MRIS and other real estate listing services merge into Bright MLS – Baltimore Sun


Nine real estate listing services in the Mid-Atlantic are merging to form one of the largest realtor-owned systems in the nation, with 10 million property listings.

The new service, Bright MLS, includes Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., or MRIS, which covers Maryland, Virginia, Washington and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. Other owners are The Delaware Valley Real Estate Information Network Inc., or TREND, and other associations in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. MRIS and TREND are expected to announce the new venture on Thursday.

The system will have 85,000 member realtors and brokers and cover nearly 40,000 square miles, including parts of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

“Today’s real estate market is rapidly changing and driven by a consumer with high data, technology and high expectations,” said David Charron, Chief Strategy Officer of Bright MLS and former President and CEO of MRIS, in the ad. “Bright MLS was created to align with this new reality.”

Bright’s founders said the more limited geographic boundaries of separate listing systems had become obsolete. Agents and brokers who need access to a larger market often have to join multiple listing services, which sometimes offer conflicting information, said Tom Phillips, Bright’s president and chief executive and former chief direction of TREND.

“The limits were really arbitrary and set decades ago when the associations were first formed…and the technology was such that it couldn’t handle a large number of users,” Charron said.

Consumers will benefit from more up-to-date information, he said.

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Senior executives from TREND MLS and MRIS will lead the new company. In addition to Phillips and Charron, former MRIS COO Brian Donnellan will lead the service as Bright’s COO.

MRIS was created in 1993 when several Baltimore-area realtor associations merged their registration system with that of other groups in the state and surrounding jurisdictions.

Besides MRIS and TREND, Bright’s other members include the Coastal Association of Realtors of Maryland; the Cumberland County Board of Realtors in New Jersey; the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors, the Lancaster County Association of Relators, the Lebanon County Association of Realtors, and the Realtors Association of York and Adams Counties, all in Pennsylvania; and the Association of Sussex County Realtors in Delaware. The associations will continue to exist but will use a combined database.

The company is working on integrating separate listing systems and expects to have an initial version ready by the summer when it starts converting users to the new service.

Phillips said Bright hopes to eventually expand to an even larger footprint.

“It’s definitely a trend, and I think we’re going to see more of that in the future,” Charron said.

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