With the rise of popular portals like Zillow,, and Redfin, consumers now believe they get the same information as licensed real estate agents. This leaves many to wonder: Does this trend threaten the true value of the MLS? Are you an agent or broker who has worked with consumers who question the value of placing listings on the MLS? The real estate industry is left with many questions.

The Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) has recently launched a new The Know™ campaign to help agents, brokers, and MLSs explain just why the MLS is so important to consumers. The goal is to provide valuable resources to agents and brokers so they can explain just why the MLS is such an important component of real estate today.

History of the MLS 

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. In the late 1800s, multiple brokers would regularly meet to discuss listings they were trying to sell. In turn, they came to an agreement that agents/brokers would each benefit from a fee to help sell each other's properties—and this is when the first MLS was born. Over time, the MLS has changed from printing books with active listings to being completely online.

But just because the MLS has a long history doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant.

Why put listings on the MLS?

The MLS is more than just a place to house listing data—it also acts as a governing body to ensure that fair housing laws are enforced and followed for all consumers.

Imagine this: You’re standing in a room, and it’s pitch black. You don’t know the layout, where the doors or light switches are, or what objects are around that you might trip on.

Not so fun, right? 

That’s essentially what buying and selling homes would be like if we didn’t have the MLS—it turns the lights on and creates an open, fair, and efficient marketplace for both professionals and consumers.

Explaining the importance to consumers

If every seller places their home on the MLS and every buyer who is working with an agent searches the MLS for listings, then the highest number of consumers will have equal knowledge of market availability. This gives sellers the best chance of getting their home sold quickly and provides buyers the most possible options.

And while consumer portals are a great starting place for a home search, the MLS still has the most accurate listing information that is updated by the minute.

Keep your clients in the know with Cloud CMA

To help inform and guide conversations around the MLS (that many agents and brokers are not equipped to answer), we’ve added some extra content that you can add to your Cloud CMA reports when presenting via Cloud CMA Live (one for buyer clients and one for seller clients). So, the next time you’re at a listing presentation, make sure to watch these videos with clients so you can help them understand the true value of the MLS! Just log into your account to get started.



The MLS is one of your best assets as an agent/broker. As the leading tech provider in real estate, we’re here to help you serve your clients and win more listings. For more information on the CMLS In The Know™ campaign, check out