In Part 1, I speculated on the obvious first-order regulations headed our way as an industry, as well as the need for further regulation and enforcement mechanisms that those top-level regulations will create. In particular, I thought that the government (whether FTC or someone else) will need to figure out how to get information and data from the industry and provide oversight:
However I think these things through, I can’t escape the fact that any government regulation of these rules and policies requires if not regulation of the MLS, at least direct oversight of the MLS. At a minimum, it requires data collection and/or reporting from the MLS to whatever enforcement agency to make sure that the rules and regulations are being followed appropriately.
Just like mortgage banks and health insurance companies are required to submit information and reports to regulators, the MLS will have to be required to submit information and reports to regulators. And that’s at a minimum. At the maximum is total government control, a government-operated listings exchange.
The reality, I thought, was somewhere in between minimal reporting requirements and government-operated listing exchanges.
Turns out, there is a model already existing, already successful, and already operating that fits rather perfectly: FINRA, or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. A RINRA, or the Realty Industry Regulatory Authority, would accomplish almost everything the government wants to accomplish, win support from huge segments of the industry, as well as garner support from the think tanks, media, influencers and the various nonprofits that want to see the real estate industry change.