Section 12.5 (a) Virtual Office Website
(“VOW”) is a Participant’s Internet website, or a feature of a Participant’s website, through which the Participant is capable of providing real estate brokerage services to consumers with whom the Participant has first established a broker-consumer relationship (as defined by state law) where the consumer has the opportunity to search MLS Listing Information, subject to the Participant’s oversight, supervision, and accountability. A non-principal broker or sales licensee
affiliated with a Participant may, with his or her Participant’s consent, operate a VOW. Any VOW of a non-principal broker or sales licensee is subject to the Participant’s oversight, supervision, and accountability.
(b) As used in Section 12 of these Rules, the term “Participant” includes a Participant’s affiliated non-principal brokers and sales licensees – except when the term is used in the phrases “Participant’s consent” and “Participant’s oversight, supervision, and accountability”. References to “VOW” and “VOWs” include all VOWs, whether operated by a Participant, by a non-principal broker or sales licensee, or by an Affiliated VOW Partner (“AVP”) on behalf of a Participant.
(c) “Affiliated VOW Partner” (“AVP”) refers to an entity or person designated by a Participant to operate a VOW on behalf of the Participant, subject to the Participant’s supervision, accountability and compliance with the VOW Policy. No AVP has independent participation rights in the MLS by virtue of its right to receive information on behalf of a Participant. No AVP has the right to use MLS Listing Information except in connection with operation of a VOW on behalf of one or more Participants. Access by an AVP to MLS Listing Information is derivative of the rights of the Participant on whose behalf the AVP operates a VOW.
(d) As used in Section 12 of these Rules, the term “MLS Listing Information” refers to active listing information and sold data provided by Participants to the MLS and aggregated and distributed by the MLS to Participants.
(a) The right of a Participant’s VOW to display MLS Listing Information is limited to that supplied by the MLS(s) in which the Participant has participatory rights. However, a Participant with offices participating in different MLSs may operate a master website with links to the VOWs of the other offices.
(b) Subject to the provisions of the VOW Policy and these Rules, a Participant’s VOW, including any VOW operated on behalf of a Participant by an AVP, may provide other features, information, or functions, e.g. Internet Data Exchange (“IDX”).
(c) Except as otherwise provided in the VOW Policy or in these Rules, a Participant need not obtain separate permission from other MLS Participants whose listings will be displayed on the Participant’s VOW.
(a) Before permitting any consumer to search for or retrieve any MLS Listing Information on his or her VOW, the Participant must take each of the following steps:
(i) The Participant must first establish with that consumer a lawful broker-consumer relationship (as defined by state law), including completion of all actions required by state law in connection with providing real estate brokerage services to clients and customers (hereinafter “Registrants”). Such actions shall include, but are not limited to, satisfying all applicable agency, non-agency, and other disclosure obligations, and execution of any required agreements.
(iii)The Participant must require each Registrant to have a user name and a password, thecombination of which is different from those of all other Registrants on the VOW. TheParticipant may, at his or her option, supply the user name and password or may allow theRegistrant to establish its user name and password. The Participant must also assure thatany email address is associated with only one user name and password.
(b)The Participant must assure that each Registrant’s password expires on a date certain but mayprovide for renewal of the password. The Participant must at all times maintain a record of thename, email address, user name, and current password of each Registrant. The Participant mustkeep such records for not less than 180 days after the expiration of the validity of the Registrant’spassword.
(c)If the MLS has reason to believe that a Participant’s VOW has caused or permitted a breachin the security of MLS Listing Information or a violation of MLS rules, the Participant shall, uponrequest of the MLS, provide the name, email address, user name, and current password, of anyRegistrant suspected of involvement in the breach or violation. The Participant shall also, ifrequested by the MLS, provide an audit trail of activity by any such Registrant.
That the Registrant acknowledges entering into a lawful consumer-broker relationship with theParticipant;
ii.That all information obtained by the Registrant from the VOW is intended only for theRegistrant’s personal, non-commercial use;
iii.That the Registrant has a bona fide interest in the purchase, sale, or lease of real estate of thetype being offered through the VOW;
iv.That the Registrant will not copy, redistribute, or retransmit any of the information providedexcept in connection with the Registrant’s consideration of the purchase or sale of an individualproperty;
v.That the Registrant acknowledges the MLS’s ownership of, and the validity of the MLS’scopyright in, the MLS database.
Section 12.6: A Participant’s VOW must prominently display an e-mail address, telephone number, or specific identification of another mode of communication (e.g., live chat) by which a consumer can contact the Participant to ask questions, or get more information, about any property displayed on the VOW. The Participant, or a non-principal broker or sales licensee licensed with the Participant, must be willing and able to respond knowledgeably to inquiries from Registrants about properties within the market area served by that Participant and displayed on the VOW.
Section 12.7: Participant’s VOW must employ reasonable efforts to monitor for, and prevent, misappropriation, “scraping”, and other unauthorized use of MLS Listing Information. A Participant’s VOW shall utilize appropriate security protection such as firewalls as long as this requirement does not impose security obligations greater than those employed concurrently by the MLS.
Section 12.8: Seller Opt-Out:
(a) A Participant’s VOW shall not display listings or property addresses of any seller who has affirmatively directed the listing broker to withhold the seller’s listing or property address from display on the Internet. The listing broker shall communicate to the MLS that the seller has elected not to permit display of the listing or property address on the Internet. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Participant who operates a VOW may provide to consumers via other delivery mechanisms, such as email, fax, or otherwise, the listings of sellers who have determined not to have the listing for their property displayed on the Internet.
(b) A Participant who lists a property for a seller who has elected not to have the property listing or the property address displayed on the Internet shall cause the seller to execute a document that includes the following (or a substantially similar) provision:
(c) The Participant shall retain such forms for at least seven years from the termination date of the listing.
Seller Opt-Out Form
1. Please check either Option a or Option b
a. I have advised my broker or sales agent that I do not want the listed property to be displayed on the Internet.
b. I have advised my broker or sales agent that I do not want the address of the listed property to be displayed on the Internet.
2. I understand and acknowledge that, if I have selected option a, consumers who conduct searches for listings on the Internet will not see information about the listed property in response to their search.
Initials of seller
(a) Subject to subsection (b), a Participant’s VOW may allow third-parties (i) to write comments or reviews about particular listings or display a hyperlink to such comments or reviews in immediate conjunction with particular listings, or (ii) display an automated estimate of the market value of the listing (or hyperlink to such estimate) in immediate conjunction with the listing
(b) Notwithstanding the foregoing, at the request of a seller the Participant shall disable or discontinue either or both of those features described in subsection (a) as to any listing of the seller. The listing broker or agent shall communicate to the MLS that the seller has elected to have one or both of these features disabled or discontinued on all Participants’ websites. Subject to the foregoing and to
Section 12.10, a Participant’s VOW may communicate the Participant’s professional judgment concerning any listing. A Participant’s VOW may notify its customers that a particular feature has been disabled “at the request of the seller.”
Section 12.10: A Participant’s VOW shall maintain a means (e.g., e-mail address, telephone number) to receive comments from the listing broker about the accuracy of any information that is added by or on behalf of the Participant beyond that supplied by the MLS and that relates to a specific property displayed on the VOW. The Participant shall correct or remove any false information relating to a specific property within 48 hours following receipt of a communication from the listing broker explaining why the data or information is false. The Participant shall not, however, be obligated to correct or remove any data or information that simply reflects good faith opinion, advice, or professional judgment.
Section 12.11: A Participant shall cause the MLS Listing Information available on its VOW to be refreshed at least once every 12 hours.
Section 12.12: Except as provided in these rules, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® VOW Policy, or any other applicable MLS rules or policies, no Participant shall distribute, provide, or make accessible any portion of the MLS Listing Information to any person or entity.
Section 12.14: A Participant’s VOW may exclude listings from display based only on objective criteria, including, but not limited to, factors such as geography, list price, type of property, cooperative compensation offered by listing broker, and whether the listing broker is a REALTOR®.
Section 12.15: A Participant who intends to operate a VOW to display MLS Listing Information must notify the MLS of its intention to establish a VOW and must make the VOW readily accessible to the MLS and to all MLS Participants for purposes of verifying compliance with these Rules, the VOW Policy, and any other applicable MLS rules or policies.
Section 12.16: A Participant may operate more than one VOW himself or herself or through an AVP. A Participant who operates his or her own VOW may contract with an AVP to have the AVP operate other VOWs on his or her behalf. However, any VOW operated on behalf of a Participant by an AVP is subject to the supervision and accountability of the Participant.
Section 12.18: A Participant shall not change the content of any MLS Listing Information that is displayed on a VOW from the content as it is provided in the MLS. The Participant may, however, augment MLS Listing Information with additional information not otherwise prohibited by these Rules or by other applicable MLS rules or policies as long as the source of such other information is clearly identified. This rule does not restrict the format of display of MLS Listing Information on VOWs or the display on VOWs of fewer than all of the listings or fewer than all of the authorized information fields
Section 12.19: A Participant’s VOW may include other appropriate disclaimers necessary to protect the Participant and/or the MLS from liability and shall include such disclaimers as the MLS directs to protect the MLS from liability.
Section 12.20: A Participant shall cause any listing that is displayed on his or her VOW to identify the name of the listing firm and the listing broker or agent in a readily visible color, in a reasonably prominent location, and in typeface not smaller than the median typeface used in the display of listing data.
Section 12.21: A Participant shall limit the number of listings that a Registrant may view, retrieve, or download to not more than 2000 current listings and not more than 2000 sold listings in response to any inquiry.
Section 12.22: A Participant shall require that Registrants’ passwords be reconfirmed or changed every 90 days.
Section 12.23: A Participant may display advertising and the identification of other entities (“co-branding”) on any VOW the Participant operates or that is operated on his or her behalf. However, a Participant may not display on any such VOW deceptive or misleading advertising or co-branding. For purposes of this Section, co-branding will be presumed not to be deceptive or misleading if the Participant’s logo and contact information (or that of at least one Participant, in the case of a VOW established and operated on behalf of more than one Participant) is displayed in immediate conjunction with that of every other party, and the logo and contact information of all Participants displayed on the VOW is as large as the logo of the AVP and larger than that of any third party.
Section 12.24: A Participant shall cause any listing displayed on his or her VOW that is obtained from other sources, including from another MLS or from a broker not participating in the MLS, to identify the source of the listing.
Section 12.26: Participants and the AVPs operating VOWs on their behalf must execute the license agreement required by the MLS.
Section 12.27: Where a seller affirmatively directs their listing broker to withhold either the seller’s listing or the address of the seller’s listing from display on the Internet, a copy of the seller’s affirmative direction shall be provided at the request of the MLS.
Article 13 – Use of Data and Information in Advertising
Section 13.1 Use Of Data And Information In Advertising.
Use of information from the MLS compilation of current listing information, from the Service’s Statistical Report, or from any “sold” or “comparable” report of the Service for public mass- media advertising by an MLS Participant or in other public representations may not be prohibited.
However, any print or non-print forms of advertising or other forms of public representations based in whole or in part on information supplied by the Service must clearly demonstrate the period of time over which such claims are based and must include the following, or substantially similar, notice:
“Based on information provided to and compiled by the Smart MLS, Inc. covering the period [Insert Initial Date] through [Insert Final Date].”
The Service shall have no liability or responsibility for the truth or accuracy of any data or information contained in any advertising or other public representation made or sponsored by a Participant and/or by any of its affiliated Subscribers, and each of such Participant and its affiliated Subscribers hereby agrees to indemnify the Service and to hold the Service harmless from and against any liability, damage, cost and expense arising from or out of any such advertising or other public representation.
Section 13.2 Internet Display of Sold Data.
REALTOR® Participants with ownership and direct control of their website may display electronically MLS Sold Data information utilizing the following described applications:
(a) An application which provides active listing data, sales data, including propertyaddress, sale date, and price. This application may be utilized by REALTOR®Participants or their Subscribers by framing such information on Homesnap.com
Article 14 – Limitation on Use of Service Compilation
Section 14.1 Limitation on Use.
Notwithstanding anything otherwise set forth in this Article 14 or in Article 13 above, nothing contained in these Rules and Regulations is intended to grant, nor shall it be deemed to grant, to any Participant, Subscriber or other person any right to distribute, display or reproduce any Service Compilation in its entirety or in substantial part. All right, title and interest in and to any Service Compilation shall belong exclusively to the Service, as provided in Article 11 above, and the rights specifically granted in these Rules and Regulations to distribute, display, reproduce and use the data and information contained in any Service Compilation shall be construed strictly in accordance with their terms.