The session which took place on Thursday January 7th 2016 at the British Council focused on what MLS was, how it works and the benefits real estate agents stood to gain if they signed unto it.
The resource person Stephen Atambire Nsoh, a Software Engineer at dynaConnections, an Austin-based real estate software company that created connectMLS explained that the MLS is a database that works as a “home depot” or warehouse for properties.
“When a property is available for sale or rent, it is found in the depot and once it is sold, it is taken out of the depot and saved in a database for future use such as research and valuation purposes. Therefore the MLS contains information that gives quick knowledge about a property that is available for sale or rent within a particular location or area”, he explained.
Essentially, the MLS according to the resource person allows agents to provide detailed personal information that will enable a client contact them once they find interest in a property listed. Also, the system required that the property is described properly taking into account the location, size, date of construction, date of listing and all other information relevant to the search of the property.
Mr. Nsoh further touched on synchronization of the MLS system. He explained that the MLS system is such that, once a property is listed on it, it is synchronized with all other advertising sites and this helps quicken business activities as people outside the location can also access the properties and also contact the real estate agents directly.
“Listing syndication also helps save time and money for the Agent as they only list on one portal” he reiterated.
According to him MLS allows the real estate agents to have exclusive right to a property, in that, the same property cannot be listed twice in the database as such a landlord signs only one agreement with an agent to allow him list his property in the database.
“Now that it’s possible to synchronize properties in the MLS database to other advertising sites, a real estate agent enjoys more by having his properties displayed on the world’s largest advertising sites like Zillow, Google, Realtor.com and many more” he disclosed.
During the interaction session Hon. David Oppon-Kusi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ofoase Ayirebi and Ranking member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Water, Works and Housing, advised that GREPA should mobilize into its fold all the street agents undertaking real estate transactions. According to him, “once they all become members of GREPA it is easy for them to operate under an umbrella using the same code of ethics and also apply the designated rules and regulations in the association”.
The MP promised on behalf of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Water, Works and Housing to be present for a stakeholders meeting with the street agents once GREPA was able to mobilize them so that he can explain to them the Bill Parliament was about to pass and the benefits they will gain from it.
Mr. Samuel Amegayibor, President of Ghana Real Estate Development Association (GREDA), added that GREPA should outline its benefits into the simplest forms so that the lay man could identify with them.
The session which saw other members of Parliament including Hon Benito Ranking Member of the Select Committee on Lands and Forestry, GREPA Executive members, Academia, Legal Practitioners, Security Service and Real Estate Professionals, were also present.
GREPA Executives urge all real estate practitioners to join the effort to formalize and regularize the industry through its programs. Contact GREPA at 026-444-7253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
Report by Gordon Asare-Bediako, on behalf of GREPA