5 MLSs, 1 county: SmartMLS advances consolidation in Connecticut

  • Of the five MLSs that serve the most populous county in Connecticut, two have decided to merge to form 'SmartMLS.' MLS consolidation can offer increased efficiencies for agents and consumers and, over time, better economies of scale.
  • Small MLSs may offer a flatter structure where agent voices can be heard, though larger entities have the advantage of financing to support technology enhancements or other member requests, according to one broker.

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If real estate agents and brokers want to do business in all of Fairfield County, Connecticut, they are virtually required to join more than one multiple listing service. Five MLSs cover the county. Five. This, in the words of MLS consultant Kevin McQueen, is "unusual." He couldn't think of a single similar county. But there is some relief in sight for the agents and brokers who belong to two of those MLSs. Connecticut MLS (CTMLS) and the Greater Fairfield County CMLS, which have more than 17,000 members combined, are merging to form one entity, dubbed "SmartMLS." Once launched, SmartMLS will be one of the nation's 20 largest in terms of membership and provide MLS services to an estimated 96 percent of Connecticut Realtors, the MLSs said. "The role of the MLS is to provide subscribers with the technology, information, and services they need to be professionals," CTMLS CEO Cameron Paine told Inman via email. "As the pace of technological innovation has quickened in t...