Brad Monroe is the Managing Broker of Suncoast Realty Solutions, LLC, in Tampa. He is also the Immediate Past President of Stellar MLS and a member of NAR®’s MLS & Policies Committee. In the interview below, Brad shares his perspective about the rollout of NAR® Clear Cooperation Policy 8.0.
Q: You volunteer a lot of your time to shape industry policy, what drives you to participate on Stellar MLS’s Board and on NAR® committees?
A: To me the MLS is the backbone of our industry and the knowledge and insight I have gained while serving has made me a better Broker. I believe that we have an obligation to be involved and help shape the business. Having a say in the future of the MLS, its services, and its strategies keeps me in the forefront of the business and in the know.
Q: As a member of the NAR® MLS & Policy committee, can you unpack for readers how 8.0 came about and how the policy is beneficial to the industry? Was it a broker-lead initiative?
A: Clear Cooperation, or MLS Policy 8.0, was in response to years of concerns and complaints by some participants that had been previously determined to be better handled by the local MLS’s. Over the past couple of years, the off MLS listings have become more prevalent and it was decided by the Emerging Issues and Technology Advisory Board (working subcommittee of the NAR Multiple Listing Policy committee) that a national policy was in order. This was not an agenda item brought by NAR Staff or leadership, this was by the Brokers, Agents and MLS staff members of the EITAB. The final Policy 8.0 ended up being extremely simple and concise. After the policy was finalized at the August 2019 meeting of EITAB, it was offered for review and response to all Realtor® meetings across the country to get input and response. The general response was very favorable. At the November NAR meetings the MLS Policy committee meeting and forum had an overwhelming approval of the policy. It then went to the NAR Executive Committee where is was thoroughly vetted and approved, and then the NAR Board of Directors (all Agents and Brokers!) where it passed 729-70.
This is beneficial to the Realtor® industry as we once again have the information to provide our clients with all of the available properties that match their criteria available in one place with the agreement to cooperate and compensate each other clearly defined. And for listing agents, all of the Realtor® listing data to properly comp properties is all available through the MLS.
Q: As a broker, do you think NAR’s 8.0 policy supports your business?
A: Yes! No longer will our clients tell us about the house with the Realtor‘s sign that‘s not in the MLS — and when we call to show it we’re told it’s not available yet, but if the client calls the listing agent it is available to see. My agents will also be able to see more of the properties that have been on market and sold for doing CMA’s since off MLS sales will be reduced.
Q: What are some myths/falsehoods you’ve heard in the real estate community around 8.0 that you can help clear up?
A: This is NOT NAR playing Big Brother, this was a broker and agent led movement — not staff or large brokerages driven. This was not brought forward to stop Coming Soon, as this still can be done inside of the MLS and Realtor® community, but it does end Coming Soon to exclude cooperation by your fellow Realtors®. Luxury listing agents have commented that having to ‘advertise’ in the MLS gives up privacy, which is not true, there are no requirements to disclose ownership or have electronic lockbox access. If you advertise a property anywhere, the data for researching ownership is in the public domain so the MLS is no more detrimental to an owner’s privacy than any other form of advertising.
Q: From your perspective, what are the most important actions brokers/agents can take to ensure they are compliant with 8.0 when navigating this change with their buyers and sellers?
A: Make sure all of the staff and licensees in your office have a thorough knowledge of the Clear Cooperation restrictions on advertising prior to activating in the MLS. No signs in yards, Facebook postings, mass emails, etc. until the MLS listing goes active.
FAQs, resources and more information about Stellar MLS' implementation of NAR® Clear Cooperation Policy 8.0 are available on our information page at stellarmls.com/clearcooperation.