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Daily Real Estate News  |  May 16, 2011  |   Opt-in Provision Added to IDX Display Rule
The most vigorous debate at the NAR Board of Directors meeting Saturday did not center around REALTORŪ Party Political Survival Initiative as had been expected but on a fairly new section of the association’s Internet Data Exchange (IDX) policy concerning franchisors’ use of IDX feeds.

The directors voted to add an opt-in provision to the “franchisor index and display” portion of the IDX policy, approved in November 2010, that gives franchisors the right to index and display listing data on their national Web sites from their franchisees’ IDX feeds. The opt-in, effective 30 days from May 14, means franchisors can’t display listings without the listing brokers’ affirmative consent.

A couple of attendees rose to point out that national franchisors had already made changes to their Web sites based on the previous version of the rule. NAR General Counsel Laurie Janik also pointed this out.

“Franchise organizations relied on the policy in building Web sites,” she said. “There could be some financial exposure for those organizations that have invested in the new system.”

This prompted a friendly amendment to the motion that gave franchisors 30 days to adjust their sites in accordance with the new provision, rather than having it take effect immediately.

The decision to add the opt-in sprung from some directors’ concerns that the new policy potentially made listing information available to non-participants without brokerages’ consent. Brokers representing Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Home Services of America, and the Realty Alliance led the way toward the policy change; those companies oppose the new IDX policy and had backed a failed proposal to completely repeal the policy.

Brokers who opposed the policy generally argued that because they’re liable for the accuracy of the data, they need to have control over it. “If there’s any problem, hold me, the broker, accountable,” one member said at the meeting. “I’m the one supplying the IDX.”

Directors from major franchises, including one former NAR president and one former NAR treasurer, spoke against the repeal during the board of directors meeting.

— Robert Freedman and Brian Summerfield, REALTORŪ Magazine

Related news:

Setback for Franchisors Seeking IDX Access

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