If you know anything about MLS Now, it is a great example of two exceptionally well-operated MLSs in Ohio merging. CRIS MLS and NORMLS came together in 2018. They selected the MLS Now brand name to represent their focus on being the most progressive, action orientated MLS in the nation. They have developed an organizational structure to streamline the operational flow between the CMT and the Board of Directors. I will now explain the CMT, OMT, and their board operations.
What is the CMT
The CMT is an acronym for Core Management Team. All MLSs have an executive team, but the CMT operates differently than many. Rather than everyone reporting directly to the CEO in silos, they work together.
At MLS Now, their CMT includes the CEO, the COO, the Vice President, and the department heads. They meet every Monday and go around the room to keep everyone on the same page with what is happening across the organization. WAV Group has always urged organizations to operate in this way because of two real-life complexities that face every organization.
The first complexity is that every leader’s area of responsibility has ebbs and flows relative to workload. When one department is overloaded, other members of the CMT can flex to support them. Secondly, there is turnover in organizations. With the CMT, MLS Now is cross-pollinating the activities of everyone in the CMT across the organization. Ultimately, this group collaborates more effectively as a unit, and plants the roots of succession planning. “The whole structure makes it a collaborative process,” stated John Kurlich, Chief Operating Officer and former CEO of CRIS MLS, before the merger.
What is the OMT
The OMT is an acronym for the Officer Management Team. This is a small group of executives that are positioned between the CMT and the board of directors. The OMT includes the Board Chair, the Past Chair, the Vice Chair, the Treasurer, the COO, John Kurlich, and the CEO, Carl DeMusz. The function of the OMT is to be a resource for the CMT. As the CMT brings forth initiatives that require board approval, this group helps them shape the proposal into the company strategy or gives them feedback to get it right before it goes to the full board. This group is busy and helps the CMT by inserting themselves into leading the operational effectiveness of the staff. It is rare that anything goes to the board that has not been vetted by the OMT.
MLS Now Governance
The merger of two large MLSs like NORMLS and CRIS MLS required the crafting of solid governance. MLS Now has 16 directors, ties are resolved by the chair. The four largest firms are granted seats on the board, and they must be filled by an officer of the brokerage. They have seven associations that are shareholders of MLS Now. The four largest shareholders appoint a broker to the board position. The three smaller associations rotate to appoint two board members. Six additional board positions are elected by subscribers to the MLS. Two of the six may be agents if they are past presidents of a shareholder association and are endorsed by their broker. Ultimately, you wind up with a board of experienced brokers representing the participants and agents representing the subscribers.
The Results are Outstanding.
Today, MLS Now lives up to its name. The CMT keeps the staff focused on supporting each role of the company to maintain a performance oriented discipline. When one leader’s group hits a milestone, everyone celebrates the success. When one leader stumbles, they all accept responsibility and work together to fix it, NOW!
The development of the OMT has created engagement between senior leaders of the board and the staff to sharpen and clean every proposal between the CMT and the Board of Directors. As projects are launched, developed, and operationalized, the Board leaders and Staff are working in lock step.
Best of all, the meetings of the Board of Directors are more productive. They have broken down the barriers between staff and the board by creating the OMT whose purpose is to optimize the operational and strategic synergies of both.
If you would like to learn more about the OMT, please reach out to Carl DeMusz or John Kurlich with your questions. If you would like an introduction – let us know. They are two of the most experienced and collaborative executives serving MLSs in America today.