Why a National MLS System is Bad

Do we need a national MLS system? Compass owner Robert Reffkin recently called for a national MLS system at this winter’s Inman Connect conference in New York.

Reffkin stated there shouldn’t be hundreds of MLS’s, but a single one. I couldn’t disagree more.

His argument is more and more consumers are going to Zillow or Realtor.com, so for that reason we need to build a single national MLS system.

Not only did Reffkin call for a single MLS, he is also calling for a single CRM and mobile search platform.

How can someone so smart, say something so …. well I will be kind, something so not smart.

How about this Mr. Reffkin, how about a single national brokerage too? Why do we need so many brokerages? Shoot… if Zillow is already acting as a national MLS, and they have a CRM, and they are everywhere, let’s fold up Compass and add them to the new national brokerage Zillow.

When does less competition and less choice ever lead to a better experience for the customer? Go ahead, think of something. I will be just waiting right here for someone to come up with a great example.

Getting a car ride to the airport was a way better experience before Uber right? Apple was a much better company when they were chasing Microsoft and other companies and innovating.

While there is more garbage on television every night than ever before, there is also better shows than every because instead of just ABC, NBC and CBS we now have hundreds of companies including Netflix and Amazon trying to produce the best content they can. Cash home buyers in Fort Lauderdale.

Remember the glory days of Friendster or MySpace? Why did we need Twitter and Facebook anyways?

Competition makes everyone better. Without competition you become stale. You become the FAA where the technology running our airports and air traffic control is outdated because there is no incentive to get better.

Imagine if we only had one brokerage, why would we need a Compass. Compass is known as an innovator in the real estate market. But if we would have all just consolidated around a Century 21, or a Coldwell Banker brand to fight Zillow, would that make us better?

The answer is not less competition, the answer is more people working more angles to make our industry better. Any business owner who does not realize this, well maybe they should look at a political career because DC is one place great ideas can quickly go to die.

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