Upstream Update From CMLS

by Victor Lund on April 12, 2016

cmls logoCMLS gets the scoop on this latest UpstreamRE release. Kathy Condon of CMLS was able to connect with UpstreamRE spokesperson Craig Cheatham to catch up on the progress made on the development side in the first three months of the year since the vendor agreement was signed. As a reminder, CMLS is hosting a “bring it to the table” meeting on Tuesday, May the 10th in Washtington D.C. For those of you attending the NAR Midyear meetings – you may want to fly in a day early for this meeting. It’s one of the best ways to get a 360 degree review of all of the presessing issues in the world of MLS. It sells out fast – so visit the Council of MLS website today to reserve your spot http://councilofmls.com/cmls-opens-brings-it-to-the-table-priority-registration-for-members/

From The CMLS President…….

Shortly after the Project Upstream concept was first revealed last year, CMLS promised to keep you informed about the status of this initiative and seek collaboration with the developers in order to share member knowledge and experience. I am pleased to report that our organization has met these objectives.

CMLS Past President Shelley Specchio, CEO of Northern Nevada Regional MLS, has been invited to serve on the Technology Work Group that monitors the development of Upstream. Her involvement will play a critical role in ensuring the MLS industry has a voice in the development of this software and provide an early opportunity to review it in an effort to develop best practices and member standards upon its adoption.

Her work will not be alone. According to the first Upstream Update that was sent exclusively to CMLS from Upstream officially, some brokers are participating in initial testing along with their MLS organizations. Their involvement will incorporate MLS business rules into the system. Upstream has also committed to provide us with regular updates.

While this represents phenomenal progress in developing a collaborative relationship with Upstream, it is important to note that CMLS has still not taken a positon, nor have we attempted to predict the potential impact of this project on MLSs and the industry at large. It is still too early to do any of these things.

Our commitment remains consistent in supporting innovations that improve the ability of our members to better serve their constituents by ensuring an orderly marketplace with cooperation and compensation among brokers. We will continue to explore innovations that provide for the most cohesive, consistent, and efficient marketplace possible while simultaneously observing local and regional preferences as established by the stakeholders of any given MLS.

We are working to build a better marketplace and we accomplish this by bringing the real estate industry together to explore issues, provide solutions, and advance multiple listing services. When it comes to concepts such as Upstream or models like the Advanced Multi-List Platform (AMP), we work toward collaboration in order to advance the best interests in the industry.

This path isn’t exclusive. CMLS members are working every day to solve MLS issues with best practices that are increasingly seen as industry standards. You too can make a difference at your organization by adopting these standards, communicating with brokers, and working with us to bring forward industry solutions.

If you know of an MLS that is not currently a CMLS member and could benefit from these solutions, please encourage them to join today or introduce them to Denee Evans, CEO of CMLS, so she may determine how we can best meet their needs. After all, CMLS remains the best opportunity to learn new insights, participate in groundbreaking conversations, and make lasting contributions to the industry.

You will see this first hand by reviewing the initial Upstream Update prepared for CMLS and its members, at the Brings It To The Table Series Workshop in May, and at our annual conference in Las Vegas this September. Membership, involvement, and support goes a long way in advancing the MLS industry.

Thank you,

Kathy Condon

President, CMLS

President  & CEO

MLS Property Information Network, Inc.

 

Upstream Update for CMLS Members – March 2016 – from UpstreamRE, LLC

TESTING: Several brokers around the country have identified an office they will support as a pilot for initial testing of the software that will power Upstream. The number stands at 42 currently, but we expect that count to drop as our Pilot Plan / Implementation Work Group narrows the field to a more manageable set of offices. These branches represent 20 different MLSs, but the number of MLSs that will participate in the first, live tests likely will equal a smaller number, as well. Brokers are supplying information about their firm’s data management, and our vendor is setting up conversations with MLSs to identify unique features of the various MLSs included in this group. MLS staff in these pilot markets will have the chance to play an important role.

DEVELOPMENT:  Our vendor’s staff has completed its fourth “sprint” and begun the fifth this month. Recent work has focused on Application Programming Interface (API) functionality and on preparing ways to incorporate various MLS business rules into the system. So far, development is on schedule with the timeline set back in 2015. A Technology Work Group has been monitoring our vendor’s progress and is helping guide their work. CMLS Past President Shelley Specchio recently joined this group, at Upstream’s request, to provide MLS experience and expertise to this group’s efforts.

STAFFING: The Board of Managers appointed a Search Committee that has been working with an executive search firm to identify candidates for the first hire, a chief executive officer, and to secure that individual as soon as possible. A long list of candidates — from industry recommendations, individuals expressing interest themselves and from the search firm’s own file of executives — has been narrowed down to a very short list. In-person interviews will be scheduled for April and a hiring announcement is expected in late April or early May if things continue at the current pace. Finalists all have a good sense of the project, all the stakeholders and the work that lies ahead for the next many months.

AGREEMENTS: Work will begin soon on the various agreements and other documents that will be connected to the Upstream project. An Agreements Work Group that includes attorney members of the Upstream Board of Managers and broker representatives has begun the process of outlining subscriber agreements, third-party agreements, etc.

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