Independent MLS Leads Needed Industry Change: Borderless, Innovation, Ownership

On a mission to move the MLS industry forward and put the power back in the hands of brokers, REsides is riding the wave of momentum that was set in motion with the launch of its revolutionary equity-ownership model for members. 

Introduced in 2021, the MLS model is pioneering new ground for the real estate industry—providing the best experience for brokers to stay valuable and relevant to the transaction while arming consumers with the best information so that they can make one of the biggest decisions of their life with confidence. 

Leading the charge is MLS visionary and thought leader, Colette Stevenson, REsides CEO. 

REsides ColettePicture Column 2022“To think about what these agents and brokers do on a daily basis, and how important it is, and the responsibility that we have as an MLS to compile, clean, and market and distribute data in a way that increases their knowledge and professionalism is extremely meaningful,” says Stevenson. 

“We needed to create the best place for a broker and an agent to work within so that the consumer is the ultimate winner. When the consumer wins, everybody else that’s been in that circle of influence also wins,” she adds. “So making the broker the center of what we do and building powerful technology that’s more modern creates better benefits so that agents can succeed in today’s hyper-competitive and dynamic marketplace.”

Investing back into brokers and giving them more so that they can ultimately do more is the name of the game for the independent MLS—and 2023 proved to be a banner year for REsides, who launched a number of innovative solutions, setting a new standard with phase one of its new portal. 

Designed to be agent-centric and driven by CRM integration, the consumer-facing portal acts as a connectivity hub to deliver integrated tools for improved services in the brokerage community, increased  efficiency, support and collaboration—a gateway for better end-to-end connectivity and communications throughout the real estate ecosystem. 

The integrated CRM solution allows REsides MLS portal subscribers the ability to manage their real estate business from lead to close, laying the groundwork for more leads, more customers and more repeat business. 

“Every agent who subscribes with us can now integrate their CRM with all the MLS data, and also communicate with their clients and build a seamless interaction, which is really the most important in the life of an agent,” explains Stevenson. 

But it doesn’t end there. In fact, a high level of sales and marketing power is built into the CRM portal for end-to-end communication via customized brochures and one-pagers. The portal also provides REsides subscriber agents and brokers their own dedicated website and team websites. Another advantage of the platform is its marketing power. Agents have the ability to upgrade to enjoy text marketing, which is the most effective way to communicate with consumers. “No other form of marketing provides delivery rates, open rates and conversion rates at the level of SMS,” she adds.  

“One of the key tenets of what we’re trying to accomplish is the freedom, flexibility and financial upside for every broker,” says Stevenson. 

Supporting REsides’ commitment to deliver best-in-class services while spearheading forward-looking innovation and modernization, the integration of Masterlock and ShowingTime is yet another step toward the ultimate goal of providing the most flexible, seamless and universal access solution that yields nationwide management of showings and lockbox functionality from one central location. 

“It’s just another way that we’re exhibiting the desire to be as open as we can while giving our brokers and agents as much flexibility as we can so that their business can go on without them having to worry about these artificial boundaries that have been created,” adds Stevenson. 

Shaking up the status quo even further, Stevenson and her group continue to change the narrative by rethinking the way MLSs traditionally distribute their IDX data back to participants and how they display it on their websites. 

“The data is an underutilized revenue stream, and so we went to a model where the vendors pay according to how much data they use,” explains Stevenson, with the launch of DataMetRE, the first of its kind data metering platform for real estate. 

While MLSs have traditionally faced challenges as far as accurately measuring data consumption and levying uniform changes, the cutting-edge DataMetRE model is set to transform the industry by providing a fair and efficient data utilization platform that will charge vendors for the data they use while generating revenue back to broker/owners and shareholders. 

“If you’re going to stay in business and you’re going to create value—and you believe that what you’re doing is for the best of your marketplace—why don’t you want to know what your data’s worth?” asks Stevenson. 

Underscoring REsides’ unwavering commitment to push the boundaries of innovation, the MLS trailblazer envisions a future where data management is not only equitable and efficient, but also rewards contribution, innovation and sustainable growth. 

As if that weren’t enough, the independent borderless MLS closed out 2023 reaching a remarkable company milestone with its first dividend announcement, which was one year ahead of what was originally planned. 

“Our business model centers around being able to not just invest in ourselves, but to grow and distribute funds back to our shareholders so that they are successful in their investment with us,” says Stevenson. 

“The winners in our industry will be those MLSs that are way more transparent with agents and brokers,” concludes Stevenson. “Without that, the solutions they are wanting will not occur in the timeframes they need to be successful. Offering brokers the ability to have more choice will enable them to be flexible and adapt to the challenges they face and ultimately make the best decision for their business.” 

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