The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has traditionally been limited to small geographical areas. One MLS services a small region, bordering another MLS that services another region. Meanwhile, tech companies have built consumer sites, like Zillow, Realtor.com, and many others, that gather data from all these regionals MLSs and create a single nationwide platform where consumers and can browse listings all over the country through one portal.
The market standard for these real estate listing websites is a seamless search that isn’t limited by which MLS feeds the data. So why does the professional side of MLS listings not match the consumer side?
Unfortunately, the professional side of listing data has not been able to break the small area boundaries set forth by countless small MLSs. The reason goes back to before the real estate industry moved online. Realty professionals needed local associations that they could physically visit for tools like carbon copy forms. Naturally, listing databases were part of the local model. In recent years, the industry has progressed into the digital age. However, the boundaries were established, and local associations and MLSs still clutch to their territories, leaving states, even counties, partitioned
These MLSs recognize this problems and often work on datashare propgrams with neighboring MLSs. Even though, the need for a national MLS is the obvious solution, these regional MLSs haven’t been able to accomplish the modest first step of a statewide MLS. The reason is that these regional MLSs are competing, and yet allied with the same state association. This obliges them to politely coexist which inhibits the consolidation and centralized access of data for agents. Realty professionals and brokerages have been left to navigate this fractionated map of different MLSs. However, there is an answer to this…
There is an MLS that was created after these boundaries were drawn, and alliances were made, decades ago as a solution for brokers and agents in the digital age. The Open Organization of Realty Professionals (OORP) works with an established national multiple listing service. This national MLS has over 32,000 members and operates in all 50 states. Realty professionals can post listings in the states in which they are licensed, yet access listings nationwide. Listings are syndicated to sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com, and dozens of other national and international consumer sites based on the broker’s preferences. Members of OORP get a generous discount of the monthly MLS fee.