After more than a year of research and planning, the Arizona Association of REALTORS® hoped to take its first step toward establishing a statewide multiple listing service this summer with the $4.75 million purchase of the state’s largest MLS, Tempe-based Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc. However, the SouthEast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS® surprised the state in September by voting not to sell its interest in ARMLS.
In its published business plan, the state association said the MLS venture would provide local associations with a different revenue flow that could offset most, if not all, loss of direct MLS income. A statewide MLS, according to the association, is better able to withstand competition from “outsiders” like Zillow and Trulia, it improves REALTORS®’ “curb appeal” to clients, and reduces the number of MLS fees that members pay.
Tom Farley, CEO of the Arizona Association of REALTORS®, had this to say of the turn of events: “While we may not cross the finish line, no one can say that we didn’t leave it all on the field.”