Why The Joint Venture?

Chris Carrillo (CEO, Metro MLS) and Matt Consalvo (CEO, ARMLS) both noticed something interesting last year, Metro MLS and ARMLS were very similar. Both MLSs seemed to be built from the same DNA. Both groups are on the same MLS platform, own their own tax systems, have the same customer service philosophies, have progressive MLS boards, and a shared vision of the MLS of the future.

 “We see real value in a shared vision, it requires action in the moment and the opportunity for progress is now.”  – Chris Carrillo, CEO Metro MLS

The collaboration between two non-contiguous markets meets a national necessity for MLS consolidation that can finally provide a more customer-centric approach. Combining support, data integrity, product licensing and other services provided by the MLS will serve all brokers and agents better. For example, having one RETS server instead of two. One support department instead of two, and so on.

It came down to our DNA, Metro MLS shares the same values, commitment to service and vision of the MLS of the future. We are better together than apart.”  – Matt Consalvo, CEO ARMLS

By maintaining their respective locations, this partnership can uphold the integrity and trust each brand has built within their own marketplaces. Read the Press Release.

MLS Comparison

MLS Platform Flexmls Flexmls
Support In-House In-House
Ownership Association Shareholder Model Association Shareholder Model
Tax System In-House (Monsoon) In-House (WireData, Monsoon)
Rules NAR Model NAR Model
RESO Platinum Platinum
Governance Model Policy Board Model Policy Board Model
Trade Memberships MLS Aligned, CMLS, COVE MLS Aligned, CMLS, COVE
Culture Service-first, celebrate wins Service-first, celebrate wins

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Is This A Merger / Take-Over?
    No. It’s a joint venture where both MLSs will maintain local presences. With technological progress, it is now possible for our MLSs to benefit from shared scale, services, and funding without the necessity of sharing a border. Our MLSs will remain independent while exploring areas of collaboration on common products and services.
  1. Will Wisconsin Agents (Metro MLS) Have ARMLS Data?
    Will Arizona Agents (ARMLS) Have Metro MLS Data?
    No, but it may be possible in the future for agents who are licensed in both states to access both MLSs in one system.
  1. What is Metro MLS?
    Metro Multiple Listing Service (Metro MLS®) is the largest MLS in Wisconsin. Established in 1962, Metro MLS has one shareholder REALTOR® association and 9 partner associations providing the same core products and MLS service for more than 7,200 members. More than 90% of all properties listed in Wisconsin are displayed and searchable through Metro MLS via Flexmls. Metro MLS has their own in-house public record system named WIREdata, which provides public records for nearly all Wisconsin Counties through MLS.
  1. What is ARMLS?
    Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS®) is the largest MLS in Arizona, providing MLS and other core services for MLS subscribers. ARMLS began operations in 1982 through collaboration by the shareholder boards to form the first regional MLS in the country. Now 30 years later, ARMLS provides training, support, and technology solutions for 38,000 real estate agents. ARMLS invests heavily in technology, including their own in-house tax system called Monsoon.
  1. Why Choose an MLS Halfway Across the Country?
    It’s about DNA and a shared vision of the future. Metro MLS and ARMLS have similar services, the same MLS platform, motivated leadership, boards with similar goals, CEOs who complement each other, and other elements that make a solid match. Technology means that physical separation is no longer a barrier to collaboration and innovation. For example, many would be surprised to know that listings are stored in a data-center outside our state already today.
  1. What Does This Mean for Ownership of the MLS?
    Both Metro MLS and ARMLS will retain their current Association ownership structure. The joint venture will be wholly owned by both entities.
  1. Can Other MLSs Join?
    Perhaps. In the future other MLSs that share a similar DNA and vision might join. The possibilities of the joint venture are boundless.
  1. Why Not Just Merge or Buy-Out Neighboring MLSs Instead?
    We will continue to invite our neighbors to connect but our closest neighbors might not be the best match for collaboration. We respect local organizations who are happy on their own, though we believe everyone is stronger together so the conversation remains open.
  1. Will This Mean Loss of Control or Identify For ARMLS / Metro MLS?
    No. The perfect success of this collaboration will mean both Metro MLS and ARMLS retain independent local structures. The collaboration will ensure a larger, more comprehensive data set, better economies of scale, and access to improved or new products and services via the joint venture company.
  1. What Are the Benefits to Me For This Collaboration?
    While we are early in understanding this new relationship and know that some changes will be behind-the-scenes, we expect to announce exciting benefits. For example the future could hold:
  • A simplification of the Rules & Regulations
  • Expanded support hours
  • The ability to access products not yet available locally
  • Behind-the-scenes efficiencies
  • Improved data quality on public records data
  • Superb new user experience to access public records data using Monsoon and WIREdata
  • Facilitation and simplification of data access agreements and data feeds
  • Improved Single Sign On (SSO) capability (a technology that allows MLS users to move between the MLS and affiliated programs without having to continually login)