It seems as though everyone has heard of the MLS. The MLS stands for Multiple realtors can not say search the mls and has come under a great deal of controversy over the last handful of years from the Board Of Realtors as well as real estate agents and the Northstar MLS folks who work to uphold the rules.
The whole issue was brought up by the powers that be stating people searching MLS listed properties on line were coming across sites such as TheMLSOnline.com and others promoting the words “MLS” that was confusing to the public. In other words they felt the public was being mislead when they stopped on a web site that stated “search the MLS” even though the header may have clearly shown a picture of “Bob the Realtor” standing next to his newest listing – here’s my opinion, come on, really?!
In the recent years the governing authorities along with many real estate companies, attorneys and the board of Realtors came up with the rule known as “Rule 5.8” which now prohibits the deceptive use of metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic, or to otherwise mislead consumers. This includes the use of “Search the MLS” as a metatag. I love the phrase “mislead the public”. I don’t think anyone was setting out to mislead? The fact is people looking for homes type in “MLS listed homes for sale” or “search the MLS” in x city because that’s how they know it. How many people really think they are on some sort of secure secret MLS system, I don’t think the powers that be give enough credit to people in this case.
During the new law and decisions how to handle the keyword MLS some companies were allowed to continue to use the term, yes, thats right, some companies were excluded from this. Many of these companies don’t even pay dues like licensed real estate agents do. Talk about allowing a few to monopolize while others who pay dues, follow the rules, do this business full time and dedicate thousands of dollars in marketing and promotion can’t breathe a word about the MLS or so it seems. I even own the domain name TheMinnesotaMLS.com and have a for years but I am not allowed to use it even though I own it and pay for it monthly.
I am not a firm believer in the Rule 5.8 about the use of the term MLS as you can see and don’t feel the public is being mislead in any way. I mean when you search a site it states who the listing company is by the IDX rules for every property, most disclose in writing they are not the real MLS and yet we can’t use the term while many still can because they were the exception to the rule – what a joke in my opinion.
Google “search the MLS” once and see what comes up, I did and here were the results I really like how the top ones are Realtor.com the web site promoted and suggested by the Board of Realtors themselves. Don’t get me wrong, we pay dues and the board fights for many rights of the agents as well as the sellers and buyers out there so overall is a wonderful institution, I just think this whole MLS rule 5.8 got a little carried away.
If you decide to use my web site TheDerrickMonroe.com please note I am not the MLS although the data and accumulation of properties posted there for sale come from that system, we don’t want to fool anyone You got to love America and the freedom we have though when many of us have used that term forever and even own right to domain names like The Minnesota MLS that we cant use while we continue to pay our dues, follow the rules, take this businesss seriously and as our career while other companies owned by who know who can have web sites with MLS in them and sell leads back to the real estate agents who cant use it, ahh,capitalism at its best.
Rule 5.8 spelled out – 1) Use of the term MLS: No member may indicate or imply in any manner that the member is a multiple listing service or that the public has access to or may search the multiple listing service (e.g. “Search the MLS” or “Access NorthstarMLS”) on the member’s website or otherwise. The site implies the public may search the MLS. Also, Rule 5.8 prohibits the deceptive use of metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic, or to otherwise mislead consumers. This includes the use of “Search the MLS” as a metatag.
Derrick Monroe – Realtor | 612-282-7653
Broker Lakes Area Realty
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