Frequently Asked Questions

MLS Questions

Developer Questions

MLS Questions

How does my MLS learn more about the Platform?

Click here to send us a request.

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What does it cost for my MLS to participate in the Platform?

There is no cost from FBS for the Platform and your MLS will receive non-dues revenue from applications sold through the store.

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Will our MLS data be secure?

Yes. Your MLS will remain in control of how and to whom your data is made available for use through the API. The API will only allow authorized users to access data according to the roles and rules defined by the MLS in the API Role Manager. In addition, the Platform includes reporting for the MLS regarding how and who is accessing data, with the ability to terminate access for specific users, applications and developers.

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How does the Platform relate to syndication?

The Platform is not intended for listing syndication currently. Instead, the Platform is intended to promote development of applications for MLS members and their customer.

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Will the Platform replace RETS?

No. The Platform supports development and implementation of the RESO data dictionary and FBS will continue to work with RESO to promote data standards. Developers currently using RETS 1.x may continue to do so, but we’re hopeful that the benefits of the API will result in most and eventually all developers using the API.

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Is the Platform PCI-compliant?

Yes, the Platform uses the Braintree payment processing system and does not store credit card information directly in the Platform.

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Developer Questions

How much does participating in the Platform cost?

There is no fee to sign up for the Platform and then there is only a fee once you license one of your applications through the store, at which time we pay you 90% of the sale price (after paying for credit card fees (approximately 3%)) if your application does not use the listings API (in which case any use of listing data in your application must be independently procured direct from the MLS) and 70% of the sale price (again, after credit card fees) if your application does use the listings API.

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How are transactions processed; do I need my own payment gateway?

No, you don’t need your own payment gateway. All transaction processing is handled through the store, which uses the PCI-compliant Braintree payment processing system. Credit card information is only stored in the Braintree vault and not by the Platform.

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Can I use the Platform API to create a competitor to Realtor.com, Zillow or Trulia?

No. However, you can create consumer-facing applications for license and delivery by MLS members.

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Do I have to get permission from each MLS?

No. Each MLS participating in the Platform has agreed to the terms of the Platform, the intent of which is to eliminate or at least reduce the need for developers to get permission from each MLS. Each MLS does retain the discretion to remove applications from their store, but exercise of that discretion should be the exception and not the rule.

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Can I use the API to replicate the MLS content?

No, the API is only for live transactions and is not intended for replication.

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Can I use the API to create native mobile applications for MLS members and their customers?

Yes! In fact, native mobile applications are one of the best ways to use the API.

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Is the Spark Store exclusive or can I offer my product in other stores or distribution channels?

You can sell your product wherever you want. Check out the Spark Developer Agreement.

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