Experts said Friday that the multiple listing service landscape is likely to see continued technology innovation, as well as consolidation, in the future.

The multiple listing service (MLS) landscape has changed rapidly in recent years, but experts believe that the pace of disruption is only going to pick up in the future.

“The billions of dollars that have been deployed year-over-year is here to stay,” Leo Pareja, co-founder and president of real estate software company Remine said Friday morning. “You can either be disrupted, or you can innovate from inside.”

“This is an environment that will be constantly moving,” John DiMichele, CEO of the Toronto Real Estate Board added.

John DiMichele at Inman Connect New York Friday. Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic / Inside Real Estate

DiMichele and Pareja were both part of a panel discussion, titled “Building the MLS of Tomorrow,” at Inman Connect New York. During the conversation, Pareja explained that the MLS world faces a number of challenges. For starters, there are hundreds of different organizations spread across North America, meaning the environment is fragmented.

On top of that, some of those MLSs are small and thus lack the resources — either in cash or manpower — to actually innovate or compete with larger organizations.

“The smaller ones don’t have the technological, human capital and capital-capital to invest in newer technology,” he said.

MLSs also have a challenging mandate, with Pareja noting that they have to cater to both the “10-person shop” and massive companies like Keller Williams.

Despite those challenges, though, there has been improvement more recently.

“What we’ve seen in the last 18 months is a lot of the incumbents have woken up,” Pareja argued, “and started innovating.”

Leo Pareja at Inman Connect New York on Friday. Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic / Inside Real Estate

Pareja went on to say that some of the areas in which innovation will make headway include becoming mobile-friendly, data safety and interfacing between different technologies from different companies.

Of course, one of the other big ways that the MLS world has been changing recently is through consolidation. Most notably, Bright MLS formed out of smaller organizations in 2017, and other multiple listing services have similarly pooled their efforts either through outright consolidation or via various forms of cooperation.

During Friday’s discussion, the panelists didn’t go into great detail about how consolidation might play out, though they both agreed that as a trend it’s likely to continue.

“Having a couple hundred members is difficult to support from a staff level,” Pareja said of the forces driving the trend. He added a moment later that, “consolidation is moving rather quickly.”

DiMichele agreed, saying that the barriers between systems are likely to grow smaller in the future.

“I don’t think the answer is to continue to have that separation, we have to move in that direction,” DiMichele said. “It’s a difficult thing to do but you have to be tough and strong and visionary and move forward.”

Correction: Leo Pareja is the co-founder and president of Remine. This post originally misstated his title. 

Email Jim Dalrymple II

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription