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President Pierce: Adapting to a Changing Real Estate Environment

April 24, 2020 in Guest Columns

I wanted to update you about a few of the temporary changes Heartland MLS has adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the stay at home orders in place in Kansas and Missouri. Not only because it’s my job as Heartland MLS President, but also because it’s a nice distraction from the sound of my hair continuing to grow out of control by the minute.

The first change we made was to temporarily remove the ability to input open houses and agent tours in the MLS in order to honor the guidance of no public gatherings. The next change we made was to allow homes to remain on active status even if the seller chooses to not allow in-person showings. Previously, a home could only be on active status if it was readily available to be shown. This measure helps our subscribers and their clients practice social distancing, while fostering an environment for our subscribers to be able to continue to help their clients in need of securing shelter or selling a home. In conjunction with the active status rule change, we implemented a policy to allow video tours to be input into the agent only remarks in the MLS. This change was a way to further leverage technology to help our subscribers serve their clients during the stay at home orders. Lastly, we adopted the MLS Cares initiative to allow any subscriber that is possibly facing financial hardship the ability to pause their MLS service, or continue their service while opting to defer their second quarter MLS fee without penalty. We will keep you updated if there are any further changes needed to adapt to our environment, and we will remain diligent in our efforts to serve our subscribers to the highest degree.

The circumstances we are currently dealing with as a real estate industry (and a society) are certainly unique, although the need for us to adapt to arduous conditions is not without precedence. From the Great Depression, the savings and loan crisis in the late 80’s, the dot-com bubble, the aftermath of September 11th, to the global financial crisis in 2007-2008: We as an industry have always found ways to adapt and overcome those adversities. Our perseverance through this pandemic will be no different. Stay safe.

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