CMR members who joined the Association beginning in 2008 got this education as part of their REALTOR® Orientation; however, REALTORS® who joined before 2008 may not have taken it. It’s a good review of some concepts that are often misunderstood.
Although REALTOR® membership and MLS might seem like one and the same, they are not.
A REALTOR®, by definition, means a member of the National Association of REALTOR®. Real estate brokers, real estate salespeople (agents), and appraisers can be members of the National Association of REALTORS®. They are allowed to use the REALTOR® trademark, derive benefits from three organizations, and have full voting rights in elections and when bylaws revisions are proposed.
REALTORS® join and renew membership in three Associations at once – the local Association (Central Mississippi REALTORS®), the state association (Mississippi REALTORS®) and the national association (National Association of REALTORS®), each with separate annual dues, but paid simultaneously once a year to the local Association. (Dues notices for 2019 have been emailed to members and were due on Dec. 1)
MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a business tool for the sole proprietors of real estate and appraisal firms who joined the REALTOR® association as Designated REALTORS® and are then eligible to apply for MLS Participation. The sole proprietor Brokers and Appraisers are the members of the MLS, are referred to as MLS Participants, and have voting rights.
Real estate agents and appraisers affiliated with MLS Participants subscribe to the MLS service through their MLS Participant. Subscribers pay quarterly service fees for access to the Service, but are not members of the MLS, and thus have no voting rights. Although Subscribers are billed individually for MLS service, the MLS Participant is responsible for all MLS fees of those subscribers with their firm and is the one disciplined if violations occur from non-payment. An agent can be a Subscriber to the MLS without holding REALTOR® membership unless the Broker has an office policy requiring REALTOR® membership of all licensees affiliated with the firm. Most CMR Brokers do require REALTOR® membership so that their agents are obligated to follow the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and to avoid the obligation to pay non-member assessments as part of their personal REALTOR® dues.
Since it’s REALTOR® dues time, try paying your dues the new easy way - through our newest member benefit – the Member Portal. In the Member Portal, you will find numerous pieces of information about yourself including any outstanding REALTOR® or MLS invoices, when you last took the Code of Ethics, your NRDS number, and more. Visit CMR.realtor, click the “My Account” easy button, and follow the login instructions.