MLS Subscriber fees increasing in 2020

HAR is regarded as the premier example of what a real estate association and MLS should be. We have been able to operate the MLS and build the #1 real estate website in the greater Houston area without an MLS subscriber fee increase for more than 20 years. We have reached a point where we can no longer continue with the status quo, or we will fall behind other portals and major entities that are spending billions of dollars on advertising and technology meant to change the competitive environment. HAR must invest in the future to ensure that the MLS remains viable, remains #1, we are able to deliver quality leads to our subscribers, and our subscribers remain relevant and able to provide the best service to their clients.


 Beginning with the second quarter MLS billing, the monthly agent subscriber fee will be $35 (up from the current $20) and the monthly Participant (broker) fee will be unchanged at $85. These are billed on a quarterly or annual basis. The MLS subscriber fees fund the operations of the MLS and


 Even with the increase, HAR MLS fees are below the national average of $38 per month and are the lowest among the large MLSs in Texas. Most MLSs only include basic MLS access and certainly none have the consumer traffic and leads generated by You may see a comparison of MLS fees below.
Click here to see what’s included today in MLS Standard.


 No one likes to pay more, but the costs of operating MLS and have increased substantially. At the same time, subscribers have asked for more tools to help them in their business. Note that we will also spend $2 million in 2020 to advertise, you and your listings. Competition for consumer traffic has become fierce, with Zillow spending $343.7 million on advertising and $185.2 million on research and development in 2019 alone. HAR must increase its current investment in advertising and product development to remain the #1 lead generation portal for HAR subscribers. You may see a breakdown of projected new annual expenses below.

 The elected officers and boards of directors did not take this decision lightly when they unanimously passed the 2020 budgets, which included this MLS fee increase. In order to remain competitive and continue to be the best, we must make sure we are positioned for the future. With the support of each of you and as a united real estate community, we will be prepared for the opportunities that lie ahead.