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An MLS: Why is it so important to the real estate industry in America, yet India has not heard of it?

An MLS: Why is it so important to the real estate industry in America, yet India has not heard of it?
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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

“Digital India”, the dream has started to flourish its wings across various sectors leading India to be one of the fastest developing economies in the world. There is so much technology andinnovation which has come to India from abroad, yet the real estate industry in our country reflects a slow pace of momentum though there is a huge scope of growth and development.

The whole digital boom which India is experiencing has led to the birth of many new web portals specific to various services in the real estate industry. They cater more than just buying & selling of property to advisory firms. Apart from the technological boost, these sites haven’t made the industry any more organized or efficient. What do other countries have that we don’t? The answer is an MLS, or Multiple Listing Service.

An MLS facilitates cooperation between real estate professionals in order to increase individual performance, efficiency, and income potential, as well as protecting each other’s rights.

There are many reasons why we have not seen an MLS in India.  Lack of regulation and structure are two of the greatest contributors. Without government regulation, there is no licensing of professionals, and no general or compulsory education requirements for real estate brokers. However, one of the worst effects of the lack of regulation is there are no consequences for unfair business practices, as fair or unfair practices have never been defined by the government, therefore a Code-of-Ethics is also non-existent.  Implementation of an MLS throughout India can correct many of these issues.

In countries like the US, the MLS is essentially the life and blood of the entire professional real estate industry, but until recently, we had not heard of such a product in India. An MLS acts like a central database of property listings, and allows for the orderly exchange of property information among real estate brokers,similar to what a stock market does for public companies. 

The share market holds valuable and accurate data about the shares of all public companies.  All brokers have access to this data so they can effectively advise their clients about their investments.  Similarly, the MLS system is a data bank of property listings and buyers willing to purchase those properties. The data is accurate because it is all verified, and the member brokers entering the information are held to a higher standard.

The MLS quickly and efficiently matches buyers with properties that meet their requirements;and subsequentlyemails the properties directly to the buyers, on behalf of their brokers.  This process is much more effective than brokers having to go through hundreds of manual processesor searching through dozens of real estate portals to source properties for clients.  Currently it takes a broker around 4 – 5 hours of work which can be completed in as little as 2 minutes through automation using an MLS.

The MLS is also an extremely efficient system for sellers, as their sale properties are immediately matched with all potential buyers in the market and email alerts are sent to the buyers with all property information, including pictures. 

Within 24 hours of listing a new sale property, the seller’s listing is delivered into the email box of all potential buyers.  This is extremely effective, and the best example of directtargeted marketing.  If you are a seller, make sure your broker is a member of the MLS.

In order to speed up the momentum and to bring utmost standardization in the real estate industry,India finally has its own MLS, introduced by a team of Indian entrepreneurs who have brought the technology from the US, and named it IndiaMLS.  The system has been completely customized for the Indian market, and is delivered with a multi-lingual platformincluding 8 Indian languagesand English.

The Central Government is more passionate about its vision, Housing For all by 2020. This single MLS system in the real estate sector will prove to be a boon in the near future and help facilitate a boost to the vision of the Government.

Moreover, there are expectations for the Government to bring about necessary regulation whichwill greatly help the MLS become a permanent fixture of this sector, much like it is abroad. This is the right time for a system like IndiaMLS, as it will not only allow the real estate business to expand and grow, but it will also increase the trust of prospective buyers which will eventually help them buy their dream property.

Edition: December 2016

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