MLS Tip of the Week

Weekly Blog by Susan Beck, ECAR MLS Director.
Questions? Call 850-244-2411, or email

Tip of the Week: ECAR Email Service Using Google Groups

by Susan Beck | Sep 27, 2016
 As many of you know, and utilize, ECAR has an email service set up using Google Groups. The purpose of the service is to allow you to communicate with your fellow members regarding listings, open houses, etc, but in a controlled manner. Overall it works great, until someone doesn’t follow the rules.

 Like most things, we have to have rules or chaos will reign. When we first started the email service, the only rule was that you had to send a listing only to the area it was in. So if the property was in Destin, you could only send it to the Destin group. This helps avoid other members receiving the same email multiple times.

 Despite this being the first and primary rule, it’s often broken by agents who send the same listing to multiple areas, or sending several listings in different areas to multiple groups.

 As more and more agents came on board with the service, more and more creative ways to use it started cropping up. Soon another rule was added. The property being advertised had to be in the MLS as active. No pocket listings, no “coming soon” listings. If you want to advertise these properties to other Realtors, put it in the MLS, with the guarantee of compensation.

 Then we started seeing agents inquiring about listings they hoped someone had but wasn’t in the MLS yet. This we allow, in that we know some agents work with pocket listings and there’s no harm in asking for them as long as you understand there’s no guarantee of compensation with properties not in the MLS.

 Then we started seeing the area tour directors using the service to notify members of properties on the upcoming tours. This we also allowed because all of the properties are within the same main area, and all are in the MLS. This led to a necessary exception we made is for the newly combined area 16 and 19 tour. Only the tour director may send the tour notice for properties in both area in one email to both groups. This is the only allowed exception to Rule # 1.

 In light of all the changes to the rules, we have revised the info webpage for our email service. Same web address, just new information. You can go to ECAR Email Lists and see the new page as well as access the links to subscribe to the different groups available. If you don’t see a link in that last sentence, you can access the same page by going into the MLS or the Association website,

 Questions? Call us at 850-244-2411 or email

Susan Beck, MLS Director
Emerald Coast Association of Realtors®
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Santa Rosa Beach, FL