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Listing Bits Episode 50: The Pioneers of MLS Consolidation – with Brian Donnellan of Bright MLS

by Greg Robertson on August 12th, 2019

“These combinations are fragile. You’re pulling 43 associations together. You’re pulling all these different boards together. You’re pulling all these different things together … so, I suppose you could look at blowing it up and go, ‘Why the hell did you do that?’ [The consolidation of MLSs] was a big deal and was very, very expensive. It really was, both in time and energy and everything involved. But you could also look at it this way: It’s something that had to be done. It really, really did. So, you can take your pain now or later.”

Brian Donnellan is the interim CEO of Bright MLS, a consolidation of nine forward-thinking MLSs in the Mid-Atlantic region that serves 85K real estate professionals and facilitates approximately 250K annual transactions valued at more than $70B. Brian has 13 years of industry experience, serving as CFO and COO of MRIS prior to the merger. On this episode of Listing Bits, Brian shares the challenges of merging different personalities and cultures and explains how the Bright consolidation gave others the courage to follow suit.

Brian also offers insight around the power of relationships in the real estate industry, the factors that influence growing agent attrition, and the value of building a product that helps brokers and agents make better decisions. Listen in to understand why Bright MLS is bringing on new staff from outside the industry and learn how the team’s commitment allowed them to endure criticism during the consolidation and get to a place they can be proud of!

**A quick note, due to a microphone issue the sound quality of this episode isn’t that great.**

What’s Discussed: 

Brian’s background in information systems and public policy

How we underestimate the relationship aspect of real estate

Brian’s insight on the factors that influence agent attrition

How building a better product supports agent production

The challenge of merging the cultures of MRIS + TREND MLS

The distinction among members, customers and subscribers

The rocky start to the process of consolidating Bright MLS

How the Bright team endured the criticism on social media

The value of bringing in new staff from outside the industry

Brian’s pride in Bright’s progress and vision of the future

Resources:

Inman Connect

Teaching Strategies

Homesnap

Tom Phillips

David Charron

Frank Major

Chris Finnegan

Mike DelGaudio

Connect with Brian:

Bright MLS

Brian on LinkedIn

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