Two Chicago-area multiple listing services announced the creation of a “mirrored database” that allows each MLS to display a combined inventory of property information from both MLSs to their members.

The Realtor association-owned MLS of Northern Illinois and the smaller broker-owned MAP-MLS, which are participating in the data-sharing agreement, have also been pursuing a merger.

Though a group of dissenting MLSNI shareholders has filed a lawsuit to block the merger, that litigation is ongoing. MLSNI has about 50,000 members, while MAP-MLS has fewer than 15,000 members.

“Despite the ongoing legal battle … over the proposed consolidation between MAP-MLS and MLSNI, cooperation is the order of the day,” said Brad Tertell, vice president and general manager of MLSNI, and Bud Fogel, CEO for MAP-MLS, in a statement.

“By instituting the mirrored database the agents can use their system of choice and know that all inventory from both organizations is being searched. Both leaders also feel this initiative is a precursor to what will need to be accomplished once the two organizations come together,” according to the announcement.

The two MLSs also announced that they have worked with their technology vendors to create a “single point of entry” mechanism so that members of both MLSs can add and edit MLS information in their system of choice while also preserving the ability to use either system. The combined data is updated every 15 minutes, according to the announcement, “so once a listing is entered into or edited … it shows up on the other almost immediately,” eliminating the need to enter the information twice.

Tertell said Friday that the mirrored database and single point of entry technologies have been up and running for a few months.

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