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Point2 launches MLS Certified™ to support higher real estate data standards

Point2 launches MLS Certified™

Real estate marketing and listing syndication company Point2.com, a Yardi.com brand today launched MLS Certified™ “an initiative designed to drive higher standards in property data publication” with a pending trademark on the MLS Certified logo depicted above as a “trust symbol to support higher real estate data standards and consumer expectations online.” Point2 syndicates from over 240 MLSs with over 1.1 million listings to more than 50 consumer sites.

MLS Certified™ launched today in Texas where the MLS Certified™ logo will appear on Realtors’ listings received from local MLS organizations and associations and displayed on the Texas Association of Realtors’ site.

Such a heated debate on the topic

The heated debate about MLS accuracy and IDX rules is at an all time high leading up to this week as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) hosts their Midyear legislative meetings and expo with panels on the topic as well as committee votes that will alter rules across the board.

Point2 has launched the MLS Certified™ as their response and is the first of its kind, a move we have been calling for over the years- a stamp of authority on listings that not only Realtors can understand but consumers as well.

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Point2’s response

“MLS Certified™ is another great advance for the industry and one of many key MLS 5.0 concepts that will shape the world of real estate and consumer expectations online,” said Saul Klein, Senior VP of Point2. “Point2’s long term priority publication contracts and strong relationships with our syndication network partners put Point2 in a unique position to influence and drive data consistency and standards on the Web. MLS Certified™ will be key towards that end.”

FAQ about MLS Certified™

From the MLS Certified™ FAQ page:

Q. What is MLS Certified?
A. MLS Certified is a symbol of authority, quality and trust for real estate listings. A Point2 initiative, the symbol signifies that the listing originates from the local MLS, the ultimate authoritative source for real estate listings.

Q. Why the initiative and why now?
A. Point2 has played a key role in the automation of real estate listing postings across the web, which has resolved serious issues with data accuracy and integrity. The MLS Certified program aims to address a proportionally small percentage of listings that still appear to lack the accuracy and integrity compared to MLS listings. We believe the MLS Certified program will take the industry to the next level.

Q. How does Point2 provide the MLS listings to the Internet portals?
A. Point2 has executed syndication agreements with over 200 real estate MLSs and Associations in the United States, which provide direct feed technology integrations that send updated listings from the MLS to Point2’s portal partners at least once every 24 hours.

Q. How do you know that an MLS Certified listing displayed on a third party site is not obsolete? Some sites are not always fast at updating their listings.
A. The agreements signed between each portal partner and Point2 provides for publishing audits to be performed at least once every five days. If the information published is not current, the data feed will be turned off until we are assured that the information will be updated at least once every 24 hours.

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Q. Have all your MLS partners approved your use MLS Certified for their listings?
A. All of our MLS and Association partners are keen on seeing their listings be the primary reference listings for consumers online. MLS Certified is an initiative by Point2 to communicate to consumers that the source of the listing they are looking at is an MLS, to give them that confidence.

Q. Will you be using MLS Certified in Canada as well, as MLS here is a CREA trademark?
A. At the present time, this initiative is only for US listings.

Q. When will you start to publish MLS Certified along with your listings?
A. Effective May 1, 2011, all Point2 feeds have included the symbol. A number of our partners have already surfaced the new listings featuring MLS Certified.

Q. Can anyone else who syndicate or posts listings use the symbol?
A. No, Point2 is in the process of trademarking the term and the symbol. The symbol can only be used under license or legal written agreement from Point2.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Ben Goheen

    May 12, 2011 at 2:01 am

    While the MLS Certified logo will show buyers that it comes directly from the source, the ultimate source is the listing agent. Everyone's heard the saying "garbage in = garbage out" and I can look for 5 minutes and find many examples of inaccurate data.

    Until this is fixed (which it probably never will) then the MLS Certified logo seems like another gimmick.

  2. Missy Caulk

    May 14, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Well, the fact of the matter is Point2Agent does not take the listings out when they go pending so it is up to the agent to do it.

    "UNLESS" you syndicate as a Point2Agent Member via the MLS and then only the agents who have a handshake agreement show the other listings.

    Most of the agents using Point2 in my area, don't accept the handshake,they only want their listings to import to save time in re-entering the data to that site.

    It is only one of several sites I use many to get exposure for my sellers in S.E.Michigan.

    So unless something changes I don't see this as accomplishing their goals…driving data consistently.

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