CMLS LEAP Policy Draft March 2021

**This is a draft document that was shared on CMLS’ website, it is not ratified by CMLS’ board or intended to be a final policy.**

DRAFT Listing Exchange and Access Policy (LEAP) – Policy Statement X.XX 

Purpose 

The Listing Exchange and Access Policy (LEAP) provides Participants (as defined in  Policy Statement 7.9) with access to all MLS listing content for the purposes of  electronic display (where authorized herein), distribution (where allowed), valuation,  internal organizational needs, and working with customers. LEAP provides access to all MLS listing content that a real estate brokerage would require to run a technology  enabled brokerage firm including electronic display, as well as providing MLS listing  content to be used for any and all brokerage functions in a manner consistent with NAR  Policy. 

Uses 

LEAP is for the use of MLS Participants only. The data feed can be accessed by  Participants and their Designees which support their brokerage activities. LEAP does  not alter or amend existing NAR policy related to non-Participant display. 

A Participant may use their own listings for any purposes. 

LEAP gives MLS Participants the ability to access MLS listing content for permitted uses  and authorizes limited electronic display and delivery of their listings by other  Participants via the following authorized mediums, including, but not limited to:  websites, mobile applications, audio devices, and additional technologies which  support communication between Participants and customers.  

Associations of REALTORS® and their multiple listing services shall enable MLS  Participants to display aggregated MLS listing content by electronic means in  accordance with this policy. MLSs may not impose any limitations, restrictions or  conditions on the use or display of the MLS listing content other than as specified in this  policy. 

Except as provided elsewhere in this policy or in an MLSs rules and regulations, a Participant may not distribute, provide, or make any portion of the MLS listing content available to any person or entity. 

Access 

Within three (3) business days of receiving a completed request from a Participant, MLSs must deliver credentials to access a data feed that includes all MLS listing content  that a real estate brokerage would require to any active Participant, or their Designee,

unless 1) there are extenuating circumstances related to an individual’s qualification for  MLS participation, or 2) review of the Participant’s use of MLS listing content consistent  with the MLS rules is reasonably necessary as determined by the MLS. An estimated time of approval or denial must be issued within three (3) business days of receipt of a completed request. 

To comply with this requirement MLSs must, if requested by a Participant, promptly  provide any credentials necessary to accommodate basic downloading of all MLS listing  content available to Participants for real estate brokerage purposes, including all sold*  listing data starting from January 1, 2012. MLSs may not exclude any listings from the  information which can be accessed but may restrict the display under LEAP for those  listings for which a seller has affirmatively directed that their listing or their property  address not appear on the Internet. 

“Downloading” means electronic transmission of data from MLS servers to Participants’  servers on a persistent basis using a RESO certified or mutually agreed on transport  method.  

*Note: If confirmed sales price information is not a matter of Public Record, sold price can be prohibited from public display via the MLSs’ listing content. “Publicly Accessible” confirmed sales price information as used in LEAP policy and rules, means sales price information that is submitted in electronically or in hard copy format to the Publicly Accessible records for the city, county, state government agencies. 

Participant may designate any individual or entity as their Designee to assist Participant  in managing and utilizing the data feed. Participant will have a written contract with the  Designee with terms at least as restrictive as these rules. Participant shall provide any such agreement to MLS within two (2) business days of written request from the MLS.  Notwithstanding designation of a Designee, Participant is responsible for compliance  with these Rules. 

The MLS may require any Participant and/or Designee to sign a licensing agreement, with terms consistent with this policy. 

The MLSs LEAP download must be refreshed to accurately reflect all updates and status  changes no less frequently than every two (2) hours. 

Display 

MLS Participants may use the data feed to advertise listings in any digital medium, consistent with this policy (“Advertising display”). For purposes of this policy, any participant, including any Subscriber affiliated with the Participant, that inputs a listing into the MLS consistent with the MLS rules is a “Listing Broker.” An “Advertising Broker” means any Participant, including any Subscriber affiliated with that Participant, that uses the data feed to electronically

display any information about a property filed with the MLS for which that Participant is not the Listing Broker. 

Unless state law requires prior written consent from Listing Brokers, Listing Broker’s  consent for electronic display is presumed unless a Listing Broker affirmatively notifies  the MLS that the Listing Broker refuses to permit electronic display on a blanket basis. 

All Listing Brokers grant permission for any Advertising Broker to display any listing submitted to the service by the Listing Broker only if: 

  1. The Participant, or its Designee, has sufficient independent control to  add, edit, and delete the advertised listing. 
  2. The listing display or advertisement is clear so that a reasonable real  estate consumer understands:  
  3. a) Who is the Listing Broker, 
  4. b) Who is the Advertising Broker and  
  5. c) How to contact that Listing Broker. 

There shall be a rebuttable presumption that it is clear to a reasonable real estate consumer that the Advertising Broker is not the Listing Broker if the advertisement includes all Advertising Attribution fields from the MLS. The Advertising Attribution fields must include: 

  1. a) Name of the Listing Broker; 
  2. b) Contact details input by the Listing Broker into the MLS for use in all  Advertising displays; and 
  3. c) Any other field designated by the MLS as a requirement for Advertising  Attribution. 

Advertising does not include, and any limitations imposed by this rule do not apply to: 

  1. a) Any communication between a Broker and their Client. Client is any  individual or entity that has a valid Agency Agreement, or legally  recognized non-agency relationship with the Participant that is in effect at  the time of the communication; or 
  2. b) Any communication solely between a Participant and their affiliated  subscribers; or 
  3. c) Any communication or information facilitated by the MLS. 

If there is a reasonable technical ability to establish a direct feed for updates to the Advertising display, then all information, statuses and the price contained in

the Advertising display must be updated to be accurate and consistent with the MLS listing content in the feed for the listing being advertised at least every 2 hours. 

Advertising a listing shall not occur on any platform, website or other location that is offensive, vulgar, or inappropriate to a reasonable person, or that violates fair housing standards. An Advertising Broker must immediately remove any advertised listing from any such platform, website, or location upon written notice of the Listing Broker that specifies the reasons for the objection to the advertisement on the objectionable platform, website, or location. 

A Participant may opt out of granting their permission to allow their listings to be displayed under the LEAP electronic display rules by providing a written instruction to the MLS that Participant will not be an Advertising Broker. By providing such an instruction Participant will not receive a LEAP data feed and the Participant agrees to not advertise any other Participant’s listing in the MLS without first obtaining written permission from the Listing Broker for each specific listing prior to any advertisement. 

Even where Participants have given blanket authority for other Participants to  display their listings through LEAP, such consent may be withdrawn on a listing by-listing basis only where the seller has provided written instruction that the  listing is not to be displayed on the Internet by anyone and notice is provided as  part of the LEAP feed. Any such instruction shall include an affirmative statement  that the instruction to not display on the Internet shall also apply to the Listing  Broker. 

All electronic displays shall include MLS source information. 

Display of showing access instructions, occupancy status, sellers’ and/or occupants’ names or their personal information is prohibited. 

Participants shall not modify or manipulate MLS listing content that is displayed through  LEAP which relates to other Participants’ listings. The Participant may, however,  augment MLS listing information with additional information not otherwise prohibited  by these rules or by other applicable MLS rules or policies, as long as the source of such  other information is clearly identified in the immediate proximity to such data. 

MLS may prohibit the display of the status of expired, withdrawn or canceled from appearing on any off-market property display. 

Participants must provide the MLS access to any display of LEAP data for purposes of  monitoring/ensuring compliance with applicable rules and policies.

On Advertising Broker’s website and when technologically practicable in any other  display, Advertising Broker shall display that the information being provided is for  consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other  than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. 

DRAFT LEAP Update to existing MLS Policy Statement 8.2, Customer Service and Tech Support. 

MLS Policy Statement 8.2, Customer Service and Tech Support the MLS must display customer service and technical support contact information on the MLS website. Customer service and technical support contact information must be on a publicly accessible web page and must include, at minimum: 

  • Contact information for administrative approval, setup and technical  support 
  • Data transport method (Name of Web API service and other transport  service(s) defined) by which MLS data is made available 
  • Links to MLS rules, policies, and regulations

Author

  • All opinions expressed herein are personal opinions and do not constitute the position or views of any organization. Sam DeBord is CEO of Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO). He has two decades of experience in the real estate industry, spanning real estate brokerages, mortgage lending, and technology consulting. He has served as President’s Liaison for MLS and Data Management with the National Association of REALTORS®, a REACH mentor, and on the board of directors for NAR, Second Century Ventures, and California Regional MLS. Sam began his career as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is a recognized real estate industry writer for publications including REALTOR® Magazine, Inman News, and the Axiom Business Books Award-Winning Swanepoel Trends Report.

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