SEVRAR Releases Statewide MLS Response

SEVRAR has posted a press release detailing their decision on Statewide MLS. By popular demand, the press release has been posted below or can be downloaded here: http://www.sevrar.com/pdfs/pressrelease_AZMLS.pdf. Please direct all questions to SEVRAR regarding this release.

SEVRAR’S STATUS UPDATE ON STATEWIDE MLS

Mesa, AZ – (September 22, 2011) – On behalf of the SouthEast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS® (SEVRAR), I would like to thank everyone at the Arizona Association of REALTORS® (AAR), the additional ARMLS Shareholders (Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® (SAAR), Phoenix Association of REALTORS® (PAR) and West Maricopa Association of REALTORS®

(WeMAR), the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) and members of the SEVRAR Board of Directors. These organizations have spent months in meetings and discussions regarding statewide MLS. SEVRAR realizes a lot of time, money and energy has been invested by all in the statewide MLS initiative. After months of meetings and endless debates, the SEVRAR Board of Directors decided not to sell their 25% ownership interest in ARMLS.

When it came time to vote, there were just too many questions and to many “what if’s” that needed to be answered regarding who would be the best choice to lead statewide MLS.

This discussion is not just about statewide MLS. If it were, negotiations to sell our shares of ARMLS stock would have ended a long time ago. One school of thought is that there is no need to sell ARMLS to have statewide MLS. Currently the ARMLS shareholders make up about 70+% of the REALTOR® population in the state. When you add Casa Grande (ARMLS participant) and data sharing with Tucson, ARMLS has data from 85 to 90 percent of the REALTORS® in the state. Keep in mind, datasharing doesn’t contain offers of compensation and cooperation.

When working in conjunction with one another, we do not question the benefits of a statewide MLS or the Arizona REALTOR® Business Interface (ARBI) project that is currently being created by AAR. Having a single sign-on integrated platform with the business tools in one place and information flowing from one program to another, (without double entry) would be a tremendous benefit to membership. In turn, information from all over the state in one location would be a tremendous benefit to our member’s -moreclients. That is the goal of the ARBI project. It would incorporate all the tools that our membership uses in one location. We look forward to the launch of ARBI.

Where statewide MLS and ARBI go from here is yet to be seen. Statewide MLS can still happen, but it will be a challenge. Several of the outlying associations are concerned about joining ARMLS just because it is owned and controlled by the 4 largest Associations in the state. The outlying associations and members may feel more comfortable if AAR were to own a statewide MLS.

AAR owns and controls the contract forms and, at this time, is not in favor of letting ARMLS have access to the forms for several reasons. If AAR were to have ARMLS as a vendor, a large financial investment would need to be made on the part of AAR, to allow the flow-through of MLS information from one program to another. Then, if ARMLS were to stop being the vendor of choice, the money invested by AAR would be for naught. That wouldn’t be a good investment of members’ dues dollars. There is also discussion about trying to move statewide MLS forward, without SEVRAR. If the additional 3 shareholders were to sell to AAR, SEVRAR would have 25% ownership and AAR would have 75% ownership and control. The additional 3 shareholders would receive $1.2 million each in selling their shares. Since SEVRAR elected not to sell their shares, our association would not receive any compensation from AAR.

There are several options available and only time will tell which direction, if any this, initiative takes. Please be assured, the SEVRAR Board of Directors investigated all the information, consulted with legal counsel and our CPA, before making the decision – a decision they did not take lightly. I commend AAR President Duane Fouts, AAR CEO Tom Farley and the AAR leadership for their vision and effort. In addition, we have immense gratitude towards the leadership of the additional 3 shareholders for their valuable input and involvement.

When all is said and done, all everyone wants is what is best for their respective membership. SEVRAR is always open to discussing any idea or initiative that best serves its membership. We believe AAR and the additional ARMLS shareholders share in this belief.

Archived Comments
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  1. John Wake

    Maybe it’s too early in the morning but I just don’t understand what SEVRAR is saying here. What I do understand of it doesn’t make much sense to me.

    If SEVRAR doesn’t want to sell, that’s fine but I couldn’t explain their thinking to anyone even after reading this.

  2. drubloomfield

    I spent last Wednesday afternoon in my first ARMLS Tech Committee meeting, this past Thursday morning at AAR, and then the afternoon in a SAAR Board of Directors meeting, where I heard a number of perspectives, mostly surprise and disappointment. Now, after reading this press release, I’m looking forward to hearing more specifically about SEVRAR’s questions and concerns.

  3. Adele Coffman

    I have to agree with John…I do not understand what SEVRAR is trying to convey with this press release.
    The comments do not seem to explain the decision. And I agree with Dru…I look forward to hearing more details about the concerns.

  4. pserven

    On the personal side not speaking for our Association at all… I am highly disappointed, trying to keep the data that we work so hard for out of the hands of Trulias etc, I feel we as a whole, membership could have benefited tremendously. The ARMLS staff would have stayed the same! I think that financially you will not find a greater time than what was there! Not being in their meeting I am curious as to what are the questions/concerns and why could they not get them answered, it is a major decision not to be taken lightly but that is why we are all voted in as Directors of our locals…can’t move forward when your looking in the past!

  5. J Sexton

    I know 99% of the REALTORS will not see this blog or comment on SEVRAR’s reply. BUT I will, and since I do not have to be politically correct (yet)! Let me just say that their post is just Political B.S. that makes no sense! It must have been written by someone’s political speech writer! SEVRAR you are not protecting anything from anyone, have you heard of the www or is that to new for you? You need to get out of the dark ages and step into the light! The light will set you free! (plus give your members an opportunity to make more money).
    I spent the day with Dru Thursday at AAR, ADRE and SAAR with all the top leadership and I can assure you she is being very kind in her assessment of the feelings in the State over the SEVRAR decission. (funny, that aconym sounds alot like SEVERE!)

  6. Marty Boardman

    This explanation makes no sense. What specific questions and concerns do you have SEVRAR? Seems to me that the board has a scarcity mindset.

  7. Jay Thompson

    Color me as confused as the rest of the commenters here…

    “When it came time to vote, there were just too many questions and to many “what if’s” that needed to be answered regarding who would be the best choice to lead statewide MLS.”

    Really? Bob Beamis and team compose some of the best MLS executives/staff in the country. Smart progressive thought leaders — what more do you need?

    If nothing else, this press release from SEVRAR will be kept nearby. I can send it to the next person that asks me, “Why did you leave SEVRAR and move to SAAR?” I made that move two years ago. Of course all SEVRAR cared about at that time was that I wasn’t going to PAR since they just wanted to be the biggest association.

    Well, size doesn’t always matter. Biggest clearly does not equal best. Thanks SEVRAR for stomping on what could have been a very progressive move for all Realtors across our state.

  8. David Newcombe

    It’s always difficult assembling the last lot on the block.
    Sometimes the concept of “greater good” is not enough. I expect that this press release has been generated by the need to explain an unpopular vote. Hopefully that pressure will prevail and lead to more debate. Forward momentum may yet be gained.

  9. Susie Thompson

    If we all keep in mind that we must only work in areas that we know… no matter how “hungry” for business we are, direct referrals will result in buyer’s needs for homes outside our area of expertise.

    We are a state with few counties, most of the population being found withing two of them. That doesn’t mean to say we are going to drive 1.5 hours away to show homes.

    There are a lot of new options in all kinds of technology. I have to admit~ I get frustrated with some and embrace others. If we continue to keep ourselves up to date on the latest information, we make ourselves most valuable to both buyers and sellers.

  10. Diane

    WAAA HOOOO Can’t wait for next week. The ARMLS shareholders are meeting with AAR to see where we are on statewide. Should be an interesting meeting since Phoenix and Scottsdale appear to be solidly behind statewide since we both have already signed an agreement with AAR to sell our shares. Change is hard but it is not optional. All of us as individuals and organizations must constantly re-examine and grow. If we don’t continue to explore new and better ways to assist the members we are all doomed.

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