If you have worked in the MLS world as long as I have you know how many moving parts there are in terms of technology to run the organization effectively. With the creation of RETS, the so called “standard”, the use of multiple modules to provide services has increased even more. What has been obvious to me for many years looking at the industry’s technology, however, is that no one has done a good job of pulling all of the important data points together for the MLSs so they can run their organizations more effectively.
Today, MLS systems do a great job of helping brokers and agents look and use property data. Accounting and membership systems manage member information and allow for billing while call tracking systems, if in place, allow MLSs to track user interactions. MLS websites reach out to consumers and may provide valuable analytics on search behavior. But, with few exceptions, these systems and products really don’t share data. Yes, accounting systems can push some data over to the MLS system and there are other examples of simple data sharing but it is really not being done the way it should be.
What if the person on the MLS call desk, upon receiving a phone call from a member, could access their “integrated MLS CRM system” and pull up the user’s record, while on the call and see:
- Every call the member ever made to the MLS
- The resolution of each call
- What courses the member had taken
- How long they had been in business
- Statistics on their MLS function use
- Time on the system
- Number of listings/sales
- Agent ranking information
- How many leads they have received from the MLS consumer website
- Office history information
- Billing information
Today, no system exists that ties all of these important data points together. To start with, most MLS systems today do not provide the MLS detailed data on member system use by function today. This was actually a very standard system metric back in the early MLS system days. On systems like Ultrapro and Stellar account managers could look at an office or user’s computer usage, for example, and see exactly what offices and members were using on the system. This information could then be used to drive training agendas as well as development efforts. Wouldn’t it be a great tool for every MLS to know exactly what their members touch on the system? Wouldn’t this be a nice feature to see on a member system when a user calls in? Wouldn’t it be great to have all this information at your fingertips when interacting with members? Wouldn’t this information help you understand what features and functions are truly valuable to your members and where training might be required?
In every strategic planning session we run with MLSs the need for better MLS/member interaction and tracking is clear yet there is no easy answer today in terms of a technology solution. So, who is going to pull it all together? Will it be an MLS vendor? An A/MIS vendor? A new CRM vendor?