I wanted to update you on the progress of the MLS Vendor Search Task Force. Our task force, which I chaired, has spent the last several months reviewing member surveys, looking at industry data and talking to some of the leading experts to get a sense of where the Multiple Listing Service industry is moving and the issues surrounding it. The task force has had seven meetings dealing with vendors to identify the membership’s top needs and how best to meet those needs.
The need to look at our MLS vendor has been a year and a half process. It started with identifying that need in the MLS Business Plan based on factors with our current vendor beyond our control, and it continued with the call for volunteers and a task force that took 3 months to look at the options and industry trends to evaluate and come up with a recommendation about where we need to go as an organization. The process included several member forums where the topic was discussed and the ability for members to weigh in with their opinion.
Through our review of member surveying and data, the task force identified three needs our current MLS vendor or any future vendor would need to meet:
Speed – a system must be quick on all devices and that extends to the time it takes to do a search, create a report or just simply find a listing. The statement that kept coming back from the membership and the task force was, “no matter where I am I just want to be able to find a listing as quick as my client can.” We agree and identified that sentiment as the top priority.
Mobility – a system must be able to be accessed and used from every device at any time. If you add a contact on the desktop, it shows up on your tablet. If you save a search on your phone, it is there on your desktop. And you should be able to send a listing quickly and easily to any client at any time and they can view it from any device – whether it be a desktop, tablet or a phone.
Ease – a system must be intuitive, easy to use and to understand. It must make it easier for our members to do business and be easy for our clients to see, view and collaborate with their REALTOR®.
Our task force has wrapped up its work and is making a recommendation to the Board of Directors. However, we are only in the middle of a long process. The Board of Directors has authorized the CEO and legal counsel to begin negotiations with the MLS Vendor Search Task Force’s preferred recommendation.
Any decision the Board of Directors makes will not take effect until next year and we promise we’ll continue to communicate and hold forums and trainings for any changes we make to the system.