Industry

Friday Flash: Tomorrow morning

Author
Brian Boero
No.
1120

It is before light, but she pushes herself up in bed and feels around the nightstand for her Macbook. 

There are things to do. 

She has a listing coming on today. Comps to pull on that condo her buyers want to write on. And she’s just itching for a price reduction on that place by the park. 

Her husband brings her coffee, the ritual offering of warmth, smell, taste.

She flips open the Macbook and clicks the MLS system icon in her dock. Curlicues of steam rise through the glow of the screen. 

Then nothing. 

Her MLS appears to have vanished. Collapsed, finally, upon a foundation rotted out by defection.

She figured this day would come. 

Damnit. But now? 

The market has plateaued, but her sellers have expectations. Her listing needs to get in front of every agent and buyer possible. 

And the comps? Now she’s going to have to ask her colleagues through her company Facebook Group. 

Maybe she’ll get an email on that price reduction. Maybe. 

She shuts the Macbook and sits in the dark.

Dramatic, yes, but not overly so. Things have gotten ugly fast, and the idea that the MLS could cease to be viable isn’t so far-fetched. 

Compass is leading this rapacious charge, going scorched earth to preserve at all costs its inventory-gobbling, double-ending strategy. 

The company sent a nastygram to Bright MLS about their new policy requiring members to place listings in the MLS within 24 hours of any public exposure in which they call in the antitrust dogs gratuitously and nonsensically. 

Then – and this is some cynically brilliant bullshit – they go public with a campaign that frames the issue as one of consumers’ “right to choose”. 

Check out these screen caps from Compass.com this morning: 

I wonder how many Compass agents are yet cognizant of what their broker is doing, of where it leads, and how they are being played.  

I wonder how many Compass agents will, in the end, choose Compass over access to their MLS. 

Look, I get the broker dilemma. I spend far more time in the broker world than the MLS world. But there must be a middle way here that can be reflected in a set of policies that enable brokers more leeway in marketing and selling their listings while also preserving the structural integrity of the MLS. 

There has to be. Because very few of us are really prepared to wake up to a world without the MLS. 

[Disclosure: Bright MLS is a 1000watt client.]