The Key Reasons Why a National MLS Database Network Makes Sense
By Maggie Wilson @ Real Estate Daily
January 11, 2018

Creating a national network of property databases – a kind of Intranet – that is accessible through a common set of nationwide data standards would allow developers to craft tools utilizing national property data without negotiating with each individual MLS.

Key Takeaways

  • A national network of property databases would benefit real estate professionals substantially
  • Developers would have much more freedom designing new and innovative applications that would work on all MLS databases
  • Currently, developers must go through the tedious process of negotiating with each MLS organization
Source: RISMedia


The idea of consolidating every MLS in the United States into a single database has been a dream in real estate for many years. Unfortunately, there are too many differences in government, local, political and management structures to make nationwide consolidation a viable option.

Currently, there are still over 1,000 MLS organizations across the United States, despite active merging in recent years. Each MLS serves a particular market, and only the member agents and brokers have full access.

The present MLS structure has created a variety of inefficiencies and problems. There have been disputes with different MLS organizations crossing boundaries in densely populated areas. Differences in data and data structures also makes it hard for developers to create apps for more than a handful of MLS organizations.

The solution, however, is not to spend inordinate amounts of money and time attempting to consolidate over 1,000 organizations that are all owned and operated separately.

The real estate industry needs a set of national property databases that are all accessible through a common set of application program interfaces (APIs), according to Bob Bemis, vice president of business development for Realtors Property Resource®.

According to Bemis, a network of databases accessible through a common set of APIs would:

  • “Standardize how applications examine data and receive ”
  • “Lower barriers to entry for new and innovative applications to come to the ”
  • “Improve an agent’s productivity by making more programs available at lower ”