I’ve been a Realtor for over 15 years. The area that I live and do business in is at the edge of four different Boards. From the very beginning, I have tried to join other Boards because of where I live and do business. The rule has been that everyone in that office must be a member of that board. Not everyone in my office is interested in paying the additional charges to join a Board that they probably would use only on a very limited basis or not at all.
Over the years, I have paid to have my listings inputted in the appropriate MLS. That gets my sellers the needed exposure in that particular MLS area. However, it does not give me the access to the sold information that is so important in helping the seller determine a realistic price for their home.
It is beginning to change. The Realtor Boards on the west side and southeast side of the state have combined their MLS information to make it more accessible to Realtors in their areas. That is not happening in my area. I was in a branch office in Williamston where the all of the office members had joined another Board. When they closed our branch office and moved us to other offices in the company, that Board cancelled our membership because we were no longer in one office. I have a personal LLC. When I talked with the Board about joining them under my LLC, I was told that I would have to resign my membership in the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors (my primary board) in order to join them. I was told that they would check the GLAR membership roster to make sure that I had resigned. I then contacted another of the adjoining Associations, explained the problem and; wonder of wonders; was told it wouldn’t be a problem. I think that the declining realtor population had an effect on that Association’s decision. Also, the information, that the assorted Boards of Realtors are trying to protect, is available on many sites, including zillow, local assessor’s websites, etc.
In this age of instant information, I find it very frustrating to have to deal with the restrictions other Realtor Boards put on outside realtors attempting to join their board and have MLS access. I am licensed for the state of Michigan; I should be able to have access to all data regarding the listing and sold data for the state. I am a strong advocate for a statewide MLS. What do you think?