The History of Northwest Multiple Listing Service: Powering the Region’s Real Estate Industry for 40 Years

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“The multiple listing concept emerged in the late 1940s in the form of cooperative listing exchanges. They originated with brokers sharing information over coffee. Eventually, details on available properties were compiled on a card system, then catalogued in books.”

Jack Johnson, former PSMLA President & CEO
The Herald, May 24, 1992

In 1984

Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association (PSMLA) was formed when four innovative multiple listing services: Eastside Brokers Association, North End Brokers Association, South West Multiple Listing Service, and Real Estate Multiple Inc., merged to create a not-for-profit corporation to provide listing services to real estate professionals in the Puget Sound region. As the majority of listing services around the country were owned by local associations of Realtors, PSMLA’s ownership structure was unique as an independent, “broker-owned” MLS.

In 1996

The membership voted to change PSMLA’s name to Northwest Multiple Listing Service (“NWMLS”), to better reflect the growing geographic area served, which now included all of Pierce County.

In 2024

Over the past 40 years, NWMLS has grown to become the largest multiple listing service in the region, serving more than 2,500 member offices and 32,000+ brokers and appraisers throughout the Northwest. NWMLS is committed to providing its members with a powerful array of products and superior customer support to help members deliver exceptional service to their clients.

Throughout 2024, we’ll be taking a look back at the evolution of the real estate industry, while always focusing on the future.

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