Editor’s note: As of May 1, 2015, the partnership between MFRMLS and Builders Update became operational.
The 33,000 agents and brokers who belong to the largest multiple listing service in Florida, My Florida Regional MLS, will soon have access to new-home listings and alerts provided by startup Builders Update.
Starting in September or October, the Austin-based firm will provide MFRMLS members with real-time data on more than 2,800 floor plans and new homes available for sale in more than 550 subdivisions in the MLS’ coverage area.
“Builders Update will make it much easier for agents to show thousands of qualified homebuyers new construction options in developments across Central Florida,” said Bill Gaul, CEO of Builders Update, in a statement.
In addition to new-home inventory, MFRMLS members will also have free access to Builders Update Private Label, a tool that allows agents and brokers to offer new-home construction searches from their websites, and to the newly introduced Search Assistant, a saved search tool that allows members to specify search criteria and receive email notifications when properties matching that criteria come online. Criteria can include geographic search area, subdivision, school district, builder brand, property type, price range, and square footage.
Such tools provide particular value in markets with persistent inventory shortages, according to Gaul.
Although MFRMLS has a public-facing MLS website, MyFloridaHomesMLS.com, Builders Update’s new-home inventory will not appear there at this time, a company spokesman told Inman News.
This is Builders Update’s second major deal with an MLS and there are deals with other Florida MLSs in the works, he added.
Builders Update signed its first MLS deal with the Austin Board of Realtors last fall, not long after Builders Update was granted a patent for its online search engine, which connects prospective buyers of new homes to real estate agents. The company covers 100 of the nation’s top metros and claims to display more than 80 percent of the total new-home inventory available in the U.S.
Builders Update differentiates itself in that it does not connect consumers directly to builders, but sends them to licensed real estate agents instead. The arrangement helps homebuilders access a much wider base of potential customers, the company said.
“Builders Update gives homebuilders a more effective and efficient way to reach and work with the nearly 33,000 real estate agents of My Florida Regional MLS and their homebuying customers,” Gaul said.
Earlier this year, video-centric listing portal and agent directory NestBuilder.com added the more than 100,000 properties in Builders Update’s database to its site, thanks to a deal between the site’s operator, RealBiz Media Group, and Builders Update.
Shortly thereafter, Builders Update announced that it had relaunched its site with responsive design in order to cater to the growing use of mobile device among real estate agents and consumers.