MLS System providers have been working hard on rapidly delivering a solution to support the NEW NAR policy for Franchisor IDX guidelines that is in place between June 13th and the NAR convention in November.
Franchise Organizations lost the privilege extended to them at the last NAR meeting that permitted them to display broker listing data that would link to a franchise broker website. This is called Indexing. Non-Franchise brokers do not feel that the Franchisor – who is a third party and not an MLS member, should have these privileges. IDX data had previously been restricted to MLS Participants, the 2010 rule extended IDX to franchisors, the midyear ruling limited data to franchisors only when there is broker opt-in consent.
The action taken by the Executive Committee was not the recommendation of the MLS Policy Committee. The MLS Policy Committee’s recommendation to the Executive Committee was to suspend the data feed to the Franchisors until November. This would have simply turned the data off for a few months while the NAR committees sorted out a final ruling. The requirement of a procedural notice of 30 days prevented the MLS Policy Committee from rescinding the rule entirely.
The NAR Executive committee altered the rule to be Opt-in at the Mid-year conference on May 14th, only providing MLS system vendors with 30 days to respond (June 13th). This was considered by technologists to be an unrealistic deadline. It posed a problem for major MLS vendors who have have hundreds of customized MLS system installations! Communications and training take more than 30 days regardless of technical development and updates to each MLS system.
Keep in mind, this current NAR policy is only in effect until November when the NAR Board of Directors will once again hear committee recommendations on the issue. In memos to MLSs and on conference calls, NAR has not instructed MLS to make any changes to local MLS rules, or MLS specific forms. Further, NAR is not advising to make extensive programming changes to the MLS systems at this time.
Nevertheless, some MLS vendors have responded. I believe that FBS is the only vendor who has made a public announcement. My understanding is that CoreLogic is adding or has added a check box in the listing management page that would send listings to Franchisors. I am not sure if there is a list of franchises planned for the future – the NAR statement was pretty clear in indicating that listing brokers could opt out by franchise site – perhaps allowing Keller Williams or Coldwell Banker but excluding others. The whole thing is a bit of a mess.
If you have questions, please contact the NAR IDX hotline at 312-329-8399