We champion a cooperative and collaborative real estate experience by focusing on Data and Solutions with Expertise

Summer 2022
Carl DeMusz, CEO

I hope you have all enjoyed a successful spring market, and that you are doing well in this summer season. As the year progresses we can expect to see changes in the market. It has been many years since we dealt with inflation, and it will have an impact. Terms like “cash is king” and “buyer’s market” are likely to reenter our vocabulary.

For a quick look at the housing statistics in the MLS Now markets, please visit https://mlsnow.com/ and select “Stats” for a look at “Fast Stats, MLS Now Statistics, Archive MLS Now Reports, 10K Reports, and Ohio Realtors® Statistics”. There you will find easy access to the housing statistics generated from MLS Now data and formatted by various vendors for your use. We have also added a new YTD statistics flyer for a quick update.

It's important to note that MLS search areas as shown below will be gone by December 31, 2022. The decision was made last spring by the Board of Directors. Please refrain from using them as soon as possible, and do not use them for saved searches.

As you read through this newsletter, please take special notice of the articles along with the list of our new members and subscribers to MLS Now. I would also like to draw your attention to the highlight of Wendy Oberholtzer, our newest Account Executive.

Enjoy the Summer selling season.

Carl DeMusz, RCE, CMLX2

President & CEO

John Kurlich, COO

If you were shopping for new clothes, would you prefer to shop at a store that had a wide assortment of clothes but none of them had the sizes marked on them and are randomly displayed, or one that had all the clothes clearly marked and grouped by size? If you are like most people, you would prefer to shop at the store where the sizes are clearly identified and grouped together. Most clothing stores know this. They know that size matters. There is no law or rule that requires them to do this. They know they will sell more clothes if they make it easier for their customers to find what they are looking for, so they do their best to identify the sizes to better serve their customers. This would seem to be a matter of common sense.

Wouldn't the same principle apply to the sale of real estate? Wouldn't buyers, sellers, real estate brokers, agents, and real estate appraisers, all be better served if listing agents identified room sizes when entering listings into the MLS? For that matter, wouldn't they also be better served if not only the room sizes were identified, but also the number of those rooms, their names or type, and their location by floor level within the house? While we are at it, wouldn't it also be helpful to identify the approximate square footage of the house and the source of that data? These may not be required fields in the MLS, but they are certainly important fields.

How many times have you found a listing in the MLS that looked like it met all your Buyer's needs and although it said it had four bedrooms it gave no room sizes or location levels? You share it with your Buyer and set up a showing. But, when you get there, you and your disappointed Buyer find that one of those bedrooms is only 7'X6' and has no closet, and another one of those bedrooms is in the partially finished basement.

How does your Buyer react when you are showing them a house that the MLS report says it has 2 Full baths, but the second full bath turns out to be a toilet, sink, and shower in an open unfinished basement?

How many times have you had a great listing, gotten a full list price contract on it, but the appraiser could not justify the value because two of the other 3-bedroom comps in the neighborhood sold for less because their third bedroom was really in the basement, but their location level was not entered in the MLS?

How frustrating is it for buyers who are looking for a home with four "large" bedrooms, to have to look through listings where half of them do not have room sizes? Worse, they must waste time going through each to make sure they do not miss one that might work for them. What are they to think of real estate professional who cannot take the time to provide them with room sizes?

Buyers and Sellers are relying on licensed real estate brokers and agents like you, to provide expert and professional services and information beyond what they can find on their own and on the internet. MLS Now is here to help our members provide and share that information with each other, and with their clients. But the information is only as good as the professionals who take the time to enter it into the MLS.

Yes! Size does matter. Room sizes, room names or type, their location by floor level, the number of rooms, and the approximate square footage all matter to Buyers and Sellers. That is why they also matter to real estate Brokers, Agents, and Appraisers. Just because these fields may not be required, does not mean they are not important. It does not take a law or a rule to make them important. All it takes is common sense, and professionalism.

Meet the newest addition to the MLS Now team! Wendy Oberholtzer! Our newest Account Executive is now here and ready to help serve you!

Wendy resides in Strongsville, Ohio. She began her Real Estate career in 2008 with Keller Williams Tri-County Properties, as Director of First Impressions. Wendy spent 4 years on the mortgage side of Real Estate. She has also served as an affiliate of the Medina County Board of Realtors for 4 years. She also received Affiliate of the Year in 2022 with Medina County Board of Realtors. She has spent the last 14 years in Real Estate in various capacities. She believes in giving back to the community and has done volunteer work with the Children's Center of Medina County, Medina Creative Housing, Habitat for Humanity, and other local charities. Wendy attends Grace CMA church in Middleburg Heights and does volunteer work at her church. In the summer she enjoys attending local car shows, spending time with family and friends, hiking, and dining alfresco. Building relationships personally and professionally is something that she believes in.

Rental Beast 

MLS Now subscribers may have noticed a new icon on the dashboard recently: Rental Beast, the leading provider of rental-centric tools for real estate professionals, is now available in our Matrix platform. All subscribers have free access to Rental Beast Gateway, the lead-to-lease software solution that features powerful search filters to find clients the perfect rental property, as well as built-in application processing and tenant screening software.

Why rentals, and why now? Answer: rising interest rates and the scarce supply of home resale inventories are causing many would-be buyers to delay a purchase and rent until conditions change. "More than 40% of our residents are renting, and we want to make it easier for our members to meet their needs," says Carl DeMusz, President and CEO of MLS Now. "Our partnership with Rental Beast is the logical next step in our efforts to give our subscribers every competitive edge. It opens the door to more than $23 million in potential rental commissions this year, and helps our members grow rental relationships into a meaningful pipeline of future homebuyers."

That pipeline can't be underestimated: there are 113 million people renting today, and over 65% of them are Millennials. Not coincidentally, this same group represents the largest segment of present and future homebuyers. Today's tenants become a zero-cost source of tomorrow's leads.

"Rental Beast is committed to helping every MLS harness the power of the rental market, and we're proud to add MLS Now as a partner MLS," says Ishay Grinberg, Founder and CEO of Rental Beast. "We've spent more than a decade developing powerful systems to help real estate professionals service the 50% of Americans who rent, and we're honored to help MLS Now add subscriber value and become a center of excellence for rental data."

To learn more about Rental Beast Gateway and to access training materials, visit go.rentalbeast.com/mls-now-rbg, or simply click the Rental Beast icon on your MLS Now dashboard.


MLS Now Social Media Announcement:

MLS Now values the relationship we have with our members, and we take great pride in how prompt and responsive we are when communicating with our membership. Improving our outreach strategy is a long-term goal that MLS Now strives to uphold.

One avenue of doing so is our use of social media to convey accurate general information, unique opportunities, and timely alerts and updates as to the health of the MLS and any information deemed critical to inform our membership of immediately.

MLS Now uses several online platforms to interact with our membership. Including:

  • Facebook
    • We post the bulk of alerts, learning opportunities, and general information and news here. We also share general updates as well as engage in the MLS Now community on this platform.
  • Instagram
    • We post photos from our recent regional events and conventions here. Come and share your business photos with us.
  • LinkedIn
    • This platform receives the bulk of our learning opportunities as well as any industry news or MLS updates, statistical information, and news.
  • Vimeo
    • This is the platform that you can find all of our prerecorded classes, prerecorded training videos, and informative update videos regarding real time changes to the MLS or our Rules and Regulations. (Please allow for a courtesy period as we are shifting our content to reflect this new change in platform.)
  • MeWe
    • This platform is for the members and REALTORS that decide to participate in the MLS Now Community, sharing posts, reflect on recent MLS Now events, forums, or conventions, and reflecting on how we are able to best serve the needs of our membership and celebrate this industry that we all love.
Litigation Update

Just a brief note here to let you know about a development in the buyer class action litigation and to remind you about our ask of you to communicate the value REALTORS bring to consumers and communities.

In May 2022, an Illinois federal court dismissed a class action lawsuit against NAR and four corporate defendants alleging that listing brokers compensating buyer brokers is a "conspiracy" in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and artificially inflates buyer costs leading to higher home prices. In May, the judge granted our motion to dismiss because plaintiffs were indirect purchasers of brokerage services and therefore were unable to adequately plead a claim under federal antitrust law. Last week, the plaintiffs filed a new, amended complaint that makes all the same allegations but alleges that the defendants violated specific state laws (not federal laws). The new complaint does not further the plaintiff's argument, and we will move to dismiss it.

We will continue to make the case that the pro-competitive, pro-consumer local broker marketplaces serve the best interests of buyers and sellers. Sellers making offers of compensation to buyer brokers gives first-time, low/middle-income and all homebuyers a better shot at affording a home and professional representation to navigate this critical purchase. We are confident the court will dismiss this amended complaint.

Now is a good time to remind you of our ask of you. Now is the time to communicate to consumers the value of REALTORS and of the local broker marketplaces. We have a number of resources at competition.realtor that you can use to get started. Need a resource that explains why the current way brokers are compensated works in the best interest of consumers? Check out realestatecommissionfacts.com. Also, learn and share from your colleagues about what they and their associations are doing - such as John Mayfield's post about Missouri REALTORS' effort to tell your story #Itsyourstory or Dionna Hall's post about the Broward, Palm Beaches & St. Lucie REALTORS' consumer awareness campaign.

Thank you for your professionalism and dedication. We'll keep you posted on further developments.

Best regards,

Katie Johnson
General Counsel & Chief Member Experience Officer | Legal Affairs & Member Experience NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® | Chicago, IL



Executive Department:

The Executive Department focuses on Communication between the Board of Directors/Leadership, Staff, Participant/Members, Subscribers, Shareholders, Wholesale MLS Accounts, and Consumers. Some duties of the Executive Department include:

  • Conducting regularly scheduled meetings with individual Directors and Shareholder EO's.
  • Distribute a summary of the AE's Office Visits Reports to Board of Directors.
  • Conduct refresher orientation to the Board of Directors.
  • Always have printed material available for distribution to Board of Directors.
  • Contact Information: Jennifer Welch – Executive Assistant. (216) 485-4100, ext. 450.

Membership & Finance Departments:

The Membership and Finance Departments focus on the established relationship between MLS Now and its membership. Some duties of the H-R Department include:

  • Membership:
    • Ensure that membership changes that are received by us are adequately processed within 1 business day.
    • Assist membership with welcome information and instruct them on how to adequately perform MLS Now Membership functions.
      • Ex. Completing Roster Change Requests, Requesting Listing Authorization, or adding unlicensed support staff.
    • Contact Information: Lori Dean – Membership Coordinator. (216) 485-4100, ext. 404.
  • Finance:
    • Handles Broker/Agent Dues payment.
    • Facilitates IDX/RETS agreements with membership.
    • Contact Information: Keith Seager – Bookkeeper & Data Analyst. (216) 485-4100, ext. 403.

Quality Assurance & Customer Service Department:

The Quality Assurance & Customer Service Department focuses on the cooperation between the MLS Now membership and the MLS Now Rules & Regulations. Some duties of the QA & CS Department include:

  • Seeking to provide accurate data with monthly QA & CS Statistics and inform the MLS Now membership on the health of the industry.
  • Offer additional Rules and QA training in cooperation with boards.
  • Notify membership of any violations or errors within agents' listings and work to correct these violations.
  • Contact Information: QA & CS – Quality Assurance & Customer Service. (216) 485-4100, ext. 485.

Education & Customer Service Department:

The Education & Customer Service Department focuses on the continued training of MLS Now users and to provide technical support with easy-to-follow instructions and solutions for the membership's needs. Some duties of the Education Department include:

  • Educates MLS Now membership on basics of using the MLS and more complex features.
  • Provide reeducation opportunities for seasoned agents.
  • Outreach through social media.
  • Promote MLS Now vendors and vendor services to membership.
  • Work in cooperation with the boards to promote to the public the importance of the MLS and Realtors that use the MLS.
  • Offer additional training in cooperation with boards.
  • Take part in association tradeshows and other activities as appropriate.
  • Contact Information: Help Desk – Account Executives. (216) 485-4100, ext. 480.