In this episode of “Russell Realty Minute Podcast,” Evan Russell, owner of the Russell Realty Group, discusses the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that delivers listing information to all real estate portals. He talks about why it’s important to start with the MLS.
“MLS is where all the marketing starts.” – Evan Russell [02:18]
What You Will Learn:
[00:18] How realtors use MLS
[02:17] Why it’s important to use MLS
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Welcome to another episode of Russell realty minute with your host Evan Russell. Where Evan shares his real-world real estate experience with you, if you like what you hear, please be sure to give them a quick review right here in iTunes. Thank you for listening.
The multiple listing service is the route that delivers all the information to the major portals. So people wonder how listings get on Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, Trulia, that sort of thing. When an agent takes a listing, they subscribe to their multiple listing service, and they input the listing information into the multiple listing service.
Now, that input is mostly tick marks; they’re boxes. Gas stove, electric stove, gas heat, electric heat. Forced oil, forced hot water. So as we put in the listing, the only opportunity we have is the tick marks that are available. So what the portals do is they take that information from the MLS that we import in through the tick marks.
The only variation we have is how we write the description; other than that, it’s boxes that we check. So when we check all the boxes and we create the listing description, and it gets launched into the MLS with a specific MLS number. It’s then up to the portals, the Zillows, the Trulias, the Redfins, the Realtor.coms to pull that information from the MLS and display it on their site.
That’s why all the sites don’t look the same. So if you were to look on a listing at Zillow and then go to Realtor.com, you may see a different breakdown, a different display. It’s all the same information, but it’s how the major portals pick up the information to display it on their site. What I tell my sellers when we take a listing is if you don’t like the way it looks on Zillow, or you don’t like the way it looks on realtor, that’s not really in our control.
What we do is we put our information in the MLS, and the sites kind of pull it. So I kind of warn the sellers to say listen, it’s going to look different on Redfin, on realtor, on Zillow, on Trulia. All those sites are going to look different and on any other website that you search. For example, the Russell team, or if you make your way to Coldwell Banker, you make your way to re-max, or you make your way to century 21.
Any site that has an IDX, an internet data exchange feed from the MLS to display the MLS information on that page, it’s going to look different based on how the site itself pulls the data from the MLS. But the MLS is the root; MLS is where all the marketing starts, right? Once we put the tick marks in, the style of the house, the heat source, the electric source.
The beds, the baths, the square footage. The floors, the description, all the siding, the roofing type, all the information we put in the MLS, then it gets loaded up into the portals, and that’s why they look different. But everything starts from the MLS; the MLS is the root.
So when you’re talking about maybe doing a sale by owner, or maybe selling a home yourself, and you want to put it straight on Zillow, or you’d want to skip the MLS, your listing is going to look much different, and it’s going to miss a bunch of the information.
So when you list with an agent, you want to make sure obviously most of us do, all of us do for the most part. But it’s got to be in the MLS first because the MLS is the root that grows the kind of tree or the bush or the flower that displays your listings across the portals.