mls system

The Bigger LPS Paragon 5 Story

by Victor Lund on December 1, 2011

LPS, developers of the Paragon MLS system, announced that they have secured an agreement to replace a competitors’ MLS system with Paragon 5. This only happens about 12 times each year. The news is less about just getting a win, but tells a larger story about the future of MLS and how one MLS vendor is positioning for long term success. WAV Group performs upwards of 40 MLS customer satisfaction surveys each year to help MLSs understand what agents and brokers expect from their MLS. The number one complaint is Apple compatibility and Mobile compatibility. LPS knew this many years ago (when they were called FNIS or FNRES), and had the guts to invest more than $1Million into rewriting their entire application to meet customer demand. Taking on such a project is not for the faint of heart. It requires developing new software that feels the same as legacy software – like making a new car feel like the old car they know in love. Many things are in the same place – the lights, the breaks, the radio, etc – everything is where long-term Paragon users expect them to be. It was this thoughtful reconstruction that allowed more than 200 MLSs to move seamlessly from Paragon 4 to Paragon 5. Typically, any conversion – including from same system to same system causes an uprising. But in this unique case, MLSs heard more thank yous than hate yous.

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Great Vendors Embrace Rules

by Victor Lund on November 22, 2011

ListingSyndicationsmall

There has been a lot of conversational concern about companies that enter into new verticals of data management and service offerings. Four such instances were announced this year. REALTORS® Property Resource contracts with LPS for data services and LPS subcontracts to Real Estate Digital. Zillow purchased an IDX vendor, Diverse Solutions. MOVE purchased Threewide, the providers of the popular Listhub syndication service. CoreLogic launched a new appraisal tool leveraging MLS data. In every case, the vendor has been virtuous and adhered to contracts and data use rules. In each of these cases, many feared that data could be misused or abused. But, thus far, there have not been any discoveries of inappropriate behavior.

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Why MLS sold data is bad, and a note about the comma

by Victor Lund on November 16, 2011

MLS Sold Data

Oversights are interesting. They are even more interesting when they are fixed.  Let me explain a little bit about “reporting Sales to the (MLS) Service” in the model MLS rules. Up until the recent meeting of the MLS Issues and Policies Committee meeting at the NAR Annual Convention, agents were required to change the listing status to Sold when a transaction closed. This is a case whereby the rule did not clearly indicate the behavior. As written, the agent was required to update the status of the listing, not enter the sale price from the contract. This is a significant rule change – especially if you are in a non-disclosure State. The new rule requires agents to change the status AND report the sale price. In many areas around the country, agents may have assumed that they should enter the transaction price when changing the status. But as a matter of fact, not all agents have been doing that, and the MLS has not had a rule to enforce the reporting of price. Now they do, under the amendment to the rule.

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Technology service providers should think spanish

by Victor Lund on September 20, 2011

MFRMLS logo

When WAV Group was learning about Immobel’s multi-language IDX search strategy earlier this year, Janet Choynowski taught us a valuable lesson. Supporting multiple languages is less about making information legible and more about demonstrating your respect for a person’s culture and heritage. It had a profound impact on us. With this notion couched in our minds, we took note when My Florida Regional MLS announced the launch of CoreLogic Data Co-op to their members, and offered two training classes in Spanish. (http://www.mfrmls.com/member-benefits/mlxchange-benefits/data-co-op). WAV Group suspects that there are a number of MLSs across the country who have significant populations of Hispanic subscribers.

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WAV Group Week in Review September 18 2011

by Victor Lund on September 18, 2011

WAV Group Week in Review

The predominant buzz in real estate this week was focused on successful and unsuccessful buyouts. On the successful side of buyouts, a talented team of managing executives from LPS was able to complete a buyout of non-MLS products and form a new company called RED, an acronym for Real Estate Digital. In a more straightforward buyout, CoreLogic purchased MLS provider Tarasoft, rolling that system under their Marketlinx brand. On the unsuccessful side of buyouts, the Arizona State Association of REALTORS was unsuccessful in its bid to purchase the shares of ARMLS, its first leg in a course to develop a statewide MLS. Although it may be a stretch of the imagination, there is a synthesis among these transactions. We see that there are three ideological philosophies that are becoming more defined in real estate, each represented by one of these buyouts: The Broker/MLS-centric ideology; The MLS-centric ideaology; the State Association-Centric ideaology.

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Purpose Built Data for Listing Syndication

by Victor Lund on August 11, 2011

Listing Syndicaiton

Over the past three years, I have spent time with listing publishers, real estate brokers, MLS executives, and real estate agents collecting information on the strengths and weaknesses of listing syndication. At the core of these conversations was the topic of data quality, terms of use, the value of the listing, the effectiveness of online marketing, and overlapping syndication disorder. Without dissecting each issue, suffice it to suggest that listing syndication is not meeting the needs of todays stakeholders. The systems in place today need to evolve to meet everyone’s needs. This article will suggest that IDX data was not built for syndication, and provide two examples of how that damages the brokers online marketing strategy. The conclusion will offer two suggestions for change.

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Al Unser to Retire as GTAR/NORES CEO on June 30, 2011

by Marilyn Wilson on June 28, 2011

On June 24th, 2011, the Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS announced that their CEO Al J. Unser will retire on June 30, 2011, after 20 years with the association. Mike Cotrill, GTAR’s chief operating officer, will succeed Unser as CEO at that time.

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If Trulia built MLS systems

by Victor Lund on June 6, 2011

Trulia made a brilliant acquisition around the beginning of 2010 when they purchased @movity. @movity was a company that specialized in taking complex data sets and layering them onto maps in a variety of brilliant ways. Today they are leveraging the skills from the @movity team to explore ways to communicate data easily, and drive engagement. The data kings in the real estate industry are CoreLogic and LPS. They are both companies that collect, warehouse, and distribute massive amounts of data. The focus of these companies has always been data quality and predictive analytics – not necessarily presentation or engagement. Zillow busted into their house with the Zestimate – although not quite as accurate, the Zestimate is a reasonable predictor of property value when benchmarked against the “professional AVMs” offered by LPS and CoreLogic.  In truth, Zillow brought the AVM to the consumer, and they did it for free, so consumers cut them some slack for being a little off. Zillow created data easily, and drove engagement. In isolation, data is a rather sleepy lummox, but web presentation changes all of that. I was inspired when the MLS systems around the country embraced map search. Those long forms with checkboxes, drop downs, and codes were such a bore. Form based search is the summit of tedium. For me, map based search changes all of that. MLS data became interesting, and somewhat engaging. Flood Zones, and school districts and other key property characteristics layered over property maps began to convey an understanding of meaning and purpose behind real estate property values. Great data trains the REALTOR and provides them with tools that enable clear communication to the consumer they serve. I sincerely believe that Trulia has an edge today over many of the MLS software provider. Take a look at this video (I would love to see training videos like this in the MLS systems) of how they explain the launch of a new feature. Then go try the product. You are sure to be impressed, and engaged.    

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