CALMLS, a statewide multiple listing service initiative in California, got the green light — in the form of a $3 million line of credit — from the California Association of Realtors to pursue the acquisition of one or more MLSs.
Mike Silvas, CALMLS chairman and a broker in Napa, Calif., said Monday that CALMLS officials will continue in discussions with two MLSs, and a meeting is planned this week between a group representing one MLS and a subgroup of CALMLS.
CALMLS is a nonprofit subsidiary of the statewide Realtor trade group that is intended to serve as either a data provider for those MLSs that continue operation or as a primary provider of MLS technology and data for those groups that choose to join. As envisioned, brokers and agents will gain access to statewide data through participating MLSs and Realtor associations.
Earlier this month, the California Association of Realtors revealed a report stating that CALMLS has plans to "acquire the assets of at least one regional MLS and potentially two or more in cooperation with their local association leadership and membership," and to borrow $3 million from the state Realtor group, to be repaid within seven years (see Inman News).
Silvas said the next board meeting for CALMLS is scheduled Feb. 11.
While California’s statewide MLS initiative is not unprecedented — there are several statewide MLSs already in operation — it does represent a massive undertaking. There are more than 60 MLSs in California.
CALMLS proponents have said the statewide effort is intended to create more efficiency for members by eliminating the need for multiple sets of MLS memberships and rules, while some real estate professionals have questioned whether the statewide effort duplicates existing efforts and will truly create more efficiencies in MLS services.
Many large MLSs in the state are already engaged in collaborative data-sharing and standardization efforts, such as CARETS, Quattro and MLSAlliance (see Inman News). The National Association of Realtors is backing the Realtors Property Resource — a national real estate data project (see Inman News).
The California Association of Realtors also announced the selection of a technology vendor, Concentric Software of Rocklin, Calif. (see Inman News), for the statewide MLS project. The company offers a Web-based system that is "platform and browser neutral," according to the association’s announcement, and "performs substantially faster than any product on the market."
CALMLS is branding the products and services to be offered statewide as calREDD, for California Real Estate Dynamic Data. The branding, according to the CAR announcement, "reflects the long-term vision of creating one database for all California real property."
Silvas said he expects the new Concentric system will be "up and operational" in beta testing within the next 45 days, and he expects that the rollout of the statewide system will begin with the participation of some MLSs by June.
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