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Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS) and The Delaware Valley Real Estate Information Network, Inc. (TREND), with the support of their Boards of Directors, announce their intention to consolidate and their execution of a document incorporating that intention. Their shared vision is “To create the next era of MLS that preserves compensation and cooperation, promotes the expansion of an orderly and efficient marketplace, and provides brokerage firms greater control of and access to their listing content.”

There are 850+ MLSs in the country, each with a market that partially overlaps with its neighbor, creating redundant work, unnecessary expense and confusion for brokers, agents, and consumers. Yet there has been limited consolidation. The physical, political, and philosophical boundaries of MLSs no longer fulfill what brokerages need to conduct their business.

As a result, MRIS and TREND have been engaged in business level, strategic discussions. A taskforce comprised of key leaders from both organizations has developed the vision for a new organization that will fuse forward-thinking business practices, technology and information in meaningful and innovative ways.  The acronym MAPS (Mid Atlantic Property Services) has been created solely as a working title for discussion purposes.

This new organization will position the brokerage firm as the primary customer. The brokerage firms will benefit from access to a broader service area that better aligns with their own market areas. The increased resources and buying power of the new organization will assume the cost, technology, research and development, deployment and support of core products and services that create the most efficient real estate marketplace for all stakeholders.  The brokerage firms will have greater control of and access to their listing content, with maximum efficiency.

This new entity will offer an expanded depth and breadth of product integration, and offer the subscriber choices for adding upgraded products that meet their business requirements. It will be a for-profit organization, using its resources to ensure financial strength, reinvestment in the business and provide tangible benefits to shareholders, without generating unnecessary profits.

MRIS and TREND recognize they are not alone in the challenges they face. A key part of this effort goes beyond the simple consolidation of two MLSs.  Importantly, other MLSs, associations and brokers who share this vision will be encouraged to join and help shape the model and standard of the future MLS from the outset.

“The leadership of MRIS and TREND share a common vision of how MLS can better serve the business needs of brokers and at the same time ensure agents have the best tools to help them succeed. MRIS is excited to collaborate with TREND in creating industry solutions and establishing the next era of the MLS business model,” says Jon Coile, MRIS Chairman.

Gene Millman, TREND Chairman, also says, “The patchwork composition of MLSs creates financial burdens and cumbersome practices for everyone involved in the real estate transaction, from the consumer to the agent to the broker. MRIS and TREND understand that the partial measures taken to date are not enough. Our bold vision, together with the involvement of other organizations, has the potential for meaningful solutions for the regional marketplace and the entire industry.”

MRIS and TREND have entered into a written agreement stating their commitment to this shared vision and their intent to consolidate. The Shareholders of both MRIS and TREND have not yet voted on consolidation. Consolidation will be dependent on due diligence and key business decisions that will follow.

In the interim,  MRIS and TREND and  interested parties will immediately begin deeper examination of issues central to creating the new entity, including but not limited to: ownership, governance, financial due diligence review, potential shares and dividends, fees, funding of a product innovation and integration team, how to transition subscribers, the location of the new organization and its staffing requirements.

MRIS and TREND together, believe that this commitment and vision will provide industry answers and establish a model that creates a new standard. The MLS: Evolved.

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