With over 150,000 members and 39 participating associations, the California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS) stands as California’s largest multiple listing service organization. It offers its members a vast network to expand their business opportunities.
This post provides a comprehensive account of the history, membership details, tools, and training guidelines of CRMLS for experienced and new agents. After reading this post, you will understand CRMLS’s regulatory principles, its suite of software tools and its code of ethics that allows hundreds and thousands of realtors to grow their business in California. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
What is CRMLS?
CRMLS, short for California Regional Multiple Listing Service, is a real estate listing service organization that provides IDX solutions with a complete package of tools sourced from multiple real estate technology vendors. Unlike other MLS services and boards, which offer membership and fewer tools, CRMLS offers its members a wholesome software suite, IDX options, and training that allows realtors to run their businesses without hassles.
History of CRMLS: CRMLS was formed after the merger of three MLSs in 2010. These are California MLS (CALMLS), Multi-Regional MLS (MRMLS), and Southern California MLS (SoCalMLS).
It was a progressive step from the California Association of Realtors (CAR) to simplify the lives of realtors who struggled to provide the best data to their clients. Before CRMLS existed, CAR realized that unification and mutual data sharing between boards was the meaningful way forward for everyone. Hence, they came up with a total of 6 guiding principles. These were:
- MLS data needs to be fully standardized with local options for data field variation.
- California REALTORS® should have universal access to all MLS data.
- The use of MLS data and its distribution to third parties should be controlled by the brokers who provide the data.
- MLS entities should exist for the benefit of participants and subscribers.
- MLS rules should be uniform and consistently enforced.
- The MLS board of directors should include broker-owners with appropriate regional representation.
CRMLS was pivotal in bringing all real estate info in California under one single database.
Area Covered: CRMLS segregates the regions into four categories based on AORs, BORs, and local MLSs. These are:
- Participating: AORs/BORs/MLSs that have full access to all CRMLS listings, products, training and support. A total of 110,000+ members.
- Data Share: AORs who can access your CRMLS listings directly from your system with frequent data updates for up-to-date listings. Total of 45000 members.
- Reciprocal Access: Here, access to data requires logging in to a separate system.
- Additional Service Areas: Falls in the southern region. Some of these zip codes in this region are considered part of CRMLS’s service area. CRMLS users in this area must enter listings into the CRMLS system or submit a seller exclusion form.
The criteria for CRMLS membership are similar to what other MLS associations and boards follow in the USA and Canada–apply through your broker. However, your broker must be in good standing from their primary or regional board or current MLS. Furthermore, your broker must come from one of the 39 participating associations in CRMLS to be able to submit your application form.
You are also going to need additional documentation based on your role. If you are an agent, you will need:
- Brokers License: A valid broker’s license from CAR that is in good standing.
- Application Form: Requires your professional and personal information and must be submitted with an application fee. The application fee may vary based on the county you operate in.
- Ethics Training: You may also be required to complete an ethics training according to CAR guidelines.
- MLS Agreement: You are required to submit the CRMLS Membership Agreement outlining your responsibilities and obligations as a member
- MLS Orientation: Attend mandatory MLS orientation or training sessions to learn about CRMLS rules, regulations, and procedures.
- Background Check: Like other MLS organizations, CRMLS also requires a criminal background check as part of the application process.
- Errors and Omissions Insurance: Some associations may require members to provide errors and omissions insurance as a condition of membership.
- Supra Key Authorization: Access to electronic lockbox services may need to complete additional forms and obtain authorization for a Supra key.
Membership Fee: The membership fee will vary depending on your access privilege. You can expect a membership cost ranging from $550-$650/per quarter. This price goes for both Matrix and Paragon systems provided by CRMLS to access and manage MLS listings. The price makes a lot of sense when you consider the vast amount of tools that come along without any extra payment.
CRMLS IDX offers comprehensive search data powered by CRMLS and data share listings. It includes all public-facing listing information about active, active under contract, pending listings, and sold listing data. CRMLS provides four IDX solutions to users, catering to various needs.
- Frameable Links: Frameable Links provide an easy way to integrate MLS listings into an existing website. They are simple to implement and require no maintenance, making them a hassle-free option for showcasing listings on your website without additional costs.
- Licensed Vendors: CRMLS offers CRMLS data feed to licensed vendors with agreements. These vendors provide greater customization and seamless integration of IDX onto your website, making it an ideal choice if you prefer a trusted vendor to handle the technical aspects without any additional charges.
- RESO Certified Feed: If you are tech-savvy and want complete control over data feeds, a RESO API or RESO RETS feed is available. This option allows for direct data connection between your website and CRMLS but comes with added responsibilities, including compliance with CRMLS rules and additional contractual obligations. It entails an additional cost.
- Premium IDX with Full Website: For those seeking a low-cost, high-quality, and indexable IDX search solution, CRMLS offers an option for “Premium IDX with full website”. A premium IDX with a full website enhances your online presence by providing the convenience of an indexable IDX search on your website without requiring you to select from multiple vendors, making it a great option for agents looking to enhance their online presence.
Tools from CRMLS:
CRMLS offers its listing services through three distinct MLS platforms: Matrix, Paragon, and Flexmls. Each platform has its unique strengths, catering to the diverse needs of real estate professionals.
Matrix: CRMLS Matrix is one of the most popular MLS software developed by CoreLogic. The Matrix is a robust platform that provides a toolset for listing management, empowering real estate agents to organize and market their properties effectively.
Paragon: CRMLS Paragon, powered by Black Knight Inc., is another popular MLS platform. Paragon is a legacy system designed with desktop usage in mind, offering a range of features for property management and marketing.
Flexmls: Flexmls is developed by FBS and takes a mobile-first approach to MLS software allowing real estate professionals to access listings on the go. It is ideal for prioritizing mobility and flexibility in their real estate operations.
The MLS software serves as the core of a system that allows you to view the MLS data aggregated by thousands of CRMLS members. However, CRMLS provides another layer of tools on top of Matrix, Paragon and Flexmls. These include tools for marketing, acquiring mortgages, fetching tax data, showing homes and moving concierge services. Here’s a list of the tools that go on top of the MLS listing software.
CRMLS equips real estate professionals with marketing tools to enhance their listings and client interactions. From sending market report emails to sprucing up the listing to getting eyeballs for your listing, the toolset checks all the boxes.
- EpropertyWatch: Eproperty Watch keeps you connected with past clients by providing email reports and market price trends on their homes.
- Cloud CMA and Infosparks: These tools offer Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) reports in a visually appealing package to enhance your ability to showcase properties.
- Savvy Card: Savvy Card is a lead generation tool to help you grow your client base and network effectively by leveraging social media-based influence.
- Cubicasa: Cubicasa enables you to create 2D-floor plans for your listings at no cost, adding an extra layer of visual appeal to your property presentations.
- Welcome Mat: Welcome Mat is software designed to simplify the process of uploading videos directly to the MLS, making your listings more engaging and informative.
- LIST HUB: LIST HUB ensures maximum exposure for your listing by featuring them on over 900 websites, including portals such as Zillow and Trulia.
Keeping up with the listing data on the go is crucial in a smartphone-driven world. CRMLS enables its realtors to do that by offering dedicated mobile apps like CRMLS App, Homes.com, and MLS Touch that provide on-the-go insights for agents to win greater client satisfaction and conversion rates.
Tools to Access Data:
Buying and selling homes is a complex process that requires accessing and presenting multiple types of data, such as tax information and appreciation/depreciation of the value of a property, over some time. CRMLS also provides essential tools for accessing these insights. It provides access to RPR for agents to create client reports using MLS and ancillary data sourced from 50 states. They also provide access to a tool called Realist that helps real estate professionals with map and field searches for extensive tax record data.
CRMLS understands the importance of mortgage information in the buying process. Tools like Rate Plug and Down Payment Resource help potential buyers navigate the complex world of mortgages, making homeownership more accessible.
Info on New Homes:
New constructions are always favoured by the buyers, making the new homes more sought after than the old ones. More demand comes with a higher price tag and more chances of making a sale for agents. This is where tools like Update.com and New Home Professional come into the picture. Both of them help agents connect their clients with new home builders and stay updated on upcoming projects at the same time. CRMLS membership allows access to both of them for no additional cost.
CRMLS provides access to ShowingTime for scheduling property viewings through the MLS listings. Buyers can simply go to the listing and click on their preferred time to schedule, streamlining the process for both parties.
CRMLS also provides additional tools as a part of their suite on top of their MLS software Matrix, Paragon and Flexmls. You can access RentSpree to screen potential tenants quickly if you are in the renting business. Additionally, LiveEasy, a live concierge service, assists clients with household management, enhancing the overall real estate experience.
CRMLS Rules and Regulations:
The CRMLS agreement features a total of 19 sections. Due to its sheer volume, we will present only the core takeaway of these directives. You may hire a professional to delve deep into their regulations and implications.
Some of the important takeaways are:
- Display of MLS Listings: Participants, including real estate professionals, can showcase MLS listings online unless sellers choose to exclude their listings from Internet publications.
- Internet Data Exchange (IDX): IDX allows participants and subscribers to electronically advertise listings on their digital platforms.
- Control Over Digital Platforms: Participants must maintain control over platforms where MLS listings are displayed.
- Confidential Information: Confidential listing information should not be made public.
- Listing Information Clarity: Listings should clearly state the source MLS and update date.
- Consumer Usage Statement: Information is for consumers’ personal use.
- Security Measures: Stringent security measures are required to protect MLS data.
- Usage of IDX Listings: IDX listings can be used for display purposes only.
- Seller Opt-Out: Property sellers can exclude their listings from internet display.
- Prohibition of MLS Sharing: Sharing MLS data with unauthorized parties is prohibited.
- Exclusion of Listings: Participants can exclude listings based on specific criteria.
- Virtual Office Websites (VOWs): VOWs must include contact info and security measures.
- Listing Exclusion on VOWs: VOWs can exclude listings based on criteria.
- Notification to MLS: Participants must inform the MLS before operating a VOW.
- Multiple VOW Operation: Participants can manage multiple VOWs and work with Affiliated VOW Partners (AVPs).
- Advertising and Co-Branding: Advertising and co-branding on VOWs must follow guidelines.
- Identification of Source: Listings from non-MLS sources must indicate their origin.
- Separate Search Results: Different source listings should have separate search results.
- Licensing Agreement for VOWs: Participants and AVPs need MLS licensing agreements for VOWs.
- Seller’s Opt-Out Choice: Sellers can choose to withhold listings from internet display.
- Notification and Hearing Rights: Applicants have the right to know the rejection reasons and request a hearing.
Training and Education:
CRMLS offers some of the most comprehensive training and education for its members to empower them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the industry. What’s unique is their tailored training courses focused on individual aspects of the realtor’s business.
CRMLS conducts orientation and training workshops covering the fundamentals of using the CRMLS system. These workshops provide insights into property searches, listing input, and other essential functions that prove highly valuable for CRMLS members.
CRMLS offers curated training programs to cater to the specific needs of different boards associated with it. Tailored programs are essential to the requirements of individual regions, ensuring that members receive relevant training.
Technology Provider Webinars:
Several CRMLS technology providers offer training sessions to CRMLS users for no extra costs. These webinars help members harness the full potential of the tools by presenting use-case scenarios for important features.
CRMLS may offer certification programs, allowing members to demonstrate their expertise in using the MLS platform. These certifications reflect a member’s proficiency in using CRMLS resources.
CRMLS is a lot more than a MLS platform alone. It’s a suite of tools, resources, and opportunities for real estate professionals to automate and simplify their business at every step of their sales pipeline. As a member, you have access to the latest and the best technology solutions available in the industry designed to streamline your workflow, enhance your marketing efforts, and provide valuable insights into the real estate market. Whether you’re looking for user-friendly IDX solutions, comprehensive training and education programs, or valuable integrations like Rate Plug and Down Payment Resource, CRMLS has everything you would ever want. It won’t be an overstatement to say that CRMLS opens up the gateway to staying competitive in an ever-evolving real estate landscape in California.