North Carolina Regional MLS (NCRMLS), a wholesale multiple listing service that powers various Realtor associations in its native state, announced a major expansion Thursday that means it will cover dozens of new cities and towns.

The move will see the Albemarle Area Association of Realtors (AAAR) join NCRMLS as a cooperative member. A statement explains that unlike a traditional merger or acquisition, the news means AAAR will continue as a distinct entity, even as it receives services from NCRMLS and “has an equal voice at the NCRMLS board table.”

For NCRMLS, this means it will add 10 counties and 28 cities to its coverage area. That will bring the organization’s total footprint to 389 municipal areas across 41 counties, representing 47 percent of North Carolina. The expansion will also see NCRMLS representing 10,800 real estate professionals, an increase of about 500 people.

The news comes during a period of expansion and consolidation in the MLS world. One of the biggest examples of this trend in recent years was the formation of Bright MLS in 2017 from other smaller organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Bright MLS now has more than 100,000 subscribers across six states.

More recently, major players such as the California Regional MLS have also expanded their offerings beyond their traditional home turf.

In North Carolina specifically, NCRMLS previously announced in August that it was expanding its reach into dozens of new cities in its home state.

In Thursday’s statement, NCRMLS CEO Daniel Jones said that the “new cooperation reduces the costs and headaches of belonging to multiple MLSs for more NC Realtors and appraisers.”

“When it comes to doing business across NC markets, you end up with multiple membership fees, rules, vendors, IDX fees, administrators, staffs and MLS databases,” Jones continued. “All of this is frustrating and confusing for Realtors and appraisers.”

The new relationship between AAAR and NCRMLS should streamline that process for members of the Realtor association.

Coleen Curtis, CEO of AAAR, added that “our subscribers are thrilled to be joining the NCRMLS family.”

Coleen Curtis

“This new partnership will not only provide more services and robust tools to our subscribers,” Curtis continued, “but it also expands their market territory with greater efficiencies in data entry and data searches.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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