Three California multiple listing services have inked a data-share deal, continuing what they say is a trend to remove barriers to real estate data.

  • Three California MLSs have signed a data-share agreement that will pool their listings in one another's systems.
  • The deal will allow tens of thousands of agents to access the listings among them in real time, use the pooled listings in market analyses, and display the shared listings on their IDX websites.
  • The MLSs say the data share will mean more listing exposure for sellers, more choices for buyers, and referral opportunities for agents.

Three California multiple listing services have inked a data-share deal, continuing what they say is a trend to remove barriers to real estate data.

The agreement allows their more than 32,000 combined members in northern and southern California to access a full set of one another’s property listings in real time, use the pooled listings in market analyses, and display the shared listings on their MLS-powered websites.

The data share between Silicon Valley-based MLSListings, Beverly Hills-based Combined Los Angeles Westside MLS (also known as The MLS/CLAW), and Palm Springs Regional MLS goes live this summer. The MLSs say the arrangement will mean more listing exposure for sellers, more choices for buyers and referral opportunities for agents.

“Real estate remains local, but real estate data is accessible to the world. Brokers and agents have requested and deserve that same access,” the MLSs said in a press release.

‘More exposure than ever’

Annie Ives

Once the data share is live, the data will be updated in real time going forward, The MLS/CLAW CEO Annie Ives told Inman via email.

With this new program, CLAW’s members “will have more exposure than ever on their listings, plus they can tap into property information and data from up north,” she said in a statement.

The MLSs currently have a combined total of 14,266 active listings. The data share will include “all types of data,” including active and sold listings, though the MLSs are still finalizing how far back that data will go, MLSListings President and CEO James Harrison told Inman via email.

The MLSs will aggregate their data in IDX (internet data exchange) feeds, but each MLS will continue to handle its own syndication to third parties such as Zillow and realtor.com, he said.

MLSListings has been looking for ways to collaborate with other MLSs for more than two decades, according to Harrison.

Jim Harrison

A data share between MLSListings and the nation’s largest MLS, California Regional MLS, went live in December 2015. MLSListings also shares data with its San Francisco Bay Area neighbors.

“People move. And even when they don’t, our entire world is a virtual landscape. Real estate should not be technologically stuck in the past,” Harrison said in a statement.

CLAW also shares data with CRMLS, the California Desert MLS, and the four other MLSs that are part of data-sharing venture California Real Estate Technology Services Inc. (CARETS):

  • CRISNet MLS covering the San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita Valley areas
  • iTech MLS covering the Glendale and Pasadena areas
  • Ventura County Regional Data Share (VCRDS)
  • Palm Springs Regional MLS in the Coachella Valley (CLAW also services PSRMLS, so they share a listing database.)

Adding up all of the data-sharing arrangements that MLSListings, CLAW and PSRMLS have, “this agreement expands the exposure and reach of listings and property information to more than 100,000 real estate professionals and hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers through various data sharing relationships with MLSs throughout the state,” the MLSs said.

To be clear, these 100,000-plus agents and brokers don’t necessarily have access to the listings of every data share these MLSs are part of. Each MLS must have a direct agreement to share data with another MLS, Harrison said.

‘Good for agents, brokers, buyers and sellers’

Palm Springs Regional MLS regularly tries to find ways to increase the sharing of listing data, CEO Nicole Jensen said in a statement.

“Timely exposure of listings to agents throughout California, specifically through the MLS, is good for agents, brokers, buyers and sellers,” she said.

Agents and brokers will be able to use the data from all three MLSs in tech tools from their MLS and their MLS’s vendors to create market comparisons and calculations, according to Harrison.

“For example, a member of MLSListings could use their own Cloud CMA product and access data available from The MLS/CLAW,” he said.

Because of the pooled listings, even if real estate professionals don’t want to work in another region, “data sharing positions them to answer client questions or do comprehensive market analysis,” Harrison added.

“This saves brokers money as they no longer have to join multiple MLSs to obtain this type of information.”

Agents and brokers also receive the benefit of referral opportunities, he said.

Consumers get access to more data and more areas to search, Ives said. This provides sellers’ listings with broader exposure and gives buyers more choices, Harrison said.

Why not consolidate?

More MLSs and Realtor associations are likely to merge this year, and some MLS executives and industry consultants have indicated that data sharing is inferior to consolidation.

They cite duplicative and ongoing costs and the burden on agents and brokers of having to comply with different sets of rules for each MLS, among other factors.

When asked why they chose to share data rather than consolidate, Harrison said, “We agree that consolidation is efficient, but with [the] other MLSs being 500 miles away, the most important factor is for brokers and agents to have all the data they choose to use in one place,” he said.

Ives added, “Real estate is local, but this data share gives us a larger geographic reach with one feed of data.”

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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