I have had the pleasure a couple of times to hear a presentation from Bob Hale, CEO of the Houston Association of Realtors HAR.com . He spoke about Houston's great website and how consumers have flocked to their website to get wonderful real estate information and also to find Realtors to represent them in a transactions. The Houston Association of Realtors is the most progressive group of Realtors that I have seen in my 24 years as a real estate broker. They have knocked down the fears that if we give the Public more information then we as Realtors will not be needed anymore. In fact, the opposite has happened in Houston with their great website.
The Boards of Directors of the Contra Costa and Bay East Associations of REALTORS® have signed Statements of Intent to participate in a statewide Multiple Listing Service (MLS) being created by the California Association of REALTORS®. Both organizations have been working with neighboring MLSs for over three years to expand access to property information for their members and believe this approach is the best long term solution.
A solution to the problem of having several MLSs serving a local region has been long sought by larger real estate brokerage companies. They typically must join several MLSs if their business serves more than just a small, local area. The real winner with this initiative, however, is the general public, who would have the ability to access statewide information through their real estate agent
"A statewide MLS would not only give real estate agents and brokers access to comprehensive property information, it would also give them a standard MLS database with a single set of rules, policies and data display requirements" according to the Bay East Association of REALTORS® president. "This is something the real estate community has been seeking for many years, and we encourage our neighboring REALTOR® associations and MLSs to participate in the statewide MLS initiative" .
It is anticipated that under the statewide MLS, the local Associations will be the point of contact for members to subscribe to and participate in the California MLS, and, in turn, enhance the level of MLS services to agents and brokers.
While a statewide MLS in my opinion is a step in the right direction, I truly hope that California Realtors can someday be as progressive as Houston and create a website that leads us to the future as Houston has done! California Realtors need to remove their fears and plunge into the future to give the consumers the service and information possible in order for them to make good decisions in purchasing or selling a home!
See for yourself HAR.com !!!