RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2013

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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{Marketing and Sales} The MLS Public Portal Debate: Take Back Your Future – Or Is It Too Late? by Saul Klein J ohn Reilly, director of RealTown, and I have been around Internet listing display and listing data distribution since their inception. Based on what we've learned over the last 19 years, and more recently over the last fve years, we believe there is room for different "public portal real estate models." It is our frm and unmoving belief that if there was ever a time for the industry to "take back its future," that time is now, especially with last month's NAR Board of Directors meeting in Chicago, the last of which took place on August 26, 1996, when the NAR Directors decided to turn over realtor.com® to Stuart Wolfe, et al. What you see of realtor.com® and the Web landscape today is in large part a result of decisions made in 1996. But NAR and realtor.com® are not the only solutions to the data concerns of industry stakeholders today. World-class, public MLS and association portals, not reliant upon dues for operation, can be infuential as we move forward. Based in part on the timing of the latest NAR conversations around MLS public portals and core, basic and optional services, Point2 set out to create a no-cost portal solution for MLSs/associations that provides: 1 2 Consumers with the content and tools they're looking for Real estate professionals the benefts they're seeking from Web portals and Web advertising without offending brokers, agents, MLSs or associations 3 At some point, if possible, generating revenues back to the entities, and maybe even brokers (agents), if only to reduce the cost of services to brokers and agents The game is still in the early innings. There will be many obstacles and tire tracks thrown at us along the way. This is a work in progress and we're only in version one. Now, many of the "voices of the industry" will cry that it's "too little, too late." We know that this is a very tall order. John and I took the concept of listings on the Web to the industry in 1995, and were instrumental in many aspects of the creation of realtor.com®. We resuscitated the NAR e-PRO Program in 2001. We created an alternative to the only large listing syndication company in 2009-2012. In each case, the task at hand seemed almost insurmountable. We're not strangers to challenge and adversity, and we're looking forward to this challenge. John and I are not so arrogant as to believe that we have all the answers, but we're not ready to tell the industry to give up the fght. The "conventional wisdom" may be telling the industry to throw in the towel, however, that's bad advice from those who have something to gain should you heed their advice. We're not ready to accept the premise that "MLS is dead." We believe that MLS as an industry is alive and well, and has really just arrived. We fully intend to have an impact on this conversation and the future of listing data on the Internet. The time is right, the forces are aligning and the future is a little clearer with each passing day. RE If you have a public portal and want a better one, or if you're interested in this project, please drop me an email: sklein@point2.com. Saul Klein is senior vice president for Point2. For more information, please visit www.point2.com. RISMedia's REAL ESTATE August 2013 31

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