Updated MLS Rules Now Available

The latest version of the HIS MLS rules has passed NAR compliance review and is now available for viewing in REsearch. Just click on the “MLS Rules and Regulations” link on the login screen!

rules-page-logoThe National Association of REALTORS (NAR) approved changes to some of its MLS policies at the most recent NAR Mid-Year Legislative Meetings that were held in Washington, D.C. in May. These policy changes mandated revisions to the rules of all MLSes owned by REALTOR Boards or Associations, including HIS. Revisions to our rules involves review by our legal counsel, followed by submission to NAR for its compliance review. While NAR requires that we submit our rules for its review once every two (2) years, we elect to submit them annually.

We just received notification that our rules and governing documents are in compliance. The revised rules are now available in REsearch, and include just a few revisions. They are as follows, shown in red-line.

IDX and the Display of Listing Firms

Section 10.05. Display of Listing Firm. All listings displayed pursuant to IDX shall identify the listing firm in a reasonably prominent location and in a readily visible color and typeface not smaller than the median used in the display of listing data. Displays of minimal information (e.g., “thumbnails”, text messages, “tweets”, etc. of two hundred [200] characters or less) are exempt from this requirement but only when linked directly to a display that includes all required disclosures.

The display of the listing firm is now required in all IDX and VOW displays of listing data. This requirement will be enforced effective January 1, 2018. It is recommended that if you are not already displaying the listing firm in the IDX/VOW listing displays in your website, that you contact your website designer or developer to have this done.

IDX Delivery Methods

Section 10.01. a. “IDX”. Language was added to this section to address auditory delivery of listing data. The revisions are shown below in red-line below.

“IDX” affords each participant subscribing to the IDX program (the “IDX participant”) the ability to authorize limited electronic display and delivery of its listings appearing in MLS by other participants via the following authorized mediums under the participant’s control: websites, mobile apps, and audio devices, subject to the requirements of this Article X. As used throughout this article, “display” includes “delivery” of such listings.

Participant Control & Branding

Section 10.19. Participant control and branding. Language in this section was revised and added to address auditory delivery of listing data. The revisions are shown in red-line below.

a. Any IDX display must be under the actual and apparent control of a single participant and must be advertised as that Participant’s display. For purposes of the IDX policy and these rules, actual control means that the participant has either built the site for its own use with internal resources or obtained technology for the site under an agreement with a third party that provides the participant final control over the operations of the site, including the ability to add, delete, modify, and update information as required by the IDX policy and MLS rules. Apparent control means that a reasonable consumer viewing receiving the site would conclude that it is under the control of the participant. The following are currently deemed to be evidence of apparent control: that the participant’s branding is more prominent than that of any other entity and that the domain name and branding on the site distinguish the participant from non-participating firms, e.g., from other franchisees of the same franchise, if applicable.

b. Any IDX display controlled by a participant shall include clear, conspicuous, written or verbal brokerage branding. The Participant’s branding shall appear at the top of the page and shall consist, at a minimum, of the brokerage firm’s full name with all text displayed in such a manner as to clearly communicate that the brokerage is the source of the data, and with a hyperlink from the brokerage’s name or logo to the brokerage firm’s home page. The display will be as clearly legible as the listing data on the same page. Brokerage firm name here means the full name of the firm as registered with the service (e.g., “Century 21” or “RE/MAX” is not enough; it must include the entire firm name). Displays of minimal information (e.g., “thumbnails,” text messages, “tweets,” etc., of two hundred (200) characters of less) or for audio delivery of listing content are exempt from this requirement but only when linked directly to a display that includes all required disclosures. Audio delivery of listing content is exempt from the disclosure requirements only when all required disclosures are subsequently delivered electronically to the registered consumer performing the property search or linked to through the device’s application.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Diana Haraguchi, Membership Director, by email her at Diana@hiinfo.com or by calling 1-800-628-3121 ext. 172 if calling from the neighbor islands or 599-4224 ext. 172 if calling from Oahu.