Multiple Listing Service
Why the US MLS system is the envy of other countries
The term multiple listing service (MLS) is often used in the real estate industry, but few consumers actually understand it. Specifically, an MLS refers to a large database that contains all of the properties registered for sale in a particular market or region.
On a broader level, a multiple listing service is like a cooperative which enables brokers to work together to market and sell each other’s properties. You see, unlike other competitive industries, a multiple listing service actually encourages collaboration between competing brokers and agents.
For example, we know that buying a home can be one of the most significant investments a person can make in their lifetime. The process is notoriously long and the paperwork is as overwhelming and confusing as it gets.
Needless to say, these are issues that affect both the agents and their customers.
Using a multiple listing service encourages brokers and agents to collaborate with each other to make transactions happen quickly and at the best price possible. It’s the ultimate win-win situation for both agents and clients.
Multiple Listing Services in the US
Using a multiple listing service is the best way to promote your home listings to the widest possible audience. In addition, the terms will usually include an offer of compensation for any cooperating broker who finds a buyer and closes on the sale of a property.
The US market is widely regarded as having the best multiple listing service system in the world. Recent reports estimate that as of the end of 2020, there are 556 MLSs in the country. 108 of those MLSs are regional and 448 serve locally.
The largest MLSs in the US use sophisticated technology platforms, innovative business practices, and world-class management structures. Over half of the nation’s MLS subscribers belong to one of the largest 20 MLSs.
Let’s take a look at the largest MLS organizations in the US.
The largest MLSs in the US and the states they cover
- California Regional MLS (CRMLS):
With a whopping list of 152k registered users, CRMLS is the largest MLS organization in the US. Formed in 2010 and based in Chino Hills, CA, CRMLS provides statewide MLS coverage.
- Bright MLS:
Bright MLS covers an impressive area of nearly 40,000 sq miles up the Mid-Atlantic coast. These areas include DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA, WA, DC, and West Virginia. Established in 2015, Bright MLS currently covers over 95k customers.
- Stellar MLS:
Stellar MLS is known for their focus on providing quality data and protecting your listings from unauthorized access. Stellar MLS was formed in 1993 and provides over 300k updated listings to its over 58k members.
Use Showcase IDX for WordPress to get the best results
Each of the major MLSs in the country provide direct data feeds to technology vendors through software systems like a Web API. Our Showcase IDX plugin for WordPress enables your site to obtain a direct data feed from your local MLS.
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