Last month I took a look back at what had been accomplished at RAHB in the first half of this year. Now I’d like to focus on the second half of the year and, of course, the regional MLS® System is still the big story as we are approaching completion.
At their June 30 meeting, the RAHB Board of Directors decided that, instead of giving up management of our MLS® System by fully cutting over to the regional Matrix system, RAHB would instead upgrade our Fusion system to our own Matrix system. This system will be compatible with the regional one – and put in place listing sharing with all regional boards/associations. This approach will still achieve the original goal of the regional initiative but in a way that mitigates risks for RAHB members. The goal is for RAHB and all regional REALTORS® to be able to access active and sold listing information from across the region. The Directors came to this decision after comparing the benefits of continuing with our own MLS® system for RAHB against the risks of adopting the governance of ORTIS, the governing body of the regional system. Our Board’s decision was on the side of protecting RAHB members; therefore we have now entered Phase 2 of sharing regional MLS® data.
We understand that there has been some inaccurate information distributed about this approach, and I want to be very clear about what has and has not transpired.
First, what has NOT transpired:
RAHB has NOT left the Regional MLS® System. We are still uploading MLS® listing information from Fusion to the regional Matrix system every 15 minutes and RAHB members can still access all listing information in that Matrix system. We intend to continue working with ORTIS and the regional boards and associations going-forward.
RAHB has NOT taken this route because we want to “control” ORTIS and the Regional MLS® System. In fact, RAHB has gone to great pains to attempt to bring more equitable decision-making to the ORTIS organization so that no one board or association can be disadvantaged by majority decisions that do not suit their association or cannot be afforded by their association.
What HAS transpired:
The original goal of sharing MLS® active listing and sold data among the regional real estate boards and associations has been met in the current regional Matrix system. We are now considering this to be Phase 1, and it’s a major achievement benefiting RAHB and all regional REALTORS®.
RAHB’s Directors had concerns about the risks posed by the business and financial models developing at ORTIS, the body that manages the Regional MLS® System. RAHB attempted on several occasions to discuss the risks and suggest changes that would reduce the risks for all boards and associations involved, but those discussions failed to reach mutually beneficial outcomes. The only viable option available that would still maintain the benefits of a shared MLS® System for RAHB members and regional REALTORS® was to proceed in an alternate way to achieve the same goal of shared information. That has led to Phase 2 of regional MLS® data sharing.
RAHB’s Matrix system will be launched before the spring market in 2017. It will be compatible with the regional Matrix MLS® System so that active and sold listing information can flow freely between systems.
RAHB remains committed to sharing MLS® listing information with the boards and associations participating in the Regional MLS® System. RAHB’s Board of Directors has every confidence that the real estate boards and associations participating in the Regional MLS® System have the same goal we do: that their members benefit from access to the widest compilation of listing data in the region. That was the original goal when this project started, and it remains the goal today.
On July 18, RAHB President Kim Alvarez and I sent a letter to each member explaining Phase 2 – a synopsis of that letter is on page 5 in this issue of REALINFO. We have also compiled questions and answers we have received through our webinars, Facebook and other sources; there is a link to the most up-to-date version posted on the same page.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch with us – you can post your question on RAHB’s Facebook group, email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 905.529.8101 x230.
Next month I’ll talk more about what else is coming up between now and the end of the year.