Dear San Francisco Realtors: Loving your “token code” gizmo or what?

This question is geared towards the San Francisco Realtors reading this site, and we’re hoping to get some responses, a sort of online petition if you will. (You can comment anonymously by entering a@a.com for email, and whatever name you choose.)

We want to hear it. Is this contraption we’re forced to keep at the ready in order to access MLS really helping protect data, or just a pain in the a$$? We find it particularly annoying , but wonder if we’re alone.

All in favor of keeping this gizmo say “aye”. All opposed say “nay”! [We say nay.]

For the general public a brief explanation: Just like any site, sfarmls.com (San Francisco Association of Realtors MLS) has a login requirement of username and password. However, they take it one step further requiring us to actually have in our possession the most recent “code” from this gizmo that we enter along with our username and password. This code changes every minute, so if you happen to look at the code and it changes in the middle of entering it into the field, you get denied, and must start all over. If you don’t have the gizmo at the ready, you are granted some freebies while logging in, but MLS really discourages it. Once you get all the stars to align you’re let in, but should you let the page idle for too long without action, you get kicked out and have to do it all over again (that’s another discussion altogether). We could go on, but will stop there.

So…Realtors? You loving this gizmo, or what!?

[Update: Should you want to pass this post on to your colleagues, click the post title, right click copy, right click paste where you need to, and off you go…]

11 thoughts on “Dear San Francisco Realtors: Loving your “token code” gizmo or what?”

  1. Hate it.

    It’s complete overkill for a trivial non-problem (agents sharing logons with clients). Hey who pays for the data that gives the MLS value? It’s the MLS members who pay for it, with rather large annual fees.

    BTW I used to have a credit card shaped/sized device from RSA that served the same purpose. A credit card is much easier to carry than this clunker.

  2. SFARMLS wants to make sure no agent is sharing the login with somebody who didn’t pay for it. Nasty. Last ditch effort to keep a dying monopoly last a little bit longer. Internet will just roll it over.

    This gizmo can only be used on the MLS web site. If you use PayPal, you will notice that you can also use a similar gizmo to protect your paypal account: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/cps/securitycenter/general/PPSecurityKey-outside. That gizmo can be used on PayPal as well as with sites like Charles Schwab — so you won’t have a key chain full of the gizmos.

  3. Total waste of time, money and my energy. Let’s pool them all together and make some speed bumps with them. That’d be the green solution.

  4. not a fan. we are not launching weapons, it’s overkill. if there was some sensitive data about clients or something, then maybe i could understand, but really, c’mon, are you kidding me? what is so god damn secret? oh yeah, i forgot, we can’t even post sold data to the general public, why should we be able to log into the MLS without a code?

  5. I don’t care for it and it doesn’t always work right, either. I never carry it around with me. Who wants to carry around an extra keychain? I don’t. I also dislike how the MLS will randomly prompt you that you only have five minutes left sometimes. Even if you just used the page a second ago? That’s pretty buggy.

    But a “Last ditch effort to keep a dying monopoly last a little bit longer.”

    I don’t know about that. The MLS isn’t just “what sold and when.”

    If you think about it, all the information is available to anybody. It’s just that the MLS stores and categorizes the information in a particularly useful way. Now, since the information is available, why should the database that categorizes the free information be free to everyone?

    I don’t think it should. This is a private trade group’s search tool and publishing tool. It now works pretty well, and only after years of trial and error, input, quarterly fees, etc.

    Like, if the public wants to know what sold, then OK. Let them be able to see what sold. (Even though other databases also willshare this information.) But the radius search or polygonal search — why should a trade group have to share technology?

    It’s pretty weird. People don’t really get it, I think.

  6. Or, and I hear this argument frequently too, “But you can use the MLS to view sales by districts and we can’t.”

    “Districts” — districts are nomenclature created by the SFAR. In reality they are neighborhoods. Yet it’s an unfair monopoly that a private trade group categorizes free information with nomenclature it created?

    I don’t see people clamoring for unlimited access to Yahoo or Google’s publishing tools, nomenclature, or statistics. Aren’t they basically the only games around these days? Isn’t that unfair?

    Capitalism is unfair. And these aren’t even monopolies. The MLS is no monopoly. Cooperating assocations can access one another’s data. So can any individual who joins and pays for it. True monopolies don’t let anyone in.

    I dunno. I think people just like looking at stuff on the ‘net.

    It isn’t as if agents are privy to how much a particular property is going to sell for while it’s in contract very often. And that’s what people really want to know!

  7. Stay on target Kenny, but I hear you. As for the gizmo, I hate it too. It’s a waste of time. I’m all for protecting the data with a login requirement, but that thing is overkill.

  8. Ridiculous!! What are we protecting here, nuclear bomb data? Probably designed to help the NAR fight restraint of trade law suites by being able to claim that we have a secure system. Who dreams these things up? Ian

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