- Two North Carolina MLSs will consolidate after a two-year partnership. The move could mean time and cost savings for brokers.
More and more multiple listing services (MLSs) are listening to the drumbeat of consolidation nationwide.
The latest is the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CarolinaMLS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association, which will acquire the North Carolina Mountains MLS (NCMMLS) on January 1, 2018.
The acquisition is the result of a two-year collaboration between the two MLSs. CarolinaMLS, which has about 11,500 subscribers, has provided the more than 3,000 subscribers of the NC Mountains MLS with core MLS services, training and support as a wholesale vendor since October 2015. NCMMLS is based in the Asheville area on the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“NCMMLS, being forward thinking, saw an opportunity for our members to have access to expanded technology and resources with CarolinaMLS. Thus, we began with a vendor relationship which successfully evolved into consolidation,” Dave Noyes, NCMMLS’s president, told Inman via email.
Combining the two MLSs will mean greater cost savings for brokers through increased bargaining power with vendors, CarolinaMLS spokeswoman Kim McMillan told Inman via email.
It will also mean less hassle and expense for brokerages working in both markets or those that want to expand their existing market because they will only have to deal with one set of data feeds, one set of contracts and one set of rules, she said.
As a result of the acquisition, the MLSs’ real estate listing feeds — known as Internet Data Exchange (IDX) feeds — will no longer be separate. Instead of agents and brokers in each MLS getting a separate feed with only their MLS’s listings for display on their websites, they will get a unified IDX feed with the combined MLS’s data, resulting in “more robust” sites, McMillan said.
The unified feed will also be available to third-party vendors, including big data firm Remine and the Broker Public Portal, which CarolinaMLS is bringing to all subscribers on the first of the year, McMillan added.
Other than that, “[n]othing will change [after the acquisition] because we’ve been wholesaling for two years,” she said.
“We’ve had full cooperation and compensation and our members and their members have had access to each other’s listings. Their members will continue to use our platform.”
CarolinaMLS declined to disclose the acquisition price for NC Mountains MLS and declined to say whether MLS subscription fees will change for either MLS’s current members, citing “antitrust reasons.”
The MLSs are not contiguous. CarolinaMLS covers Charlotte and the Piedmont area of North and South Carolina, including these counties:
After the consolidation, CarolinaMLS’s footprint will expand into the western portion of North Carolina to include these counties:
When the deal closes, the CarolinaMLS board of directors will add representatives from the three Realtor associations that formerly owned the NC Mountains MLS: Haywood Realtor Association, Hendersonville Board of Realtors and Land of the Sky Association of Realtors. CarolinaMLS will also take on NC Mountain MLS’s sole employee, its chief administrator.