Real Estate Agent Magazine News & Commentary MLS Cyberattack: A Reminder for Leaders Everywhere

MLS Cyberattack: A Reminder for Leaders Everywhere

This crisis cannot be allowed to go waste.

A cyberattack in August that brought down 23 MLSs across the nation affected brokers and agents all over the country. Some markets have begun to return to service two weeks after the cyberattack, but others are still experiencing severe losses of capability. Associations are manually recreating key functions. MLSs have to work hard to find innovative ways to advertise and update listings.

After the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Summit, held Aug. 13-15 I spoke with some MLS people about how we saw MLSs use Google Sheets to track membership information and listings and associations using Excel: both creative and practical. We were shocked that their systems put them in such a state.

The real estate industry needs to take this crisis seriously. You have every right, whether you are a broker or agent in a leadership position, or an executive of an association or MLS director. Accountability will come with time. The priority is to take action.

We must first acknowledge the severity of the situation. Some of the cities’ main housing markets ceased operating for a while and are still struggling on the margins. Although the problem was technical, it is still a planning issue. Leaders in the industry have been given a directive to ask existential questions immediately about their organization’s defensibility.

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