Category Archives: International

How The IMLS Came to Be

The International MLS [IMLS] Feature Story

As a real estate broker in California, active in local markets and being interested in providing referrals around the USA, I was first approached by a developer outside the USA who wanted us to promote his new home development. After I agreed to do that, more developers came to me wanting promotion of their new home communities into the USA for projects in Mexico and other places throughout Europe and the Caribbean.

I had to think HOW I could get all the agents in the USA, and around the world to be able to promote properties everywhere and still be able to make referral commissions without being circumvented.

Historically, it has really always been other real estate agents who would typically bring the buyers, and this is why or how the USA MLS came to be…the spirit of cooperation and the sharing of commissions for bringing about a real estate transaction.

As we contacted agencies all over the world to help us promote properties, it became apparent that agencies all over wanted THEIR properties promoted as well, and to the largest possible number of consumers, so I came up with the idea of the International MLS which would be able to take on property listings from all over the world.

In order to really distinguish ourselves, and to be able to bring out the largest amount of viewers, I thought it would be wise to create a platform with a search, that could be delivered to any web site in the world, and came up with a way to enable agents and brokers to share in commissions for any lead generated off of the IMLS search on their web site, without needing to do any work. No international phone calls…not even emails.

It was apparent that I was going along on a path of adjusting what the USA has for an MLS, because unlike the typical USA MLS whereby any agent could display property, capture the client, and drive them around until they wrote an offer to purchase a property, it was clear that an agent in Miami was NOT going to be driving clients to Spain or Costa Rica, and certainly would not know all the laws associated with the purchase in order to provide clients with excellent representation.

Therefore, we decided that agencies who provided all of their listings would be getting ALL client referrals, and that the IMLS search tool would be used to capture buyers and generate income for agents all over the world….and at NO cost.

What distinguishes The IMLS from other real estate sites is our free to list commission share model….and where agents, brokers and portals all over the world would be displaying the properties, so it EMPOWERS these sites to want to take on the IMLS search because they can make commissions….just for having web site traffic and capturing the attention of a home buyer. Real estate agencies love it as it costs nothing to list on The IMLS, they get all the client leads, and then pay referral commissions when sales close.

In the USA, when a broker lists a property on the traditional MLS, they typically offer 50% of their listing commission to any agent who brings the buyer. In the IMLS, all clients are sent back to the listing agent or broker, so there is the opportunity to retain a greater amount of the commission.

In order to make The IMLS a perfect addition to any site, we made the IMLS search where it can be adapted and an agent can EXCLUDE all the homes in their country, state, or region, so it would COMPLEMENT their local MLS/IDX search in the USA, and agents in Spain could exclude all the listings in Spain, or just the region in which they have their own listings.

We all know that buyers are buying all over the world…as well as across the USA. The IMLS enables the agent, broker, or portal the ability to participate in this, and since The IMLS is now taking on USA listings, for the first time, agents and brokers will be able to display listings from all over the USA while excluding the listings on the IMLS which would be the same as their own MLS/IDX.

The IMLS seeks to be a First Class-World Class database of property listings from all over the world, as well as an excellent agency network of top brokers from around the world, so it has set things up so everybody can win….agencies which list properties for free, as well as agents, brokers and portals who take The IMLS search for free and having the ability to earn referral commissions.

Anybody can win by taking on the IMLS search…..agencies who wish to post their property listings must be approved and reviewed since the IMLS is in the position of needing to collect and distribute commissions, and therefore can only accept the most reputable agencies into the agency network.