Honolulu MLS Rule About Contact Information

Honolulu MLS Rule About Contact Information

The rule for the Honolulu Board of Realtors MLS, otherwise known as HiCentral.com, is there can be no contact information in the public section of the MLS.

This is important because the MLS goes out to over 1,000 other websites, and those websites do not want to be promoting competitors. If contact information was allowed every Broker would be promoting themselves as much as promoting the property they are selling.

Regarding not adding contact information it sounds straight forward but might surprise you with a violation anyway. The obvious thing is no contact information in the photos or public description. However, it gets a bit more tricky when you link to 3rd party websites such as YouTube, Zillow, etc.

For example, we had one seller who had us link to a 3D tour on Zillow. On the tour itself there was no contact information, but for someone really looking at it closely, the Zillow tour had a way to see who the listing agent was, and this counts as contact information. It was hard to find that link, but some agent found it and reported us.

If you do link to YouTube you have to make sure there is no way to get contact information from the YouTube account you have uploaded the video too. A Broker can’t simply upload a video to their YouTube channel and display it that way.

One thing they are OK with so far is they do not analyze the URL you are linking to. For example, we can link to a generic page with no contact information on OahuRE.com. The URL contains the words OahuRE.com, but nowhere on the page does anything mention us, so they are OK with it. Here is a sample unbranded page on OahuRE.com.

This no contact information policy has been improved throughout the years. At one time they used to allow branding in the photos, so for example we could put OahuRE.com on every photo showing that it was our listing and our photo. As complaints mounted about this they updated the rule to say no company logo or branding on any photos. That branding in the photos was one of the reasons I started OahuRE.com as a separate company. At the time we worked for Realty Executives, and we could only put Realty Executives on our photos, as that was our Broker’s name. I figured if I start OahuRE.com as my own brokerage, then I can use OahuRE.com on the photos. This worked for a few years until they eliminated it.