CEO’s Message – Hello MLS

Multiple Listing Service.

If you’re a real estate professional, it’s probably a term you hear quite a bit. You know it because you use it for your business every day. It’s how you find property listing data, or how other agents find yours.

But the MLS is more than a tool. It is a crucial member of a thriving business community. It has supported one of America’s oldest industries for more than 100 years.

This blog will be a place for CRMLS to foster that relationship with you, our subscribers. We will keep you apprised of changes within the California MLS landscape, unique market analysis derived from our wealth of property data, and emerging trends and technologies within the industry.

So, in the spirit of getting to know each other, I’ll begin by answering a very simple question.

What does the MLS do?

Let’s take it back to basics.

The CORE purpose of a Multiple Listing Service is to serve real estate brokers and agents, and to make it as easy as possible for them to serve their consumers.

Seems simple right? Should go without saying.

But how do we do that? How do we serve? You might think, “Easy. The MLS is where I post my listings, and where I find listing information for my clients looking to buy.” That’s not wrong. That is part of what an MLS does. We provide a venue for sharing listing data.

But let’s examine the fundamental concepts that led to this practice in the first place:

cooperation and compensation


The real estate industry in the United States is unique. It is unlike any other in the world. Why? Because we have brokers and agents competing in the same marketplace, who with the help of the MLS, work together to deliver successful transactions to their consumers.

This willingness to cooperate is implicit in every real estate professional’s decision to join an MLS. When you post a listing you are not only notifying consumers about your client’s home for sale, you are agreeing to work together with outside brokerages who come to you with a ready and willing buyer.


We can probably all agree that compensation is a pretty integral part of running a successful business, yes?

Part of the MLS’s promise to its members is facilitating and enforcing the contractual obligation of listing agents to compensate cooperating brokerages when they produce buyers.

When you have a buyer for a property, there is no doubt, no confusion about whether you’ll be compensated fairly. It says it right there in the listing, and the information in the listing is binding. That way, we protect you, the brokers and agents, and we protect to the consumer. And you can trust that.

At the end of the day, that is what the MLS is about. Trust. Integrity.

When someone posts a listing through CRMLS, we’re not only distributing your listings to 80,000 other agents in the MLS, plus 20,000 IDX sites, plus over 60 consumer-facing search portals – we are ensuring that the data you see there is accurate and current. You can trust that claim because we have an entire department dedicated to rooting out bad data and enforcing listing regulations that help level the playing field for all of our subscribers.

Multiple Listing Service – We distribute data. We check its accuracy. We facilitate cooperation and transparent compensation practices for a fair marketplace.

We strive to make it as easy as possible for you to lead a successful business as a real estate professional.

That’s what we do.

Be sure to watch for upcoming posts about HOW we do what we do, the state of the real estate industry, and what we can all do to help guide it into the future.


Art Carter

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