MLS & Associations

Why more MLSs and associations will merge in 2017

Better services, economies of scale and tech advances propel consolidation
  • You can expect to see more MLS and association mergers in 2017.
  • NAR's "core standards" have been a driving force in association mergers and dissolutions involving tens of thousands of Realtors in the past two years.
  • Economies of scale and the desire for enhanced service are propelling consolidation, according to NAR's vice president of board policy and programs, Kevin Milligan.
  • Consolidation would be more common if it weren't for money and politics, industry experts say.

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When real estate associations or MLSs consider merging, the process can be fraught with what is often called "politics." Executives fear losing their jobs. Associations fear losing their non-dues revenue. Board members fear losing their status and perks. People at all levels, from execs to agents, start talking about their unique market and losing their voice and identity. But in the last few years, the political landscape of organized real estate has changed in at least two major ways: big brokers have become more demanding, and the National Association of Realtors has mandated a minimum level of services from its local branches. Meanwhile, technology has caught up, allowing associations and MLSs to serve their far-flung members from virtually anywhere. If you think more associations and MLSs merged in the past year, it's not your imagination. And you can expect to see even more in 2017, according to the experts Inman contacted. This could mean several benefits for ...