Buyers, Sellers, and Brokers Benefit from Internet Technology
The rapid growth in use of a new Internet technology over the past two years by Mexico real estate brokers has resulted in a de facto Mexican multiple listing service (MLS). The new system better serves buyers and sellers of real estate throughout coastal and other regions of interest to foreign buyers. This progress helps solve the key challenge of sharing and marketing listings between agents, a historical challenge in Mexico as it was in the early days of US real estate. Buyers and sellers would do well to make sure that their agent is part of this growing MLS in order to ensure that they are receiving the proper real estate service, particularly in regions of interest to foreign buyers.
A common misconception amongst real estate buyers and sellers is that there is such a thing as the “one and only” multiple listing service. This is erroneous because there are literally hundreds of multiple listing services in the US and Canada, and the term is morphing to become a descriptor of any quasi-public repository of real estate listings (except in Canada where the term is a registered trademark for real estate). Anyone may create a multiple listing service with the value of the system being a function of how widely and how responsibly the system is used. Each market determines the MLS system that best meets the need – with the occasional disruption such as the lawsuit by the US Department of Justice with the National Association of Realtors®.
Mexican real estate has a history of agents withholding listings from each other with the intent to get the commission from both the selling and buying sides of the transaction (i.e. “pocket listings”), similar to the situation in the US and Canada before the various regional MLSs were created. This made it difficult for a potential buyer to know if they were seeing the best properties or getting a fair deal, and for sellers to know if their agent would give proper exposure to their property. (The appearance of organized MLSs in the US in the early 1970s was a vast improvement over this inefficient system.)
The good news for consumers is that booming Mexico markets of interest to foreigners plus the ubiquity of the Internet have driven the demand for more open methods of sharing listings to the benefit of buyers and sellers. No longer does the market have to submit to anachronistic sales methods in the Internet age.
One particular multiple listing service has grown organically to gain a leading spot for Mexico’s real estate inventory: Point2 NLS by Point2 Technologies. Mexican agents from Tijuana to Rocky Point [Puerto Peñasco] to Puerto Vallarta to the Mayan Riviera have discovered that this commercial platform is an effective way of sharing and marketing nearly 7,000 Mexico property listings amongst over 1,000 fellow agents throughout Mexico. Quite simply, it is the largest database of Mexico real estate listings shared between agents in the world – and it is growing daily.
“Point2 is a vehicle to provide, in Mexico, the technology that a full-blown MLS provides,” commented Saul Klein, CEO of Point2 Technologies in an interview. “Organizations of real estate professionals can add value around the platform. The key function of sharing and marketing listings between agents is intrinsic to Point2. Individual agents control their business relationships in a way that best serves their clients.” Klein noted that Mexico real estate agents are Point2 Technologies’ third largest group of Point2 adopters in the 85 countries that the company services, preceded only by the USA and Canada.
Why should real estate buyers and sellers in Mexico care about an Internet technology?
The answer is that if their agent uses Point2, that client’s agent has access to the most prolific MLS throughout Mexican regions of interest to foreigners. Buyers and sellers would be wise to ensure that their agent is using Point2. Sellers will want to seek out listing agents that generously share the properties with other agents’ Web sites in order to maximize exposure of those listings. Buyers in turn will want to understand how their preferred agent filters listing results that appear on their agent’s website.
Until an improved sharing and marketing solution is offered nationally to Mexico, the Point2 system is leading the way towards addressing buyer and seller requirements for an MLS in the United Mexican States, one real estate listing and one real estate agent at a time.