ABoR and SABOR Consider Merging MLS Systems

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ABoR and SABOR Consider Merging MLS Systems 

Overview: ABoR and SABOR are currently assessing if our members and marketplace would benefit from merging our two MLS systems. While no permanent decisions have been made at this time, we are considering the opportunity to provide our members enhanced value, regional growth, expanded data, and industry influence. Questions or comments may be sent to president@abor.com.

Background: The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) and the San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (SABOR) announced on February 23, 2017 that the two associations are exploring the possibility of merging our Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) into one, single MLS to serve the region.

While still in the feasibility phase, this consideration has emerged amid rapid development throughout the Central and South Texas areas, further blending Austin and San Antonio. In addition, it is driven by changing dynamics in the real estate industry, including opportunities to leverage cooperation and technology to create order across the marketplace, enhance offerings and maintain affordable rates for our subscribers.

The MLS industry is entering an “era of consolidation” due to a number of factors. Urban sprawl is condensing the growth patterns across our state and resulting in overlapping market disorder that can become a barrier to our subscribers’ success. In both the public and private sector, technology is rapidly evolving and advancing the mobility of the real estate industry in ways that preclude traditional business practices. REALTORS® can now serve clients across a larger marketplace with the ease of technology to aide communication with clients and ensure their needs are met.

All of these factors have led ABoR to consider the opportunities and benefits for our members that would result from regionalizing our MLS. Some of these benefits include:

  • Enhanced Value to Members: An expanded marketplace can increase the buying power of the joint-entity, resulting in enhanced service to members and the possibility of an expanded suite of MLS-related products. Further, reducing marketplace disruption caused by overlapping MLS markets ensures members maintain the highest value at the lowest price.
  • Regional Growth: Combining the MLSs allows for a consolidated marketplace that mirrors the natural development and growth patterns we see across the region.
  • Expanded Dataset: Increased access to a larger dataset provides additional value for both sets of members.
  • Industry Influence: Consolidation could prepare the two organizations to leverage their member’s interests by creating one of the larger MLSs in the country, which would correlate to increased to influence at the state and national level.

To guide this assessment, ABoR and SABOR have each dedicated a task force of key leaders to develop the framework for the potential entity and to test the value of what the merged MLS could offer our respective membership base.

As we continue this conversation, we remain focused on strengthening your success through expanded service and unparalleled benefits. Pending the outcome of those discussions, the task forces involved will determine whether to make recommendations to their respective Boards of Directors to further consider an MLS merger. We welcome your feedback and encourage you to send questions or comments may be sent to president@abor.com.

 

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