Last week I was introduced to a new application while working on a project with a client. The application is Airtable and has changed my view on using the standard spreadsheet and database tools.
Airtable has taken the spreadsheet and database world and simplified it so a non-technical person can create a database, have multiple spreadsheets, and change the presentation of the information with just a few clicks of a button.
This web-based application works great for companies and teams of all sizes. All you need is your imagination to start building your own application. With Airtable’s guide, I have found it to be one of the best self-help guides from a Software as a Service (SaaS) company.
Airtable is available as a native mobile app to download from Google Play for Android and Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad. Another cool idea is they built an app for the Mac OS. It is an replica of the web-based version. Kudos to Airtable!!
Airtable is not only easy to build, but they have provided a significant number of templates to jump start your project – and there are a couple of interesting templates for real estate. Perfect for that small brokerage or team of agents.
The Digital Asset Management (DAM) template has promise for real estate companies. Managing and finding photography, files, digital collateral, and images has always been a major challenge for brokerages. Here is a sample of the capabilities Airtable can provide using one of the DAM templates.
This is the spreadsheet view of the information in a DAM.
Same information but sorted by Status.
Same information but sorted by Type.
Same information displayed using a Kanban view for project management.
Same information displayed using a Gallery view.
The last comment I want to make about Airtable is that their API is awesome and well thought-out. Integration with other tools and systems makes this service very extendable for enterprises as well as to the smallest of brokerages.
I have only provided just a few of the many features of this application. Give Airtable a try and have fun!
RESO Broker Advisory Group Kick-off Meeting
This is a reminder for brokers. The RESO Broker Advisory Group Kick-off meeting is scheduled for June 21st @ 2:00pm EST. As I mentioned in a previous article, Brokers Welcome, this group was formulated for brokers to have a voice when setting data standards.
If you do want to participate, you first must be a member of RESO. You can do this by clicking on the Join RESO Today link on RESO.org. Once you have joined, you will be given access to the RESO Workgroup Collaboration System. Find the Broker Advisory Board link and select the “Join Workgroup” button.
The cost for brokers to join RESO is very minimal and reasonable on the pocketbook. Please join and participate in the continuous development of our industry data standards.
MLS IDX Policy – IDX Display Rules & Historical Listing Access
IDX Display Rules
Since the RESO 2018 Spring Conference and the NAR Mid-year Legislative Conference, it was time to refamiliarize myself with MLS IDX Policies. Discussion about IDX Display rules were very much in the forefront of people’s minds. Especially with brokers and the technology companies who provide services to brokers and agents.
During a presentation by a technology company at RESO, they commented on how much time and money it costs them and their clients because of the additional work required due to the variety of rules from the MLSs. It wasn’t a surprise the audience have the same sediment as they clapped, they all feel the same pain.
The reason? Because each MLS has its own display rules which are not consistent. I have encountered the same challenges when aggregating IDX data from 4 different Association MLSs.
Why are they inconsistent? First, the MLS IDX Policy allows flexibility to the MLSs on which rules they want to implement. Additionally, it allows MLSs to add their own rules over and beyond what is in the policy.
My question after reviewing the IDX section of the 2018 NAR Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy is: Does the display of listing data on websites really require rules which allow local flavors?
My initial thought is ‘No’, but I would really like to hear thoughts from others.
Historical Listing Access
IDX policy was created in order to have some order in displaying listing information on the Internet, but there is another broker need today which is not being met by the MLS Policy. The ability for brokers to have a historical data feed of all listing data for their own internal usage.
This type of historical data feed is provided to technology companies who have developed products to resell to the broker and agent community. MLSs also provide brokers and agents with market reports from their own MLS platform.
For brokerages, it means access to this data either costs an additional subscription fee from the technology companies for their products or they have to relent in being dependent on the same market reports that everyone in the MLS receives.
Most large and progressive MLSs understand the brokers need of the historical data to hydrate their business intelligence tools. The problem being exposed to us is that many MLSs are denying brokers the right to have the historical data or are providing a feed with critical data filtered from the brokers view.
I see the following questions coming from this challenge.
What local MLSs concerns can validate the right to deny brokerages access to historical data for statistical purposes?
While this is not an IDX Policy issue, are there other areas in the MLS Policy which can require MLSs to provide brokers access to historical listing information for statistical purposes?
If MLS Policy is not the right avenue to solve this brokerage pain point, what other options do brokerages have to escalate a conflict in having access to historical listing information?
Well, that’s a wrap of my tech musings for this month. Would love to hear your feedback to the above!
WAV Group is happy to get on a conference call to walk through any of your technology and marketing needs. Contact Victor Lund, Marilyn Wilson, or David Gumpper to schedule some time. Firms may schedule a private overview for their executive team or board by Camilla Harvey at Camilla@WAVGroup.com.