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REALTORS CONSIDER FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES TO MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE

 MIAMI, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The way most homes are marketed in America may be significantly affected by a proposal that will be considered here next week by the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) board of directors during the association's 86th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition. Nearly 20,000 Realtors and guests are attending the Nov. 11-16 meetings.
 William S. Chee, 1993 NAR President, and Dr. Almon R. "Bud" Smith, NAR executive vice president, spoke about the proposal during a press conference today in Miami. They explained how the proposal would re- engineer the Realtors' primary home marketing tool, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), by reducing inefficiencies and incorporating advanced technologies.
 Currently, numerous MLS systems throughout the country operate in restricted geographic areas that usually match the jurisdictions of local Realtor boards or associations. Under the new proposal, MLS's would service natural real estate markets. These market areas, determined by consumer needs and business realities, would be united under a privately operated federation, which would link each market area to the others through advanced technologies.
 Chee used the Washington metropolitan area as an example of a potential natural market area. Currently, Realtors need to pay fees to several multiple listing services in order to market a home to interested consumers throughout the region, which overlaps different counties in Virginia, Washington and Maryland. Under this proposal, Chee said, "These geographic boundaries would meld into one market area, making it easier for a broker to reach consumers more quickly with new information services and save time."
 Consumer access to the market areas' home information would be possible, but limited, according to Smith, who said that a Realtor's expertise in guiding consumers through a complex home transaction would be enhanced by the proposal. "The real issue is assuring that the Realtor's professional expertise is relevant to consumers in the future, when the flow of information will be quicker, more comprehensive and available through a variety of communication devices," Smith said. Both Chee and Smith emphasized the proposal's practicality to consumer needs and Realtors' business practices. Chee observed that, "geographic boundaries are obsolete as members' markets expand." Smith added that, "a nationally linked set of market areas will benefit individual Realtors throughout the nation, making the home buying process more efficient for consumers."
 The National Association of Realtors, the nation's largest trade association, is "The Voice for Real Estate," representing nearly 750,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
 -0- 11/15/93
 /CONTACT: Scott Sherwood, 202-383-1016, or Liz Duncan, 202-383-1043, both of the National Association of Realtors/


CO: National Association of Realtors ST: Florida IN: FIN CST SU:

KD-MH -- DC022 -- 4558 11/15/93 14:49 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 15, 1993
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