LPS, developers of the Paragon MLS system, announced that they have secured an agreement to replace a competitors’ MLS system with Paragon 5. This only happens about 12 times each year. The news is less about just getting a win, but tells a larger story about the future of MLS and how one MLS vendor is positioning for long term success.
WAV Group performs upwards of 40 MLS customer satisfaction surveys each year to help MLSs understand what agents and brokers expect from their MLS. The number one complaint is Apple compatibility and Mobile compatibility. LPS knew this many years ago (when they were called FNIS or FNRES), and had the guts to invest more than $1Million into rewriting their entire application to meet customer demand.
Taking on such a project is not for the faint of heart. It requires developing new software that feels the same as legacy software – like making a new car feel like the old car they know in love. Many things are in the same place – the lights, the breaks, the radio, etc – everything is where long-term Paragon users expect them to be. It was this thoughtful reconstruction that allowed more than 200 MLSs to move seamlessly from Paragon 4 to Paragon 5. Typically, any conversion – including from same system to same system causes an uprising. But in this unique case, MLSs heard more thank yous than hate yous.
By the way – a shout out to many of the other MLS service providers who have climbed the same mountain. LPS is not alone, but they are now hanging out with the cool kids in the VIP section of the MLS community. This was very important for their company, their leaders like Marty Reed and Rich Lull, and her squad of developers that delivered. Most importantly, it helped customers – the MLS providing trust in their vendor by going to Paragon 5, the agents and brokers that run their business on the system, and consumers who are getting better information from their agent.
There are a few emerging MLS trends that were squarely in the sights of Paragon developers as they drafted their product roadmap. The first milestone of a successful conversion has now been reached. They are now onto the next milestone of driving adoption of their Client Collaboration tools – a client portal that facilitates two-way communication between agent and customer (kinda like Listingbook). Although they already integrate with RE Technology like most MLS Systems – they are extending support of MLSs to drive non-dues revenue by plotting a path to offering a Marketplace. I suspect that Gmail, Gcal, and other plugins are also in their future.
Anyway – hats off to LPS as they sit in the Winners Circle. Everyone competes hard to win, and there will be occasion when they fall short. But today is their day, and that should be enjoyed.