Report and Recommendations of the IDX Data Use Work Group of the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies CommitteeAt the Inman Data Summit, many of the hot topics concerning MLS and broker data policies were rehashed. Perhaps the most radical statement of the conference came from Bob Bemis, CEO of the Phoenix area MLS (ARMLS) “Scrap all IDX rules and use the Code of Ethics and State Law to guide data policy.” I believe that he gave credit to Marty Frame of RPR for originating the idea.

Aside from that rather far fetched thesis, insight was shared by two of the members of the NAR MLS Policy committee on the possible outcome of the Franchise IDX issue. Rather than provide IDX data rights to Franchise Organizations, they may become a publisher channel for Listing Syndication.

The Franchise IDX issue has rightfully posed challenges to the industry. Broker Franchisors were extended IDX privileges by NAR MLS Policy changes last year. Independent brokerages where stunned to learn that the National Association of REALTORS would extend IDX data to non-participants in the MLS, and delivered their concerns at the NAR Midyear legislative meetings. “It’s simple, only Broker Participants in the MLS have the right to member data,” said Bob Moline of Home Services.

In reaction to the challenge leveled against Franchise IDX policy, the NAR MLS Committee recommended a suspension of the policy. Oddly, the NAR Executive Committee did not follow the guidance. Rather, they delivered a technically unsound intermediate modification to the rule making the IDX feed to franchises a Broker Opt In program. This intermediate solution is set to expire at the NAR Annual Meetings in Anaheim this fall.

The stage is set for a showdown at the NAR conference. Broker networks that include The Realty Alliance and The Leading Real Estate Companies of the world have mobilized their efforts to block IDX data from non-broker Participants in the MLS, specifically blocking Franchises like REALOGY from obtaining MLS IDX data privileges.

A simple and elegant solution would simply be to add Realogy sites to syndication channels on popular syndication services like Listhub or Point2.