Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: Throwback Thursdays - Old MLS Books

Throwback Thursdays - Old MLS Books

Throwback Thursdays - Old MLS Books

Old MLS BooksRemember the days before computers and when we had MLS books? The agents that entered the business in the mid-90's and later don't know all the fun they missed having a book to tote around.

Listings were published in books printed on newsprint and this was the way agents knew what the latest new listings were, which listings were under contract and which properties had sold and who sold them.

In Clarksville TN, we would rush to our Board office on Monday mornings to meet the truck and pick up our books. The rest of the morning was spent combing the books, circling listings to show and calling buyers to set up appointments for showings later in the day. The early bird caught the worm and the race was on to beat out the competition.

The books were marked "Confidential" and were not to be lent out to buyers or sellers under financial penalty by the Board. What a sharp contrast to today where consumers see listings almost immediately after they are listed and uploaded. We want the information out there to help our sellers and capture buyer's interest.

Now we are quick to complain when our computers don't work fast enough or if the photos in MLS are not up to par. We have come a long way from back and white newsprint. What does the future hold for MLS?


Throwback Thursdays - Old MLS Books

 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

When you need Real Estate services in Clarksville TN

                  it would be my pleasure to assist you!                             

Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

Check out all Clarksville TN Real Estate on My Website

931-771-9070 Office | 931-320-6730 Cell

Clarksville TN Homes 


 Google Plus       Follow me on YouTube       


Comment balloon 23 commentsDebbie Reynolds • January 27 2017 01:16AM


I remember those days very well... and typing offers with 6 carbon copies on an electric typewriter with white out to correct errors.  We didn't have lockboxes then either.. had to go to each broker's office, collect the keys, show the property, then return the keys... I think the future of MLS will be for boards to share information... 

Posted by Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent, REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results! (BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE SIGNATURE SERVICE) about 2 years ago

Debbie, I don't remember any of this.  But, I do know that Chief Cook managed a real estate office when these books were the law of the land.  She laughed when I showed her your post.  Thanks for reminding her of a fun time in her life!

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) about 2 years ago

One of the things I kept from my beginning days of my being licensed as an agent was our single page sales contract.  I wish I had held onto one of our MLS books.  All that was 35 years ago. . .Hard to believe!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 2 years ago

HaHa Debbie... I remember that and a little further back.  LOL

Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie - I still have the MLS listing on our home from 1988.  Times have changed.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 2 years ago

Good for you Grant Schneider and how nostalgic. I know it was in black and white and had limited info.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 2 years ago

A few of us go way back, Carol Williams. There were no MLS books when I got in the business. They came after.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 2 years ago

I remember using them too, Myrl Jeffcoat with lots of carbon paper. When I ran out of writing room I wrote in the margins up the sides.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 2 years ago

Hi Ron Marshall, the books were almost sacred and we didn't want them out of our sights. I had buyer begging to peek inside.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 2 years ago

No cellphones either just lots of change to stop and make calls from phone booths, Gloria Valvasori, ASA.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 2 years ago

Debbie loved this flashback to the past and yes those were the days we had control of the inventory and that was part of the problem....Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) about 2 years ago

I remember those mls books. Thank you for the reminder . Have  a good day.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 2 years ago

Thanks for the MLS memories. When I opened my first office, in Portsmouth, VA, there was no MLS. I was one of the initial members.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie. I certainly remember those book days too but ours were delivered.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 2 years ago

Debbie, I was never a part of these days but, have seen the old MLS books and I can only imagine the rush on Monday morning to scoop them up. Real Estate and the MLS have come a long way.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group) about 2 years ago

That is very cool, I have actually never seen one of those.  By the time I got into real estate, everything was already on the internet.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) about 2 years ago

This was before my time, Debbie.  And, I can't imagine how difficult it was back then compared to today.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 2 years ago

Oh yes I remember those big books. Our came out every 3 weeks so info was old by the time we got them. That's when it was so important to go to every MLS meeting each week to tout our new listings and find out who's got what. And for the breakfast goodies too....LOL

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie - We had those books when I started in real estate, and I remember well the prohibition against lending them out - and how no one at all paid attention to it.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 2 years ago

Debbie the books were before my time, but I know several Realtors that still talk about how things use to be done.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 2 years ago

I have heard of these, never seen one, before my time LOL!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) about 2 years ago

I remember going through those books, several agents violated that rule and gave me their extra copy of these on many occasions.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) about 2 years ago

I started in '82.  It was quite the ordeal, only we didn't know it was such at the time.  How did we do it?  No instant, customized lists based on criteria?  Ugh.


Posted by Mick Michaud, Your Texas Lifestyle is Here! (Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107) about 2 years ago