Centris is the MLS that provides services to 13,000 agents in Canadian Provence of Quebec. In an announcement today, they agreed to provide a new service to all of their members called Urbanimmersive. Urbanimmersive is a full suite of online marketing tools that includes photographers that create content to power videos, virtual tours, 3D Tours, aerial photographs, and other digital media. Normally, brokers and franchises would not appreciate the MLS delivering services like this, but Montreal is different.
Organized real estate would be at risk in Quebec if the Association of REALTORS® and the MLS had not stepped up their game. FSBOs were taking over the market five years ago. Since then, Centris has worked with brokers and franchises to fight back. The cornerstone of this battle is “Realtor Education” and their MLS consumer facing website – centris.ca. Here is the link to the English version of the site that adheres to the fair display guidelines: http://www.centris.ca/en/. [ Disclaimer – WAV Group facilitated the development of this strategy with the Centris Board of Directors. ] It is a success story.
Enhancing the digital footprint created for every community and every listing with rich media is the next step in their journey to differentiate the quality of working with a Realtor vs. going the FSBO route. Content is king! But there is another king maker here. There are 100,000 properties for sale in Quebec today. That is a lot of inventory that needs digital assets. Surely, this is a big market opportunity for Urbanimmersive. Centris just paved the way for Urbanimmersive to gain access to hundreds of thousands of photo shoots. Both Centris and Urbanimmersive will need to work closely to execute this program effectively.
The agreement also stipulates that a representative of Centris® will join, without compensation, the Board of Directors of Urbanimmersive.
Boom! There is nothing like a seat on the Board of Directors of your vendor to insure that the organization has the support and focus that will be required to serve 13,000 agents and 100,000 listings.
If your MLS is making a major decision to work with a firm that does not have a lot of MLS experience, be sure to consider putting a board seat in your agreement. It will go a long way toward insuring success and understanding the health of the company you are contracting with.
Need more creativity in vendor selection? Invite WAV Group to help.