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The MLS of the Future – Understanding MLS 5.0

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MLS Matters by Saul Klein

RISMEDIA, August 21, 2009-MLS 5.0 is constructed as a property Wiki. While traditional MLS is listing or transaction based, MLS 5.0 is parcel based. A sale or transaction is but a moment in time in the life of a property. Information about properties may be needed during periods other than a transaction period.

A wiki is a collection of Web pages, where the content is written by contributors (Wiki in plain English). Wiki software can have many uses and applications, the most well known being Wikipedia, which is an encyclopedia written by volunteer writers and editors. Companies today often use wiki software to create searchable, retrievable information about the company. A wiki begins with something referred to as a “stub,” which can be a word or a phrase, and then contributors write about the stub. Based on a concept known as the “wisdom of crowds,” the information about a stub (where a wiki subject item begins), typically becomes more comprehensive and accurate over time based on contributions from its participants.

The word “wiki” is the Hawaiian word for fast or quick. For many years, a flight into the Honolulu International Airport also meant a ride on the Wiki Wiki Shuttle.

A property wiki, then, is a wiki in which the stubs are property addresses or parcel numbers, to which information from contributors and editors can be added to create a comprehensive record.

Imagine a blank website for every property address in the U.S. To that blank website, imagine adding anything publicly known. Now imagine inviting the property owner and Realtors to add what they know about the property. While there are some concerns about accuracy, Web 2.0 concepts, self-policing, flagging and social capital will, in time, minimize the inaccuracies.

This is key to understanding MLS 5.0…that a listing is merely a moment in time in the life of a property. MLS data is a subset of a larger body of data relative to a parcel of real property. Of value to Realtors and consumers is information about a parcel before the property is listed for sale. Property history, in one convenient place, easily and quickly accessible and searchable, is an asset that grows in value as more information is accumulated over time. Pictures, video, audio, text and other formats of information relevant to a property and conveniently aggregated will provide benefits to both real estate professionals and consumers. There will also be the opportunity for local real estate professionals to demonstrate their expertise about properties and neighborhoods and build their real estate social capital in an online world.

Next month we’ll examine the beneficiaries of MLS 5.0, taking a closer look at generational differences, ever-changing expectations and the void the future MLS-MLS 5.0-will fill.

What’s your opinion? Please write to thefutureofmls@point2.com.

Saul Klein is CEO of InternetCrusade and Point2 Technologies Inc.

For more information, visit www.point2agent.com.

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