More on This New SafeMLS Key – and Trusting Your Realtor

Austin Board of Realtors

In my last blog article, I talked about this new electronic keychain device that all Austin Realtors will have to start using next week to log into our own MLS System. I’ve been thinking more about this, and why it irks me. I’ve figured it out – it’s the Hypocrisy of the Austin Board of Realtors.

At, hypocrisy is defined as “The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness

Realtor Associations around the country, including the Austin Board of Realtors, have launched massive Public Awareness media campaigns highlighting the values and virtues of using Realtors. A big part of the message in the ads I’ve heard on the radio is that Realtors are honest, trustworthy professionals worthy of public trust and confidence. Realtors, the ad says, undergo rigorous ethics training, and we adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Professional Standards. We can and should be trusted by you, the public, to handle what may be the biggest financial transaction of your life.

But our own Austin Board of Realtors views us differently.
Austin Realtors are viewed by our own association as being dishonest and untrustworthy with our own MLS login information. Apparently, some Realtors have shared their login info with others, and this is deemed such a chronic problem that the only way to stop it is to burden the rest of us with a new, permanent electronic device, without which we have no access to the most important tool we use – the MLS.

As an honest Realtor who doesn’t give out my MLS login information to others (and can’t imagine that there are really very many Realtors who do), I’m insulted by this measure.

More importantly, our local Board of Realtors is sending a mixed message. They want you to know you can trust us, that we are honest, ethical, highly trained and possessing integrity. But the Austin Board of Realtors itself does not trust us or view us that way, otherwise why would they deem it necessary to implement this draconian policy?

If I were a leader of the Austin Board of Realtors, I would ask a couple of simple questions before voting to approve a policy such as this:
1) What message does it send to the public, and is that a positive message congruent with other messages we send?
2) Will this make the job of the average Realtor easier or more difficult?
3) What problem does this solve and is this the best way to solve it? Or, should we burden 6000 Realtors with a new electronic device so we can prevent a handful from sharing their MLS login info?

To me, the new policy fails to pass these questions and sends the wrong message to you, the public about the trustworthiness and integrity of the average Realtor.

Posted by Steve
10 years ago

Steve is a Real Estate Blogger, Husband and Dad, UT Austin Grad, Runner, Real Estate Broker and owner of Crossland Team and Crossland Real Estate in Austin TX.

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Jim Smith - 10 years ago


I couldn’t agree with you more! I have made a couple of calls over the last month to the ABOR staff expressing a similar concern. The proceeded to make me wrong for feeling this way. This appears to be another way for ABOR to stifle and tax their #1 customer – we the Realtors! (watch for our dues to increase to cover the cost of this ridiculous measure)

Steve - 10 years ago


After attending the orientation and getting my device yesterday, I’m no less miffed by the fact that I have another permenant device in my life, but I must say that if the stories related to us by the orientation leader were true, we do in fact have a crisis of integrity and honesty in the Realtor ranks. That makes me sad.

In other places where this device has been put into place, there is a huge and immediate increase in MLS subscriptions. Apparently, appraisers are among the worst offenders. One office in Florida had 22 appraisers sharing one MLS login.

I’ll get over it, but it’s too bad there are so many dishonest people in the world. Makes it hard for the rest of us who try hard to act right.

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