A single multiple listing service “would definitely improve the productivity of their business,” according to about 80 percent of brokers and agents who participated in a survey conducted for a group of six consolidating multiple listing services in the San Francisco Bay Area.

About 2,275 agents and brokers participated in the survey, which was open to the MLSs’ roughly 46,000 subscribers, according to an announcement today by the Northern California Real Estate Exchange (NCREX), the entity that is carrying out this consolidation plan.

“An interesting finding was that small brokers had the same level of interest in regionalization as larger, multi-office companies,” according to the announcement. Many agents commented that the current MLS structure was an inconvenience. Over 43 percent of the respondents to this poll belong to two or more MLSs.”

The NCREX effort seeks to create a single property listings database that seeks to eliminate the need for agents and brokers to join multiple MLSs in their operating area. The effort is being closely watched by other MLSs and brokers nationwide.

There are about 900 MLSs nationwide, and many MLSs have unique rules that members must abide by, which creates complications for agents and brokers that are members of multiple MLSs.

Other findings of the survey conducted for NCREX:

– 88 percent of the respondents use an MLS at least daily and nearly 98 percent of the respondents use an MLS more than once per week.

– 73 percent of the respondents are agents.

– 22 percent of respondents have been in the real estate business for 11-20 years and 23 percent have been in the business over 21 years.

The Web-based survey was conducted over the course of several weeks in March 2006, with each MLS participant soliciting responses from its subscribers.

“The feeling among many agents and brokers is that consolidation of MLSs in Northern California is long overdue, and that the new service will provide much more convenience and allow them to better serve their clients,” said Gregg Larson, CEO of Clareity Consulting and a spokesperson for NCREX.

Discussions are ongoing with regional brokers about the ownership and governance structure for NCREX.

The founding members of NCREX include: REInfolink, Contra Costa MLS, Bay East MLS, East Bay Regional Data, Central Valley MLS and the San Francisco Association of Realtors MLS.

Property databases for NCREX are expected to be completely merged by June or July, and participants are expected to choose an MLS system vendor by June. The regional MLS is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2007.

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