IDX and VOW – Two different concepts – MLS Listing Data…

MLS Listing Data…
I was actively involved in the national real estate data conversations when IDX and VOW entered our real estate lexicon.
IDX and VOW – Two different concepts
What is the difference?
When the Worldwide Web debuted, (in the early 1990s), new rules and laws were required for MLSs and Licensees around the access to and use of the listing information contained in an MLS.
It was easy at first, but complicated by litigation, the case of eREALTY and the Austin MLS providing the ground breaking basis for the idea of real estate “Offices” on the Web…but it all started as shared advertising.
Broker Exchange of Data for Internet Advertising came first.
Internet Data Exchange – IDX (first known as Broker Reciprocity)
IDX is about advertising – In all license jurisdictions, you cannot advertise another broker’s listing(s), without the listing broker’s permission (remember, it is the broker and not the sales agent who “owns” the listing).
IDX grants blanket permission for brokers to advertise each other’s listings on their respective websites. The data advertised on the website (and contained in an IDX “Feed” is typically a “subset of the listing data” contained within the MLS.
Virtual Office Website – VOW (As opposed to “Bricks and Mortar Office)
Dissemination of information about listings, from brokers to interested parties. This is a basic function of MLS, to allow brokers and agents access to MLS Subscriber’s listing information in order that Subscribers (and Participants) of the MLS may provide that information to interested buyers who come to their “Bricks and Mortar office.
Information which you can (and do) share in a “Bricks and Mortar Office,” you can also share in a “Virtual Office,” as the function of MLS is the sharing of that information to one’s clients.
No specific permission is necessary as this sharing of information is one of the functions of an MLS. And, other than confidential fields, you can share all of the data you have access to with a prospective buyer (or seller for the purpose of obtaining a listing).

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