MLS Mobile is a highly competitive space. There are so many companies challenging for the lucrative contracts that I am afraid to list them all here. We get press releases sent to us almost every day about who has signed a contract with this MLS or this Mobile provider. One of the things that angers me when we get these press releases is that many of them are renewals. I am not sure what is press worthy of a renewal – but that is another story for another day.
Goomzee announced this week the addition of a bunch of new MLS customers. They have a solid and competitive product, so it is no surprise. But underneath the press release is something that is more interesting. Many MLS vendors have not cracked their mobile strategy yet. Most of the MLSs who are buying Goomzee are using Paragon, Flex, or Rapattoni as a vendor. I think that they also have a Marketlinx customer or two.
The need to have a mobile solution with full MLS access is a core requirement of every real estate agent today that is actively doing business. Today’s professional cannot get away with telling a client “they will get back to them later when they can look it up in the office.” This is the information age! Business is always on, always connected, and happens anywhere. What’s odd to me is that most of these MLS systems have a responsive design or a mobile interface. Why the need for Goomzee or another third party app?
Mobile is different.
MLS vendors are natural creatures of their domain. When they think of their mobile strategy, they think in terms of porting their application to the web. They designate the killer features that must be accessed and port them to mobile in a variety of ways. Perhaps that is the issue. They are inside their domain and not thinking from the outside-in. In this case, outside-in thinking would be studying how consumers use mobile, then applying that knowledge to how an agent would use mobile MLS. The use case scenarios for desktop MLS do not apply to mobile MLS.
Clearly, MLS mobile app developers have cracked this user experience where MLS vendors have struggled. I wonder how long that will last. Marketlinx has clearly come a long way with GoMLS. I understand that Flex has an app in the works. I am a little more than surprised that these MLS vendors have not acquired some of these small mobile companies. Seems like that would solve the problem pretty quickly.