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Archive for May, 2011

MLS Systems: Try Before you Buy?

RE Technology recently posted an article regarding reasons to “Try Before you Buy” (http://retechnology.com/agent/articles/4-reasons-to-try-before-you-buy).

Why don’t more MLS’s conduct this same approach when selecting a new MLS vendor? It would seem like a logical approach to install and run parallel with another product up to a year before their current MLS system vendor contract expires. This would allow for easy comparison, functionality and feature review and an excellent way to field agent reaction.

Offering two front ends, perhaps with only one listing input option, could create a much more ‘customer friendly’ approach for MLS’s. They could demonstrate transparency and openness to making decisions while still maintaining a strong leadership role. As related in the article, a trial period could offer many benefits to both the MLS and its members. In the event that the ‘current’ vendor was to be replaced, the transition becomes that much easier for both groups.

During the recent NAR meetings, I listened to an excellent panel discussion, where several MLS CEO’s and their leadership discussed the role of leadership and implementing change. They talked about how vendors should approach them with new products and services and what a vendor should NOT do when trying to sell them a product. Adding a choice to your MLS front end could often alleviate some of the issues discussed and, in fact, seems to embrace their philosophies.

In another article recently published on RE Technology, the topic of how MLS’s make technology decisions was questioned.  Again, in my humble opinion, providing members a choice of systems and a ‘try before you buy’ approach makes sense as our business matures and moves forward.