Inside the International MLS Forum: How Real Estate Leaders Are Bringing the MLS Model to the World
Global real estate leaders are pushing to bring the U.S. model of standardization and collaboration to more real estate markets around the world.
In the last decade, data standards and technology have transformed the way real estate is bought and sold in the U.S.
Now industry leaders from various countries want to adopt key aspects of this model to enhance the transparency and efficiency of their own real estate sectors.
The effort demonstrates the high regard U.S. real estate enjoys as it continues to adapt in a changing business and legal environment.
As an initial step, real estate leaders will be in Paris next month for inaugural meetings of the International MLS Forum.
The conference will bring real estate decision makers from around the world to foster collaboration and promote solutions for a more efficient global real estate ecosystem.
Organized by the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) and the European Association of Real Estate Professions (CEPI), the meetings will take place December 1 and 2, 2023 at the Pullman Conference Center in Montparnasse, Paris.
“Real estate is changing forever,” said Ali Attar, CEO of Realtyna, a conference partner. “We have an opportunity to empower real estate associations around the world with the technology and standards they need to unlock investment and growth.”
A World Without the MLS?
In regions outside of North America where there is no centralized MLS system and limited transparency in real estate transactions, buyers and sellers face unique challenges.
Listings are often dispersed across various platforms and agencies, requiring buyers to invest significant effort in locating accurate and timely for sale listings.
It can also be difficult for buyers and sellers to find reliable information about recent sales and the comps necessary to understand the state of the market and make informed pricing and offer decisions.
Finally, real estate clients typically rely more heavily on informal networks and insider knowledge which bring added complexity to transactions.
“Without the MLS, it’s a mess,” said Attar. “Most property for sale is not easily discovered by consumers, investors have their own closed markets, and ‘pocket listings’ are the rule and not the exception.”
The International MLS Forum wants to change that by being the place where stakeholders around the world can share ideas, build synergy and drive real estate innovation around open standards.
The Future of the MLS
The event comes as many in the industry are contemplating the future of the MLS.
Born out of informal meetings between brokers to share listings, the MLS today is an essential piece of the plumbing that makes the North American real estate industry work.
As the predominant source for real estate data and information, the MLS provides standardization, reliability, and timeliness for real estate professionals across the continent.
A changing legal landscape has raised questions about what the next generation of the MLS will look like.
The International MLS Forum will be one of the first venues to help shape this future.
With representation from around the world, real estate leaders will evaluate the strengths of the MLS, draw lessons from its past, and chart a future with a forward-looking approach.
As real estate in North America continues to evolve, adapt, and innovate, global leaders want to learn from the model and adopt more of it abroad with the International MLS Forum providing the first ever venue for worldwide collaboration on real estate data and standards.