Before explaining the benefits and advantages of a Multiple Listing System or MLS, let’s discuss what an MLS is.
In a few words:
An MLS is like a private club where agents share information and agree to help each other sell houses.
Anyway, if you want to know more, you can read this guide: What is Multiple Listing Service ( MLS ) in Real Estate and How Does It Work.
Nowadays, there are over 800 MLSs. Agents use them to share details about houses they’re selling and invite other agents to work together to sell them, and they get paid for it.
Sellers benefit because more people see their houses, and buyers benefit because they can find out about all the homes for sale while working with just one agent.
The real estate market is competitive but unique because even competing agents have to cooperate to make deals happen. MLS systems make this cooperation easier.
The MLS allows agents to find other agents to help sell their clients’ homes. These organizations help level the playing field so even small agencies can compete with big ones. Buyers and sellers can work with the agent they prefer, knowing they have access to lots of houses for sale.
Who Owns and runs the MLS?
Many MLSs are controlled by the REALTOR® association that created them. In some cases, they might be owned by several associations in one area. Some MLSs were started by groups of real estate brokers who manage them independently.
The way MLSs are run can vary. The association’s own staff runs some MLSs owned by REALTOR® associations. Others become separate organizations with their own staff. Independent MLSs usually take direction from the brokers who set up the cooperative.
What Are the Benefits & Advantages of Using Multiple Listings Service
Multiple Listing Services (MLS) offer several advantages for real estate professionals and homebuyers/sellers. MLS is a platform where real estate agents can share and access property listings, making it a valuable tool in the real estate industry.
These are some of the advantages of using Multiple Listing Services:
- Extensive Property Exposure: MLS provides a centralized database of real estate listings, allowing real estate professionals to market properties to a broad audience. This exposure can lead to a quicker sale or purchase.
- Access to Accurate Information: licensed real estate agents typically maintain and update MLS listings, ensuring that the information is accurate and up-to-date. This approach allows buyers and sellers to make informed decisions.
- Comprehensive Property Information: MLS listings typically include detailed information about properties, including photographs, property features, dimensions, and more. Buyers and sellers can get a clear picture of what’s available in the market.
- Cooperative Brokerage: MLS promotes cooperation among real estate professionals. Listing agents can compensate buyer’s agents, encouraging collaboration, which benefits both parties.
- Efficient Home Search: Homebuyers can efficiently search for properties that meet their criteria, streamlining the house-hunting process. They can set preferences, such as location, price range, and features, to receive tailored listings.
- Pricing Guidance: MLS data can be used to assess market trends and determine competitive pricing strategies for sellers. Buyers can also use it to evaluate whether a property is reasonably priced.
- Time Savings: MLS eliminates buyers needing to contact multiple agents or search various websites, as they can access many listings in one place.
- Transparency: MLS promotes transparency in the real estate market by making listing information widely accessible. This policy helps prevent information asymmetry between buyers and sellers.
- Historical Data Analysis: MLS databases often contain historical sales data, allowing real estate professionals to analyze market trends and make data-driven decisions.
- Regional and National Coverage: MLS platforms can cover a specific region, state, or even an entire country, making it a valuable resource for real estate transactions of various scales.
- Professional Assistance: Using MLS, buyers and sellers can work with licensed real estate agents who can provide guidance, negotiate on their behalf, and ensure a smooth transaction process.
- Accountability: MLS typically enforces ethical and professional standards for its members, helping maintain the integrity of the real estate industry.
It’s important to note that MLS access is typically limited to licensed real estate professionals, so individuals looking to buy or sell property directly may only have access to some of these benefits. However, partnering with a qualified real estate agent who uses MLS can help maximize the system’s advantages.
Cons of Multiple Listing Service
Most downsides are minimal. Big companies may complain because they used to profit from secret data, which is now public. The MLS is super useful because it lets many people get accurate market info, which is good for everyone and makes things fair.
One small issue is the cost of putting your home on the MLS. You must usually pay an agent to list your home in the database.
Integrate an MLS on your website – The MLSImport.com Solution.
Now that you understand the advantages of using a Multiple Listing System, you should start integrating one on your website.
No matter how big or small your agency is, having a website with thousands of real estate listings can be very lucrative.
Creating a website with MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is typically more complex than building a standard website. It is a complicated job, but fortunately, there are technical solutions that can help you overcome all the possible challenges.
Our proposed solution uses WordPress as CMS (content management system), one of these themes (we recommend WpResidence), and our MLSImport Plugin.
This is a simplified list of the steps you need to follow.
Step 1 – join a local MLS and get the connection data to their API
Find out your local MLS and check if they are RESO-ready. See if they are listed in our database and if we can work with them.
Go to the first page of mlsimport.com and use the search form or contact us via email or the bottom proper chat.
If everything checks out, get the connection details to their database. For this, you may have to pay an extra fee.
Step 2 – domain and hosting
Select a domain and hosting: Picking a domain is a simple task. But getting good hosting is another thing. You want to build a website that will list thousands of properties. So consider a more professional solution.
We tested Cloudways and built a site with 5,000 listings in a few hours. We even imported 10,000 listings, and everything worked fast.
The plan we used is the Digital Ocean – monthly standard pack – ar 11 USD/month.
Step 4 – Install WordPress and a WordPress Real Estate Theme
Install WordPress as a Content management system – it is free! After that, get one of these professional WordPress Themes:
- WpResidence ($69, one-time fee – get it here)
- WpEstate ($49, one-time fee – get it here)
- Houzez ($69, one-time fee – get it here)
- Real Homes ($69, one-time fee – get it here).
We do recommend WpResidence – but another one will work fine. If you are building the website yourself, you should watch this nice & long tutorial. It will teach you everything you need to know about building a real estate website.
Step 4 – Install MLSimport plugin and import MLS Listings
Install the Mlsimport.com plugin, activate it, and import data from your MLS database. The whole system works on autopilot, and the listings will get updated every hour.
If a listing is sold or becomes unavailable, the plugin will delete it so you don’t have old data. You could look over this video and see how simple it is to use our MLS plugin.
If you have any questions about how you can integrate an MLS into your website, feel free to contact us via the bottom right chat or email.
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