FORT MYERS — Calling it the “wave of the future,” the two largest Realtor associations in Southwest Florida have struck an agreement to share listings among their thousands of members.
The Naples Area Board of Realtors and the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach Inc. have inked a deal that will enable their members to easily share their multiple listing service, or MLS, information through CoreLogic’s InfoNet Data Co-op. CoreLogic, headquartered in California, launched its MLS data sharing service in May of last year. Nearly 50 Realtor associations across the country are now InfoNet partners, representing nearly 260,000 real estate agents with more than 860,000 active listings.
The partnership in Southwest Florida was announced and finalized Friday at a monthly meeting of the Greater Fort Myers association, held at the clubhouse in the Paseo community off Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers.
“It’s a big story for us,” said Phil Wood, president and CEO of John R. Wood Realtors Inc. in Naples, who attended the meeting.
“It’s fantastic for the market – for the buyers and sellers. It’s a benefit to them, tremendous.”
The deal will link the listings of 8,500 agents: 4,500 in the Fort Myers market and 4,000 in the Naples area. “I want to say the Southwest Florida real estate market just got better,” said Brenda Fioretti, a Naples broker and president of the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR).
She said by sharing information, Realtors can get homes sold more quickly. Without the partnership, agents have struggled to get detailed information on properties that weren’t in their own association’s MLS.
If a Naples Realtor sold a listing in the Greater Fort Myers association’s MLS that wasn’t in NABOR’s they would often have to negotiate a commission. Now the commission on a sale will be split the same way with the listing agent, whether the listing is in Naples or Fort Myers, Fioretti said.
The Fort Myers association signed up for CoreLogic’s MLS data sharing program in March, giving the publicly-traded company license to share the area’s real estate information with mortgage lenders, servicers and the capital markets. The association shares CoreLogic’s earnings on selling the data through the co-op program.
“Fort Myers has already collected its first check. So it’s already making money,” said Gary Verwilt, president of the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach.
Once it signed the agreement with CoreLogic, the Fort Myers association could choose to share information with other Realtor associations “with a flip of a switch,” Verwilt said.
When NABOR started looking into sharing its information with the Fort Myers association “every one of us thought it was a great idea,” he said.
Data sharing between the two associations should begin within 90 days. There will be no extra cost to members.
Once the service is up and running, members will be able to tap into their own MLS as they’ve always done, but will get information on listings in both Lee and Collier counties.
The cost of the sharing agreement will be covered by NABOR’s annual dues, Fioretti said. “It was very reasonably priced, especially considering what we get for it,” she said.
Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden.