Why do we have Compliance?

A lot of changes are happening at SmartMLS these days.  We have made a couple of fairly significant changes to our Rules & Regulations to align our system with larger trends that are occurring within other MLSs and throughout the real estate industry.  Unfortunately, these changes have been misinterpreted by some as the SmartMLS being overbearing, intrusive or inflexible.  This is very concerning to us, as our intention (and the driving force behind all decisions we make) is to provide our subscribers with the most accurate, reliable and up-to-date quality data possible.  If you are not confident that the listing information you are accessing and providing to your buyers and sellers from the MLS is accurate and up-to-date, you cannot effectively serve their needs.

Any rules we have in place, including the new changes (private document/Listing Agreement upload, Withhold from MLS, Delayed listings, etc.) are designed to make sure that the MLS is a level playing field for everyone.  We are not trying to infringe on your relationships with your clients or limit their freedoms.  We are, however, trying to safeguard the core ideal around which the MLS is founded- cooperation and compensation.  Without effectively enforcing rules, a small number of individuals operating outside of agreed upon industry standards would be allowed to continue practices which afford them an unfair advantage over the vast majority of users who are in compliance.  When rules are not followed or enforced, the data on the MLS, upon which you and your clients rely, is not accurate or up-to-date.  This is a disservice to you and your clients, as well as your fellow agents and their clients.  No one wins when MLS data is unreliable.

Our best tool in trying to reach this goal is our Compliance department and its policies and procedures.  Compliance was never designed to be a vehicle to harass, intimidate, shame or punish anyone.  Its primary purpose is education, communication and quality assurance.  We want all of our subscribers to understand the rules we have in place, why we have them, and how to successfully operate within them.  When an issue/violation is detected, we send an email alerting you to the problem and encouraging you to reach out for assistance (if needed) with getting it corrected.  We want to open a conversation with you and understand your perspective.  We want to make it a positive learning experience and help you understand what went wrong and how to prevent recurrences in the future.  While we do eventually issue fines for violations that are not corrected within an acceptable time frame, that is not the first step in the process, nor is it the purpose of our compliance system. 

We try our best to be proactive and review MLS data as it enters the system, but it is impossible for us to catch all potential problems on our own.  We rely on you, our subscribers, to alert us to issues that you have found and believe may be in violation of our MLS rules.  The ability to anonymously report suspected violations is vital, not only to insure a more accurate MLS system for all, but also to correct behavior that is detrimental to other subscribers who follow the rules.

 SmartMLS is very fortunate.  We have an excellent MLS system where the overwhelming majority of users share our vision of cooperation by understanding and complying with the rules in place.  We will continue to look for ways to provide our subscribers with the most accurate, reliable and up-to-date MLS system available.  We need your continued help and cooperation and, with time, our MLS will only get better.


Related video:

Compliance Data Reporting




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