Elephant Doing Trick

Photo by Flickr user The Library of Congress | CC BY-SA 2.0

For years, the elephant in the room at AAR meetings was something called “Statewide MLS.” We talked about it, we speculated, we wished and we finally dragged it into the open. It shouldn’t be big news, but AAR has a workgroup studying the concept of making data more available to Arizona REALTORS®. The workgroup, under the leadership of John Foltz of Phoenix, represents agents, brokers, association leadership and staff from across the state – a good, diverse group. Unfortunately, we saddled the group with the name “Statewide MLS Workgroup.” One of the first things the group realized was that “statewide MLS” was too limiting and suggested a preconceived end in mind.

The group needed to know how AAR members around Arizona currently use listing data and how they would like to use listing data, so we conducted a survey with the help of Ann Bailey, a well-regarded consultant in this area. She reported the findings to AAR’s board of directors on March 12, 2010. We committed to making these results available to all interested parties. You can find them at http://www.aaronline.com/Documents/survey_results.pdf. If you have any questions or comments, send them to surveycomments@aaronline.com.

What did we learn? Most agents and brokers (79%) would like access to detailed listing data from outside their current market areas. They want to use this information to:

  • Be better informed than the consumer
  • Appear knowledgeable to current clients buying or selling out of the area
  • Obtain knowledge of market and agents to refer buyers and sellers

Interestingly, only 7% said they would use the information to represent buyers and sellers in other areas.

The workgroup’s next step is to list options and weigh them against concerns about loss of income to associations, loss of local control, agents doing business in areas they’re not familiar with, overall cost and this thing called “RPR.” You’ll be hearing more as time goes on, but please send any comments or questions to surveycomments@aaronline.com. We’ll get back to you!

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