TREND MLS

Understanding the MRIS-TREND Project

by Victor Lund on October 14, 2015

      The highlight topic for the CMLS conference last week was the overview provided by Tom Phillips, President and CEO of TREND; Gene Millman, TREND Board Chair and David Charron, President and CEO of MRIS on their shared vision for bringing their two regional MLSs together. The keynote for me is that these organizations and their boards of directors started with a clean whiteboard. Nothing was held back from the development of the strategy, including dissolving both companies. The two organizations do not have the answers yet, but they are on the path to figuring it out. Why would they do this? Great organizations start ambitious projects with answering the question of Why. TREND and MRIS came up with this list of Whys that are on their project website, MLSevolved.com Consumers and Brokerage firms do not have boundaries, why should an MLS? Core Values of each organization are the same. Better position to meet broker and subscriber demands. Be expansive and inclusive Acquire or develop better services. Address and lead industry initiatives better Innovate Move quickly People who listen to their customers usually succeed A friend of mine always reminds me that if you asked consumers what they wanted, Ford would have developed faster horses instead of cars. That sentiment aside, there is a thunderous outcry from across the industry to provide better MLSs that span markets more efficiently. Brokers want MLSs that provide services that overcome their technology challenges of overlapping market disorder, redundant data management, disparate rules and regulations, lack of data standards, lack of standard business rules, etc. Today, there are over 770 MLSs that provide the same service differently. The differences between MLS services are driven more by protectionism than they are by service levels. Brokers who never leave their MLS area do not really feel these problems unless they are in one of those arbitrary border zones between two or more MLSs. Perhaps that is the point. The arbitrary border zones are rampant. We have 50 States in America – an average of 15 MLSs per state. That’s insane. Moreover, there are between 1200 and 1400 Associations of REALTORS® each with different lock box solutions, rules and regulations, forms, etc. It is a nightmare for broker operators as well as agents who span any more than one. Governance Issues I am pretty sure that the business operators of MLSs can handle the mergers. […]

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A TRULY Broker-Centric MLS – What a Concept!

by Marilyn Wilson on October 6, 2015

The now infamous GRIPE List issued by Craig Cheatham back in 2013 has led to a plethora of new ideas and initiatives. From the momentum of RESO Data Standards, to the Broker Public Portal and Upstream, the confrontation has led to more innovative ideas and initiatives than we’ve seen in many, many years. Last month MRIS and TREND announced a ground-breaking intention to find a way to partner with each other to create a brand new organization built with the fundamental goal to create a truly broker-centric MLS. According to David Charron, President and CEO of MRIS, “We are committed to a shared vision to consolidate. Both of our organizations are really excited about finding ways to model the MLS of the future, designed to be nimble, flexible and central to solving the needs of brokers. Together, MRIS and TREND are going to work with all of our shareholders and interested parties to create the next era of MLS. That organization that will be built to meet the needs of today’s dynamic marketplace while also considering the needs of all stakeholders – brokers, agents, associations, our staffs and even consumers. We are opening our doors to neighboring associations, MLSs and brokers who share our vision and want to work with us to shape a whole new way of providing MLS services in the Mid-Atlantic region.” Tom Phillips, President and CEO of TREND told us that the initiative is being developed to solve the Classic Broker Problem. “Brokers who cross markets and have to join two or three MLS have the onerous job of entering listings in multiple systems. The same broker has to understand and train their agents on multiple rules, regulations and compliance requirements. When a brokerage wants to offer its clients a great online experience they have to aggregate information from multiple data feeds. These are cumbersome practices that create financial burdens and consume valuable time. Our goal is to help alleviate this.” If the taskforce formed that has been at work for over ten months can be successful, they will open up a huge market opportunity for brokers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Collectively, TREND and MRIS cover 31,000 square miles, 17 million consumers, 7 million on and off market properties, and 10 million property parcels. The group has drafted a Shared Commitment and Vision paper to help articulate the ultimate goal of the program. Here are a […]

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How about MLS coverage defined by individual broker needs?

by Marilyn Wilson on October 6, 2015

Last week MRIS and TREND announced a ground-breaking intention to find a way to partner with each other to create a brand new organization built with the fundamental goal to create a truly broker-centric MLS. If the taskforce formed that has been at work for over ten months can be successful, they will open up a huge market opportunity for brokers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Collectively, TREND and MRIS cover 31,000 square miles, 17 million consumers, 7 million on and off market properties, and 10 million property parcels. The group has drafted a Shared Commitment and Vision paper to help articulate the ultimate goal of the program. Here are a few of the highlights of the program that really caught my eye. Read my article here to learn all about it. Building on the Shared Vision I love the idea of a multi-state regional MLS that puts brokers and the rest of their constituents at the heart of their focus and decision-making. This idea inspired me and I began to think of places where you take this vision, so here goes. What if the region of this new mega MLS could be defined by broker need rather than some artificial boundary based on the coverage of a real estate association or an MLS? Customizable MLS Coverage Defined by Individual Broker Need Here’s a crazy idea! What if the scope and geography of the MLS data offered could be dynamically defined by individual broker needs? For example, what if Broker A that operates in 4 MLS regions could have access to those four areas. Service offerings would also be available with the data from that custom created area. Fees would be defined commensurate with the specific geography the broker required, Now Broker B operates in 14 MLS markets. They also can pay for the territories that are relevant to them and again provide a seamless data aggregation for their needs. Instead of a static definition of an MLS region, the broker would be at the center of territory definition. The scope of the MLS service offerings could be adjusted in real-time to the territory defined by individual MLSs. Let’s play this out further – what if every MLS from Maine to Florida was seamlessly connected? This ultimate “mega MLS” could provide the data services available in the regions customized to the needs of every brokerage. Brokers that operate currently only in one […]

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