My classroom is abuzz about whether or not to join in the statewide sharing of data of our listings. It’s to be an integral part of the AAR “Integrated Business Services Platform.” All the data in one MLS system. And for those of you who are members of ARMLS, you know and love FlexMLS. Listing Book, Noisy Neighbor, to name but a few…

So why would anyone NOT want to share their data?

Some of the negative reasons I am hearing:

“We’ll lose our market share.”

“Agents from the Valley will come up here and sell our listings.”

“Our area is different.”

“There could be hundreds of people going through our properties.”

“We’ll have to share our commissions.”

“How much control will we have?”

And then there are those positive reasons:

“Great! We can have a first-class MLS.”

“Our listings will sell faster with more agents showing them.”

“More showings and sales will bring down the ‘days on the market.'”

“I’ll pay anyone who brings my seller a buyer!”

“Wow! Listing exposure all over the state.”

“I told my sellers about this, and they wondered why we hadn’t done it before.”

As you might guess, I’ve left out many comments, and I have paraphrased a few comments to temper the tone or change the choice of words.

Let’s take these issues one at a time.

Does the Arizona Department of Real Estate give a license for a particular area or a particular specialty? Only for cemetery plot sellers, and of course, business brokers have some additional requirements.

Selling outside of our expertise…a huge issue. But is selling a house in the Village of Oak Creek (as an example) any different than selling a house in Anthem? Or the Arizona Biltmore? Of course, there are “issues” with any community, and HOAs can be drastically different in their rules and regs. But are there really issues that make selling property so different that we should limit a licensee’s ability to do so?

When I hear some of the negative reasons for not wanting a statewide MLS, I am reminded of the subagency days when we all represented the sellers. For those of us who are aged enough to remember those days, we remember how many agents thought buyer broker representation would be the ruin of our REALTOR® way of life. Actually, we became better agents, and we learned to better represent our clients. That’s the issue now. How we represent our client(s).

If we don’t go with a statewide data sharing or statewide MLS, are we giving our sellers the best exposure possible? Are we showing our buyers ALL the listings that might fit their needs?

What is our purpose as real estate agents? Maybe each of us needs to ask ourselves: “Who do I serve?”

Think about it…

AAR has put together an awesome array of member benefits that few state associations have offered their membership. Climb aboard…celebrate the delivery of services.

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