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From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
"Home is not so much a structure as it is an idea."
October 25th, 2005
RE: "Competition and the Real Estate Workshop" -- Comment, Project No. V050015
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing you this letter to let you know how I feel as an, "upstart broker" who offers "discounted and negotiable" services to my clients.
I belong, as do my agents, to the Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors and I pay them monthly dues as well as yearly dues. I pay these dues mainly to protect the information I place on MLS for my clients. I have no problem paying the fees to access and protect information which serves both me and my clientele. However, I do not feel that all of the information stored on the MLS database should be free and 100% accessible to those people who do not pay to administer or maintain the data. I do not pay fees and adhere to mandates on how the system should be used just so the average internet browser can access the information for free and with no further responsibility.
I have always felt the pressure of competition in the real estate industry, even when I worked under other brokers for larger firms; but I have never NOT had access to the MLS database due to my small status in the real estate marketplace. As long as members pay their dues, they have access to the MLS. It is as simple as that. The MLS is for paying member to utilize - it should also be available only to the public in a read-only, diminished format and they should never, unless they pay dues to an association, be able to download or change content. It is simply not public domain.
The MLS is a cooperative, broker-to-broker offer of cooperation and compensation that help both brokers and customers buy and sell homes. It is not a public utility, nor should it be.
The beauty of the MLS is that it allows real estate brokerages of every size to compete on a level playing field. It gives all of us access to an inventory of property listings that we are able to show and sell to our clients.
The MLS doesn't discriminate. All MLS members are treated equally, regardless of their size or their business model, and yet the rights of property owners and their listing brokers are respected. The rules of the MLS achieve a delicate balance between respecting the rights of listing brokers so they will continue to be willing to contribute their inventory of listings and permitting cooperating brokers the ability to show those listings and be assured of receiving compensation if they bring about a successful sale.
Please take my sentiment to heart and do what is right. Make sure that data integrity and privacy is maintained by not allowing public domain rights to be assigned to something that is inherently NOT public domain.
Patience Iverson, Broker
Iverson & Iverson Real Estate