WAV Group Newsletter

Be a Part of the Change!

by Jenna Woodruff on February 18, 2016

WAV Group is a part of strategic plans very often for some of the largest MLSs and Associations in our industry. When conducting strategic plans we hear from brokers and board members that their organization is out of touch with today’s reality. So how do you get your board in touch? You can pay thousands of dollars for several of your board members to attend industry events. Many of these events can be very valuable for the content that is presented, the networking, and peer-to-peer learning. The CMLS conference and the AEI conference are two great opportunities for MLSs and Associations to get in touch. WAV Group offers another method for staying in touch with trends and learning from progressive MLSs and Associations around North America. We call it the WAVes of Change™ Series. This exciting online program allows every one of your Board members and department heads to keep in touch on the ever-changing trends in our business. This quarterly live webinar includes exclusive, early looks at WAV Group research as well as the ability to learn from industry experts about technology trends, consumer insights and broker and agent issues. We discuss the key threats and opportunities that face our industry today, helping everyone to find new ways to improve the relevance of their organization and ensure its long-term viability. The WAVes of Change™ series also encourages participating organizations to share their best practices and breakthrough programs, enabling all of us to learn from the best! With our the inaugural first year of  the series a great success, we invite you to join us for the 2016 WAVes of Change™ Series – Kicking off March 24th! If you would like to learn more about this exciting program, email Jenna@wavgroup.com or Gaea@wavgroup.com to set up a meeting, today.  

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Trend MLS Case Study On Excellence

by Victor Lund on April 23, 2015

I was at the Swanepoel T3 summit a week ago and battled the misanthropic attitude toward MLS that bubbles up from agents and brokers. My commentary was specific. Not all MLSs are alike. Most MLSs with more than 5000 subscribers are excellent. Some MLSs with more than 10,000 subscribers are constantly improving their service levels to brokers and agents. One of those MLSs is Trend MLS. Case in point – Mobile image uploader Mobile image uploading is no simple task. That is why so few MLSs have this service available today. There are plenty that offer the ability to add or edit a listing using a mobile device. When adding a new listing from a mobile device, often the listing is saved and suspended as an incomplete listing until the agent can complete the listing using a desktop browser. Mostly, it is the images that are missing. Advances in the quality of images that can be taken from a phone or tablet allow those devices to be legitimate tools for taking property photos. They are high enough in resolution to support Internet display and print quality. Due to the storage limitations on mobile devices, most real estate professionals take photos that are synchronized to cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. Trend adopted a connection using the API of these cloud solutions to allow the agent to connect to the cloud and add or remove multiple photos at once. But wait, there is more. As part of the development, Trend MLS when even further. They added the ability to edit the photos with tools for cropping, rotating, adjusting contrast and brightness. They even support the ability to add a caption to the image. If you are an MLS who would like to see what they have done, feel free to view this announcement to their subscribers http://www.trendmls.com/Guest/News/ShowDoc.aspx?id=7516#.VTEitM6flp8 Trend MLS is a shining example of an MLS that is responsive to the evolution of technology and the delivery of modern applications that support the needs of their subscribers. They are unique in that they have programmers to make quick work of closing technology gaps that impede the work of tech savvy agents. To be clear – they wrote the code themselves. Great Job Trend MLS! Anyone with designs on “disrupting the MLS” will have a pretty hard time competing with your service excellence.

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Coming Soon Listings Revisited

by Victor Lund on April 23, 2015

Last summer, the issue of Coming Soon listings hit a peek of interest among the nation’s MLSs. As our industry is naturally prone to do, the issue was well vetted for more than a year thanks in part to the efforts of Mountain View, CA based MLS Listings CEO James Harrison and his Chairman Robert Bailey. It was discussed at every MLS conference and forum and MLSs created a new status to handle Coming Soon listings. Leading MLSs understood the need for this field and brokers learned about the inherent concerns of this listing type. Today, most of the leading MLSs have implemented Coming Soon listings or as Denver, CO based RE Colorado MLS calls “incoming listings.” Coming Soon allows a broker to create an MLS listing prior to it going active. An MLS number is assigned but the property does not appear in search results nor is it published through IDX or listing syndication. The general adoption of policy is that the listing may remain in this Coming Soon status for 30 days. In some markets, the listing is purged after 30 days. Depending on the market, brokers had access to a data feed that included their Coming Soon listings. This is particularly important for brokerages who want to set up an accounting file for the listing; or for powering management solutions for REO property rehabilitation, ordering signs, staging services, photography, or other marketing services. In effect, the brokerage is being supported with MLS data services that allow the firm to go through the steps of making a home ready to market. Many MLSs believed that brokers where holding listings back to double side their transactions. There was probably a fair amount of validity to this concern as it is not a foreign practice in real estate. Surprisingly, there was less of this activity going on that previously presumed. There are markets like San Francisco where properties do sell in 24 hours if they are priced right. This continues to shock our sensibilities, but it happens. Listings go active for one day and go contingent or under contract the same day. We hope as an industry that Realtors® appreciate the ethics of cooperation in the MLS, and the vital role that it plays in providing the seller and the buyer with the best market for trading homes. Coming Soon, as offered by many of our nation’s leading MLSs is […]

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Enabling an Ecosystem of Innovation for Real Estate

by Marilyn Wilson on April 23, 2015

The MLS technology model has been relatively flat-footed for some time now. Many MLSs offer one MLS system, one Public Records system and other services like showing appointment software, document management, and they call it a day. In Part IV of his blog series last Thursday, Bob Bemis outlined a vision of a brand new way for MLS platforms to operate. A new program called AMP™ or Advanced Multi-List Platform™ that would leverage RPR is a very interesting and even scary concept to some. In its simplest definition, AMP would be the “back end” of an MLS. It would provide the database that all listings, solds and other real estate information are fed into and stored in right now. In today’s model, the database of listing information is inextricably linked to the rest of the MLS system in most markets. In this approach, the database would be separated from the agent-facing portion of an MLS system, where functionality like add/edit, CMA, reports, and prospecting live. As Bob Bemis highlighted in his series of articles, there are many weaknesses with this traditional MLS model. The three largest, in my view: It does not consider the needs for brokers to differentiate themselves from one another. It creates cost and duplication of effort for an industry that already suffers from tight margins and a lack of technology adeptness. It does not allow agents and brokers any choice in the tools offered by the MLS and in many cases forces agents to pay for tools they don’t want, don’t need, and don’t use. How long have these problems existed? For as long as I can remember. When I first began consulting in the real estate industry more than 10 years ago, I remember my then business partner, Mike Audet, talk about the need for a “plug n’ play” MLS. He had several blog posts and white papers published back then that talked about the need to de-couple every module within an MLS system to allow each organization to pick their own custom collection of tools that would best serve the needs of their organization. Unfortunately, at that time there was no appetite from MLS technology providers to try this practical but revolutionary approach. Bob mentions in his article that some progressive MLS leaders today are trying to push the envelope, asking fundamental questions about smart ways to re-invent the MLS. One of those leaders […]

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