BrokerageIndustry News

Cures for MLS disorder

Data-sharing and consolidation can heal overlaps, paper suggests

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- There are several possible cures for overlapping market disorder, a condition afflicting multiple listing services in markets across the country, according to a discussion paper prepared by an industry consultant with support from a group of MLSs. Overlapping market disorder describes situations in which an MLS's boundaries overlap or are adjacent to another MLS, leading brokers and agents to subscribe to multiple systems in all of their operating areas. This can lead to higher costs and other business inefficiencies for subscribers, as different MLSs may have a different set of rules and data standards, for example. Consulting company Pranix Inc., which had assistance from a group of 16 MLSs, estimated the cost of this so-called disorder at $150 million to $250 million per year -- "this number includes duplicate fees, duplicate MLS costs such as systems, facilities and staff, as well as brokerage firm costs to aggregate data from multiple MLS organizations and comp...