The two largest multiple listing services on the East Coast have joined forces to expand access to property listing content throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, continuing a trend in data-sharing among large MLSs in some markets.

TREND, which serves the greater Philadelphia area, and Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, which serves the greater Washington, D.C., area, announced the partnership Monday.

Under the agreement, MRIS Cornerstone Universal RETS Exchange, known as MRIS CURE, will combine listings from the two MLSs into a single database, which eventually will allow TREND and MRIS to jointly license data to authorized real estate brokers and vendors that service the broader market, the groups said.

MRIS CURE is a common database repository that utilizes the Real Estate Transaction Standard, known as “RETS,” which allows participating MLS operators to combine their listing content into a single database and still retain full distribution control of their respective content. RETS is the widely accepted real estate industry data standard.

The information sharing is expected to expand brokers’ ability to serve consumers as predefined market boundaries become increasingly blurred, according to MRIS President and CEO David Charron.

“As the industry recognizes the tremendous value of the Internet to the buying and selling public, it also recognizes that tightly defined real estate markets are no longer relevant. While the adage, ‘All real estate is local’ may still be true, regional boundaries have blurred in many cases leading to ‘Overlapping Market Disorder.’ MRIS CURE was designed to cure overlapping market disorder,” Charron said in an announcement.

Tom Phillips, president and CEO of TREND, said that brokers currently serve consumers across an ever-expanding geographic region.

Phillips added that the arrangement also allows the respective MLSs to each maintain independence.

Under the TREND/MRIS agreement, the MRIS CURE platform will support TREND’s Internet Data Exchange feeds, broker office downloads, and third-party distributed database applications. TREND will maintain the integrity of its database and full independent control over access, use, display and dissemination of all TREND listing content.

Together, TREND and MRIS cover 61 counties and more than 30,000 square miles extending north of Richmond, Va., including Maryland, the Greater Washington/Baltimore metro region, and into the Greater Philadelphia region encompassing counties in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.

The new East Coast data-sharing initiative follows a similar agreement reached in April in the San Francisco Bay Area in which three MLSs launched a consolidated property-search database for their members. (See Inman News story.)

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