A map of the southeast U.S. highlighting connections in Florida and between GA, TN, SC and NC.
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

MLS partnerships open up listings to 120k agents in the Southeast 

The Southeast MLS Alliance and Coast 2 Coast MLS Data Share in Florida represent the latest initiatives to expand data sharing among MLSs.

October 2, 2023
3 minutes

Key points:

  • The 100,000 members of the Southeast MLS Alliance, a group of four major MLSs in neighboring Southern states, will now have access to more than 85,000 listings.
  • Another four MLSs in Florida have also banded together to provide listing data to their combined 20,000 subscribers.
  • The partnerships reflect a trend in data sharing and cooperation, and they come at a time when low inventory has agents on the lookout for more listings.

In an effort to give members access to a broader swath of listings, several MLSs in southeastern states have opened up their data to agents and brokers in neighboring regions.

The Southeast MLS Alliance and Coast 2 Coast partnerships are the latest examples of MLS data sharing agreements. Early this year, Bright MLS, CRMLS and BeachesMLS announced a similar partnership, and in May, UtahRealEstate.com and New Mexico MLS teamed up.

The Southeast MLS Alliance, which launched Oct. 1, is a joint initiative of Canopy MLS, Charleston MLS, Georgia MLS and Realtracs. Together, they will have a combined feed of more than 85,000 listings across Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina — all accessible to the Alliance's more than 100,000 members, according to a news release.

"It was time for like-minded MLSs in large markets across the Southeast to come together and form a meaningful referral network for our combined members," said Richard Boone, CEO of Georgia MLS. "It was important the agreement kept the members as top priority and that the participating MLSs made geographic sense. Collectively, our members will now have access to listing data in four of the most desirable cities in the southeast."

In nearby Florida, another four MLSs have partnered to create the Coast 2 Coast MLS Data Share. The program, announced last week, will initially include realMLS, St. Augustine and St. Johns County Board of Realtors, and Space Coast Association of Realtors, who will start sharing data in December. The Daytona Beach Area Association of Realtors is slated to join in early 2024. 

The member MLSs serve nearly 20,000 real estate professionals in eastern Florida, and the partnership will help "further remove the invisible walls" between organizations, said Nancy Bartlett, President of Space Coast Association of Realtors.

"The Coast 2 Coast MLS Data Share believes a healthier real estate marketplace can be achieved by offering brokers increased MLS data access to better serve consumers as the local market experts," said Nicole Jensen, realMLS CEO. "Collectively aligning our MLS data with the RESO standard will allow subscribers to search across the listing data of all participating MLSs within their local MLS system, in the same search," Jensen added.

Data sharing helps MLSs add value for members

This comes at a time when agents are scrambling to find listings, and many buyers are sitting on the sidelines. Data sharing, in addition to giving agents access to more listing information, also has the potential to help them expand their referral networks, the participating MLSs noted.

In recent years, MLS data sharing and consolidation have become more common, said Clint Skutchan, senior vice president of organized real estate at T3 Sixty. (Note: T3 Sixty and Real Estate News share a founder, Stefan Swanepoel.)

The data sharing trend in particular has picked up in the last two years. It's a lighter-weight option compared to consolidation, and it allows MLSs to create additional value by giving agents' listing more exposure, Skutchan noted. That can be an enticing benefit during a time when some MLSs are seeing declining numbers of subscribers.

Skutchan said the increase in partnerships is being influenced "by a mix of the industry-level uncertainty with the legal and regulatory concerns, and more aggressive national MLS collaborations among the largest MLSs."

That environment, said Skutchan, "is causing folks who had issues talking in the past to want to circle the wagons."

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