Article 3: PARTICIPATION

Section 3.1 Participant

Any REALTOR® member of the Richmond Association of REALTORS®, Inc., the Southside Virginia Association of REALTORS® or any other association who is a principal, partner, corporate officer or branch manager acting on behalf of a principal, without further qualification, except as otherwise stipulated herein, shall be eligible to participate in the MLS upon agreeing in writing to conform to the CVR MLS Rules and Regulations thereof and to pay costs incidental thereto. However, under no circumstances is any individual or firm, regardless of membership status, entitled to Multiple Listing Service “membership” or “participation” unless they hold a current, valid Virginia real estate broker’s license and offer or accept compensation to and from other Participants or are licensed or certified by an appropriate state regulatory agency to engage in the appraisal of real property. Use of information developed by or published by the MLS is strictly limited to the activities authorized under a Participant’s licensure(s) or certification and unauthorized uses are prohibited. Further, none of the foregoing is intended to convey “participation” or “membership” or any right of access to information developed by or published by the MLS where access to such information is prohibited by applicable law. Any person who qualifies for participation in the MLS shall be a Participant.

Mere possession of a broker’s license is not sufficient to qualify for MLS participation. Rather, the requirement that an individual or firm ‘offers or accepts cooperation and compensation’ means that the Participant actively endeavors during the operation of its real estate business to list real property of the type listed on the MLS and/or to accept offers of cooperation and compensation made by Listing Participants or agents in the MLS. “Actively” means on a continual and on-going basis during the operation of the Participant’s real estate business. The “actively” requirement is not intended to preclude MLS participation by a Participant or potential Participant that operates a real estate business on a part time, seasonal, or similarly time-limited basis or that has its business interrupted by periods of relative inactivity occasioned by market conditions. Similarly, the requirement is not intended to deny MLS participation to a Participant or potential Participant who has not achieved a minimum number of transactions despite good faith efforts. Nor is it intended to permit an MLS to deny participation based on the level of service provided by the Participant or potential Participant as long as the level of service satisfies state law.

The key is that the Participant or potential Participant actively endeavors to make or accept offers of cooperation and compensation with respect to properties of the type that are listed on the MLS in which participation is sought. This requirement does not permit an MLS to deny participation to a Participant or potential Participant that operates a Virtual Office Website (“VOW”) (including a VOW that the Participant uses to refer customers to other Participants) if the Participant or potential Participant actively endeavors to make or accept offers of cooperation and compensation. An MLS may evaluate whether a Participant or potential Participant “actively endeavors during the operation of its real estate business” to “offer or accept cooperation and compensation” only if the MLS has a reasonable basis to believe that the Participant or potential Participant is in fact not doing so. The membership requirement shall be applied on a nondiscriminatory manner to all Participants and potential Participants.

Section 3.2 Subscriber

Subscribers are Non-principal (Associate) brokers and real estate licensees who possess a valid real estate license and are licensed with an MLS Participant may become agent Subscribers of CVR MLS (“Subscriber”). Subscribers are responsible for all MLS services fees, compliance with MLS Rules and Regulations and the limitations and restrictions of state law. Subscribers shall be eligible to participate in the Multiple Listing Service upon Subscriber agreeing in writing to conform to the CVR MLS Rules and Regulations and to pay the required fees for Subscriber access. Participant must authorize Subscriber access requests.

Section 3.3 Administrative User

Affiliated administrative and clerical staff who provide support to Participants and Subscribers are eligible to apply for Administrative User Access subject to certain limitations as may be approved by the CVR MLS Board of Directors. The Participant is responsible for the Administrative User and his or her compliance with CVR MLS rules and regulations and the limitations and restrictions of state law. Administrative Users shall be eligible to participate in the Multiple Listing Service upon the Participant and the User agreeing in writing to cause the Administrative User to conform to the CVR MLS Rules and Regulations and to pay the required fees for Administrative access. The responsible Participant must authorize all Administrative User access requests.

Section 3.4 Assessor User

City or county real estate assessors for localities within the jurisdiction of CVR MLS may become Assessor users (“Assessor User”). Assessor Users are responsible for all MLS services fees (if any) and must agree to comply with CVR MLS Rules and Regulations and the limitations and restrictions of state law.

Section 3.5 Required Training

All applicants for MLS access including Broker Participants, licensee Subscribers and Administrative Users affiliated with a Broker participant and licensed appraisers must complete a CVR MLS approved 2.5 hour online or in classroom CVR MLS training course, within thirty (30) days of application for MLS access. MLS passwords are provided upon completion of the training. During the time between application for MLS access and receipt of a password, MLS staff can add or modify listing information for the Participant or Subscriber for a fee as determined by the CVR MLS Board of Directors.

Participants and Subscribers may be required, at the discretion of the MLS, to complete additional training of not more than four (4) hours in any twelve (12) month period when deemed necessary by the MLS to familiarize Participants and Subscribers with system changes or enhancement and/or changes to MLS rules or policies. Participants and subscribers must be given the opportunity to complete any mandated additional training remotely.