There are currently approximately 12 different MLS systems that are utilized by REALTORS® throughout northern Michigan. Each of these systems has their own set of data fields, rules and regulations. Each also sends out their own IDX feed of information to authorized websites who can then publish that content under certain guidelines. In areas that border different MLS systems it can be difficult to know whether users are getting a complete representation of available properties because some listings may be represented by a REALTOR® in one MLS while the house right next door might be represented by a REALTOR® for a neighboring MLS. If all the MLS systems join together into one large MLS, the public and REALTOR® members will have immediate access to information about all listed properties throughout northern Michigan regardless of where they lie relative to a local real estate board. There are also benefits from a cost standpoint because, right now, there are 12 different systems operating out there that each cost money to operate. By consolidating those 12 into one system, it becomes much more cost effective to operate without sacrificing service to the public or REALTOR® members.