MLS® Reciprocity FAQ

This FAQ is intended for members of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) and their technical staff. Some answers are specific to members of the REBGV.

ABOUT

GETTING STARTED

VENDORS

ADVERTISING COMPLIANCE

TECHNICAL and MISCELLANEOUS


ABOUT

What is MLS® Reciprocity

MLS® Reciprocity is a method of advertising that is permitted within the Rules of Cooperation which allows members to advertise MLS® Reciprocity listings on their own websites. Currently, over 90% of the active listings in the Vancouver area are available in the MLS® Reciprocity pool. Only active listings are allowed in the MLS® Reciprocity pool of listings. MLS® Reciprocity is also known as IDX (Internet Data eXchange).

Why should I include MLS® Reciprocity listings on my website?

Visitors to your website are more likely to return if you have current listing information available. In addition, MLS® Reciprocity listings are generally displayed with the listing brokerage name but no further contact information, so your website may generate more leads.

GETTING STARTED

How do I get started?

First, make sure that your office has signed an MLS® Reciprocity Corporate Agreement and has not opted their listings out of the reciprocity pool of listings. Most offices have already signed the MLS® Reciprocity Corporate Agreement. You must then sign an MLS® Reciprocity Salesperson Agreement and fax it to Rayna at 604-730-3101. The salesperson agreement must be signed by both yourself and your manager.

How long does it take to get a response once I've faxed in the agreement?

It takes 7-10 working days after we receive your fax to process it. We will email you to confirm that everything is in order. Please be patient and thanks for your understanding.

I am a member of the Board. How much does participation in the MLS® Reciprocity program cost?

The Board charges each office a monthly fee to have members participate in the MLS® Reciprocity program. Some offices pass the cost on to their salespeople, others do not. Each office sets its own policies. In addition, each website vendor that provides MLS® Reciprocity searches will have their own pricing in addition to any fee that may be charged by your office.

VENDORS

Does the Board provide MLS® Reciprocity websites?

The Board provides basic template-based websites that include an MLS® Reciprocity search page through MLX Pro. In addition, the Board provides a customizable MLS® Reciprocity search using Realtylink.org technology. There is no additional cost to members to use the Board MLS® Reciprocity searches, however if members require extensive support in customizing their websites we will charge for our time.

What other vendors provide MLS® Reciprocity websites?

A number of third-party providers have signed data access agreements with the Board that indicate their product includes MLS® Reciprocity websites. Functionality and pricing will vary. For a list of third-party providers with valid data access agreements that provide IDX websites, see the list at the end of this FAQ.

ADVERTISING COMPLIANCE

Why is my listing showing on somebody else's website?

Your listing is most likely part of the MLS® Reciprocity pool of listings. More than 90% of listings are in the MLS® Reciprocity pool of listings. Listings can be removed from the MLS® Reciprocity pool on an office by office basis.

Is my MLS® Reciprocity website following Board rules?

All member websites are governed and bound by enforceable professional standards, including: The REALTOR® Code; The Rules of Cooperation; The Licensee Practice Manual. In addition, members using MLS® Reciprocity on their websites have certain obligations based on the agreements that they have signed.

Third-parties that have signed data access agreements with the Board need to ensure that their products allow our members to follow Board rules.

Some key points about MLS® Reciprocity websites from our professional standards:

How can I get my listings removed from MLS® Reciprocity advertising?

Listings can be removed from MLS® Reciprocity on an office by office basis. Your office manager should send us a communication stating that the office no longer wishes to have its listings in the MLS® Reciprocity pool of listings. This means that listings from your office will not show up on MLS® Reciprocity search sites. This also means that no salespeople in your office can make use of the MLS® Reciprocity searches on their own websites.

TECHNICAL

I am a member of the Board. How do I obtain data to build my own website?

Members wishing to develop their own MLS® Reciprocity website with listing data from the MLS® system must sign a data access agreement in addition to the MLS® Reciprocity Salesperson Agreement. Data access is provided using the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS). Data is limited to active listings only. More information about RETS is available at www.rets.org. The Board has some sample code in PHP to connect to our RETS servers but provides very little support beyond the sample code. There is an setup and annual fee for member access to the RETS server. (Fee schedule last updated March 2010)
Third Party ApplicantsMembers
Fixed sign-up fee $250.00
Annual fee $250.00
Total $500.00
Upon receiving the set up fee and the signed agreement, you are given temporary access to the RETS test server to develop your product or a sampling of your product. Once the Board is satisfied that your product is compliant with the rules, you will be provided with production access . This process could take up to eight weeks, however this time line is only an estimation.

I am a third party. How do I obtain data to build my own website?

Third parties are only provided MLS® Reciprocity listing data to provide members with personal websites. Generally, third parties must have a member sponsor. Data access is provided using the RETS. Data is limited to active listings only. The Board has some sample code in PHP to connect to our RETS servers but provides very little support beyond the sample code. (Sample code with license agreement and checklists.) There is an setup and annual fee for member access to the RETS server. (Fee schedule last updated March 2010)
Third Party ApplicantsNon-Members
Fixed sign-up fee $750.00
Annual fee $750.00
Total $1500.00
Upon receiving the set up fee and the signed agreement, you are given temporary access to the RETS test server to develop your product or a sampling of your product. Once the Board is satisfied that your product is compliant with the rules you will be provided with production access . This process could take up to eight weeks, however this time line is only an estimation.

What fields are shown on MLS® Reciprocity websites?

The fields shown on MLS® Reciprocity websites are the same as the fields shown on public websites such as REALTOR.ca (MLS.ca) and Realtylink.org.

These are the only allowable fields. On the residential side, this corresponds to the following data: List price, List type, comments, MLS® #, images, additional images, bedrooms, bathrooms, year built/age, living area, yearly tax amount, tax year, maintenance fee, virtual tour URL, features, amenities, lotsize, lot frontage, lot depth, basement, open house time/comment, area, subarea

Board-supplied MLS® Reciprocity search: How do I find my CREA ID?

The Board-supplied MLS® Reciprocity solution uses the CREA ID to uniquely identify each user. You can find your CREA ID by logging into REALTORLink.ca and clicking on the "Member Info" link at the top of the page. If you have signed a MLS® Reciprocity Salesperson Agreement, your CREA ID will be on the Member Info page.

Board-supplied MLS® Reciprocity search: How do I customize my Board-supplied MLS® Reciprocity result pages?

The look/feel of the Board-supplied MLS® Reciprocity can be customized by working with Board staff to configure the URLs for a header and footer that will surround the search HTML. The header and footers will be snippets of HTML that will be hosted on the member websites.

For example, here is an example of a search with a blank header and footer configured.

However, we can change the look/feel of the search by including the header (http://members.rebgv.org/mlsr/header.html) and footer (http://members.rebgv.org/mlsr/header.html) that allow us to customize the look of the search. See the customized search example here (http://mlsr.realtylink.org/mlsr_get/areaselect.cfm?cid=1087758)

There are some CSS styles available inside the Board-provided search that allow for customizations of the colors.

Board staff can only provided a limited amount of time to help with customization.

I would like to create lists of properties that meet certain criteria. Is this possible?

Various MLS® Reciprocity search solutions including the Board solution support this feature. However, the lists may be limited to fairly basic criteria. Setup costs will vary by vendor.

Is there a commercial MLS® Reciprocity search available?

The Board provides a basic commercial MLS® Reciprocity search using Realtylink.org technology. A commercial property search is not available using MLX Pro. Some vendors have developed a commercial MLS® Reciprocity listing search. For a list of third-party providers with valid data access agreements that provide IDX websites, see the list at the end of this FAQ. Vendors with commercial IDX solutions will be noted.

List of third-party vendors that provide IDX services (July 2010)

Base 10 Design & Development (RealtyNinja)
Combustion Labs Media Inc. (Ubertor Inc.)
MyRealPage (includes commercial)
RealPageMaker (includes commercial)
Redman Technologies Inc. (includes commercial)
Real Estate WebMasters (SEO-Guy Services Ltd.)
Internet Brokers Group
Pixilink Solutions Ltd.
Redplug Internet Services
Digit Art Designs
Dazil Internet Services Inc.
Mapleweb Creative Marketing Inc.
ShiftOnLine
Austere Soft Inc. (includes commercial)
Tiger Lead Solutions, LLC
FiveHT Media
Brixwork Real Estate Marketing