MLS

App

Imagine a world where every real estate agent, broker and franchise in the nation promoted their real estate mobile app to consumers. The app is white-label branded to the agent, broker, and franchise offering direct access to every MLS listing without any competitive ads. That is the way it would need to work. Guess what, we have it. You have it. Our industry has it. Today.

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MLS Terms of Use Changes and Copyright FAQ

by Victor Lund on March 27, 2018

This post is the result of a collaborative effort amongst the Council of Multiple Listing Services, The Realty Alliance, The National Association of REALTORS®, and Larson Skinner PLLC. 

Many MLSs have been making changes to the way they file copyright applications and their MLS terms of use. Those changes have raised some questions from participants and subscribers. This FAQ is intended to answer some of those questions and emphasize that the MLSs are not forcing participants or subscribers to give up ownership of listing content.

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CRS Data

Are you passionate about building software that is easy to use and provides really powerful information to help real estate professionals prospect more effectively and provide better information to their clients?

Do you wake up at night thinking about ways to help REALTORS® be more successful?  

Do you LOVE to find new ways to display real estate data to make it more actionable?

Do you believe your experience has uniquely prepared you to understand the practical workflows of agents and the REAL informational needs that agents will actually USE?

If so, we have a really exciting position to tell you about!

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NAR Gets Serious About RESO Compliance

by Marilyn Wilson on February 2, 2018

The National Association of REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer, Bob Goldberg has been making some impressive moves this week. The first move is to send threatening letters to about 90 MLSs who have not adopted the RESO Standards or are not adhering to the MLS Policy required to maintain NAR affiliation.  Some of the MLSs are being cited for not being certified with the RESO Data Dictionary and some do not yet have availability with the RESO Web API. While many MLSs still believe that RESO is not critical to their business, we hear from brokers regularly that they are requesting RESO feeds and their MLS says it is not available. Worse yet, some MLS don’t even know what the broker or their tech company is TALKING about when they ask for a RESO certified feed.  This proactive step in policy enforcement will go a LONG way to help fix this problem. We are so excited to see NAR get serious about compliance with NAR policies. By putting more teeth into policy compliance, NAR is helping brokers to leverage technology in new and exciting ways to differentiate their business, compete more effectively and most importantly, remain vital for the long haul by better serving the needs of their clients. For all MLSs who are RESO compliant, there are better ways for you to promote availability of RESO Standards too.  RESO has created a FREE marketing toolkit with videos, articles and logos you can use to make it easier to help your brokers take full advantage of your RESO compliance. Now that NAR is getting serious about RESO compliance, it’s time to turn its attention to IDX rules compliance.   We have worked tirelessly side by side with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and the Realty Alliance to update IDX rules to make them broker-friendly including options to offer Pendings and Solds, co-mingling data from multiple MLSs, requiring approval of IDX feeds more quickly, and a myriad of other proactive changes that have helped IDX feeds work harder for brokers.  Many MLSs are in full compliance with all of these new required policies and they are making it easier for their brokers to compete more aggressively for consumer attention and engagement.  Just like RESO compliance, however, there are MANY MLSs that have ignored the new required policy changes and simply say NO when one of their brokers calls to ask for […]

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Inside Real Estate Acquires Circlepix

by Victor Lund on February 1, 2018

Circlepix has sold everything. They operated an extensive network of photographers that they sold to VHT Studios in January. Now they have sold the rest of their company to Inside Real Estate. If you have not followed Inside Real Estate lately – pay attention. Inside Real Estate is the incredible company that recently landed Keyes – one of the largest firms in South East Florida among others. They are taking a piecemeal approach to purchasing world class software providers to complete their suite of an end-to-end solution for brokers, teams, and agents. At the heart of Inside Real Estate is Kunversion – a competitor with Commissions Inc and Boomtown. What’s different is that Commissions Inc. and Boomtown do not really have an enterprise broker solution. Inside Real Estate invested a year of development to extend the original Kunversion platform to make it a fully enterprise broker solution. For brokers looking to run significant digital marketing campaigns, you need to look at systems like Inside Real Estate. Inside Real Estate calls their broker platform KVCore. It’s great website solution for lead capture off of online media buys. Behind the lead capture, they have an impressive CRM. It does everything that other CRMs do, but is built to look fresh and impressive to agents. It is among the best broker-in-a-box solutions – broker facing website and co-branded agent websites with impressive integrations supporting SSO and Web APIs.  WAV Group has written extensively about how brokers can remargin their business by generating online leads and referring consumers to their agents for a referral fee. What is interesting about Inside Real Estate is that they are building their application stack by purchasing known companies with lots of customers. Kunversion was their first big purchase. Reimagined as a platform, KVCore provides broker website, intranet, and agent websites. It also incorporates an excellent CRM that is pretty competitive to other CRM leaders. Inside Real Estate handles digital marketing and lead capture on Social Media and other platforms as well. Inside Real Estate is integrated with around 450 of the 690 MLS markets supporting RESO certified data feeds. Their system internalizes about 85% of all listings in America. Inside Real Estate purchased an amazing company called BrokerSumo a few months ago. They have a commission accounting solution that is lighter than LoneWolf, AccountTECH, or ProfitPower – but pickup up the full accounting ledger with Quickbooks integration. With […]

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The Houston Association of REALTORS® has long held the honor of celebrating success at the top of the MLS consumer facing website leaderboard. WAV Group has referenced this center of excellence in countless writings, research reports, and planning sessions. We turn once again to this well operated company to exhibit an example of how they are continuing to progress. One of the keynotes of driving consumer engagement is through email marketing campaigns. Today, RealInsights (the name of the HAR newsletter) is sent to an opt-in list of 800,000 consumers every two weeks! That is a vast consumer reach to promote Realtors and their properties to consumers. Even though the Broker Public Portal and Homesnap are fast approaching the heels of HAR success – they continue to shine bright in the great State of Texas. The Name Change All of us industry folks refer to HAR.com the same way that Texans say it “H-A-R Dot Com.” What some of you may not know is that they embarked on a mission to extend HAR.com to encompass all of Texas. As part of that strategic initiative, the letters have new meaning. No longer does H.A.R. stand for the Houston Association of REALTORS®. It now denotes a broader consumer brand name that is more encompassing and supporting of their expansion efforts. H.A.R. now denotes Homes and Rentals. Content Strategy Like many website operators, the creation of great consumer content requires great journalists. Common options for content creation include hiring full time staff or outsourcing to free-lance writers. Full time writers are expensive, often charging $60,000 or more plus benefits. You can hire free-lance writers for about $300 to $500 per article for good stuff, but you often run into a time management issue of finding the writer, following up on deadline, and the quality of work can sometimes prove difficult to manage. HAR found a great solution! HouseLogic®, a service of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATON OF REALTORS® is an excellent resource for content. You will notice that the articles in the HAR.com newsletter are all sourced from HouseLogic with attribution. In the footer of the article on the HAR website is the statement – Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. HouseLogic® has done a great job of generating content for consumers. The company comes under fire for their efforts to attract consumers to […]

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This year I am proud to say that through our member satisfaction survey efforts with our MLS partners we have been able to survey over 250,000 real estate agents and brokers. We have learned a lot about where the real perceived value of an MLS is derived. While many respondents are very satisfied with the technologies, training and support offered by their local MLS, few appreciate or even understand the marketing power that a multiple listing service delivers to them. Just think about it, MLSs offer a myriad of ways to help brokers succeed and yet get VERY LITTLE credit for it. Here’s a SIMPLE TIP to help your members understand the FREE marketing exposure they are getting as part of their MLS membership. MLS Consumer Sites can throw off thousands of FREE leads to their members.   Interestingly, though, when we surveyed agents about the quantity and quality of leads they receive from their local MLS, few are aware of the marketing value they are receiving.   Most don’t even see their MLS as anything more than the MLS system, even though many MLSs spend thousands and even millions of dollars on a myriad of products designed to help REALTORS® succeed! SIMPLE TIP!  While turning the tides and helping subscribers understand the marketing power they receive from their MLS, there are simple steps you can take to start to change attitudes over time. Here’s an extremely simple tip to improving awareness of the leads your local MLS site generates for your members.   Check the subject line of the emails that go out telling an agent that they have a listing inquiry from their site.  Most default message are something like “Customer Inquiry for 123 Main Street” Instead of something generic like that, change it to: “Hurry! You have a new lead from XYZ MLS!” Every time one of those emails is received by one of your members, it will start to educate them about the business generation power MLSs bring them every day. Instead of thinking of MLSs as a utility, members can start to think of the MLS as a Marketing Network – harnessing the collective marketing power of agents in the local area to provide exposure and sales opportunities to every member in the MLS. I have heard from technology leaders at several MLSs that this change will literally take about 5 minutes!  This simple step may be the […]

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FBS Acquires Solid Earth

by Kevin Hawkins on December 4, 2017

If 2018 does indeed turn out to be “The Year of Consolidation” in the MLS world, then the stage was set today in the MLS technology world by FBS. One of the most respected and innovative tech firms serving the real estate industry just helped with the consolidation trend. Michael Wurzer, who heads up FBS, creators of Flexmls System and the API that started it all (Spark Platform), announced today the acquisition of Solid Earth’s Spring software platform and the hiring of the Spring team, including its CEO Matt Fowler. This marks FBS first acquisition. Ever. Considering the company was established over 30 years ago, this is a BIG deal. FBS is known for industry “firsts” in the MLS tech world. It was the first to offer a native mobile app, first to create a Web API with its Spark API technology, and earlier this year, first to power on-demand IDX websites for agents with AgentSquared. Now it has its first acquisition. Read the full news release here: FBS acquires Solid Earth’s Spring software platform to achieve powerful industry vision Fargo, North Dakota – December 4, 2017 – FBS, creators of the industry-leading Flexmls® System and Spark Platform, announce acquisition of Solid Earth’s Spring software platform and the hiring of the Spring team. The trio of the Spring® Portal, the Spark® API, and the Flexmls® System creates a new, powerful platform that puts MLSs, brokers, and agents in full control of their data and brand to clearly and beautifully showcase their unique value propositions to their client-bases on both web and mobile platforms. Michael Wurzer, CEO of FBS, says he looks forward to building on the foundation established when FBS and Solid Earth announced a partnership earlier this year to build the Spring Portal on the Spark API. “Spring is the best MLS consumer portal in the market and powering it with the Spark API reduces duplicate entry and data lock-in for brokers and agents,” Wurzer said. “Today, MLSs, brokers, and agents need to clearly and beautifully communicate the full-breadth of the powerful value proposition they deliver together, and Spring is laser-focused on creating the best portal to deliver on that value proposition.” With Spring MLS consumer portals already being deployed in a number of MLS markets, both Wurzer and Solid Earth CEO and co-Founder Matt Fowler (who will continue his role leading the Spring team at FBS as a […]

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Consolidation: What PR Tactics Can Help?

by Kevin Hawkins on November 29, 2017

Process Integration

2018 could very well be the “Year of Consolidation” in the MLS industry. With the recent NAR move towards an “MLS of Choice” policy, we are likely to see a huge momentum build towards consolidation, especially in the second half of next year. That’s because smaller MLSs are going to find profitability under their current pricing model impossible. The simplest (and most often the best) solution will be to merge. By failing to plan for the role communications and PR plays within a consolidation, you are planning to fail. That’s because an effective communications and PR plan is vital to the success of any consolidation. Without it, at the very least, you will fail some of your members as they will not feel included, and at the worse, you will fail all of them, as they all, may feel, in some way, left out. Importance of PR PricewaterhouseCoopers wrote about mergers “the need for effective communication is often overlooked or underestimated in the flurry of activity surrounding a deal. Executing a strong and clear communication strategy is critical to successful integration.” That came from an accounting firm: the folks that typically ask why you are spending so much money on advertising and PR?! Ask any professional consultant who has lived in the world of company consolidations about the importance of internal communications and external public relations. You’ll quickly understand this is a corner you do not want to cut. It is a vital business tactic. In some ways, consolidations are all about communications. Let’s look at just a few of the practical tactical communications and PR activities that are needed for planning any successful consolidation: Strategic Communications What are we telling our employees, our vendors or strategic partners, our investors, or other stakeholders about the goals, timeline and expected outcomes of the consolidation? When are we telling whom, what and when? What are the best internal communication channels we can use to communicate to our staff? What are the right messages for each phase, and when do we communicate these and why do we use just these channels and the right timing? How do we mitigate the chances of internal communications being leaked externally, keeping internal messages internal? Pubic Relations What is our story, the story we want to tell? What are the key phrases that we want to emphasize and resonate with our key audiences? What are our core […]

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Exciting news from one of the hottest new technologies in the MLS space – REMINE.  They have recently partnered with First American to include detailed property information for 100% of the properties in America. This will allow REMINE customers to conduct even deeper searches to uncover prospecting opportunities through their local MLS. For those that haven’t heard about this new company, their platform analyzes property records, transnational history, consumer data and delivers actionable insights on an intuitive user interface.  With just a few clicks an agent can identify a specific type of audience they would like to target – investors, long-term homeowners, etc. and then seamlessly create a Facebook ad to target those specific customers.  Many of our MLS customers are pretty excited about this solution. Here’s the full press release below: Irvine, CA — (November 10th, 2017) — Remine, a real estate intelligence platform for Agents, now includes detailed property information on 100 percent of the U.S. housing stock from First American Financial Corporation, a leading provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions. The Remine platform analyzes property records, transactional history, homeownership data and delivers actionable insights on an intuitive user interface. “Our MLS clients want deeper data integrations, including autopopulation of property information, our machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions. The demand for this service exceeded our expectations; 2018 is going to be a transformative year,” said Jonathan Spinetto, COO of Remine. “We’re pleased to provide our industry-leading property data to the MLS industry and realtors through our work with Remine, a true innovator in the MLS market,” said George Livermore, executive vice president of First American’s Data and Mortgage Solutions division. “The integration of our data with Remine’s best-in-class platform reflects our commitment to provide innovative businesses in the real estate industry with the data needed to achieve their goals.” About Remine Remine is a real estate intelligence platform for Agents that is delivered exclusively through the MLS. The platform analyzes property records, transactional history, consumer data and delivers actionable insights on an intuitive user interface. Many of the nation’s largest MLSs representing more than 500,000 Realtors have signed up for Remine. Visit Remine.com or call 855-217-0171. About First American First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF) is a leading provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions that traces its heritage back to 1889. First American […]

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Love HELPING REALTORS® succeed? Have we got a job for you!

by Marilyn Wilson on November 2, 2017

We’re excited to announce that WAV Group is working with Carolina Multiple Listing Service (CarolinaMLS) to find a Help Desk Support Manager. Carolina MLS CarolinaMLS is an 11,000 member organization which is a subsidiary of the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association.  This progressive organization is one of the largest associations in the U.S. and CarolinaMLS is experiencing significant growth.  In addition to providing wholesale service to North Carolina Mountains MLS and adding 3,519 users, it is in the process of onboarding over 600 more users by providing wholesale service to the MLS of Catawba Valley, bringing subscriber numbers to 15,000+.  Additional similar MLS growth is anticipated. This vibrant organization also has a school of real estate (Mingle School of Real Estate) and a 501(c)(3) foundation (the Housing Opportunity Foundation) as well as a Realtor® Store.  All are housed together in centrally located Charlotte, NC and they are in the process of building a new 66,000sq. ft. building with cutting edge technology and services at the same location. CarolinaMLS, as well as the organization as a whole, has remarkable stability and a very low turnover rate.  Retention is high, quality of life and home-work life balance are priorities.  It is a pleasant and casual environment with a culture of mutual respect and open communication but also a culture of service, with the realization that it exists to serve its members, participants and subscribers. Job Responsibilities The Help Desk Support Manager is a critical driver of member satisfaction and loyalty for the organization. This position is responsible for managing a team that is delivering timely, respectful and helpful information. The team is responsible for helping REALTORS® leverage CarolinaMLS tools to sell more real estate. This position is responsible for helping CarolinaMLS members fully leverage the technologies available including the Matrix MLS system, Carolinahome.com, Carolinarealtors.com, Mingleschool.com, Showing Time, SAFEMLS, Realist, Move/ListHub and Statistical Analysis Module (SAM).  They also assist with identifying and writing communications explaining system updates to members. The Help Desk Support Manager will work closely with the VP of MLS as well as the CIO and will also be responsible for working closely with the MLS Committee to ensure that the system continues to evolve to serve the ever-changing needs of CarolinaMLS members.  The successful candidate will participate in MLS committee meetings regarding MLS system updates and assist with implementing MLS committee recommendations to update or improve the MLS system.   They are […]

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It is really difficult to serve the needs of all of your MLS subscribers. Some are extremely tech savvy and some have little interest in technology, yet MLS systems and tools need to address all of their needs ideally. Do you want to be the best MLS you can be? Are you interested in what your members and REALTORS® across America have to say about the services and support that MLSs offer? If so, WAV Group can help you.  We’re offering a FREE service to the industry to evaluate the current state of MLS services and support. Armed with the valuable feedback gathered from agents and brokers around North America, you can be sure that you are services are meeting the grade. WAV Group would like to invite each of MLSs and Association colleagues to participate in our upcoming MLS Services and Support Survey.  As in past years, the WAV Group survey will measure awareness, adoption and attitudes about the services and support offered by MLS organizations throughout North America. The WAV Group 2017 MLS Services and Support survey will measure the attitudes of MLS leadership and staff AS WELL AS daily practitioners and users of MLS services.  We believe that it is critical to understand the feedback and insights of both of these important groups. Results of the FREE Survey will be shared with the industry. Individual market results will also be shared with participating MLS organizations as requested. For the first time the WAV Group MLS Services and Support Survey will ALSO include questions to uncover the most interesting ways for MLSs to continue to improve the services and support they offer. This section of the survey will help MLS technology providers and MLS organizations help outline the path for continual improvements in relevance and customer satisfaction. If you would like to participate in the survey, please register here and we’ll contact you with the details. If you have any questions about the survey, feel free to reach out to me at Marilyn@wavgroup.com. Thanks so much for your participation! CLICK HERE to register so that your organization can take advantage of this important survey.

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MLSs have a great opportunity to significantly improve the relevance and marketing power of their organization by finding ways to better serve the needs of their brokers and real estate consumers. I had the honor of interviewing David Charron, Chief Strategy Office of Bright MLS about the highly successful merger between Trend MLS, MRIS and several other MLSs in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. They have come together to create one of the largest MLSs in North America. Hear directly from David what it took to accomplish this broker-centric feat!  Check out the video below where David will give you specific ideas about how you too can accomplish consolidation in your local market. Learn from one of the best and brightest(pun intended) about how to create a more relevant organization positioned to help REALTORS®  succeed in even big ways. After you watch the video be sure to subscribe to WAV Group’s newly relaunched Youtube Channel too! Enjoy!  

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Redfin Offers Method To Modernize IDX

by Victor Lund on September 19, 2017

“Let’s modernize IDX by linking to the listing broker!” IDX or Internet Data Exchange is a thesis that was developed by the collaboration between Brokers and MLSs that outlines a set of display rules for listings on broker websites. The idea behind IDX is that of cooperation among brokers. Fundamentally, the IDX policy states that a broker allows all other brokers participating in an MLS to display their listings on any broker (and usually Agent) website. Over the years, the IDX policy has evolved. And today, Redfin CEO, Glenn Kelman suggests a radical new change. Kelman would like the IDX policy to require that every display of IDX listings provide a link to the listing broker’s website. As the screenshot illustrates, the National Association of REALTORS® MLS Policy on IDX requires the Broker to be identified as shown here. Displaying the listing agent is a local election and sometimes required. In the illustration below, everything is static. The big idea is to add a requirement to include a hyperlink to the broker/agent website (canonical source of information). Kelman goes further in the development of his concept to suggest that the broker name and link be prominently displayed above the fold (top of the page before you scroll). WAV Group joins Redfin in the belief that this would massively increase the traffic to listing brokers’ websites form search engines. Having hundreds of real estate websites link to the listing brokerage for each listing should completely re-orient search rankings. Search Engines are always looking for the most authoritative source of information – including real estate information. Kelman has strong beliefs and enormous respect for the listing firm. “The listing broker is the one who pays for, reviews and uploads all the photos. The listing broker updates and validates all the data about the property, and writes the marketing description. The home-buying consumer should be able to find her way to the full listing on the listing broker’s site, where she may also be able to see virtual tours, three-dimensional scans, and additional marketing materials about the listing, not to mention details on how to ask a question about the home or even arrange a tour with another agent at the listing brokerage if that’s what she prefers.” WAV Group’s research and analytics team finds that Redfin is, by a factor of two or three, the most popular brokerage website today. The leading […]

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Announcing WAV Group’s 2017 MLS Services and Support Survey

by Marilyn Wilson on September 6, 2017

WAV Logo

It is critical that every MLS continually evaluate its technology service offerings and support provided.  WAV Group would like to provide a FREE service to the industry to evaluate the current state of MLS services and support available today. WAV Group would like to invite our readers to participate in our upcoming nationwide MLS Services and Support Survey.  As in past years, the WAV Group survey will measure awareness, adoption and attitudes about the services and support offered by MLS organizations throughout the United States. As in past years, the WAV Group annual survey will measure the attitudes of MLS leadership and staff as well as daily practitioners and users of MLS services.  We believe that it is critical to understand the feedback and insights of both of these important groups. Results of the FREE Survey will be shared with the industry. Individual market results will also be shared with participating MLS organizations as requested. If you would like to participate in the survey, please register here and we’ll contact you with the details. Thanks so much for your participation! CLICK HERE to register:

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Want Raving Fans? 5 Gotta Haves for your 2018 MLS Budget

by Marilyn Wilson on September 5, 2017

Budget

WAV Group conducts more subscriber satisfaction research for MLSs than anyone else in the country.  We have a depth of understanding of the key drivers of satisfaction and perceived relevance for MLS organizations. Here’s the 5 key opportunities for improving your MLS’ satisfaction and relevance as you move into 2018: Go TO your Members Create a Field Support/Training Team There is NOTHING that drives up customer engagement and satisfaction for MLSs more than a team of customer servants that go out into the field, attending office meetings, broker events and community events.  These valuable team members can help educate subscribers on the technology and tools offered to drive up adoption and perceived value of the MLS fees. They can also gather input on ways to improve technology, service and support for your customers.  On every survey that we field, satisfaction numbers are off the charts with those that have attended sessions with MLS customer servants. Marketing Make Promotion a Priority    All of our MLS clients wish they could get every one of their subscribers to take full advantage of the tools, support and training they offer, yet,  according to the 2017 CMLS Best Practices Survey, just 18% of MLSs have full-time marketing staff.   In order for your members to take full advantage of the services you offer they need to understand the practical, tangible benefits that will help them succeed in real estate.  2018 is the year to think about hiring a marketing person, contract with an outside resource or a combination of both. Prepare for the Future Strategic Planning Our industry has never moved faster than it is right now. It’s time for every MLS to question every assumption and take a fundamental look at the company’s role, relevance and reason for being.  It’s time to think about important new ways to anticipate the needs of your customers and find new ways to help them be more successful without levelling the playing field. How do you know if you are addressing the needs of your brokers?  As part of the preparations for the strategic plan, you interview your largest brokers to be sure you are getting the whole truth so you can address their needs. Sometimes brokers are more willing to speak to outsides than their own team.  You will get unfettered access to the best ways you can improve your working relationship and value with your brokers. It’s […]

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Are you Taking Your Subscribers for Granted?

by Marilyn Wilson on August 8, 2017

Asking for feedback can be one of the hardest things we do as adults, especially if you know that feedback is going to be at least a little bit critical. Nobody likes to be told what they’re doing wrong. However, there’s a big mistake that many service organizations make — The mistake? Neglecting to actively solicit feedback from their customers regarding satisfaction with their services. How do you know if you’re delivering good service if you’re not asking your members or subscribers? ? You’re taking money from them on a regular basis. Even if they don’t have a better option in your market, you still have a responsibility to understand how they feel about you. Minimally, every MLS should be conducting an annual customer satisfaction benchmarking study. Ideally the surveys will  maintain some percentage of questions from year to year to help them benchmark  satisfaction trends over time — technology satisfaction, technology adoption, customer support satisfaction, training satisfaction and more — and also pepper in questions about new service levels. And here’s something you might not have considered: Overall, most of your clients are probably pretty happy with your services. In every case where we’ve ever done customer satisfaction benchmarking, we’ve found that generally, satisfaction is strong — but what it does for every company is it gives them a window into their weaknesses, and they start to identify the areas where they can be stronger. If you conduct an annual survey and use it to eliminate your two biggest weaknesses every year, then in three years, your company is going to be much t stronger. Another benefit to customer satisfaction surveys: You can discover who, specifically, is not happy with your service — and once you find out who they are, you can call and contact them individually and give them the  one-on-one attention they’re looking for Usually the unhappy group makes up less than 1 percent of your total customer base, and they’re often complaining about something that annoys or frustrates other subscribers  too. So focusing on and fixing those problems will also elevate your customer satisfaction — and your relevance in the market — over time. Customer satisfaction is ultimately your biggest protection against market disruption, If you have an engaged customer base who loves you and feels like you’re there to work with them and help solve their problems, it’ll be a lot harder for any […]

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RMLS, arguably one of the most progressive MLSs in America today took a brave new step to make it easier for their brokers to promote their brands online leveraging rich, comprehensive and timely MLS information. They have REQUIRED every one of their IDX suppliers to move to a RESO-Compliant data feed. They made this bold move in just a few short weeks. The move has been applauded by Brokers and Technology companies alike. Learn about why MOVOTO, a large broker with one of the top 10 property search sites in America, believes aligning against the RESO standards is a great IDEA. Key Takeaways The move for MLSs to transition to ONLY RESO-compliant IDX feeds is not that difficult. Moving to offering only a RESO-compliant IDX feed is not that difficult.  RMLS™, one of the first MLSs in the country to distribute only RESO-Compliant IDX feeds, made the move in just FOUR weeks. They launched a campaign to their IDX providers showing them the fields that needed to be transitioned to be RESO-compliant and requiring them to transition completely ONLY to a RESO-Compliant IDX feed. Promotion is Key According to RMLS™, to make the move MLSs will need an effective promotional campaign to be sure each of your technology companies is aware of the reasons for the change and knows exactly what they need to do to make the transition successfully. Set a deadline Be sure to set a deadline with a reasonable timeframe to allow each of your IDX providers can meet the deadline. Since many of the largest IDX providers have already made the transition in RMLS™, it should make it easier for them. Brokers Endorse RESO-compliant IDX feeds   Brokers support the idea of making IDX feeds RESO-compliant. They applaud MLSs that make this bold move.  Join forces with RMLS™ and make the move in your MLS.  It’s hard to argue that standardized real estate listing data is not good for our industry. It makes it easier for brokers to collect and distribute information from multiple MLSs on their website.   It allows technology companies to move into new markets more quickly.  It allows MLSs to collaborate in new and exciting ways. The leaders at RMLS™ in Portland, Oregon decided to take a bold step designed to help brokers and agents achieve all of the benefits of standardized information for online marketing. RMLS™, one of the pioneers in the […]

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SmartMLS Hits the Ground Running

by Victor Lund on August 2, 2017

SmartMLS

WALLINGFORD, CT – SmartMLS, the Multiple Listing Service formed from the merger of The Connecticut Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (CTMLS), and the Greater Fairfield County CMLS (GFC CMLS), officially launched full, live operations to its members on August 1st, the company announced. SmartMLS represents over 17,000 real estate professionals and covers all eight Connecticut counties, making it among the top twenty largest MLSs in the country. Though the third smallest state, Connecticut has the highest per capita income in the United States, and boasts a massive $13 billion in real estate transactions annually. Led by co-CEOs Cameron Paine and Kathy Elson, SmartMLS is the product of merger discussions that began just seven months ago. It involved not only the physical merger of both MLS corporations and their back-end databases, products and services, but also a conversion to a new MLS system, CoreLogic’s Matrix 7 platform. “We committed ourselves to an aggressive timeline and we’ve been able to hit those benchmarks at every step along the way.” said co-CEO Kathy Elson, adding, “The speed in which this was all accomplished is a tremendous credit to our team, our Board of Directors and our vendors.  MMSI in particular, our membership management partner, had a huge role in making this happen for us.  They were tasked with handling the de-duplication of offices and members and combining of our member records.  We couldn’t have done it without them.” According to Co-CEO Cameron Paine, “It is generally accepted that the role of the MLS is to provide the most comprehensive, accurate, and timely data possible. However, many MLSs provide something far less than statewide data, which means they can only provide a fraction of a complete data set.  I’ll call this being a ‘Fractional MLS’.  The reason this merger came together so quickly is that we all recognized that being a Fractional MLS guarantees our irrelevance in the near future”. At launch, over 96 percent of the real estate professionals in Connecticut will be using MLS services provided by SmartMLS.  SmartMLS uses the new CoreLogic Matrix 7.0 platform, proudly endorses the Broker Public Portal and provides Homesnap as both the mobile app and public-facing portal for the MLS.  SmartMLS will introduce a new Membership Dashboard provided by MMSI and powered by Clareity’s SSO product. In addition, SmartMLS offers ShowingAssist, Realist, Instanet, and LisTrac products as part of the MLS subscribership. About SmartMLS The SmartMLS territory […]

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Did Zillow® Open the Door to Their Own Demise?

by Victor Lund on June 14, 2017

Zillow Logo

One of the greatest philosophers of all time was Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). For brevity, let’s call him Hegel and be thankful to the University of Berlin where he lectured. I will suspend with the deep philosophy I learned in college and summarize Hegel as the author of a triad of historical development referred to thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. In our observation, the MLS is the thesis, Zillow® is the antithesis, and what happens next will be the synthesis. Moreover, I will argue that Zillow may have opened the door to their demise with the Instant Offers™ test. Thesis Real estate brokers have controlled the market over decades by virtue of their knowledge of a listing. This entire era evolved when the MLS evolved and knowledge of massive numbers of listings became the shared knowledge of large numbers of brokers and their sales associates. As research has confirmed, homes sell for more money when they are introduced to the widest number of real buyers that are working off the MLS. The thesis is that the MLS marketplace is an orderly environment that is founded upon the constitution that there is cooperation among buyer brokers and seller brokers and that compensation will be offered during cooperation. Hegel calls a beginning state of affairs a “thesis.” So for our philosophy lesson today, let’s just call the MLS before Zillow® the thesis. Antithesis For those of you who have education in Latin or root words, the term “anti” means the opposite or contrast to the thesis. In Zillow®, we certainly find a contrast to the MLS. Zillow is agent focused, and believes in the opposite of the MLS. Zillow wants to provide open access to the knowledge of a listing. Most of all, Zillow does not have any construct for offers of cooperation or compensation for brokers. In fact, they invite For Sale By Owner listings and invite offers to be made on properties without any broker involvement (sidebar: it is interesting that a consumer with no demonstration of experience is given the opportunity to put a listing on Zillow, but a licensed real estate agent with a contract to represent the consumer does not). Zillow represents the antithesis of the MLS because of the invitation to FSBOs, no offers of compensation or cooperation, and the invitation for buyers to make offers without a broker. Zillow is an open market trading environment […]

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