One of the great attributes about conferences is that they set the stage for product releases. Product Managers, Marketing Staff, Developers, and of course Sales People are always working toward releasing a new feature that stimulates Buzz in the industry. Today’s top press release comes from Discover MLS – the MLS system that speaks in tongues.
Discover MLS announced today that their product now includes multi-lingual functionality. This will come as a welcome announcement to our friends in Canada, and around the world. WAV Group has worked on projects for aspiring companies wishing to launch MLS service abroad and the choices for systems that support multiple languages is pretty thin. For most vendors, it requires a lot of extra development and associated costs.
“Discover MLS was built from the ground up to support multiple languages,” says Discover MLS President, Bret Wiener. Customers who want to add a language simply fill out an excel spreadsheet with the field translations and that’s it. If you do not have the staff to perform this task, Discover MLS has resources that can provide the service to you.
I am pretty sure that Discover MLS is the newest company offering an MLS platform. They have been at it since 2010 but have plenty of MLS experience at the company. Launching an MLS software company is a difficult and highly competitive landscape for new companies. There are a chicken and egg battle that goes on when selecting a new vendor. It is a lot easier to pick a vendor that has had success in other markets. This is contrasted against picking a vendor that offers the freshest technologies and features. It has even proven to be difficult for incumbent companies to launch new systems. Simply stated, switching MLS systems is painful.
Having said that, if you have a foreign language need, be sure to take a look at Discover MLS, even as a secondary system. The number of Hispanic REALTORS® in America continues to grow. According to NAHREP – Hispanics buy $1.1 Trillion in real estate today and that number is expected to grow by 50% by 2016. Don’t forget that there are two sides to the MLS. The side that faces the agent and the reporting side that agents rely on to publish to consumers. The consumer side of the MLS supporting multi-language may be more important to a growing MLS industry than anything else. If your State boarders Mexico or is a gateway to South America, you would be wise to measure the need for a Hispanic MLS.
Discover MLS also announced the launch of their new HTML 5 consumer portal today. They will be at CMLS in Boise, you may want to take a look. We have always been impressed by their UI design.
WAV Group provides vendor selection support to MLSs. If you are in the market for a new system, let us know and we can construct the level of support that you need to manage a successful selection process and conversion.
For more information about the role of the Hispanic Real Estate Market, check out this presentation that updates the market facts. State of Hispanic Homeownership Report 2011