An ongoing effort by the California Association of Realtors to build a statewide multiple listing service could get a major boost if a planned merger with a regional MLS in Southern California goes through.
The merger of CAR’s calREDD MLS system with Pomona, Calif.-based Multi-Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc. (MRMLS) would create a single MLS serving more than 33,000 real estate professionals and 22 Realtor associations, the companies said in an announcement today.
The concept of a merger has been approved by both companies’ board of directors, but hinges on approval by MRMLS’ 12 member associations and final approval by CAR’s board of directors. If MRLMS’ members green light the merger in May, CAR’s board could grant approval when it meets in June.
A merger would not only expand the footprint of the fledgling statewide MLS to Southern California, but MRMLS’ involvement in the effort would allow for a more rapid expansion, said Mike Silvas, chairman of the CAR subsidiary that operates calREDD.
"They have a full-blown MLS staff, while we’ve been operating with a much smaller staff, only growing as necessary," Silvas said. "They have staff and procedures in place that will benefit (existing calREDD members) and accommodate growth more quickly."
In a statement, MRMLS President Richard Stone said "We look forward to a beneficial relationship that builds on our past successes and will continue to deliver an innovative, state-of-the-art MLS system to our expanded membership."
MRMLS CEO Art Carter said the idea of a merger grew out of discussions he and CAR Executive Vice President Joel Singer had about "exploring some deeper partnerships between calREDD and MRMLS. My board was intrigued by the possibility of putting something together."
Carter said the benefits of a merger for MRMLS members include more choice, and expanding the footprint of MRMLS and a regional data sharing effort it participates in, CARETS (California Real Estate Technology Services).
CalREDD had planned to join CARETS, which serves 30 Realtor associations in six counties in Southern California, but those plans were put on hold in January after CARETS implemented a moratorium on new members in order to address growth-related technical issues (see story).
Shirley Skerbelis, executive vice president of MRMLS member The Inland Gateway Association of Realtors (TIGAR) in Corona, said plans for a merger are "tremendously huge news and great for our members."
"I have always been for the member and by the member and this is just a little step toward the future of a statewide MLS" members can rely on, Skerbelis said. Carter "and his magnificent team" are well suited to manage the system, she added. …CONTINUED