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How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Major multiple listing service North Carolina Regional MLS now covers more than half of the state, after signing its 16th Realtor association MLS partner.
NCRMLS, which serves more than 11,800 agent, broker and appraiser subscribers, just added the MLS of Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of Realtors (MLS-RVLG) to its roster. MLS-RVLG is relatively small at 283 members, but the deal grows NCRMLS’s footprint to 51 percent of North Carolina and a total of 449 cities and towns in 49 counties, including some in southern Virginia.
“The combination of reach, support, and the delivery of high-value products and services will help our Realtors conduct business, remain relevant, and be successful,” said Chris Triepke, MLS-RVLG’s association executive, in a statement.
NCRMLS is a wholesale cooperative MLS, meaning member associations and MLSs pay the regional MLS a wholesale price per member and then charge their members a retail price of their choice to access the MLS. This model has enabled NCRMLS to grow relatively rapidly. NCRMLS went live in 2016 with more than 4,000 members. In the summer of 2021, the regional MLS surpassed 10,000 members. In November, NCRMLS’s membership stood at 10,800, covering 47 percent of the state.
“This model empowers the member associations to retain their identity and MLS profits to provide local services and support,” NCRMLS said in a press release.
“In addition, this arrangement helps many of the member associations afford and deliver the same best-in-class products and services, thanks to the bulk purchasing power of the larger regional organization. The wholesale cooperative regional MLS model delivers greater economies of scale and efficiency compared to the alternatives, such as data share models.”
The wholesale model gives Realtors what they want — one MLS platform across a wide footprint, one set of tools, one governing structure, one set of rules and one MLS membership fee, NCRMLS added.
Exchanging listings as part of a data share doesn’t deliver those benefits, according to NCRMLS President Jody Wainio.
“While data share works for some MLSs because it gives Realtors more data to view outside of their market area, it can have many hidden pitfalls when Realtors operate business across multiple MLSs, including different rules, documents, lockboxes, tools, field definitions, and more,” Wainio said in a statement.
“Although sufficient for some MLSs, our member Realtors and appraisers desire more from us.”
The Albemarle Area Association of Realtors (AAAR), whom NCRMLS signed on towards the end of last year, will onboard in August, NCRMLS spokesperson Patrick LaJeunesse told Inman. MLS-RVLG will onboard in March, he added.
The latter covers the Roanoke Valley and Lake Gaston area, which includes North Carolina’s Vance, Warren, Halifax, Northampton, Hertford, Nash and Edgecombe counties and Virginia’s Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Greensville and Southampton counties, as well as the city of Emporia, NCRMLS said.