RealTracs to Eliminate MLS “Areas”

What’s Happening?

RealTracs is removing MLS Areas from Add/Edit and Search, as well as existing Auto Notify searches with Area as an included criterion.

When Will This Occur?

The change will be effective on February 1, 2020

Why Change?

RealTracs fully understands that a few of our users are dependent upon using Areas for their listing searches, and know that removing them might seem like a change that fundamentally shifts how you use the MLS.

However, eliminating Areas will ensure your searches and reporting are more accurate than ever before.  The truth is, Areas create more problems for MLS users than you might realize.

Did you know,

  • Up to 20% of listings in the MLS have an incorrect Area assigned by the listing agent, which can make searches inaccurate and cause confusion for others.
  • Areas are not based on conventional boundaries and can (and do) change.
  • Davidson County Areas were established not by the MLS, but by the Tennessean as a way to organize classified ads back in the 1960s.
  • In Rutherford County, Murfreesboro city annexations have changed the boundaryPicture1.png over time and make historical comps based on Areas useless.
  • Montgomery County’s Area is partly based on a railroad line that no longer exists.
  • Your clients and consumers are not familiar with Areas. They generally look for listings by neighborhoods and schools.  In fact, Areas are not sent in IDX data feeds.
  • Only 12% of MLS users search by Area. Of those, 14% further refine those searches using additional criteria such as Schools and ZIP Codes.

How Will I Find What I am Looking for Without Areas?

There are several other ways to search for listings that are more accurate than Area.

  • County Name
  • ZIP Code(s)
  • School(s)
  • Map-based searches (you can draw your own custom Area based upon your needs*)
    *Our awesome team of CHRs and expert support staff can show you how!

How Will the RealTracs System Change?

As you have probably already guessed, some changes will be made to the MLS system to accommodate the removal of Areas.

  • Add/Edit will require a County only, and sub-area selections will be removed.add edit.png
  • Search “preference” settings to arrange Areas by county name or Area ID will be removed.
  • The Search Area/County pick-list will be replaced with County and organized by state.
  • You will be able to select any county in Tennessee, Kentucky, or Alabama. No more “Area 17” for listings outside the current RealTracs MLS service area.

I Have Saved Searches That Utilize Area.  What Happens to Those?

  • If your saved search is based on using an Area, it will be replaced with the county the Area represents.
  • If the selection of Areas represents only part of the county (for example, Area 4 in Davidson), then all ZIP Codes in that Area will be added to your search criteria. Staying with the Area 4 example, this would mean ZIP Codes 37015, 370880, and 37218 would be searched.  Of course, there might be some overlap into what were Areas 5 and 3, but remember, the consumer does not search for a home by Area.

RealTracs is currently creating ZIP Code lists and comparison maps for Davidson, Montgomery, and Rutherford Counties to assist with the transition and help make the move from Areas to Counties as straightforward as possible.

There will be much more information coming over the following weeks, so be on the lookout for that on the RealTracs Support site, news blog, social channels, and more.