Where is this elusive MLS that's exlusive to RE agents?

15 Replies

So, I keep hearing that to get access to "The MLS" you need to have your RE license... Which I'm working on BTW. Yay me!

So, googling around there does not appear to be one official nation wide MLS.

All the sites that claim to be "an MLS", such as MLS.com provides access to the public. So, they are clearly not "The MLS".

What am I missing?

Thanks,

Brian

MLS is regional. There can be multiple MLS's in a state and in the state of Arizona, I have access to ARMLS (Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service) listings in my state.

There are hundreds of MLS's throughout the US for what it's worth.

Reach out to a Premium Member in your area, they are most likely an agent and can provide you a link to the MLS database for your region. Additionally they can act as a guide so you don't get overwhelmed by all the options and distracted by all the shiny objects out there.

@Brian Paine

Correct. There is no "one" mls. NJ for example has 12. When you sign up with your broker after you get your license l, sign up with the National Association of Realtors, they should tell you which MLS' you will need. That will just be more annual dues/fees. That's just another reason agent dues/fees vary so much around the country. I've heard it anywhere from ~$2k to just over $4k a year... good luck

Thank you for chiming in everyone. I see now that "my local MLS" has a "premium membership" option that requires you to jump through some hoops to become a premium member... I'm guessing you get access to property disclosures and other goodies that the public do not have access to. This clears things up... a little ;)

Originally posted by @Chris L. :

Reach out to a Premium Member in your area, they are most likely an agent and can provide you a link to the MLS database for your region.

You must be kidding.  The MLS here bars you from allowing anyone direct access to RMLS unless you're a dues paying realtor.

 

Originally posted by @David M. :

@Steve Morris

I was really hoping he was just saying that a local Realtor could tell the OP which MLS covered the region in question...

I think he said link to the database, not a link to apply for access as a realtor. 

Originally posted by @David M. :

@Steve Morris

I was really hoping he was just saying that a local Realtor could tell the OP which MLS covered the region in question...

I had found my local MLS (NNRMLS.com) but the mere fact that I was able to view all the properties as a simple visitor to the site through me off... and that went for all other MLS sites I visited. I thought "the MLS" provided early access to listings not on Zillow or Redfin. That did not appear to be the case.

So, what other benefits do you get as an agent / premium member? 

@Brian Paine

There are fields that are visible to agents that the general public cannot see such as showing instructions and notes to other agents that is intended to only be read by other agents.

As an agent in AZ, I can easily view tax records and see the deed history in a way that is much easier than going through the county assessor's site. It helps me assess the viability of a property as an investment.

So, what other benefits do you get as an agent / premium member?

Well, if you can view listings not much else:

1) As noted, you get to see the top-secret notes AND

2) You can post listings

@Brian Paine

Its not really as much about property disclosures, although every MLS is different, with different websites, etc.

While I haven't seen "them all" or that many anyway, the MLS is geared towards finding and researching properties. The UI's are all spiffy like a Zillow or Realtor.com designed to capture and drive traffic. I recognize it more as a research tool. I can get sale data in general much easier and faster than every trying to look on Zillow. I can mass download it into our CMA tool.

Kinda different example... I have clients who will email me listings that they see on Facebook, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc. But, its all listings that don't fit them. All the info on the property isn't even possibly presented like on the MLS pages or print outs -- the portal sites don't care since that's not how they make their money. Meanwhile, since the portal sites are getting the info from the MLS', many times the data is corrupted.


@Brian Paine if you're just looking to browse listings, Redfin and Realtor.com are straight IDX feeds from the MLS that update every 15 minutes or so. Some agencies pay extra to have an IDX feed/ custom property search feature for clients on their own websites as well. An agent can also set you up with an auto email property search/ "MLS drip" to share any new listings meeting your criteria as they are listed. If an agent gives you direct access via their login info, they risk being fined or losing their MLS privileges or even their license, and I believe the MLS companies do police that by tracking IP addresses/ log ins from different devices. The MLS features which agents have access to that the public is never supposed to have is the private broker's notes (which often say if the property is vacant or not, how to access the property etc. which is info that the sellers probably don't want the general public to have), sales data and market metrics, and other features within the MLS like programs to help pull comps, generate lists, schedule showings, create custom criteria for property listing searches, contact database, contract creation/e-signing software like DocuSign, and of course the ability to list properties.

Originally posted by @Steve Morris :

You must be kidding.  The MLS here bars you from allowing anyone direct access to RMLS unless you're a dues paying realtor.


Not kidding in the least. The link I am referring to is the client link we can create within MLS for each person we want to be able to browse the database in our area. The system creates a client facing portal that redacts realtor only information. It may be specific to certain regions I do not know if this is available nationwide, it would be best to inquire with your local board to see if this feature is available to you.