The fundamental principles of multiple listing services (MLSs), which include collaboration and compensation, are currently facing challenges in the form of anti-trust class action lawsuits and an intermittent investigation by the Department of Justice. Denee Evans, CEO of the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS), Gene Millman, President and CEO of REcolorado, Brian Donnellan, President and CEO of Bright MLS, and David Charron, President of MRIS Investors, Inc., gathered at the RealTrends Gathering of Eagles event in Austin, Texas, to address these threats and explore strategies for MLSs and brokerages to stay relevant.
While acknowledging the slow pace of change in the real estate industry, Millman agreed with Evans that MLSs need to prioritize addressing specific pain points through initiatives and innovations. Donnellan emphasized the significance of small-scale innovations and encouraged MLSs to focus on improving conditions for brokerages, agents, and consumers, getting back to the basics of the business.
MLSs, traditionally serving as data exchange platforms, must now explore ways to leverage that data effectively. Millman suggested utilizing data to assist agents in creating robust market analysis, listing presentations, and lead generation opportunities. The panelists concurred that fostering trust between MLSs would facilitate the efficient implementation of such innovations.
Evans expressed her observation of the MLS industry’s significant innovation in addressing agents’ and brokerages’ pain points over her nine years of experience. While progress has been made, she believes there are still areas for improvement. On the other hand, Donnellan expressed skepticism about the level of trust existing among MLSs.
The panelists agreed that MLSs need to collaborate to some extent to navigate the impending challenges ahead. Millman emphasized the importance of MLSs actively listening to the needs of brokerages and subscribers in order to enhance their service and support their clients effectively. He emphasized the role of MLSs as partners in facilitating transactions and helping brokers excel in their daily operations.