The MLS Got Hacked

The MLS Got Hacked

  • Brandi Mayo
  • 08/30/23

The MLS Got Hacked

Earlier this month the SFAR (San Francisco Association of Realtors) MLS’s service provider was hacked by ransomware. This was so serious that it shut down the MLS completely and the FBI stepped in to help with negotiations. This affected more than just the SFAR MLS. Multiple MLSs across the country were paralyzed and left much of the real estate industry at a total standstill for weeks with listings not being able to be updated nor new listings entered through the MLS.  Luckily, it could have been much worse.

For one, it validated for me the resourcefulness and collaborative spirit of the San Francisco Realtor Community. This is a community that relies on its relationships with each other, and those relationships withstood the test of time when information was no longer available to our community at large. Additionally, SFAR stepped in quickly with work-arounds for agents to update their listings, enter new listings, and temporarily cancel restrictions around off-market sales. I have always proclaimed that the San Francisco community of Realtors is, by far, the most professional and collaborative group of Realtors in the country, and I have yet to be proven wrong. 

Two, with 40% of the market share and a truly impressive technology platform, Compass’s tools allowed me access to sales information prior to the hacking. So, when clients reached out for help with comps for the San Francisco Assessment Appeals Board, I was easily able to help them. And, I was still able to deliver a CMA to a client interested in purchasing a property. I even heard, through the grapevine, that some realtors within other brokerages used some of the Compass technology as a temporary work-around!

And three, luckiest of all, August is typically one of the slowest months of the year for real estate sales. So, even though it was painful for sellers and agents with properties on the market, it could have been far worse if the attack had happened in early September, which is typically one of the busier times of the year for real estate sales in San Francisco.

And the final good news is that the MLS is back up and running as of last week, SFAR is busily working on solutions and back-up systems to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and business is back to usual. And that means you should be looking out for my new listing coming on the market in mid September!

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