MLS Committee always looking for member input to improve services

As always, your Columbus REALTOR’s MLS Committee is very busy this year. Our mission is to address issues and policies involving the operation and services provided for members of the Columbus and Central Ohio Multiple Listing Service. I’m very happy to announce that one of our major achievements this year was to push forward multi-year renewals for both Flexmls (our multiple listing software, provided by FBS) and for Realist (our tax data, provided by Corelogic). The Realist renewal is especially exciting because we were able to add a few extra perks including tax and property data for all 88 counties in Ohio! We are confident these renewals will be a huge benefit to the members because of the ease of use of both products and the flexibility for us to make changes in house.

We have been working to update some of the MLS rules and regulations to reflect changes made at the National Association of REALTORS® convention in November, so our bylaws are following our national charter. In the next month or so, we will be rolling out “safe harbor” provisions as it relates to the copyrights on photographs and how our MLS staff need to respond when someone reports a copyright violation to them. We hope to have those finalized soon.

Quite a few agents ask me at different area meetings about how to change or adjust policies or add a feature (such as horse farms) in the MLS. There is a process where members can make suggestions that could eventually become policies. The member needs to fill out the “Request for Policy or Data Field Change” form available on the Columbus REALTORS® web site (ColumbusRealtors.com) which requires the members signature and their brokers signature. Once that is signed, it is submitted to the MLS Director, Bryan Dean, and it is added to the agenda of one of our two standing subcommittees which meet after the main MLS meeting. Should it pass the subcommittee, it will be on the agenda of the MLS meeting in the next month, and if it passes a vote there, it is moved on for a final vote at the MLS Board of Directors. Once passed at the BOD, it becomes an official policy or feature. Almost all the items discussed at MLS are brought before us by our agents or brokers who use the MLS!

The MLS Committee is comprised of brokerage representatives of different sizes compiled by a formula. Each year, Brokers elect new representatives to a three-year term, and it varies every year for brokerages depending on their size which categories we will be electing. Generally, we see a third of the committee turnover each year. There are also some appointed positions for the large brokerages as well as for counties we represent, such as Union, Madison, Licking, Fayette, Morrow, Pickaway, and Delaware. If you’d like to run for a seat on the MLS committee, please check with your broker prior to the annual meeting in October to let them know of your interest.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support and please send us suggestions for improvements. We are here to serve you and raise the bar for our users.