Mobile MLS

(This article ran previously in the WAV Group Newsletter released on Friday. We received feedback that despite our rant, some MLS iPad apps are quote good. If you would like to nominate an iPad app that is great, leave a comment below. It should, at a minimum, offer add/edit capabilities – adding photos would be a home run)

Some MLS providers and Associations have heard just about enough excuses when it comes to mobile. Vendors have been dragging their feet on supporting full mobile MLS, and it is a real problem.

Only one MLS vendor with more than a dozen customers has addressed this problem. There were two press releases that came out this week regarding Mobile MLS. They both announced mobile applications that allow agents to view MLS data on a mobile device like the iPad. Plenty of other companies have been providing this service for years, but they mostly miss the mark.

For Mobile MLS to be a reality, the ability to perform all MLS activities from All Screens is key. Minimally, the application needs to allow the agent to add or edit a listing (photos too!). Ideally, the agent will be able to manage their client portal.

I know for a fact that MLS vendors know this. It is not a mystery. In every MLS customer satisfaction WAV Group has completed over the past several months, agents are demanding more robust mobile solutions for smartphones and even more so, for iPads and Tablets. Mobile MLS needs to have full add/edit capabilities to be truly functional and valuable – mobile search is simply not enough.

There is no excuse. This problem has existed long enough.

Next week, there will be meetings in Washington DC where MLSs and their Vendors will have meetings talking about system improvements and new releases. Here is my suggestion:

Tell the MLS vendor that you do not want to talk about anything other than their immediate plans and timeline for supporting full MLS functionality on the iPad and other mobile devices. Nothing else really matters to agents today.

Insist that all product demos be on a Mac or iPad. Insist that demos use mobile 3G or 4G Internet access rather than Wi-Fi or a wired connection.

Do your members and subscribers a favor. Fight for what they expect from you, and from your vendor.

Teresa King Kinney, CEO of the Miami Association of REALTORS® was clear: “Our members demand the best tools available… to access the MLS on any computer including Mac and iPad, on all browsers, and the ability to use their mobile devices to stay in contact with their clients. They deserve the best and it’s our job to make sure they always get it.”

Nielsen Wire: Newsflash. In March 2012, for the first time, the majority of US Mobile subscribers now own a smartphone! 50.4% of the U.S. now owns a smartphone. If the industry does not want to completely blown away from consumers, we have GOT to catch up!

Nielsen Wire

But wait, there is more. Read these additional articles if you want to really know how we feel.

If you have any news on Mobile Apps that are TRUE mobile MLS systems please send them our way. We’ll shout your announcement from the rooftops! is prohibited from being an MLS System, but they have a fantastic application that is superior to any MLS iPad app. (MOVE just won the Communicator Award for their iPad app). Unfortunately agents may not load data directly to that site. Zillow and Trulia have excellent iPad applications too. They do allow agents to add and manage their listings on their site. They have not announced their listing add/edit feature yet.

If you disagree – leave a comment below. We will be happy to publish a follow up article outlining our findings.