Ken Jenny is a frequent blogger on the Inman Blog, and is considerd to be one of the real estate industry’s top broker consultants.
Last week at the National Association of Real Estate Publishers annual meeting (NAREP), he addressed the publishing group with his vision for tomorrow.
According to Ken, “big brokers are going to bury the MLS becasue it is the conduit that feeds their growing competiton of unqualified brokers who misrepresent the consumer.”
Case in point – if Coldwell Banker, Pacific Union, Alain Pinel, Prudential and RE/Max pulled out of the Bay Area MLSs (of which there are 4) – they would take with them 80% of the agents and transactions.
If Coldwell Banker, Dickson Realty and Chase International pulled out of Lake Tahoe MLSs, the same would occur.
Maryann Pearson, Broker of RE/MAX of Marin helped me understand why Ken Jenny may be correct. My feeling was that the Justice Department in their ever ending consumer protection campaign, would never let it happen. Maryann indicates that it must happen.
“Every day, FSBOs and limited service brokers are popping up that are representing consumers.” says Pearson. “Traditional Brokers and Large Brokers who are handling one side of transaction’s are doing both sides of the work and eating all of the liability. That must stop.”
There is another current shift that is beginning to take hold. I noticed that a number of large brokers doing more than 1 Billion in business have walked away from Realtor.com. In the wake of that movement, we have seen the first MLS step away with NWMLS.
Here is the point.
Brokers no longer need “organized real estate” to manage their listings or data feeds. With Trulia, Oodle, Edgio, Craigs List, and so many others willing to market the listings, the MLS’s role is deminished. We are living in interesting times. I suspect the MLS’s will continue to step up and offer more services to brokers while protecting the data so they will survive. There will be fewer MLSs.