Scott Kucirek, a former executive for a major Prudential brokerage company and for ZipRealty, a high-tech, publicly traded brokerage company, has been hired to lead a statewide multiple listing service initiative launched by the California Association of Realtors.

The initiative, called CALMLS, is a nonprofit subsidiary of the California Association of Realtors with a directive to establish a statewide property information database that could evolve as the default MLS system for Realtors across the state.

A goal of CALMLS is to eliminate multiple memberships and fees to brokers by allowing access to the entire statewide database through participation in any of the CALMLS member MLSs.

About 66 associations and three regional MLSs have signed non-binding letters expressing interest in the CALMLS initiative, the state’s Realtor association announced Thursday. There are 70 MLSs in the state.

"The multiple listing service is the bedrock of real estate on which so many of the other important services that Realtors provide rests," Kucirek said in a statement on Wednesday. Today marks his first day at CALMLS.

In his role at CALMLS Kucirek will be responsible for the operational strategy, vendor selection process, and implementation of the strategic vision, among other duties, the state association announced.

Kucirek served for two years as general manager for Prudential California, Nevada and Texas Realty, where he was responsible for day-to-day operations of 47 company offices with about 2,100 real estate agents in Northern California and Nevada.

He also was co-founder for ZipRealty, a tech-oriented brokerage company launched in 1999 that offers rebates to buyers and low-cost service options to sellers.

Ed Krafchow, president for Prudential California, Nevada and Texas Realty, said that while he is not on board with the CALMLS initiative as crafted, he believes Kucirek is a good choice.

"Although I may not agree with the California Association of Realtors moving forward with an MLS, I cannot imagine a more honorable, honest and competent person heading it up," he said.

Krafchow said he worries that agents will still be stuck joining multiple MLS organizations and that the CALMLS initiative "could exacerbate" this problem rather than solve it. "I don’t see a solution yet that anyone is proposing," he said.

In addition to the CALMLS initiative, there are separate collaborative efforts in the state by MLSs, notably a mostly Southern California effort dubbed CARETS that seeks to standardize data definitions and rules; and MLSAlliance, a data-sharing network with 15 participating MLSs across the state.

The CALMLS board, appointed in May, has 17 members who are all real estate agents or brokers. The board is led by Mike Silvas, broker-owner of Napa, Calif.-based Morgan Lane Inc.

Silvas said in a statement that Kucirek’s abilities in "devising and employing innovative technologies," among other industry experience, should be a good fit for the CALMLS effort.

He told Inman News on Wednesday that the board is in the final stages of selecting a vendor to build the statewide database system and Kucirek will play a role in that process. The next board meeting is scheduled on Aug. 28.


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