NNRMLS Shares Best Practice for Data Management

by Victor Lund on August 30, 2016

The Northern Nevada Regional MLS could be considered a middle tier MLS, ranking around the top 100 largest MLSs in the nation. There are approximately 728 MLSs today, down from 750 in the past 6 months. As consolidation runs rampant across America’s MLS, NNRMLS has become a shining light of MLS excellence. Shelley Specchio, CEO of NNRMLS credits a combination of strong broker relationships and the influence of the Council of MLS as keystones for keeping NNRMLS well positioned to serve their brokers, especially in areas of Data Management.

Data Management for MLS has three themes. The first theme is the MLS system database. The second is data services to participating firms, like Internet Data Exchange (IDX) or Virtual Office Websites (VOW). The third is Listing Syndication to publishers. It is this last area of Listing Syndication that NNRMLS developed a Best Practice for Data Management. Specchio explains, “When Listing Syndication became a hot topic back in 2013, we realized that while we, the leadership and staff, had been engaging in the national discussion and clearly understood the ins and outs of Syndication, many of our brokers had not thought about it since we launched ListHub in 2007. Focused on their own businesses, they had forgotten the details and we had failed to keep them engaged in the process, the result was frustration.”

To redesign their Data Management program for Listing Syndication, Specchio began to organize a series of meetings to better understand the source of the frustration as well as the pain points for brokers. At first, she fielded demands to drop ListHub and Syndication entirely. But as 2014 progressed and more broker meetings were hosted, it became evident that the main complaint was mistakenly founded on the notion that the MLS was syndicating listings without proper broker direction. (To be clear, NNRMLS has always been a broker opt-in for all Listing Syndication and continues to be.) Once brokers were reintroduced to these facts other issues emerged including, data licensing with publishers, access to control of listing distribution, the speed of updates to the publishers chosen by the broker, and a demand to accurately identify the status.

Best Practice for Broker Choice

NNRMLS Site

One frustration included accessing the dashboard to make syndication decisions. Although NNRMLS has long offered Single Sign on through Clareity Security, ListHub does not, even now, support an SSO solution.  So NNRMLS created a Broker Section on the Clareity SSO Dashboard where brokers have access to several listing distribution resources: Listhub (password required) Zillow Direct Options (SSO enabled), the NNRMLS Syndication Terms of Use Document, Broker Lookup Tool to help track IDX and VOW agreements, and Opt-in protocol for both Realtor.com and NNRMLS.com, the MLS Consumer facing website.

Data Management Consultations

But most importantly, along with adding these technological improvements, NNRMLS instituted what they refer to as their Data Management Consultations. These are in person meetings where NNRMLS staff provide their Participant with information on all data licenses executed within the brokerage. The goal of this meeting is to ensure that a broker’s listing inventory is flowing exactly as the broker intends and the broker knows all the available options. After reviewing IDX and VOW data feeds, the various options for listing syndication are discussed.  They review the technology for making and updating destination choices, lead routing options are established or updated, terms of use and display guidelines are reviewed, the various statistical reports showing views and traffic are reviewed and information for the broker to share with agents within the office is provided.

Best Practice for Data Licensing

Long ago, WAV Group published a white paper that looked at the standard terms of use on third party listing websites titled Listing Syndication, Read the Fine Print. If you read that fine print in the footer of most third party listing websites, you learn that when you send your listings to them, you grant them the perpetual ownership of the data and the broker maintains the liability for the submitted data forever. It’s not cool.

The problem this creates is that every broker should consider having a direct data license agreement with each publisher that defines the use of the submitted data. Most extend a limited license for the term of the listing being active then require a takedown of the data thereafter. Rather than hundreds of NNRMLS brokers lawyering data license agreements with dozens of publishers, the MLs did the lawyering for them. In effect, NNRMLS created data license agreements that protect the rights of brokers and sellers with online advertising.

About Northern Nevada Regional MLS, Inc.

Incorporated in 2003, Reno-based NNRMLS provides services to REALTORS® across northern Nevada including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Minden, Gardnerville, Lake Tahoe, Yerington, Dayton, Fernley and Fallon. NNRMLS provides the platform for a robust real estate marketplace, creating the secure environment where its Participants closed $3.3 billion in transactions in 2015. NNRMLS prides itself on offering premium customer service and leading edge technology to 3,000 Brokers and Agents who, in turn, deliver exceptional service to the home buying and selling public through knowledge, experience and professionalism.

###

Shelley SpecchioShelley Specchio is the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Nevada Regional MLS. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nevada Reno, her career in the real estate industry began when she was hired to sell and produce a real estate magazine for the Reno/Sparks Association of REALTORS® in 1994. In 2003 Shelley helped regionalize the MLS and was promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing of the newly created NNRMLS.  Shelley took over as CEO in 2008 and her dedication to superior service and her open management style has assisted in building a vibrant and progressive organization.

Shelley has flourished under the collaborative environment of this industry and is pleased to give back by dedicating her time and energy to various Boards and Committees. In 2015, Shelley was honored to serve as 2015 President of the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) and on the Board of Directors of the National Association of REALTORS®. Currently, Shelley serves as Immediate Past President of CMLS was appointed by CMLS to represent the MLS Industry on NAR’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board and the Association Executives Institute Curriculum Committee. Shelley holds a position on NAR’s MLS Issues and Policy Committee in addition to participating on the Technology Committee of UpstreamRE and serving on several leadership and industry advisory committees.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Charles Kitchen August 31, 2016 at 11:28 am

As a Trustee for the NNRMLS I can say how blessed we are to have Shelley at the helm of our MLS. She is a forward thinker and grounded in the best business practices. We are in an area that is showing great growth and we have a membership that is up on technology and this helps to promote our MLS.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: