Four Realtor trade groups in southwest Florida have signed on to a data-sharing initiative from real estate information and technology provider CoreLogic.

The Bonita Springs-Estero Association of Realtors and the Cape Coral Association of Realtors have joined the Naples Area Board of Realtors and the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers in launching CoreLogic’s MLS Data Co-op tool, which allows agents from different multiple listing services to share listing information accessible via a single screen through their MLS.

The tool also provides CoreLogic’s RealAVM property valuations and works on all popular browsers as well as on PC and Apple devices. CoreLogic says 80 MLSs are now using MLS Data Co-op to provide acess to nearly 1.1 million active listings. Another 20 MLSs are in various stages of implementation.

Combined, the four Florida trade groups represent 11,500 real estate professionals. The Naples and Greater Fort Myers associations first signed up for Data Co-op in the summer of 2011.

The four organizations span two different MLS systems. The Greater Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs associations are participating members of the Florida Gulf Coast MLS, and the Naples and Bonita Springs associations are shareholders of Sunshine MLS.

"Southwest Florida has always had significant market overlap, with many real estate professionals needing to belong to multiple associations to do business," said Marion Briggs, president of the Realtor Association of Fort Myers and the Beach, in a statement.

"Using MLS Data Co-op, we have now created a data sharing environment that gives our members easy access to listing and property data from neighboring markets and the tools to leverage that information for the benefit of their customers."

In a white paper, the board of directors for the Florida Gulf Coast MLS explained its decision to join Data Co-op.

"It is evident that brokers want standardized rules, consistent rules enforcement, a single standard data feed, and generally fewer MLSs to deal with — data sharing is a valuable step in providing these benefits," the paper said.

"Data sharing is a way for our MLS to provide brokers and agents with access to increased information from other MLSs without the challenges or delays commonly associated with mergers, consolidation or regionalization."

CoreLogic has recently added fields and modified field names and values to MLS Data Co-op to sync up with the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO)’s Data Dictionary, a spokesman for the company said. The Data Dictionary is a standardized set of data terms for the most common descriptions of property characteristics used by industry players. RESO adopted the dictionary, which contains more than 500 terms, in June.

Consequently, the number of fields supported by Data Co-op have grown from 200 to more than 600, including many fields key to the southwest Florida real estate market, CoreLogic said.

"CoreLogic has been actively involved in RESO for many years and has helped guide the development of the current data standards," said Ben Graboske, senior vice president of CoreLogic’s real estate and financial services, data and analytics segment, in a statement.

"The MLS Data Co-op has achieved success by using a standards-based approach to the aggregation of MLS data and other diverse property information, and by overlaying the combined data set with unique CoreLogic reports and analytical tools. We are simply thrilled to see the MLSs of southwest Florida using our MLS Data Co-op solution."

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