Dollar Signs with handshakeDiscoverMLS, the company in large part responsible for driving significant innovation in the MLS industry, and iMapp, the company that pioneered the concept of advertising inside the MLS system, are at it again. The two companies have paired up and have announced a new initiative that creates an alternative to the traditional model of purchasing an MLS system separate from a Tax system.

Whenever we at WAV Group conduct agent and broker research we hear pleas for better ways for MLSs to integrate all of their core tools to make them easier to work with. This initiative answers one of the key requests – a new way to access MLS and Public records information in one system. The two companies have created a fully-featured and integrated MLS/Tax Mapping system.

Consumer-Facing Tool Suite

Discover/iMapp provides agents with an alternative front-end to the MLS and tax data and offers features including a secure CRM system, social connectors to Facebook and Twitter, seamless integration with Cloud CMA and a real-time client portal for instant communication between agents and their clients, in essence, making the product more of a one stop shop for marketing properties to clients.

Interestingly, Discover/iMapp can also be licensed as the primary Multiple Listing Service software with the inclusion of the powerful Listing Add/Edit module. In this model, there will be no need to purchase a MLS system separate from a tax system anymore.

Addressing Mobile

In every survey we have fielded for MLSs in the past six months there are emphatic pleas from agents and brokers to deliver better ways to leverage the power of mobile devices. This partnership is designed to address that need. In an earlier post we talked about how MLSs are not catching up quickly enough to the ever-increasing demand for iPad/Tablet and smartphone applications. The new product detects the agent’s device and streams the best user interface available. iOS and other mobile devices receive an optimized HTML5 interface while PC and Mac users may choose a more immersive, Flash front-end and use any browser including Chrome, Safari, Firefox or even Internet Explorer 9.

Shattering the MLS Business Model

MLS software has historically been the most expensive tool purchased by an Association or MLS. The new partnership claims that the combined product will create a new more affordable alternative for MLSs to consider. This may be a great way for smaller MLSs to cut costs and for larger MLSs to provide an alternative MLS system designed to meet the needs of their more mobile-centric and social media-centric customers.

I would love to hear from any MLSs after they have evaluated this new product and pricing approach and let us know what you think of this new solution. While some companies have offered both MLS systems and Public Records systems for many years, the products have not been seamlessly integrated. It will be interesting to see if this new partnership creates a more seamless user experience.

If you would like to learn more about the partnership you can contact Bret Wiener, 800-964-2656, or Joel Cohen from iMapp at 888-462-7701,