Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Dallas Texas- Changes to the MLS Rules

Dallas Texas- Changes to the MLS Rules

As of November 2006, many changes were made to the NTREIS (North Texas Real Estate Information System).  I'm only mentioning this now because the changes don't actually go into effect for another couple of weeks, March 1, 2007.  Some of the changes were good ones, while others weren't.  Here are a couple of examples:

One of the good changes is that when the status of a listing changes, the agents now have only 3 days to update the MLS. The previous rule was 5 days.  You would think 5 days was enough time to change the status, but there are so many times when I would show a listing and the status actually wasn't active.  Hopefully, 3 days will get people moving faster or they'll be fined!

One of the bad changes is the way Virtual Tours can be uploaded into the MLS.  Currently, most virtual tours are branded with the agents' name, email, contact, company, and other information.  This is so when the average buyer is looking for houses on the internet, they have more information about the listing agent and we'll receive a call. 

However, as of March 1, 2007, all virtual tours much be unbranded!! WHAT??!!  This is ridiculous!!  The point of the virtual tour is to also advertise and market my services so others know that I can do the same for their house, in essence, increasing my business as well as getting the house sold by presenting it in a better way.

I can't believe they're taking away our ability to brand ourselves.  Does anyone else have this rule in their MLS?

Comment balloon 21 commentsDonna Harris • February 12 2007 02:00PM


yep.  i don't like that rule either-there aren't many virtual tour providers that can do one that's unbranded.  and our MLS has been strict about it, kicking them off if they're branded.  i like it from the buyer side though-they see virtual tours and don't see the other agent's information. =)  our rules on changing status recently tightened to two days from three.  i still see mistakes and laziness though-not sure that it's going to change anything, since the ones breaking the rules aren't reading them in the first place...
Posted by Leigh Brown, CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC (Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive) over 12 years ago
I guess I'm lucky that Visual Tour already provides a link for the unbranded version, but it's plain and ugly.  Yes, I supposed I have a double standard as well because I hate when my buyers see that information.  However, I know that the buyers I really want to work with are loyal, so no issues there.  If they're going to contact the listing agent behind my back, I don't really care to work with them anyway.
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago

Donna, I am with you on the branding of the virtual tours. They continue to take away any chance of us being about to market our self. I think as and the MLS continue to get pressure from all the other websites for listing properties you will see more of this happening. These changes are like a double edge sword. They help in one way on the 3 day rule and hurt with the unbranded virtual rule.

Rick Irving
United Country Real Estate
Fort Worth, Texas

Posted by Rick Irving, Rick Irving Knows Real Estate (My Texas Home Real Estate) over 12 years ago

How are we supposed to set ourselves apart from the "riff raff" if we can't let the consumer know who we are!!  My tours are branded so people can easily contact me.  I just noticed that on the unbranded version, there's nothing but a huge logo for the virtual tour company.  Why are they allowed to brand themselves when a consumer could careless about the virtual tour company!!

So frustrating!!


(* if you were offended by my use of the term "riff raff", please move on to the next blog)

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago
Our MLS also prohibits any branding of virtual tours, a rule that I disagree with. VisualTours provides an unbranded version to our MLS, but I think those of us who do additional marketing are entitled to be recognized.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 12 years ago
I completely agree, Sharon! We spend the extra time and effort, we should get more recognition!
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago
Even though I don't like the no branding rule it is in effect for the same reason you can't place your contact info in consumer remarks, if you are e-mailing your buyer listings it shouldn't have the other REALTORS(R) details on it. So it does make sense. They should change the system to display it both ways depending on what report you are sending out 
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago
Bryant, that's a good idea, except we all know the MLS's aren't going to create another report.  Our system already creates about 12 versions, which only 5 are allowed to be emailed.  None of the email-able reports have agent contact information whatsoever.  It will only say who prepared the email.  I can't see the North Texas system changing.
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago

We have the "IDX" version here too.  Not only does this protect our buyers (on drips) for receiving advertising from other agents, we have IDX where we can post other's listings on our MLS website.  The IDX will say "really small" listing courtesy of: agent x and the tour is unbranded.

I really don't have an opinion on this.  I wouldn't want my buyers receiving other agent's advertising in a drip but I would like my advertising on other agent's potential buyer's drips.  AHhhh yes, and we have people who break the rule all the time

Good luck!


Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 12 years ago

Our MLS has had this rule since day one of going with an online website MLS in 2002 and all our agents comply.  We also do not allow any agent information in our public remarks so if you have this rule how can you allow Virtual Tours to allow agent information.  With serving as MLS chair four times and serving on the committee 11 times, our reasoning is that our MLS serves all its members the same and is not a marketing tool for the agent but is for marketing the property.

 We also have a rule that status changes have to be posted within 48 hours which is very helpful and we have a fine policy if it is not.  This is very crucial in a fast market so that you are not sending information to clients on under contract or sold properties making us all look bad and makes setting showing appointments much easier.  It also keeps our statistics accurate!! 

Posted by Sandi Codrea (Dawson Ford Garbee & Co. Realtors) over 12 years ago

Renee, those were my thoughts that I like it when others see my info, but I hate it when my clients see info from others.

Sandi, I wish people around here could update their stuff that quickly!  Most are just lazy.  However, I think they had to do 3 days instead of 2 days because many companies are corporate and their agents don't actually have the ability to add/change anything in the MLS.  Their office staff are the only people will access so I assume they're allowing for the weekend, since office staff doesn't typically work on the weekend.  I'm so glad I changed brokers 5 years ago as I LOVE having my own control over my listings!!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago
Donna, we have 48 hours to update, then we are penalized $50 - I'm not sure if it's a day or a flat $50.  Since I'm a tightwad, I make sure it gets changed quickly.  About the virtual tours, I agree that agents spend the money for the tours, they should be able to advertise. 
Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) over 12 years ago

In Austin, we list both the branded and unbranded versions of the Virtual Tour. IDX sites and client side listings see the unbranded version. Other public sires, such as see the branded version. I wonder why Dallas MLS didn't do it like that? All our tour companies provide both versions (two different links.)

Off topic: Congrats Donna on your Featured status. I see your name and face every day, so whatever you did to get on top at AR is pretty impressive.

Steve :)

Posted by Steve Crossland, Austin TX Real Estate (Crossland Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Kay, I don't think we have a 48 hour deadline because of the corporate offices of some of the brokers.  With no staff to update listings, it would be pointless to fine them every weekend.

Steve, Dallas's MLS still has too many versions of their MLS to make something like this work.  We currently have 3 MLS systems, Temp, Rappatoni, and Wyldfyre.  It's ridiculous to have so many systems, but whenever they get ready to eliminate one, they get so much backlash from "older" agents who won't like change, and they keep them working.  I was very surprised when they got rid of the 4th system we had about 3 years ago.  As for being the featured agent, I guess I got that from just speaking my mind and helping to educate people with my blogging.  Thanks for noticing!!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago
I don't like the idea of the unbranded virtual tour but I'm thankful that my virtual tour company does this for me.  My work around on this is to include a link to my personal website on the MLS listing which has more pictures and the branded virtual tour.
Posted by Linda Box Taylor, Your Plano, TX Realtor (Castle Connections Realty) over 12 years ago
Donna: Do you know why they are going for the UNBRANDED versions? Are they no realtors on this decision-making board to make this "rule" pass?
Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 12 years ago


All I know is they don't like agents to advertise to other agent's buyers... they don't ask our opinion on anything and they don't make suggestions and allow us to vote on decisions.  They just do things that they think are in the best interest of everyone, but if they would ask, they might get other opinions.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago
I know Metrotex and CCAR have MLS committees and those members are Realtors.  My understanding is this committee looks at the suggestions and complaints from their board members and makes suggestions to NTREIS.  But I don't know who makes the ultimate decision.  I guess this is a good reason to get more involved in our board associations. 
Posted by Linda Box Taylor, Your Plano, TX Realtor (Castle Connections Realty) over 12 years ago

We've been using unbranded tours in Atlanta FMLS and GAMLS for several years.   If you believe in IDX and Broker reciprocity unbranded is the way to go.  It makes a lot of sense! Branding tends to be all about me...  So why not have one real estate company show that they control most of the listings in a town?  Or one agent dominates the listings in a given market how does that benefit you?  It kills the entire premise of IDX.  It actuall belittles other agents in the same market place.  I am suprised that your MLS has not enforced this sooner.  In most markets this was done several years ago. 

No Room For Self-promotion In Broker Reciprocity And IDX
by Jim Crawford

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Crye-Leike REALTORS®) over 12 years ago
Jim, Great insight.  I never thought of it like that.  Unbranded tours make sense when you put it that way.
Posted by Linda Box Taylor, Your Plano, TX Realtor (Castle Connections Realty) over 12 years ago
Memphis Area Association of Realtors will not allow branded tours.  I like this rule.  If I am e-mailing a listing to my customer, the last thing I want them to see is another Realtor's name and phone number.  Save the branded tours to your own personal web-site. 
Posted by Carmen Prince, Affiliate Broker (Crye-Leike Realors) over 12 years ago