Attention MLS Boards – Are You Using All of the Services Provided by Your MLS?

by Marilyn Wilson on May 7, 2012

At WAV Group, we conduct strategic planning sessions for many of the nation’s largest MLSs. As part of our due diligence we conduct in-depth interviews with many leading brokers and MLS Board members.  During these interviews, many tell us how they appreciate the depth and scope of services offered by their MLS.

There’s a problem though…many of those we interview have not used the services offered by their local MLS.  In some cases, they are not even familiar with the services being offered.

These board members haven’t taken the time to learn about each of the services offered by their MLS. And further, they have not figured out how to incorporate each technology into their own real estate practice, nor have they trained their agents about how to leverage the tools in their businesses.

Books like The Race For Relevance and Boards that Deliver discuss best practices for highly productive boards, and they speak to the importance of board members immersing themselves in the business of the company they govern. They underline the importance of understanding the key issues, trends and importantly, threats, facing the business. The authors of these important books also talk about the need for each board member to be familiar and comfortable with the services offered by the company.

How can a board member govern effectively when they don’t know what the company offers?   How can they help drive effective decision-making when they don’t know what value is driven by investments in technology?

I pose that for a board member to be effective at governing investment decisions in new technologies, training and other services, it is critical that they become more intimately aware of these offerings.

I know how hard it is to recruit board members- but on the other hand- isn’t the job of a board member critical to the success of the MLS?   Shouldn’t we require participants at the board level to be familiar with all of the services offered by MLS?   Wouldn’t they be able to provide better input and feedback?  I would even go so far as to require that every board member attend training for each of the technologies offered, and then encourage them to use them regularly.

How much more engaging do you think board discussions would be if everyone at the table was intimately familiar with every technology being discussed?

I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Do any MLSs require participation and/or training on each technology offered for their board members?

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