When WAV Group is providing strategic planning support to an MLS, Association, Technology company, or broker – we measure stuff. There is usually a comparison chart created that shows a checklist of features or service offerings that compares company or product A vs. company or product B, C, and D. This is an important exercise and the information drawn from this type of benchmarking is helpful at directing organizations to fill gaps in their offerings.
Component to measuring features or services, is measuring satisfaction. For people using a product or service, we need to know how much they value it or what they hate about it. The survey question works with branches. Question 1: Do you use X? If so, Question 2: how would you rate X? Question 3: Why did you say that?
WAV Group also measures adoption. This is sometimes the funny part. We get adoption numbers if they are counted, and we also ask customers if they use a product. Our current national MLS survey has a question about RE Technology. Do you use RE Technology? How long have you used RE Technology? Some agents indicated that they have used RE Technology, and a number of other products like RPR for 10 years (RE Technology and RPR have only been around for 3 years). What customers do and what they think they do are often very different things. There is much to be learned from this.
At the end of the day, the performance of a brokerage, MLS, Association, or Technology company comes down to communication and execution. A bunch of leading MLSs and Associations do a good job at this. Houston Association is a good example, but there are plenty others. Pretty much every Mega-Board is nailing it – I pay attention to Orlando, Las Vegas, Long Island, Metro-Tex, Main Street and others. MRIS is a good example, I also pay attention to MRED, MLSListings, The MLS Claw, Sandicor, MLSPIN, MyFlorida MLS and a bunch of others.
As for brokers, I like what Intero is doing. They have three posts each week that go out to all of the agents. One comes from the CEO, another comes from the company Attorney, and still another comes from their Fitness expert. I also watch Fox and Roach, Crye-Leike, Pacific Union, along with a bunch of other brokers and a few franchises (BH&G, Brookfield, Century 21, CB, and KW). Please do not be offended if you are a friend or client and you were not mentioned here. I can build this list for hours and still not include everyone who is doing a great job in some way.
Technology companies vary a lot in terms of communication and execution. Many focus on the sale, but not the use of their product. Here is an example of how Zillow is winning from excellent communication and execution. In this example below, they are outperforming most brokerages, MLSs, Associations, and Technology companies at delivering valuable information that helps agents sell more real estate, and appreciate Zillow for helping them. This is what makes a company worth $1B on a few million in profits. Investors are betting that they will out execute their competitors. Aside from the way that Zillow has become the Go To Source for real estate market trends in the media and on Wall Street; take a close look at how they communicate to agents. They are providing information to people at every area of the product cycle – non customers, early stage customers, advanced customers. Bravo!