Monday, August 13, 2007

Realtor survey results...

Data sharing, security and consolidation of Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are top concerns for Realtors and MLS executives, according to the 2007 REALTORĀ® MLS Technology Survey.

Respondents to the fifth annual survey, which describes MLS trends and technology practices, showed strong interest in expanding MLS service territories.

--Nearly one-third of respondents favored a statewide MLS, up from 19 percent last year.

--Twenty-seven percent said a market area or Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) would be ideal, while 21 percent preferred a larger market region within the state.

--Nearly one-third of respondents have reciprocal data-sharing agreements with other MLSs, and another 23 percent have considered data sharing.

--Nearly two-thirds said their MLSs make use of a RETS interface, allowing brokers, third-party software vendors, Realtor associations and MLSs to share real-time data, regardless of the type of software they use. This is up nearly 47 percent from 2005.

--Three-fourths of respondents believe their MLSs have taken security issues more seriously this year than in the past, but only 42 percent said their organization has a written security policy.

--Twenty-seven percent of MLS respondents said they are currently using two-factor authentications, such as a key FOB or USB device, which are more secure methods for users to access MLS systems than the traditional user ID and password combination.

MLS service regions commonly expand through consolidations, which the survey also shows are on the rise. Thirty percent of those surveyed said their MLSs had already consolidated with one or more MLSs, up from 15 percent last year, and another 38 percent are considering consolidation.

The most popular places for MLS to place listings are realtor.com, their local public MLS site and the local Realtor association website. The most commonly shared property information that MLSs send to third parties are photos, amenities, address and tax information.

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