permission, and follows NAR’s public inquiry on the topic that began in 2009 that was open to member input and entailed months of research.

According to the NAR, “the directors voted to add an opt-in provision, effective 30 days from passage, to the “franchisor index and display” portion of the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) policy that the board adopted in November 2010. That provision gives franchisors the right to index and display listing data from their franchisees’ IDX feeds on their national Web sites.”

“The decision to add the opt-in centered on the directors’ concerns about the availability of listing information to non-participants without brokerages’ consent. Brokers representing Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Home Services of America, and the Realty Alliance led the way toward the policy change; those companies oppose the new IDX policy and had backed a failed proposal to repeal the policy.”

As we wrote last month, the battle over who has permission to use your listings and in what fashion is far from over as a work group is being made in order to reevaluate the franchise IDX policy in preparation for the fall NAR convention.

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Modification to the rules

As the rule modification was approved, a franchise will only receive IDX listings if a broker actually opted in to sharing listings with a franchise. In response, Flex MLS by FBS has announced they will comply with the new rule in an effort to support their MLS customers. This marks the first major MLS provider to comply with the rule changes.

Michael Wurzer of FBS writes, “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.” He also noted, “We’re hopeful this new feature will help our MLS customers comply with the new policy, if they must.”

AGBeat is not affiliated with FBS.

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