mls ecommerce

How to Succeed with eCommerce

by Marilyn Wilson on May 8, 2013

Many MLSs are now considering offering additional products and service to their members. MLS leaders like MRIS, Metrolist and IRES have made forays into the eCommerce space and are leading the industry to figure out the best methods and promotional paths to success with eCommerce. While the concept of generating more revenue per member is an attractive concept, it is not nearly as easy as one might think. The most successful programs are borne out of constant offer, copy and pricing testing.  Like every eCommerce site online today, customers don’t simply show up and push the “buy now” button. They like to read reviews from customers. Members like to do their homework and read about the features of a variety of products, comparing many options and lining up their own unique individual needs before making a purchase. They may talk to friends, attend a webinar or read a white paper. The bottomline….an MLS cannot expect an agent or broker to go to their online store site and immediately buy a product without information, promotions, education and insights that will reassure them that they are making a sound purchase decision. In my days at SVP Marketing at Fisher-Price, I launched an eCommerce business, working with one of the best in the direct marketing business – the founder of American Girl.  For those that have young girls, you are probably well aware of that brand. They are one of the best direct marketers in the country. I was honored and privileged to have worked side by side with the founder of the company Pleasant Rowland. She taught me the eCommerce business from the ground up. She started her company with a $1mm investment and sold it 10 years later for $750mm to Mattel. She’s a pro. Using proven direct marketing techniques and the support of Pleasant, I was able to create a multi-million eCommerce success story for Fisher-Price. We had never before ventured beyond the shelves of Wal-mart and Target so generating online sales was a very profitable win for the company. I’m really excited to be able to share the knowledge I gained from my days working with Pleasant so that I can help every MLS to short circuit the often expensive and unproductive learning curve. MLSs can be successful in eCommerce, but not if they follow the “build it and they will come” philosophy. It takes hard work, merchandising, offer […]


Many MLSs are now considering offering additional products and services to their members. Come to the RE Technology webinar on Wednesday, May 8th at 11:00 am and learn how to increase your chances of non-dues revenue success with eCommerce. Learn from Lauren Hansen, CEO of IRES MLS, one of the first MLSs to offer eCommerce who will share her early experiences with eCommerce. Also, get a peek at RE Technology’s affordable solutions for eCommerce. Click here to register now! At this session you will learn: What the fundamentals of eCommerce are and what does it take to be profitable Discuss ways that you can make eCommerce a win/win for your subscribers and the MLS How to avoid the “build it and they will come” trap How to determine what products to sell and at what price Identify ways to attract technology companies and valuable revenue sharing opportunities How to entice subscribers to visit your store frequently and purchase often Criteria you can use to evaluate which approach is right for you You can also learn about RE Technology’s Success Store – A commission-free eCommerce program for MLSs   Industry panelists include:       Lauren Hansen – CEO of IRES MLS, who has launched two eCommerce initiatives             Marilyn Wilson –  Founding Partner of WAV Group and former head of eCommerce for Fisher-Price/Mattel Corporation responsible for launching a $100 Million dollar eCommerce initiative         Date: Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 

Time:  2:00pm EST, 1:00pm CST, 11:00am PST


A New eCommerce Model for MLS

by Victor Lund on October 9, 2012

Lauren Hansen, IRES CEO

IRES MLS understands that the MLS cannot build software that is going to meet all of the needs of their subscribers. Rather, they embrace the rich development community that is flourishing in real estate industry today. IRES recognizes that marketing is the greatest cost to offering software as a service. As such, IRES is launching the IRES Success Store. The Store will benefit IRES Subscribers by putting technology at their fingertips, and benefit software developers by providing them with a marketplace for their products. IRES is a unique MLS, like their peers at The MLS, Trend MLS, NABOR and others, they develop and maintain their own MLS software rather than the traditional model of licensing software from an MLS vendor like CoreLogic, LPS, FBS, Solid Earth, Rapattoni, and others. They write code, which is an important distinction in the level of software acumen by this MLS. They have a lot of respect for software developers. Lauren Hansen, IRES CEO, believes that the IRES Success Store should not increase the costs of software purchased by their subscribers. Although the primary mission of IRES is providing MLS services, their software development experience makes them sympathetic to the challenges that face software vendors who offer software as a service to real estate professionals. They honor the efforts of software developers who are trying to drive adoption and satisfaction of their product. As such, the company sought a solution for eCommerce that supported the vendors and their subscribers alike. In doing so, they developed a new eCommerce Model for MLS. The IRES Model: Software vendors pay $600/year ($50 per month) slotting fee per product to be placed in the IRES Success Store. The slotting fee model is the first of its kind in real estate. It avoids costly and time-consuming contract negotiations associated with reseller agreements and complex integrations. It is a simple construct that defers the MLS costs to providing and maintaining the store. IRES selected RE Technology as a partner to build the IRES Success Store. IRES MLS in northern Colorado provides MLS services to 8 Boards and Associations of REALTORS®.  . They also display listing data for Metro Denver and Colorado Springs areas through data-sharing efforts with Metrolist MLS and Pikes Peak MLS. They serve more than 5,000 real estate professionals. If you would like to offer your product in the IRES Success store, please send an email to for […]