Did you know that about half of all Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in California don’t share data with each other? Some MLSs share only partial feeds. Or, they use different systems that are hard to use and listings are not presented in the same way, making it difficult for agents to do their jobs. The result is a patchwork of data coverage that costs the real estate industry time and money.
After more than a year of surveying members, asking questions and hosting forums and meetings, PSAR’s Board of Directors and the North San Diego County Association of REALTOR'S (NSDCAR) Board of Directors both recently endorsed the new “It’s My Business” campaign that promotes a statewide MLS.
PSAR board members agreed that a consolidated MLS makes sense in California because it reduces time, expense and frustration. Data sharing gives brokers and their agents a competitive edge because it allows real estate professionals to see all the proprietary listing data in a given market. It’s technically possible for every MLS in California to share data. However, politics and history have been the obstacles.
“We live in the information age,” said Anthony Andaya, PSAR 2016 President. “Consumers don’t have borders, why should we? When we cooperate, then we all do better business and no one loses. Standardized data and a single point of access is the best way we can truly serve the consumer. It’s critical for the health and vitality of our industry.”
The “It’s My Business” campaign is sponsored by the California Regional MLS (CRMLS). While CRMLS holds the vision for a statewide MLS, CRMLS operates as a separate and independent entity from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Following its 2011 merger with SoCal MLS, CRMLS expanded its footprint and now serves more than 80,000 real estate professionals in California. It is the largest MLS in the United States.
CRMLS’ vision is to form a statewide MLS, resulting in the elimination of duplicative efforts and resources and to provide seamless, consistent access to letter-perfect real estate data throughout California. CRMLS’ immediate objective is to facilitate data sharing between MLSs so that every broker and agent can see all MLS listing data throughout the state without having to join multiple associations and MLSs.
CRMLS also understands that brokers own their listing data and MLSs should not make decisions about broker access to, or syndication of, data. The “It’s My Business” campaign focuses on data sharing between MLSs, not data syndication.
CRMLS has developed cost-effective data sharing technology it is willing to share with other MLSs throughout the state of California at a fraction of the cost of other data sharing techniques. In addition, CRMLS’ data sharing technology ensures a seamless technology experience for all who will view and use the shared data. CRMLS’ development of these data sharing tools, and the “It’s My Business” campaign aligns with the purpose of an MLS, which is to foster and facilitate cooperation.
On Friday morning, Sept. 9, at the Hilton Garden Inn Del Mar, more than 200 people jammed into a conference room to hear several speakers discuss a statewide MLS. The program, called “MLS Symposium: What’s in Your Best Interest,” was jointly presented by PSAR and the North San Diego County Association of Realtors (NSDCAR).
Art Carter, CEO, CRMLS, said, “Agents deserve access to the same amount of information as consumers. Since no two MLSs are exactly alike, it’s also fair to say that there is a training investment for brokers in order to bring agents up to speed so that they can effectively use the different systems.”
Chris Heller, CEO of Keller Williams National, said, “We’re excited to explore an integrated, consolidated MLS so that brokers could have a single point of access for listing data and other services. The advantages of one common data base could benefit both agents and brokers.”
Jamie Duran, Coldwell Banker, said, “This is a great venue to review the landscape and decide what is best for our industry with a unified voice. The industry is changing, and we need to stop and carefully consider the next step.”
Gregg Larson, Clarity Consulting, “I know some brokers who pay fees for 11 different MLS data sets,” he said. “Instead of paying the same fees to several MLSs, brokers should have the option of paying a single fee and work with one entity. Multiple MLSs are a duplication of effort and resources, which necessitate a duplicate effort of time and money on the part of the brokerage.”
Chris Hasvold, Coldwell Banker Village Properties, “To best serve our clients, we need as much information as they have. A consolidated MLS would align with today’s consumer. When everyone has access to data, everyone closes more sales.”
To learn more about the “It’s My Business” campaign, visit www.itsmybusiness.me.