What is the purpose of the Greater Southern MLS Initiative?

The purpose of the Greater Southern MLS initiative is to build a more effective way for REALTORS from across the state to work together to gain statewide access to market intelligence and business opportunities. 

What is the vision of the Greater Southern MLS initiative? 

Create a statewide collaboration and MLS that arms and supports the REALTORS® in Louisiana with tools, support, service, and leadership to be relevant, productive and profitable for the long haul. 

What are the specific requirements of the program that the brokerages involved are trying to solve?  

  • Remove artificial data boundaries 
  • 1 source of data entry  
  • 1 set of rules and regs governed by peers and compliant with RESO standards and all NAR MLS Policy 
  • Organization that responds to their customer’s need quickly and respectfully and remembers that Associations exist to help REALTORS® succeed 
  • Eliminates the need for agents to belong to several MLSs 
  • More customer-centric data access support  
  • Generate significant listing exposure and leads  
  • Potential cost-savings

 What is the Ultimate Goal of the Greater Southern MLS initiative? 

  • Single point RESO certified data access for participants and REALTORS® 
  • Uniform MLS business rules and operating procedures for participating firms and REALTORS® 
  • Complementary tools 
  • Adoption and Engagement-driven training and promotion 
  • Significant listing exposure and leads following the Fair Display Guidelines 
  • Strong value for the money 
  • Excellent customer service in every area of the State. 
  • Create an organization that listens and responds to the needs of its REALTOR® customers  
  • Create a more collaborative, nimble relationship between Brokerages and MLSs around the state 

What brokers are behind the Greater Southern MLS initiative? 

There are several founders of the program listed on the Greater Southern MLS website, but the group is actively seeking new sponsors and engaged brokers from around the state to work together to come up with a workable solution.   

Is Greater Southern MLS controlled only by large brokers?  

No, Greater Southern MLS has brokers of all sizes from around the state of Louisiana engaged in the program. They are actively seeking more brokers from around the state of all sizes to sponsor the program and get involved to help come up with the best solution.  

Is Greater Southern MLS a statewide broker-owned MLS? 

The Grater Southern MLS initiative has come together to find the best solution to help REALTORS® across the state become more prepared, relevant, productive and profitableThe goal is to find a way to collaborate across the state. The ownership structure has not been determined yet.  

Why do brokers want to own their own MLS?  

Brokers want to be able to provide the best services they can to help with their agents best serve their clients. There is no determination of the ownership structure of such an entity yet.   

How does the Greater Southern MLS initiative anticipate to make money? 

Greater Southern MLS has not worked out a business model yet.  The group will be reaching out to MLSs around the state to evaluate ideas the MLSs have to provide services that are acceptable to brokers. The goal of the program is to maintain or even reduce MLS costs for REALTORS® in Louisiana. 

Will the Greater Southern MLS be selling MLS data to third parties? 

There is no intention for Greater Southern MLS to sell data gathered to any third parties.  

Will the Greater Southern MLS sell any other types of derivative products?   

There is no intention for Greater Southern MLS to sell derivative products.   

How Do I Participate in the Greater Southern MLS initiative? 

The cost to participate in the formation of Greater Southern MLS is $3,000 and participation is open to all licensed real estate brokers. Email your expressed interest to admin@greatersouthernmls.com 

What Do I Get for Participating? 

All participants who contribute $3,000 will be able to shape the way the corporation delivers services by participating in meetings, volunteering for workgroups, receiving updates on material developments by email, vote on the adoption of governance for the company, or be nominated to run for a position the company’s board of managers when established. Any unused funds will be returned in the event that the participants agree by simple majority to dissolve the company. 

What Event Stimulated the Greater Southern MLS initiative?   

The Louisiana State Association of REALTORS® initiated a discussion on how to foster the best possible cooperation among the competing MLSs operated by local boards. The discussion highlighted many opportunities that would deliver significant improvements for Realtors®. The Greater Southern MLS initiative was organized by brokers to synthesize these opportunities and encourage adoption. 

Who Started the Greater Southern MLS initiative? 

The Greater Southern MLS initiative was founded by an initial group of brokerage firms who comprise about 30% of the subscribers to MLSs. These brokers generally share some common consensus that changes in MLS offerings will improve the technology and policies that help REALTORS® across the state stay relevant, productive and profitable for the long haul. 

What is the Governance of Southern MLS, LLC?  

The Governance of the LLC is being designed by the founding firms who have contributed funds to the project. Southern MLS will be inviting firms of all sizes to participate in the project through an open enrollment process. Participating firms will be divided equally into large, medium, and small size firms. Each group will be able to elect and appoint a number of representatives to the board of managers of the LLC. This initial board of managers will work with legal counsel to develop the draft governance which will be circulated to all participants to review, influence, and approve. 

Who can join the Greater Southern MLS initiative? 

Greater Southern MLS is an initiative investigating potential ways to offer MLS services across the state of Louisiana. It is not an operational MLS organization at this point. Louisiana Brokers who would like to contribute to the initiative are welcome to participate and sponsor the program. Today, the founding firms have adopted an agreement that any brokerage firm may contribute $3,000 to Greater Southern MLS for the purpose of covering the expenses related to developing the company. 

Who Owns Greater Southern MLS? 

Greater Southern MLS has not issued any units of the LLC. It is a startup corporation organized under the State Laws of Louisiana that is temporarily managed by a consulting firm under the explicit direction of the founding firms who have contributed funding for the organization. 

When was Greater Southern MLS formed?   

February 2019  

Who Decides How Funds collected for the Greater Southern MLS initiative are Used? 

The founding firms authorize every activity and expenditure of the corporation. The agreement with the consulting firm dictates this arrangement. The consulting firm is powerless to use funds or act in any way that is not directed by the contributing firms. The organization has assigned one of the participating brokers as the Treasurer of the Corporation. If Greater Southern MLS dissolves, any cash or other assets remaining in the company will be returned to the founding participants pro-rata.   

Is the Greater Southern MLS initiative a For-Profit Company? 

Yes. The company was founded as a for profit company like many other MLSs in the United States. The governance of the organization will determine if Unit holders have redemption rights for selling or transferring units along with dividend rights of the Unit holders, if any. Since the governance of the corporation is to be determined by the firms participating in the founding of the corporation, the decisions on unit holder rights has not been determined.    

Does Greater Southern MLS Plan to Take Over My Local MLS?  

No. Greater Southern MLS does not plan to take over any local MLSs. The group of brokers participating in Greater Southern MLSs are on a mission to improve MLS services for agents across the state. There is a hope and expectation that local MLSs will be eager to serve their broker and agent customers by working with the Greater Southern MLS initiative to find a workable solution that addresses the challenges/opportunities outlined. Many MLSs have already engaged in this discussion as a show of support.  

What Happens If My Local MLS Refuses to Engage? 

Nothing. It is most likely that some progressive local MLSs will lead the adoption of some if not all of the improvements developed by the participating firms in the Greater Southern MLS initiativeIt is possible that a local MLS may refuse. Brokers have many choices for MLS services today and are free to choose to participate in one or more MLSs.  

What Happens if None of Our Local MLSs Engage?  

We believe that this is very unlikely, however, it is possible. In this event, the founding brokers may choose to establish a new MLS. It is too early to tell if a new MLS alternative is warranted.  

How Did the Name Greater Southern MLS get chosen? 

The founding firms picked the name as a working name. The company name offers a broad canvas for regional brand appeal. The name may change along with the logo, website, or anything else that has been developed for the group thus far. These are considerations for the participating firms and the eventual board of managers. 

Where is the Greater Southern MLS office? 

The office of the company’s attorney is the mailing address for the company. Southern MLS LLC does not have a physical office, nor does it have any employees. 

What about if I am not interested in selling in another part of the state?

Greater Southern MLS’s vision does not only apply to those that want to sell in other parts of the state. It also helps those that want greater access to data around the state as well as more listing exposure and lead generation.

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