In the white-hot San Francisco Bay Area real estate market, tech-savvy buyers and sellers are likely to have little patience for an agent that doesn’t have ready access to listings from all over the region.
Given the region’s acute inventory shortage and bidding wars breaking out left and right, buyers looking in one area may need to quickly shift their search to another.
So three MLSs in the region are making it easier for their agents to serve these clients wherever they are. Bay Area Real Estate Information Services Inc. (BAREIS), the San Francisco Association of Realtors MLS (SFAR MLS), and bridgeMLS (formerly East Bay Regional Data Inc.) signed an agreement in April to expand their current data-sharing deal to include several third-party apps as well as a new MLS public portal.
BAREIS has about 8,000 agent, broker and appraiser subscribers; SFAR has more than 5,000; and bridgeMLS has 3,229.
“This agreement provides real estate professionals with the ability to use mobile apps to access MLS listings from the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay, North Bay, and the City of San Francisco,” said DaVina Lara, CEO of bridgeMLS, in a statement.
“The number of listings now available to participants and subscribers from all participating MLSs has increased by the thousands.”
For the last decade, the data-share agreement between the three MLSs allowed the MLSs’ members to single sign-on into each other’s MLS systems.
Now, agents can also access combined listing data from the three MLSs in these third-party apps: mytheo.com, mypropertyoffice.com, RealScout, Cloud CMA, Cloud Streams, Cloud MLX, and a new public portal the MLSs launched in April, reBayArea.com.
These are common apps between the three MLSs, according to bridgeMLS COO Gustavo Rodriguez. The MLSs plan to expand the data share to additional products over time.
“This is one of the fastest and easiest ways for us to break down the MLS borders for our members, allowing them to utilize shared products and search for listings across multiple MLSs without having to switch platforms,” Rodriguez told Inman via email.
SFAR, BAREIS and bridgeMLS already have public portals (greathomes.org, sfrealtors.com and ebrdmls.com), but they also decided to promote their combined listings directly to consumers on behalf of their subscribers through reBayArea.com.
In doing so, the MLSs join others across the country that have so far banked on their own regional public portals despite the launch of the National Broker Portal project, which hopes to be the first MLS public-facing site with coverage nationwide.
This data-share deal is part of a trend toward more MLS collaboration in the real estate industry with the aim of increasing efficiencies for agents and brokers. It’s not a merger, however, so the MLSs remain separate entities with their own rules, regulations and databases.
“BridgeMLS is so excited about this agreement with SFAR and BAREIS and believe this is just the beginning to working together to improve service to all our subscribers,” Rodriguez said.
“While each MLS has its own unique needs and style, we have the same goal and that is providing the best technology we can for our members.”
In March, BridgeMLS and three other neighboring MLSs signed a deal to aggregate their listing data and give their agent and broker members “unconstrained access” to each other’s listings.