Two large mutiple listing services at opposite ends of California are taking advantage of their shared use of the same MLS platform to allow their users full search capabilities of each others’ listings.

Two large multiple listing services at opposite ends of California are taking advantage of their shared use of the same MLS platform to allow their users full search capabilities of each others’ listings.

Pomona-based Multi Regional Multiple Listing Service (MRMLS), which boasts more than 30,000 subscribers in Southern California, and MLSListings Inc., which serves more than 20,000 subscribers from its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., both use the Tarasoft Matrix MLS platform.

That made entering into a read-only data-sharing agreement between the MLSs a relatively simple matter, said Jim Harrison, president and chief executive officer of MLSListings Inc.

After MLSListings entered into an agreement to allow its 18,000 agents and 6,000 brokers access to the Tarasoft Matrix platform in June, Tarasoft offered to put in a cross link to MRMLS, which involved no data mapping and no additional payments to vendors, Harrison said.

The data-sharing agreement will make it easier for agents to help clients looking to relocate, and to grow their business through referrals, the companies said in a press release.

The partnership hints at the potential for more cooperation between MLSs or even a statewide MLS system, but is not to be confused with efforts already under way to accomplish those goals.

MRMLS is already a member of California Real Estate Technology Services (CARETS), a data aggregation service serving 30 Realtor associations and more than 100,000 members in Southern California. CARETS allows member to access listing data regardless of their MLS platform.

Although MLSListings has signed a letter of intent to participate in CARETS, its near-term focus is to expand its own data-aggregation efforts in Northern California, Harrison told Inman News.

"Putting the Realtor in mind, my (members) do most of their work in Northern California, so that’s my first priority," Harrison said. "When we are done with that, we’ll follow through with the LOI (letter of intent) with CARETS." …CONTINUED

MRMLS Chief Executive Officer Art Carter said the Tarasoft data sharing agreement is "not as extensive as participation (by MLSListings) in CARETS would be, but still exposes their listings to my members in Southern California."

Carter said MRMLS will continue to make listings available in Northern California through MLSAlliance, a data-sharing effort between MLS members in Northern and Southern California. Powered by eNeighborhoods, MLSAlliance offers a search engine for all participants.

Further complicating the issue, California MLS Inc. (CALMLS), a nonprofit subsidiary of the California Association of Realtors, on Aug. 17 launched calREDD, an effort envisioned as a statewide MLS using a single MLS platform.

The Fresno Association of Realtors, one of only three Realtor associations on board for the calREDD launch, backed out just two weeks later. CALMLS officials said they hope the association will return when "a number of glitches" in the calREDD software platform are worked out, and 10 other Realtor associations in Northern California have firm commitments to participate (see story).

Realtor associations and MLSs representing more than 120,000 Realtors from around the state have also signed nonbinding statements of intent to participate in calREDD.

In the meantime, MLSListings is already aggregating data with three other Northern California MLSs, and work is under way to bring three MLSs east of San Francisco that aggregate data among themselves into that unnamed collaboration, Harrison said.

MLSListings currently aggregates listings data with MetroList Services Inc., a Sacramento-based MLS operated by six Realtor associations with more than 25,000 agents and brokers in seven counties; Bay Area Real Estate Information Services (BAREIS), a Santa Rosa-based MLS serving more than 10,000 members in five counties including Marin, Napa and Mendocino; and the San Francisco Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (SFAR MLS), with more than 5,000 members.

Harrison said three MLSs that serve seven Realtor associations east of San Francisco — operated by East Bay Regional Data, Inc. (EBRDI), the Bay East Association of Realtors, and the Contra Costa Association of Realtors — are currently doing preparatory work to join the data-aggregation effort.

There’s no reason that the data-aggregation initiative MLSListings is involved with in Northern California can’t eventually come together with CARETS in the south, Harrison said, pointing out that both efforts are based on the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS). 

"We are bringing the East Bay in next, and that will keep us busy for two quarters, into next year," Harrison said when asked when that might happen, adding that he could only speak for MLSListings.


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