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National Association Announces 2010 Buyer MLS System



WOWEffective January 15, 2010

Official “Buyer Search-MLS” Announced

In an ever evolving quest to provide it’s members with innovative tools and systems, the National Association announced the nation wide roll out of their mandatory Buyer Search-Multiple Listing Service.

The new system will provide buyers and buyers agents all the same protections, conveniences and broadcast benefits that property sellers and listing agents have enjoyed for decades.

The rules of engagement for Buyers Search-MLS will require members to adhere to the same strict Code of Conduct currently in force.  Per policy and procedures with Active Listings, when working with buyers, all members must have an executed Exclusive Agency Buyers Representation Agreement and submit the Buyer Profile Data to their BS-MLS within 5 days.

Powered By Your Local Association and GWHIZ

The National Association, in concert with State and Local Associations, also announced sketchy details of their lifetime service contract with Google.

This shiny new service will be dubbed GWHIZ – Google Worldwide Home Information Zenith.

Google will provide a suite of borg like powerhouse services, including these innovative tools:

  • Google Wave
  • Google Docs
  • Google Voice
  • Google Maps/Earth
  • Gmail
  • Google Android
  • Youtube
  • Google Search
  • Google Chat
  • All Google tools will integrate seamlessly with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and WordPress.

Everyone Wins.

Like the Homes-For-Sale MLS allows prospective buyers to browse, dream, research, collaboratively locate and buy real estate, GWHIZ will allow sellers to browse and collaboratively contact registered buyers.

Service benefits include:

  1. More selection, more opportunity. Unlisted home owners (seller prospects) can identify prospective buyers and buyers enjoy previously invisible selection opportunities.
  2. More transaction volume. Interested unlisted seller prospects can contact their favorite real estate agent or the buyer’s agent for additional buyer client details, arrange appropriate showings and coordinate purchases.
  3. Save time. Google’s research reveals that many unlisted home owners would be interested in selling their properties, if they didn’t have to slog through the laborious and inconvenient process of marketings, bothersome showings and Days On Market.
  4. Consumers save money.  Google’s research indicates that the transactional real estate commission fees cost of purchase will shrink by 13% or more.
  5. Agents and brokers enjoy increased transactional volume. Google’s research indicates that transactional volume will increase due to 1., 2., 3. and 4. above.  It’s projected that the increase in transactional volume will hopefully offset the reduced transactional revenue.

How It Works.

When listing a Buyer, members may will input buyer profile details into the GWHIZ system. In addition to common profile/search information, members will enjoy the unlimited upload of extremely granular detail.  For example, in addition to bedrooms, baths, square footage, price range etc., listed buyers and their agents, in any language (Google translator enabled), can describe their dream home scenario in high definition detail.

For (in plain English) Example:

I want to the live in the Pine Cone Park neighborhood of The Woodlands TX.  It has to be on the street facing the pond.  On Clover Park Circle, that’s the street name.  White cabinetry is a must.  Floors of grey slate.  Mirrored closet doors and a fireplace in the downstairs master bedroom.  I’m looking for a home built by Life Forms, I especially like the Florence floor plan.  It’d be great if there was a play set in the backyard for the kids. [You get the picture, the more plain English detail the better.]

A saucy-sister search site will be launched to globally broadcast listed buyer needs and desires.  The new BS-MLS/GWHIZ site will be searchable by all human beings.

Check it out:

The Cost?

The new partnership provides free GWHIZ services to all National, State and Local Members.  This ground breaking partnership will include revenue sharing.  Google will sell ads to pay for the service (Financial analysts project 2010 ad revenue at $75,000,000.) and National, State and Local Associations will enjoy and share 30% of the net profit.  Additionally, Google has negotiated a Go-Forward-Option to power and revenue share with all existing Local and National Listing MLS services. A national MLS system for both buyer and seller registration will be in place by January 1st, 2011.  It’s anticipated that National, State and Local Associations will become wealthy, current MLS providers, 3rd Party Poachers Partners (Truia, Zillow,, Home Gain, etc.) will go broke and Google will dominate everything on planet earth, including real estate.

The impact on brokers and agents will be positive significant as well.  As stated above, while it’s anticipated that broker/agent per transaction revenue will decline slightly, the hoped for increase in transactional volume may ease the financial shortfall and provide even more magnificent opportunities going forward.  National, State and Local Associations recognize the key role feet-on-the-street agents, play in providing the data that drives their money machine Google partnership, effective immediately all Board and Association dues will be slashed by 50% and MLS subscription dues will be eliminated.

Seriously Friends.  I Just Made This Up, But…

Why don’t we have an Association Home Buyer MLS.  If it works well for sellers, why not buyers too?

I know,  It’s sorta like playing with a chrome platted pistol, it’s a radically disruptive and destructive to the status quo. Other than that, why not?

My personal opinion, this would be a valuable service (for buyers, sellers and real estate agents), IF it included all represented buyers and IF brokers and Association leadership DID NOT commit self-suicide and choose to foolishly provide this rich new data to 3rd parties or allow the opt-in participation of unlisted buyers.

Yes, I’m aware of  National Buyers Listing Service. In this post, I’m not talking about a system with voluntary entry, unlisted-buyer opt-in or ownership and control by 3rd parties.  I am talking about a Board/MLS policy that enforces mandatory entry of all Represented Buyers AND Sellers, does not allow unlisted-buyer opt-in and strictly controls the data.  I don’t care who the Association hires to power the system, as long as it’s gee-whiz-cool and simple.

What’s Your Personal Opinion?

Do We Need One? Why?  Why Not?

What would the $ impact be on per transaction brokerage fees?

Would this increase transactional/unit volume?

Would this impact home values?

If the current system works for sellers, why wouldn’t it work for buyers?

Would this be positive for consumers?

Would this be positive for you?

Is there a Board or Association working on this now?

If not now, when do you think it will happen?


Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Bryan McDonaLD

    November 2, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Clever post. This seems like a positive for consumers but like you said, one of the big issues would be the the opt-in participation of unlisted buyers.

  2. Joe Loomer

    November 2, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Don’t understand how it would increase transactional volume. Populations are what they are – driven by the local economy, the availability of jobs, the quality of schools, etc… This transactional volume increase – in my view – would go down not up – no more listing sides – just Buyer sides – everyone’s a FSBO ’cause it’s half the cost….

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  3. Ken Brand

    November 2, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I’m thinking of a controlled system, just like our current MLS for sellers. Only Buyers with signed Representation Contracts (like a listing agreement) would be entered. The contract would define the fee amount should an unlisted seller contact the Buyers agents for more detail and arrange a showing.

    Also, I don’t know it, but I feel like there are homeowners who might sale if they could eliminate all the hassle. If that’s true, transaction units go up.

    I also believe that because this is a more method of matching some buyers and sellers, commission fees would fall.

    Mostly I’m just talking out loud. Seems to me it works for sellers, it’d work for buyers, if it was structured wisely.

    Thanks for the feedback Joe. Have a BIG week. cheers.

  4. jf.sellsius

    November 2, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Love this idea Ken. This is a Blue Ocean. Right now, only one person is in the water. There will be more.

  5. Ken Brand

    November 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Bryan – Like no FSBOs in the MLS, unrepresented opt-in would not be allowed.

    jf.sellis – No doubt. I feel that a voluntary system or system that includes unrepresented buyer prospects (self entry by the public) won’t gain traction. Like a local MLS without rules, FSBO’s etc., won’t work. Cheers.

  6. Rob McCance

    November 2, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Isn’t the world scheduled to end in 2012 anyway?

  7. Ken Brand

    November 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Rob – Yes. According to the Mayans the Incas and Hollywood, the world will end in 2010. I’m gonna need to see the movie, better be prepared. Cheers;)

    • Rob McCance

      November 2, 2009 at 2:47 pm

      …and to confirm everything…


  8. Danel

    November 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    This means, buyers could easily be registered online with another brokerage and not EVEN KNOW IT. Can you imagine, finding a buyer online, only to discover they’ve already been registered in the system with another broker they haven’t even met?

  9. Terry McDonald

    November 2, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    great imagination… of course I know the brokers who run our MLS will be up for this “inventive”(disruptive) change… every buyer will (not) sign an exclusive buyer agreement prior to looking online…
    but the warning is never the less accurate, as far as Google is concerned, everything is about an efficient search- and yes,they could when they get the time, introduce a product that uses all of their tools- maybe a “search cloud” that puts all the national companies out of business over night.

  10. Ken Brand

    November 2, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Daniel, Could be, but somehow me manage to list houses for sale and nobody gets confused, I know there are For Sale signs in the yard, but the MLS works fine in areas where signs aren’t allowed.

    Terry, Anyone could browse the registered buyer data, it would only include buyers who are represented. Also, way back when, we didn’t use listing agreements, our word was our bond, now, if you a seller won’t sign a listing agreement (employment contract) we don’t put it in the MLS or do all the other special things we do.

    Thanks for the feedback fellas. Cheers.

  11. Sarah Nopp

    November 2, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    I was so excited when I thought it was real. Then I knew it was not real. I have been saying we need a buyer-side searchable portion of the MLS too. (But I don’t agree with the national MLS thing.)

  12. Ken Brand

    November 2, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Sarah – Thanks for the feedback. I think a Buyer Side MLS could be a good thing, if done right. I’m not so sure about a National MLS either, we’d need a completely different kinda of search system and something that big worries me. Too big, can mean too slow to change, innovate, etc. Thanks for the feedback.

  13. Thomas Johnson

    November 2, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Buyer-MLS-cheez-whiz I love it!

    Ken- when we post the buyers info, I know that it will increase those buyers’ buying power and convert them to all cash buyers, because the local MLS board has a wonderful working relationship with those nice Nigerian fellows who are always seeking working partnerships with folks who need to enhance their bank balances in order to qualify for more home by simply getting listed with the Buyer side MLS, the Nigerian trusted partners could access the buyer’s bank data seamlessly and transparently to enhance the one stop shopping experience for the MLS Buyer. For just the amount of their down payment, the deposed prince Nigerian partner’s councilor will ensure that the down payment is multiplied manyfold to ensure the satisfactory acquisition of the buyers’ dream home for cash at a multiple of many many times what they could qualify for by obtaining a mortgage.

    I will send you forthwith the secure web form where we can all get our buyers many fold more house by working with our Nigerian partners. Please enter your social security number, TDL #, date of birth, the account # where you keep the down payment funds with wiring instructions so that I can expedite the extrication of your funds without undue explication.

  14. Thomas Johnson

    November 2, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    BTW, Ken the world ends in 2012 when the earth crosses the galactic plane. It is true- I heard it on Art Bell.

  15. Ken Brand

    November 2, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    TJ – That’s awesome:-) I wasn’t thinking it through, if I was, I’d have included your sharp point. I must confess though, I could not have explained as well as you have.

    Please extricate forthwith. My SSN# is ……


  16. Ken Brand

    November 3, 2009 at 12:35 am

    A peek into the future of Real Estate? National Association Announces 2010 Buyers MLS >

  17. Mark Brian

    November 3, 2009 at 1:05 am

    National Association Announces 2010 Buyer MLS System

  18. Ken Brand

    November 3, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    A peek into the future of Real Estate? National Association Announces 2010 Buyers MLS >

  19. Elaine Reese

    November 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    It’s an interesting idea. As we all know, buyers often buy a home that is totally different than what they originally thought they wanted. Wonder how that will work?

    Two years ago, I had a couple that narrowed their search down to 2 homes. Both homes were very similar. We decided to try something different by calling each listing agent to in effect “bid” on the buyers. Instead of us writing up the contract, I told the listing agent to write up the seller’s best offer, then the buyer would chose. Neither listing agent would do it. So we moved on and bought a home the “traditional” way.

    The sellers are so used to be “sought after”, that your proposal might require a radical change in attitude.

  20. Scott Nelson

    November 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    RT @agentgenius National Association Announces 2010 Buyer MLS System

  21. J-F Toutant

    November 4, 2009 at 1:26 am

    National Association Announces 2010 Buyer MLS System

  22. norman frenk

    November 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    RT @agentgenius National Association Announces 2010 Buyer MLS System

  23. Patty O'Brian

    November 5, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    New Buyer MLS effective Jan 15!

  24. Lani Rosales

    November 6, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I received a note from the people that I thought was interesting, so here it is in full:

    As CEO of NationalBLS, the Buyer Listing Service I read Ken’s Article with interest. I agree with a lot of the content and have evidence of its success but I also think this is an industry response reacting to, rather than embracing, the prospects of change.

    First, I’ll directly answer a few of the article’s details.

    I am a fan of the free market – I like choice and shy away from mandatory compliance. Every time I see the word “mandatory,” I think opportunity, as the web has a great way of working out solutions for those who don’t want to play by someone else’s rules. My first suggestion is to make the Buyers MLS opt-in for agents and buyers. If it doesn’t provide the intended benefits, people should not be forced to use it. Nothing makes organizations less consumer focused than if people HAVE to use them.

    Exclusive Buyers Agency Representation Agreements are what every agent would like to use, but many buyers shy away from them. I would love every buyer on NationalBLS to be represented by an agent, but I am not forcing them to be. We need to look at WHY buyers don’t want to sign these agreements. I think there is a very good argument for agents to say “if I were to market you publicly as a buyer to every listed and unlisted property and help you close that transaction, will you sign this agreement confirming payment for my skills and effort?” From my own experience, I know people shy away from buyer agreements because they feel the agent will only help them buy a selection of properties where the agent will receive commission. A public Buyers MLS will take a big step to build trust between the buyer and the agent.

    I think NAR and the real estate industry in general need all the help they can get. Every industry needs a healthy stream of innovation from entrepreneurs who have a breadth of ideas and will try new things. I will be the first to admit that not all ideas are good ones, and some do actually hurt the industry, but as soon as an industry tries to control innovation or repel it, it is signing its own death warrant. NAR should watch and learn and get involved with more of this entrepreneurial innovation.

    I agree with Ken on the benefits he states and that everyone wins. Fundamentally, illuminating the demand side of the real estate market will result in a lot more transactions. It will also give more evidence to agents and help them convince sellers what their home is worth. Faster transactions means that sellers can buy again, which will only help drive liquidity in the market.

    Finally, Ken’s comment about brokers and Associations “committing self-suicide by providing this rich new data to third parties” is wrong on so many levels. This is the information age! The days of protected data silos are gone. I think it would be suicide to NOT provide this data and try to restrict it. NationalBLS has designed our system in cooperation with Realtors, keeping them at the center of the transaction. We have also designed a partner model which allows MLS’s to provide us with their buyer data while continuing to own that data, in addition to receiving a healthy revenue share. The MLS’s we are speaking to fully realize that if they do not lead the solution for a Buyer Listing Service, then someone else will, and it is unlikely to have their members’ interests at the heart. NationalBLS has many levers we can pull to tweak this model. We have a vested interest in ensuring that Realtors stay at the center of the transaction, and our business.

    Thanks for the mention. DL.

  25. Ken Brand

    January 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    What's more valuable, NAR's RPR or a yet to be announced NAR Nation wide Buyer's MLS?

  26. Matt Raab

    January 22, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    RT @kenbrand What's more valuable, NAR's RPR or a yet to be announced NAR Nation wide Buyer's MLS?

  27. Ben

    October 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I had never really considered the fact that the MLS is a bit one sided. There is definitely some interesting changes coming in the near future as the NAR decides how best to play, or not play with third parties like Google, Zillow and Trulia.

    Thanks for the provocative post.

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