In a new deal between two major real estate players, Mid-Atlantic multiple listing service Bright MLS has agreed to provide public records data to all of the agents at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach.
The deal — which was shared exclusively with Inman — means more than 5,500 agents at BHHS Fox & Roach will get access to public records from 125 different counties. The agents will be able to access that information via BHHS Fox & Roach’s platform, which will integrate with Bright MLS’s technology.
So for example, an agent wanting to farm a specific geographic region will be able to use Bright MLS’s data to get all of the addresses in that area. Other types of public records include when homes were last sold and “anything that gets filed at the courthouse,” BHHS Fox & Roach vice president Rajeev Sajja told Inman in a phone call.
Many of the agents at BHHS Fox & Roach were already members of Bright MLS and thus already had access to the multiple listing service’s public records data. However, Sajja said that more than 1,000 agents work outside of the Bright MLS footprint. They had been getting public records data from other sources, but the quality and usefulness of that data was inconsistent.
The new partnership will give those agents outside the Bright MLS footprint access to the multiple listing service’s data.
“What we wanted to do is sort of standardize what we offer to all of our agents,” Sajja said.
Bright MLS has embarked on various other partnerships with brokerages in the past, but this is the first time ever that it is providing this specific service to a company.
The fact that some of the BHHS Fox & Roach agents work outside of Bright MLS’s region also raises questions about whether the multiple listing service could end up becoming a data provider for real estate professionals working, well, anywhere in the U.S.
Asked about this prospect, Bright MLS President and CEO Brian Donnellan said that his organization is currently focused on serving the Mid-Atlantic region. However, he added that the problem of inconsistent public records is widespread, and in six to 12 months Bright MLS may begin looking at “what we can do outside of our market.”
That said, Bright MLS does not see itself becoming a competitor to data companies like CoreLogic, which Donnellan described as a valued partner.
BHHS Fox & Roach is part of HomeServices of America, which according to a company statement is the “nation’s largest provider of total home services and the largest residential brokerage company in the U.S. in sales volume.” BHHS Fox & Roach’s thousands of agents are based in over 75 offices spread across the Tri-State area.
In a statement, Sajja ultimately called the partnership “a significant win” for his company because it will give agents “seamless and secure access” to Bright MLS’s “industry-leading public records offering.”
Bright MLS formed in 2016 when two other large multiple listing services merged. Today, it operates across 40,000 square miles in the Mid-Atlantic region. According to the statement, it also services about 95,000 real estate professionals.
In the statement, Donnellan said Bright MLS is “honored” to be working with BHHS Fox and Roach, which he called “one of our industry’s great organizations.”
“This relationship exemplifies the desire of Bright MLS to work closely with our brokers,” Donnellan added, “and develop custom solutions that move their businesses forward.”
Correction: BHHS Fox & Roach is part of HomeServices of America, which describes itself as the largest company of its kind by sales volume. This post originally did not mention that relationship.