We Need a Statewide Data-Sharing Entity…

by KathyHowe on April 20, 2011

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.

{ 1 trackback }

how2educate – continuing education » Will Arizona Have One MLS?
April 23, 2011 at 10:33 am

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay Thompson April 20, 2011 at 11:08 am

Personally, I am all for a “statewide MLS”.

Will I venture north to Flagstaff or south to Tucson to sell a home there?

Of course not. I don’t know the area well enough to represent someone in a transaction outside of my “home area”.

But if I have a listing, I *want* that listing showing up on as many sites, in as many places, as possible.

Will someone in Tucson, or Flagstaff, or Kingman, or Timbuktoo, AZ see a listing we have for sale and decide to buy it (or tell someone else about it)? Maybe. Someone might argue the odds of that happening are slim. Well, the odds of it happening right now, with no statewide MLS, are zero. I’ll take slim over zero any day.

We take listings to sell them. Our clients want maximum exposure for their home. A statewide MLS is a big step toward providing that.

Some brokers and agents need to get over the “we need to keep the data closed and to ourselves” attitude. That cat is out of the bag. There are non-agent based, non-agent friendly even, systems out there that share data. If we collectively as an industry don’t step up and offer it, someone else will.

It’s time to leave 1975 behind and embrace the “information age” of the 21st century.

Tiffany Cloud April 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Kathy, you summed up the argument for me in this paragraph,

“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).”

- Agreed!

Kathy Howe, Sedona, AZ April 21, 2011 at 12:11 am

Jay, I really think much of the opposition is “fear of the unknown”… we have a meeting of our association members on Tuesday, 4-27-11, Sedona Elks Lodge at 1PM.

Tiffany, it is true!

Todd C Menard April 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

I like the idea of ARBI. I like the idea of statewide MLS data-sharing. ARBI is a fantastic quantum step toward paperless offices and efficient real estate data management.

AAR REALTOR Members should take the time to read about ARBI and its benefits, then investigate as a totally separate issue Statewide MLS. Once a member has come to the realization all by themselves as to whether this is a seller benefit, AAR member benefit, or possibly not one at all, should a member truly comment on their opinion.

That said, how will statewide provide better exposure for our client/sellers? Are talking about competing with REALTOR.com specifically, or the likes of Trulia and Zillow… HOW is the seller and AAR member going to actually receive better exposure than realtor.com? Other than exposing it to agents outside their primary market of course…

Learn more about ARBI> http://goo.gl/U2MAQ

Kathy Howe, Sedona, AZ April 23, 2011 at 9:04 am

Nice thoughts, Todd!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: