IDX Policies Proposed to Go More Broker-Friendly

by Marilyn Wilson on October 29, 2014

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

I am proud to say that WAV Group has been working with the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World to create a set of recommendations for ways to improve and update IDX policy. No, there have no bloody fights or name-calling on this one. Just a collaborative process led by Pam O’Connor, CEO of LeadingRE and the MLS Emerging Issues and Trends Committee.

In April, LeadingRE sent a list of recommendations facilitated by WAV Group and drafted by their Technology Advisory Council of top Brokerage CIOs to NAR.  These were designed to streamline and update the NAR IDX Guidelines. The recommendations were outlined to reduce the disparity in IDX guidelines from one MLS to another. The policy variations create enormous challenges for brokerages – small and large – that need to belong to more than one MLS for their service areas.

As a result of this outreach to NAR, LeadingRE was asked to meet on September 19 with the MLS Emerging Issues and Trends Committee, which makes recommendations to the MLS Committee for agenda items.  Following that meeting, LeadingRE was told that four of the recommendations outlined by them will be included in the MLS Committee agenda on November 8.

As a concerned and involved member of our industry, WAV Group respectfully requests that you please pay particular attention to these recommendations and if possible, support them at the upcoming MLS Issues and Policy meeting to be held at the NAR conference on Saturday, November 8th starting at 8:30 am in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel, Grand Salon C.

Definition of IDX

As a matter of clarification here’s the definition of IDX or Internet Data Exchange Policy as described on the Diverse Solutions Website:

In a nutshell, Internet Data Exchange, most commonly referred to as IDX, is how MLS listings end up on a website.

Also known as Broker Reciprocity, IDX encompasses the policies, rules, and software that allow listings from the MLS database to be displayed publicly.

Anytime you see properties on a website that came from an MLS, it was made possible through IDX.

Most real estate agents and brokers use IDX to simply display MLS listings or home search tools on their website, but as home buyers have become more Internet-savvy, IDX has evolved to encompass more.  Agents today have the option to use basic home search tools provided by their MLS, or build more advanced IDX solutions; usually with the help of an IDX vendor.

We have attached an FAQ that explains more about each recommendation and the rationale behind it. Need to attach the FAQ’s in the newsletter too.

Recommended Changes to IDX Policy

The recommendations are as follows:

  1. 12 Hour Data Refresh

Currently the IDX policy requires a data refresh only every 3 days. Since most MLSs are refreshing their data every 15 minutes this shouldn’t be a difficult task for most. It just helps ensure that brokers have the freshest data they can have on their sites.

  1. Co-Mingling Data from Multiple MLSs

This one requests that brokers can co-mingle IDX data from multiple MLSs. Again many MLSs already allow this practice, but the Emerging Issues and Trends Committee is asking that EVERY market allow co-mingling of data.

  1. Sold Data

This recommend gives brokerages the flexibility to offer SOLD data in their IDX data feed if they so choose. It does NOT mean that all IDX feeds must include active and sold data. In effect it means that MLSs will offer two types of IDX feeds – one just with actives and another with actives and solds. The broker uses their own discretion to choose which type of data feed fits best for their marketing goals. Of course, Non-disclosure states where sold data is not public record are exempted.

  1. Adopt RESO Data Dictionary by January, 2016

This suggestion requires all MLSs and MLS providers to adopt the RESO data standards (data dictionary). By January of 2016. Adopting the data dictionary will make it much easier for technology companies to support brokers with innovative solutions.

We look forward to seeing many of our friends and customers at the MLS Policy Meeting to support this important first step to re-inventing the IDX policy to continue to make it contemporary and valuable for MLS subscribers across America. LeadingRE Brokers and the Emerging Issues and Trends Committee have begun an open, collaborative dialog and we are very excited to see it continue!

Thanks very much for your consideration and assistance.  If you have questions or would like to discuss this with us, please email me at Marilyn@wavgroup.com or call me at 805 748-9118 and I’ll be happy to review the proposed changes with you.

Download FAQ NAR IDX Rules FAQs

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Kohl October 29, 2014 at 4:16 am

Thank you…you do a great job of keeping everyone in the loop.

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Robert Gottesman October 29, 2014 at 8:28 am

RESO is currently focused on urging MLS, Brokers and Vendors to deploy its technology using RESO standards. Mentioned at our Fall Conference last week, but out of scope and the domain of RESO, is the multitude of different IDX policies towards publishing IDX data on a public web site. You can imagine the struggles a vendor might have when they are working with hundreds of MLS.

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Marilyn Wilson October 29, 2014 at 11:29 am

There is no mention in the IDX policy in my reading of the ability or even right of an MLS to use an IDX feed to fuel listings on their own site. IDX is strictly for use on broker sites and in markets where it’s allowed agent sites. In the MLSs I have worked with there is a separate data feed used to fuel MLS sites. Have you seen different?

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Alain Pinel October 29, 2014 at 10:04 am

I am OK with agents/brokers displaying all MLS listings on their site through their home search tools , BUT I am NOT OK with individual agents advertising to the world another broker’s listing, as if it were their own, with merely the usual “courtesy of…” in small letters at the bottom of the “ad”. More & more agents are marketing themselves leveraging other agents’ listings without the green light from listing agents & sellers. In my opinion, it is misleading and not the best way to keep the industry clean.

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Marilyn Wilson October 29, 2014 at 11:31 am

Alain, do you mean using another broker’s listings in places other than an IDX feed on the broker’s own site? Are you talking about places like social media?

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Barbara Kohl November 5, 2014 at 5:48 am

Great job as usual Marilyn….

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Marilyn Wilson May 22, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Thanks Barbara!

Reply

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