Trulia will provide special training and discounts on the listing portal’s marketing tools to 40,000 members of Lisle, Ill.-based Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED), one of the nation’s largest multiple listing services.

MRED is the first MLS to partner with Trulia in the new "Shared Success Program," which will provide guidance to agents on how to get the most out of Trulia’s local and mobile ads platforms and suite of membership plans. The program is being marketed to MLSs throughout the country.

"Our goal (with the program) is to help agents better understand Trulia’s free and paid services to help agents and brokers succeed and more effectively use Trulia’s tools to grow their businesses," said Trulia spokesperson Ginger Wilcox.

In addition to MRED members receiving discounts for Trulia products, they’ll also receive training on how to use both Trulia’s free and paid tools and exclusive training webcasts.

As part of the deal, MRED will also use be able to co-brand training materials including videos, handouts and emails that market Trulia’s tools to its members.

"Trulia is delivering the online and mobile tools to help agents meet the expectations of today’s consumers, and agents who adopt those tools effectively will build a better business," said Russ Bergeron, CEO of MRED.

MRED is one of several large MLSs that provide listings to Trulia. Others include the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), Boston-area MLS Property Information Service Inc. (MLSPIN), Bay Area Real Estate Information Services Inc. (BAREIS) in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Connecticut Multiple Listing Service (CTMLS).

Trulia rival Zillow also receives listings directly from some MLSs, including HAR, MLSPIN, CTMLS, and the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.

Some are noticing that partnerships like this are an indication that the portals and industry are in the beginning stages of figuring out how to work together.

"I tweeted last week from #Clareity that there seemed to be a subtle shift coming from portal bashing toward finding ways to partner and co-exist. MRED seems to be on the leading edge of that with this announcement," wrote Amy Geddes, chief operating officer of real estate consulting firm Clareity Consulting, in a Facebook post yesterday.

Ron Stephan, CEO of Southeast-based real estate analysis firm Metro Market Trends, agreed.

"If its considered portal bashing to be concerned that some portals have inaccurate, untimely, illegal listings and repurpose MLS and broker data … then consider me a portal basher! Trulia, for one, has come a long way toward cooperation," Stephan wrote in a comment on Geddes’ Facebook post about MRED and Trulia’s new partnership.

Finding industry partnership for the portals has been a bumpy road. This week, two Trulia execs with longtime industry experience and mandates to build relationships between the portal and the real estate world split ways with the company.

In December, Trulia hired iHomefinder founder Alon Chaver as vice president of industry services.

Zillow has been similarly focused on building relationships in the real estate industry. Last year, it hired prominent real estate broker Jay Thompson and longtime MLS exec Bob Bemis to beef up its industry rep. In January, former NRT LLC exec Chris Crocker joined the team at Zillow.

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