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How Is the Landscape for MLS Changing?
A summary of the trends and evolutions in the real estate industry
The U.S. real estate industry is characterized by decentralization. No one body warehouses property listings across the country. Instead, 630-650 small to medium MLS manage listings within their territory.
But this landscape is changing. Over the past few years, some MLS have merged, others have begun data sharing, and many others have begun participating in standardization programs.
These efforts have brought greater flexibility and cooperation as well as an underlying reshaping of the industry.
In this article, we will review some of the major factors in the evolution of the MLS.
ConsolidationConsolidation occurs when two or more MLS become one. One recent example of consolidation was the creation of Bright MLS. Bright MLS formed when 9 MLS from the Mid-Atlantic states merged into one in 2017.
Another example is the merger of two New York City area MLS—MLSLI and the Hudson Gateway MLS. The new combined MLS is expected to begin operating in 2019.
Consolidation brings down barriers to access for the participating agents. In the case of Bright MLS, the 9 MLS now share the same data platform, which makes it easier for agents to integrate property listings from multiple MLS into a single site. Agents under the to-be-named New York ... more

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