I recently passed my Missouri salesperson licensing exam and related coursework. My application for license was approved by the Missouri Real Estate Commission, and I've signed on with a broker.
My question is - I need access to the MLS, but I do not want to join the NAR (KCRAR chapter). I don't believe that I am required to join KCRAR to gain MLS access, but I can't figure out how to do it. In my only discussion with my broker, she mentioned that people had fought KCRAR before to gain MLS access... but she didn't think they were successful. I'm perfectly willing to pay for my MLS access, but I don't want to pay the high membership fees for KCRAR.
Can anybody shed some light on this process? Can I gain access to the MLS as a Missouri Licensed RE Agent, without joining KCRAR? Thanks!
It depends on the particular MLS. In Massachusetts, the main MLS is not owned by any Realtor board. Realtors get a discount, but you can be a licensed, non-realtor like me and gain access. The Cape Code regional MLS is owned by the Cape Cod and Islands Association of Realtors and they DO require that you be a Realtor to join. NH, VT allow non-realtors, RI does not...
Don't come to Miami then, the REALTOR board here requires licensure and annual dues to gain access, unfortunately. However, one rental covers the cost of the dues ($800 give or take).
You should call the MLS help-desk and ask them that question directly. Here in NJ you have to be apart of the National Association of Realtors in order to have access to any MLS. You should look at the membership fee as just a cost of doing business as a real estate agent. It's all about the cost of opportunity, if you don't pay and choose not to have MLS access you can possibly be costing yourself thousands of dollars in commission because you don't have the tools to do business.
Good luck, Jesse. I just hung my license in June (+ Board membership, MLS access, lockbox access, etc.). I'm a total newb, but I believe MLS-access in MO is controlled by your local Board and NAR. Access to the MLS definitely has a mafioso-type feel to it, since you have to pay monthly dues.
@John Ching - "Mafioso" is a great way to describe it. The realtor associations seems to have all of the power, because they've been operating so long. Even though technology should have made the MLS virtually obsolete today, it persists because of the realtor associations. Very frustrating and expensive.