How are you investors who are NOT agents getting access to the MLS? I would like to get access but Im not a Realtor. I have heard that some MLS systems requires a tool that generates a password for you everytime you want to log on, so asking a Realtor for access will be difficult.
The only way you can get access is to get the access information from a realtor. You will have to network with realtors and build a relationship with one and they may eventually give you their access codes.
If you have a friend who is a realtor, ask them.
One of my friends paid for an agents MLS fees so that he could get access. Most realtors don’t make very much money, but they still have the expenses, and by paying some of their expenses it really helps them.
If you don’t want to pay for it, just build a relationship with one.
Also, some sites like Redfin claim to replicate the MLS listings and they do give a lot of detail on listings that you can’t find on realtor.com for example. Many areas in California are covered but I don’t think they have all areas covered. You should check it out though. Type in a zipcode or city and you’ll see if it’s “in their service area”
The only legal way to have access to the MLS is to join. A agent could be is trouble if he was caught giving out his access code. I was a mortgage broker and was a member till I retired. I believe anyone in real estate can join as an associate.