For two decades now, MLS executives and their boards of directors have told me all of the myriad reasons why commercial, rental, and new home do not align well with the MLS prime mission of facilitating cooperation and compensation. Yes, yes– I get it. For the most part, MLSs cannot fit the square pegs of these types of property transactions into the round hole of today’s MLS rules or software. It is time for MLSs to expand their thinking.
Do you remember when Microsoft was known for Basic – an operating system? As a consumer, I think of Microsoft as the makers of the Office Suite – Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. – all of which I run on a MacBook Pro. Remember when Apple was a quirky computer company? These companies dreamed to be more, dreamed to do more. Over time, they each reimagined themselves. They refused to limit their business to the narrow lane upon which they were founded. Some MLSs embraced commercial, rental, and new home construction to develop the MLS as a platform, but many have chosen to ignore it.
The Council of MLS rally theme is Making the Market Work. That theme manifests itself in three pillars: Confidence (safeguarding information), Connections (connecting professionals with properties to clients who may buy them), and Community (competitors working together). I love it. This is an absolutely fantastic message for today’s core MLS mission; I believe that there is room here for commercial, rental, and new home. Moreover, I believe that the mission must include these property segments to fulfill the obligation to using a word like Market.
The market for real estate includes commercial, rentals, and new home. If you evaluate the businesses of the nation’s largest real estate firms, they include these components of the Market. If the MLS truly wants to make the Market Work, services for Confidence, Connections, and Community must apply to a broader understanding of what defines the market, and how the MLS can serve the needs of brokers and agents who understand that the real estate market includes commercial, rental, and new home.
What You Can Do Today
Send this article to your board of directors as a discussion starter. As you think about your strategic planning efforts this year, incorporate this into your discussion. When you do your annual MLS satisfaction study – ask some questions about how your customers manage commercial, rental, and new home today.
If you would like a proposal for strategic planning (virtual or safely in person), or Satisfaction Research, we have a variety of options to fit the budgets for all sizes of MLSs. Contact us today.