Point2 announced the granting of a US Trademark for “MLS Certified™”. This comes at a rather interesting time. The Council of MLS is in the midst of doing some branding of its own, but has not announced or launched the program yet. It is on the agenda for the meetings next week in Washington DC.
At the last Council of MLS meeting on this topic last year, there were numerous ideas discussed about branding MLS data. Homes.com offered their ideas, Point2 offered theirs, and Trulia offered theirs. They were all very interesting, but none captured the enthusiasm of the CMLS members. The primary concern around MLS Certified™ was nicely outlined by John Holley of North Texas MLS in Dallas “if you certify something, that certification seems to connect some meaning of responsibility. Clearly it would be impossible for the MLS to Certify data that is beyond their grasp.” NAR council Laurie Janick seemed to agree.
Coincidently, MRED, the MLS of Chicago developed a program around MLS Sourced that is being eyed by many as a more appealing brand.
According to a Point2 press release today,
“We are working diligently with our syndication network partners and MLS clients to see that MLS Certified gains mass adoption and that MLS Certified listings are prioritized by the portals for publication on their sites,” Saul Klein added.
Point2 launched the MLS Certified initiative in May 2011. Point2 claims that nearly 50 MLSs in the United States have adopted the program.
Alongside these initiatives are DotMLS and BLC®. The DotMLS initiative is a long term high mark strategy of creating an MLS Top Level Domain. For example, MREDs consumer facing website would be MRED.Com. These issues are related to problems with the term MLS. It is generic and cannot be claimed in the United States. BLC®, which stands for Broker Listing Cooperative®, has been Trademarked as a replacement for the term MLS, but adoption has been slow.
I guess we are at a point where many paths are leading in the same direction, but the best path and the end of the road are fuzzy.
WAV Group has written about this before. Here are a few other articles to review.