CMLS Statement at NAR MLS Forum
Sunday, November 10, 2019
The following remarks regarding the proposed "Clear Cooperation Policy" were presented by CMLS CEO Denee Evans to the NAR Multiple Listing Issues and Policy Committee on Saturday in San Francisco. The Committee voted to approve the policy. It was subsequently approved by the NAR Executive Committee. A final vote by the NAR Board of Directors is scheduled for tomorrow (Monday, November 11).
Good morning, I’m Denee Evans, CEO of the Council of Multiple Listing Services, CMLS. CMLS is the national trade association for MLSs with 226 MLSs members serving over 1.4 million subscribers.
I’m a firm believer that before offering solutions, we should be very clear about the problem we are trying to solve. Our problem today is clear: ensuring that cooperation remains the heart of organized real estate. Competitors - fierce competitors - coming together and cooperating to ensure consumers have equal opportunity to homeownership must be preserved. This is a stand we must take because cooperation between real estate professionals on a shared platform is in the best interest of MLSs, REALTORS, consumers and the residential real estate market as a whole.
To be clear, this policy is not about getting between the REALTOR/client relationship. This policy is not about the consumer losing their right to privacy. This policy is not about "coming soon" listings. This policy is not about endorsing or shunning any business model.
This policy is about stomping out dark silos of information. This policy is about doing what is in the best interest of the consumer. This policy is about making sure all agents have access to all listings and are able to share them with their clients regardless if they know the "right agent" or belong to the right groups.
REALTORS, please know that this policy protects your right to serve your customer by ensuring that you have access to all the inventory.
This policy is about clearly articulating the value of MLS --cooperation among competitors for the benefit of consumers.
There is no question that cooperation is in the best industry of organized real estate and the consumer. CMLS is in full support of the proposed MLS Policy Statement 8.0. We urge the Committee and the NAR Board of Directors to pass this proposal now, not in May.
There are legitimate questions about implemention in local markets. For that reason, and upon review of feedback, comments, questions, and discussion, CMLS recommends extending the implementation deadline to May 1, 2020.
CMLS in committed to working with our members, NAR, brokers and stakeholders to produce and publish best practices, resources, educational materials and guidelines so MLSs have the information and tools to implement effectively.
We encourage committee members and everyone in this room to educate themselves and others on what this policy is and what it is not. When you clearly understand what problem this policy is trying to solve, the decision is clear.