There isn’t an MLS we work with that believes their technologies are utilized to the extent they could be. It is difficult to get the attention of agents and brokers, especially in markets as crazy as ours is today. As we head into budget season, MLSs will inevitably examine the tools they offer and will ask the age old questions. Which technologies are most valuable to our subscribers? What types of customers engage with each of the tools we offer? Should we continue each of the tools we offer?
NEREN MLS set out to find a way to use data to help inform answers to these important questions.
Many MLSs are using SSO Dashboards today to make it easier for their subscribers to access all of their tools in one convenient location. Because subscribers can access many, if not all of their tools, from these dashboards, the usage data gathered from these dashboards can be a great way to better understand which technologies are getting used most often.
Recently, some MLSs have begun offering multiple versions of the same technology. NEREN MLS, for example is offering both REMINE and CRS, and both products offer prospecting via public records. After launching both platforms, NEREN wanted to track adoption of both tools. They simply wanted to understand which of the tools was experiencing more engagement at a minimum. They also want to look at adoption to uncover potential patterns of usage. Are there certain brokerages, for example that use one tool more than the other. Are there certain geographies or productivity levels that prefer one technology over another? Armed with this information NEREN can encourage adoption of additional tools or recommend training for tools already in use to help subscribers learn more about how to fully take advantage of the functionality available.
NEREN MLS contracted with their long-time partner MMSI and SSO Dashboard provider to find a way to better understand the usage of each of the tools they offer. According to MMSI’s blog. NEREN was the first organization to use MMSI’s new “User Telemetry” engagement analytics, serving as a beta-tester for this new feature. MMSI’s User Telemetry, provides the MLS with instant access to the number of total logins, unique logins, and clicks on any technology accessible via a tile on NEREN’s MLS dashboard.
MLSs armed with a deeper understanding of which customer segments are using each tool can create much more targeted communications. For example, if you know that top producers are more active users of a CMA tool, then you can segment your database of top producing agents and invite them and their assistants to training on how to push out a lot of CMAs since this audience may have a larger number of prospects than average. An MLS can also share the fact that top producers are strong users of a tool with a segment of aspiring top producers. Help them understand why top producers are using it and show them how it might help them secure more listings and expand their business as well.
Gone are the days when “one size fits all” communications work. There are so many variables that can affect the types of technology that make sense for each one of your customers. It’s time to start segmenting your customers and better understand the role and value that you play in each of their lives.
Also gone is the outdated method of measuring adoption based on the total membership base. Some tools are absolutely critical for a small segment of your customers. While many would not miss it, a few of your customers would be heartbroken if you got rid. This is, again, why segmentation is so important. If there’s a tool used primarily only by your top producing agent customers, would you drop it? Not a good idea, obviously. If there’s a tool used only by listing agents would you want to get rid of it? Of course not. We all know that about 10 to 30% of agents do the bulk of the business so why would you measure adoption against the entire subscriber base knowing they are not nearly as active or proactive as your most productive segments?
If you need help building a segmentation strategy and product adoption marketing plans, feel free to reach out. We believe this is some of the most important work that MLSs can focus on if they are serious about deepening your relevance with each of your customers.
If you want to read all about NEREN’s program, please read on.
Tracking MLS Product Adoption and Engagement with User Telemetry
With so many tools available to Multiple Listing Services today, it can be difficult to discern which ones really matter to your subscribers. Most vendors use proprietary metrics to measure adoption and engagement – there’s been no standardization for the benchmark metrics MLSs should use to measure whether a tool they offer is actually providing a meaningful return on investment.
Sara Fogg, Implementation Manager for New England Real Estate Network (NEREN), a multi-state MLS with more than 11,000 members from New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts, felt this pain acutely. NEREN offers a myriad of tools to support their customers with listing exposure, lead gen, transaction processing, and prospecting. Sara and the rest of the NEREN team and Board of Directors wanted to know which of the tools were used most often and by whom.
Like many others, NEREN is providing technology choices. For example, they offer CRS and REMINE, both of which can be used for prospecting leveraging public records data. Without standardized reporting or even agreed-upon requirements for reporting usage metrics with each technology partner, Sara set out to find a way to objectively measure engagement for each of the NEREN technologies.
She turned to her AMS and Single Sign On (SSO) provider, MMSI, to see if there was a way to gain insight into which tools were most popular and to better understand which tools were demonstrably valuable to each of NEREN’s customer segments. NEREN was the first organization to use MMSI’s new “User Telemetry” engagement analytics, serving as a beta-tester for this new feature.
With the data captured on their SSO Dashboard, NEREN is now able to measure and track usage and engagement across all of their tools and services. The data delivered from the dashboard helped NEREN recognize that products that are more integrated into the main workflow of a user enjoy higher adoption. They now deliver seamless integration for both of their public records products which has measurably increased engagement with both products, CRS and Remine. Engagement metrics can also help an MLS understand which technologies may need more promotion or more of a training focus.
MMSI delivered a suite of analytics to help Sara bring greater transparency for the NEREN Technology suite and it’s ROI. With the MMSI’s User Telemetry, Sara has instant access to the number of total logins, unique logins, and clicks on any technology accessible via a tile on NEREN’s MLS dashboard.
Many of the data points are shared with NEREN’s Board of Directors. The transparency with such data helps the board better understand how their budget is put to work.
“We wanted our Board of Directors to see the value that MMSI is providing with this, and to be able to see the total engagement versus the timeline,” Fogg said.
NEREN has worked with MMSI since early 2018. For NEREN, MMSI meant being able to replace two technologies with one integrated system with its own dashboard, saving money and streamlining subscriber management.
“It’s great to actually have the data, where we didn’t have it previously. And it’s just nice to be able to see where it’s going to go from here because I know it’s going to get better. That’s one of the best things about working with MMSI: Once they put something in place, they always improve upon it,” Fogg said.
She appreciates MMSI’s proactive approach that is equally reactive when concerns arise. “They are phenomenal to work with. If you have an issue, they are very responsive.”
“They’re very open to hearing feedback and even constructive criticism… and very good at customizing, to make sure you’re taken care of so you can get back to the work of serving your members,” she added.
For those also struggling with measuring adoption and engagement of their technology offerings, Fogg offers this advice: “Get in and play because you can’t break anything. The only thing you can do is uncover more intelligence about the engagement levels of the tools you offer.”