MLS a new global vision

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CooperationWouldn’t it be great if real estate professionals around the world could connect and share their inventory! That’s a thought that came up to me about 8 years ago.

Working with each other instead of against each other, the combined effect would be greater than the sum of the individual effects.

In the United States and Canada the realtors have access to the MLS*, and their clients get a better service! When you are a broker/agent from the States or Canada reading this, imagine only being able to sell your own listings or none at all …

Here in Europe we don’t have a widespread MLS. There are some great initiatives, in France you have AMEPI, in England INEA, in Germany MLS-Deutschland and in Romania CEREAN MLS.

The United States they all speak English and use the same systems to sell real estate …. in other parts of the world, you have: different systems, languages, laws, currencies, cultures, economics, …

Pocket Listings’* that are becoming a trend in the States are common practice in other parts of the world. And, not all listings are exclusive, yeah I know … chaos. So is it possible to untangle all these obstacles and create a viable global solution?

I had a choice, wait for something to happen or make something happen! I decided to create a new Global MLS. Thus began my quest to analyze the core of this great tool. Questioning the pros and cons of the MLS, and finding solutions for challenges that are inherent to this system.

This blog is going to give you an insight on the challenges and queries faced along this fantastic journey.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights in the ‘Comments’ section.
PS: English is not my mother language, Flemish / Dutch is, so forgive me any grammatical errors. When adding a new comment, please do so in English so everyone can understand, and yes you’ll also be forgiven any grammatical errors 🙂


*WIKIPEDIA: A multiple listing service (MLS, also multiple listing system or multiple listings service) is a suite of services that enables real estate brokers to establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers), facilitates cooperation with other broker participants, accumulates and disseminates information to enable appraisals, and is a facility for the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information to better serve broker’s clients, customers and the public. A multiple listing service’s database and software is used by real estate brokers in real estate (or aircraft broker in other industries for example), representing sellers under a listing contract to widely share information about properties with other brokers who may represent potential buyers or wish to cooperate with a seller’s broker in finding a buyer for the property or asset. The listing data stored in a multiple listing service’s database is the proprietary information of the broker who has obtained a listing agreement with a property’s seller.


*WIKIPEDIA: A pocket listing or hip pocket listing is a real estate industry term used in United States which denotes a property where a broker holds a signed listing agreement (or contract) with the seller, whether that be an “Exclusive Right to Sell” or “Exclusive Agency” agreement or contract, but where it is never advertised nor entered into a multiple listing system (MLS), or where advertising is limited for an agreed-upon period of time. In Canada, this is referred to as an “Exclusive Listing”.

When a broker is hired to sell a property, a listing agreement is executed in writing. In an “Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement”, the broker normally agrees to cooperate with other brokers and to share a portion of the total real estate commission paid by the seller. However, in this situation, it is stated that the property shall not be placed in an MLS, and thus there is no agreement to work cooperatively with other brokers.

An alternative form of Agreement might be “Exclusive Agency” where only the broker is given the right to sell the property, and no offer of compensation is ever made to another broker. In that case, the property will never be entered into an MLS.

The reasons for a pocket listing may vary from the need for privacy or secrecy to discrimination, and some sellers may have their own reasons for not advertising a listing in conventional ways, including wanting to sell only to certain types of people. Several legitimate marketing strategies can also lead sellers to choose pocket listings. Pocket listings can be very appealing to buyers who seek exclusive opportunities. Other legitimate reasons for a seller to decide to do a pocket listing include the potential for a faster, smoother transaction when the listing agent has buyer clients who may be interested in the property. It can reduce the need for many showings to strangers.

Many full-time agents have knowledge of pocket listings in their own office or in other offices of their own company. While many MLS systems may try to limit this type of listing by requiring execution of a written notice relative to the benefits of MLS publicity, they may encourage members to refrain from taking pocket listings. There are some companies which list property as pocket listings for a short time before entering it into their MLS. With the written agreement of the seller, this would allow the company to try to obtain both the listing side and the “selling” side of the commission, an industry term known as “both sides of the transaction”. The L.A. Loft Blog reports that up to 45% of transactions in Downtown Los Angeles since 2011 have been off-market, private listings such as pocket listings.[1]

A real estate company which is not a member of any MLS may have pocket listings, but may still be willing to cooperate with other real estate professionals in the sale of their listings.

A broker or agent having a Pocket Listing can sometimes imply that the property will be sold directly to a buyer by the seller’s agent.


16 Comments on “MLS a new global vision”

  1. Jeannette Bonilla

    I like the idea. I believe we are going multinational and we need an instrument to cover the world!! I like your idea and would like to participate from the start. Costa Rica, Central America. LandPro Costa Rica Ltd. Real Estate Advisors

  2. Greg Lipton

    I love the idea! I am in the middle of a trade mission to Beijing China and would love to be able to help all of my clients to understand the process here in Prince Edward Island, Canada. AS you say, it is a huge undertaking! My company has be developing relations in China for 3 years now and I am always looking for a way to make things easier. Traveling to China is grueling but it seems necessary at this point. I would love to expand again into other markets. I am happy to pay referrals!

    1. admin

      Hi Greg, thanks for loving the idea. Hope you can do even more business when the new Global platform goes live!

  3. Myrt Sturdivant

    I like the idea of global networking. I am just now in the beginning stages of learning about the performance of developing relationships with global connections.
    Thank you for interest in this new and upcoming market. Keep me posted. Best Regards, Myrt.

  4. Afra Newell

    Great idea! As a Brazilian living in the US for the last 21 years, I’m very interested in global connections. As a Realtor in Florida and a CIPS designee, I appreciate your initiative. Keep me posted, please.

    1. admin

      Hi Afra, thanks for your comment and your appreciation. I will keep you posted when we go in Beta test.

  5. Mario J. Cabello

    I believe this is a wonderful idea as I have clients from Toronto Canada and Mexico City Mexico whom not only want properties in the U.S. but also Europe and Asia. Count me in for my support.

  6. James J. Butler, Sr.

    A great idea, i believe that it will be necessary for a national and possibly an international MLS is a very short time. It is up to the agent to make contacts, like we are doing now, but I think that it is already in works that Zillow has the ability to do so shortly. I would much prefer agents organize this but time will tell.

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