The Mysterious MLS API

It’s amazing how hard it is to find information regarding access to the MLS. I know three real estate brokers, but they aren’t much help; they’re too busy selling houses, and it’s really not something they should be expected to know. I’ve tried asking some web design agencies, but they haven’t been helpful, and many of them host the websites they create, so it’s impossible to browse server-side code and figure anything out. I’ll admit, I probably just didn’t know what to search for, or who to ask the right questions to.

This week I finally found the golden key to the MLS data, the Real Estate Standards Organization website. On this website, documentation for a web API called RETS is available to download. This documentation shows just how to access the MLS, but you need to be a broker to do so. The documentation is really overly complicated, so I did a search for “RETS PHP” on Google, and found a great beginner’s tutorial, and also a RETS class on github.

So now one of the brokers I know is working on getting me raw data access through CRMLS. After waiting this long, I’m really looking forward to playing around with RETS and making custom real estate websites.

If you have any other tips or advice regarding RETS or the MLS, please leave a comment.

7 thoughts on “The Mysterious MLS API”

    • Yes, it’s actually pretty easy to work with. I had to sign a contract with CRMLS, which was co-signed by a broker. It’s pretty straight forward and I learned a lot. For instance, CRMLS only lets you retrieve binary image data, which is a bummer. Many of the MLSs have image URLs, which would be really nice. It’s a lot easier to check if a URL changed vs downloading a bunch of binary data and checking it to see if an image changed.

  • I have got Login URL, Username and Password from CRMLS for RETS data access. Do you know how to get listing data and display in my website developed by Thanks

  • The really simple tutorial from Drew’s web is now gone.. do you by chance have a copy of it.. I am doing extensive Rets research and a simple explanation would be great… Thanks

  • skunkbad I have been trying to do this for sometime now.. I am not a programer and I am using google maps API to integrate google maps and MLS. I’m a broker and I have access to CRMLS as well, what sources do you think I can use to help me accomplish this task?

    • Levon, there really are no sources, and it’s difficult even with programming experience. Your best option is to hire a developer/programmer.

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