Rumor Has it That Other Madeline Island and Bayfield Real Estate Companies are Switching to Regional MLS of Minnesota
So far, it's still a rumor. But in the past month, I've heard from two area brokers that they're looking for a way to promote their listings on NorthstarMLS/RMLS of Minnesota.
At present, some Madeline Island firms (and most if not all Bayfield, Wisconsin firms) belong to SAAR (Superior Area Association of Realtors), which has its own IDX portal.
But area brokers have apparently noticed the benefits of the wider reach and larger IDX potential offered by NorthstarMLS. Both have disclosed that they're working on getting their listings on Northstar too.
Two years ago, an Iron River, WI broker assured me that SAAR was "in the process" of merging their IDX (Internet Data Exchange) listings with RMLS in Minnesota and that it would be available "in a few months". For some reason, that just hasn't materialized.
So other area brokers turned to various ways to get their listings on Northstar/RMLS, including co-listing their properties with a broker who does have access to NorthstarMLS (including Madeline Island Realty).
Belonging to a larger Realtor Association offers many advantages to sellers and the company that lists their home or property. More members means more IDX portals/websites, which translates to more property views and a greater chance of an offer. RMLS serves a huge number of brokerages and agents in the greater Minneapolis & Saint Paul metropolitan area, plus the border counties of western Wisconsin. A Realtor Association with 500 (or fewer) members simply can't compete when it comes to getting property listings in front of more buyers.
Not only does a larger pool of listings under one IDX umbrella benefit sellers, but the location of those IDX portals is crucial to successfully marketing homes and land for sale on Lake Superior. A high percentage of buyers in the Apostle Islands area (including Madeline Island) come from the Minneapolis - Saint Paul metro and western Wisconsin. The Madeline Island and Bayfield area is a tourist destination, a magnet for vacation home seekers and a high-traffic resort favorite. Those potential buyers come from the Twin Cities, not from Iron River or Brule or Cable or Ashland. For a real estate broker in LaPointe or Bayfield, trying to showcase your listings on the websites of companies located in Douglas, Bayfield or Ashland counties certainly isn't the best or most efficient way to reach buyers.
Madeline Island Realty has belonged to NorthstarMLS/RMLS of Minnesota since 2003 and we have found it brings a huge advantage to our seller clients. We took the time to ask ourselves where buyers come from and we chose to market our listings based on that important information.
Nine years have passed since we began marketing on Northstar/RMLS and now it appears others are rushing to follow our lead. We don't mind being copied. It's not the first time that has happened.