In Part One of this series, Clareity Security described how Safe Syndication helps MLSs provide a member benefit helping brokers with the advice they need to engage in “Strategic Syndication” and also efficiently handle questions about listings found everywhere online – but Safe Syndication does so much more. Safe Syndication also helps MLSs manage rule compliance for IDX websites and Virtual Office Websites.
In the past, MLSs have depended on “complaint-based” and partial rule auditing. “Complaint based” auditing alone is a recipe for disaster – we’re sure you can hear it in your ears right now: “The MLS picks on me because I’m a new model online broker!” With an MLS IDX/VOW audit policy and consistent auditing, all brokerages are treated equally and there is no discrimination or cause for complaint. Also, non-compliance with many IDX and VOW rules, such as security and anti-scraping requirements, are not going to be evident to the casual site visitor and thus will never come up for a complaint-based audit. Finally, reviewing a site for only some rules is problematic because once one has let a site slide on un-noticed rule violations for long enough, the site owners are far more resistant to change than if issues are brought up during the site launch.
So, MLSs need a system that formalizes their rules of when to audit (or re-audit) and what to audit, provides audit reminders and workflow management to MLS staff, and manages documentation and reporting. Safe Syndication is just that system. And MLSs can either use the system themselves or even engage Clareity Security to provide full auditing services, including the tricky technical parts of the audit such as testing security practices and writing “scraping” programs to test anti-scraping – and allowing the MLS and its staff to remain “arms-length” from the audits and the possible politics surrounding them.
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