I re-read the NAR/DOJ settlement document over the weekend following a detailed discussion with a client. The language below didn’t jump out at me before, but made me smile the second time around.
“An MLS may not refuse to deal directly with an AVP in order to resolve technical
problems with the data feed. However, the MLS may require that the Participant on
whose behalf the AVP is operating the VOW participate in such communications if the
MLS reasonably believes that the involvement of the Participant would be helpful in order
to resolve the problem.”
As someone who has worked on behalf of brokers to set up listings feeds, this clause brought me back to some not-so-great times. But, more importantly, it represents a small victory for:
- Any website vendor who’s been simultaneously yelled at by a broker client and stonewalled by an MLS “IT guy”
- Any IDX/VOW solution provider who’s had to suggest to a client that they email an MLS exec. to resolve a problem with their feed
- Any broker who’s pushing the envelope on listings display on their website
- Technology company customer service reps, who too often play powerless middleman between practitioners and the MLS
Of course, there are MLSs that were always on this and recognized that empowering vendors empowered their members. But for the grizzled and smudged workers in the IDX/VOW business, this is cause for quiet celebration. Or at least an after work beer.
— Brian Boero