Several multiple listing services across the country have signed agreements to offer their members information on new homes.
Homebuilder marketing company Builders Digital Experience Inc. (BDX) recently announced that 16 MLSs have agreed to provide their members with new-home communities and plans data through a branded “new home channel” accessible via their MLS dashboard.
BDX is a joint venture between realtor.com operator Move Inc. and homebuilder consortium Builder Homesite Inc., and operates new-home listing sites NewHomeSource.com and NewHomes.Move.com.
BDX also powers the recently added “New Homes & Communities” section of realtor.com.
The new-home channel available to the subscribers of participating MLSs is a customized version of NewHomeSourceProfessional.com, which is designed specifically for agents and claims to have the largest collection of new homes available anywhere.
According to BDX, 54 percent of home shoppers consider new construction when they start their home search, and New Home Source Professional allows agents to serve buyers in an increasingly competitive digital landscape.
“Across the country, over 63 percent of new homes are sold by agents, and our relationships with these MLSs allow them to bring an unprecedented level of new-home information and tools directly to their members,” said Tim Costello, CEO of BDX, in a statement.
The company said MLS integrations will debut soon for members of the following nine MLSs:
- Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS) in the Washington, D.C., metro area;
- California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS);
- Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) in Austin, Texas;
- East Bay Regional Data Inc. (EBRDI) in Concord, Calif.;
- Contra Costa Association of Realtors (CCAR) in Walnut Creek, Calif.;
- Bay East Association of Realtors in Pleasanton, Calif.;
- Northeast Florida Multiple Listing Service (NEFMLS) in Jacksonville, Fla.;
- South Florida MLS (SoFLMLS) in Jupiter, Fla.;
- Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) in Chicago, Ill.
MLS integrations are already active and available for members of the following seven MLSs:
- San Diego County Regional Multiple Listing Service (Sandicor) in the San Diego metro area;
- Regional MLS (RMLS) in Portland, Ore.;
- Tucson Association of Realtors MLS (TAR/MLS) in Tucson, Ariz.;
- Arizona Regional MLS (ARMLS) in Phoenix;
- Regional Multiple Listing Service Florida (RMLSFL) in Maitland, Fla.;
- MLSListings in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area;
- Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) in Las Vegas.
In a separate agreement announced this week, the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) signed up an additional source of new-home listings: BuildersUpdate.com.
Austin-based startup BuildersUpdate.com was recently granted a patent for its online search engine, which connects prospective buyers of new homes to real estate agents. The company covers 100 of the nation’s top metros and claims to display more than 80 percent of the total new-home inventory available in the U.S.
As part of the agreement with ABoR, the board’s members, and eventually, consumers, will have access to about 1,850 new-home listings, which include floor plans available to be built in a subdivision, completed spec homes, and spec homes currently under construction, Lee Goldstein, the chief operating officer for BuildersUpdate.com, told Inman News.
Once ABoR’s agents have gotten used to accessing Builders Update through their MLS single-sign-on portal and have created their own privately branded version of the tool, ABoR will roll out the startup’s new-home search function on ABoR’s public-facing portal, AustinHomeSearch.com, Goldstein said.
“Consumers will be able to use a map to search a specific area instead of the whole metro. They will be able see all of the information about a new home except for information that would lead them to a builder,” he said. “When they find a home they are interested in, they will be put in contact with a licensed ABoR agent. This is a dramatic shift, (as) everyone else sends consumers to the builder — we are sending them to the agents.”
This is the startup’s first agreement with an MLS.
“Builders Update will provide ABoR’s site, AustinHomeSearch.com, with a way to connect consumers looking for new construction with a licensed real estate agent,” said Beth Gatlin, ABoR’s director of member services, in a statement.
“With all the Realtor-specific features, the ease of use for the consumers, and the fact that Builders Update provides the system to ABoR, our members and consumers at no charge, we feel it is a great solution that will serve the needs of the marketplace.”
Goldstein noted that expanding the property listings available to agents could help relieve an inventory crunch in the Austin market.
“With the growing shortage of available properties to sell in a variety of cities across the country, selling new-home inventory supplements resale inventory in addition to creating jobs,” he said in a statement, citing statistics from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that every 100 new homes constructed creates 300 jobs for one year.