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Home grown MLS systems – Another one bites the dust.

by Greg Robertson on February 6th, 2013

Metrolist Selects Corelogic Matrix MLS System

“For more than 25 years, Metrolist developed and hosted its own proprietary MLS systems. “The pace of innovation has profoundly accelerated since the company was originally founded in 1984 and we found that a transition to a vendor-based product suite made a lot of sense,” commented Metrolist President and CEO, Kirby Slunaker. “We’re really here to empower our customers and help them drive their business success. Through this partnership with CoreLogic, we will be able to offer our customers a comprehensive set of tools that extend beyond the MLS platform and deliver on our service promise to Colorado Realtors®.”

This is old news of course, everyone knew Corelogic won the Metrolist contract. It appears their bundling strategy is working. When you have so many products to throw in with the deal it can make it difficult for other Vendors to compete. In a sense Matrix is the wheelbarrow that allows Corelogic to load up!

A few other things worth mentioning. The first, is what is not mentioned in the press release, Fusion. Pretty obvious that Fusion isn’t part of Corelogic’s long term future. Now you can see why Corelogic’s 30 million dollar acquisition of Tarasoft made sense. Can you imagine Corelogic without Matrix? Tempo and Fusion? Neither system will work both on an iPad or a Mac. Yuck.

The obvious thing here is the death of another “home grown” (I’m not sure I like this term, we should have something better) MLS system. Is this a trend? Yes, you can point to a quite a few “home grown” MLS systems that have converted to main stream MLS Vendors in the past several years. But you can also point to other MLS Providers who are “doing quite well thank you very much”. UtahRealEstate.com, and IRES MLS (just a bit down the road from Denver) just to mention a couple. RMLS in Portland also looks to be going strong despite their neighbor to the north, NWMLS (another Matrix account). So what’s the secret? How can some MLS providers thrive with their “home grown” MLS systems, and others cannot? Might be a good panel conversation for CMLS.

Despite all this, the facts remains clear, Corelogic’s strategy is working. Congrats to Ben and his team.

Update: David Charron reminds me of another “home grown” MLS provider, that is not only surviving but thriving, Annie Ives at TheMLS/CLAW.

From → Deals, Opinion

5 Comments
  1. Greg-Kirby would be the first to admit that their technology was overdue for an overhaul. He is a smart guy and I applaud his choice of Matrix. For those of us who at one point were primarily development shops, we have tossed the “not invented here syndrome”. Instead we are now selectively choosing partners. Managing the entirely of the system like Tom Phillips, Rebecca Jensen and Annie Ives (I am sure there are others) is hard work. But from my perpective each has kept pace with technology innovation. More importantly, their customers are happy. The great thing they have at their disposal is complete freedom to “build or buy”. In our case, we have adopted a hybrid. Rather than focus on the core system for MLS, we outsource it. We now invest mightily in the listing input module and the back end. For us managing both ends of the spectrum gives us enormous flexibility with the myriad of choices available.

  2. Greg Robertson permalink

    @David I hadn’t thought about the “hybrid” model you speak of, but you are exactly correct in highlighting it as a great alternative. In fact my company have enjoyed the fruits of MRIS efforts via CARETS here in Southern California.

    Other MLS providers that I can think of that have a “hybrid” approach would be HAR, and MLSListings.

  3. Thanks David for your comments. They are well appreciated, especially coming from you. You are right, running a home grown MLS system is hard work and a challenge, but I would not have it any other way! It provides us the freedom to respond quickly to the needs of our customers — Just ask our newest customer, the Palm Springs Regional AOR. We’ve been able to make customizations that accommodate their local market needs very quickly. We’ve received rave reviews on how fast we delivered on their requests. This latest venture has been so worthwhile, we’re ready to take on more Associations!

  4. Thanks, Greg, for the shout out about IRES. We do indeed have very happy MLS customers as a result of listening to what they need, paying attention to how consumer demands are changing, and staying in step with the ever evolving world of technology. Like Annie said, it’s a challenge, but allows us freedom to create what we envision and remain nimble.

  5. I am reminded that taking on any development has significant risk. But it can be mitigated with a combination of passion, an internal culture that insists on remaining technically relevant, political cover and the money to make it happen. 6 years ago we implemented an Office of Project Management and utilize the Agile methodology of development. I am convinced projects rarely fail due to the idea but rather the execution. Projects large and small, internal or external must adhere to the methodology we employ. I am certain that those markets that have internal development shops adhere to some variation of this process. It takes guts and courage but it can be done. Again, kudos to my peers that make look so seamless.

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