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MLSs expand their reach through data-sharing

By February 21, 2015 One Comment

Two large Michigan multiple listing services are taking a first step in what could become a broader data-sharing partnership: sharing passwords to each other’s systems.

Currently, Realcomp, Michigan’s largest Realtor-owned MLS, has various data-sharing arrangements with seven MLSs, allowing Realcomp’s more than 12,000 members access to MLS data for 34 out of 68 counties in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, as well as the Chicago area and Arkansas, according to Realcomp’s website.

Farmington Hills-based Realcomp’s latest deal is with Michigan Regional Information Center (MRIC), formerly SWMRIC LLC, which has about 5,700 members representing 22 counties on the south and west side of the state, including cities like Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

At no extra charge, members of each MLS will be able to log into the other’s system with a guest ID and password. Currently, Realcomp has more than 30,200 active listings, while MRIC has nearly 24,000.

Agents will “be able to access on- and off-market data for properties in those areas of the state,” said Realcomp spokeswoman Maggie Sisco. “This can help them to find properties for their buyers.”

If they choose, agents will also be able to submit listings to the partner MLS at a reduced fee, exposing those properties to member agents and their clients.

Realcomp members — agents, brokers and appraisers — will also be able to access data on comparable properties for their comparative market analyses (CMAs) or appraisal work, she said.

Some MLSs have elected to share listing data by pooling their listings into one database, or through a tool such as CoreLogic’s MLS Data Co-op, a map-based interface that allows agents from different MLSs to share listing information accessible via a single screen through their MLS.

Realcomp shares listing data with Lisle, Illinois-based Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), the Arkansas Regional MLS and the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors through the tool.

Realcomp sees password-sharing as the first step of working together, Sisco said. Ideally, Realcomp would like to have each MLS it data-shares with make the other’s data available to subscribers directly through their own MLS system, she said.

“However, since this is a brand-new partnership, we’ve purposely decided to ‘walk’ before we attempt to ‘run,’” she said.

“This will give us both the opportunity to measure how great the interest is from our respective MLS subscribers before we consider next steps.”

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