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Listing Bits: Denee Evans, CEO of CMLS, talks best practices, compliances and member advocacy

by Greg Robertson on October 27th, 2017

The concept of the MLS creates a strange contradiction for brokers who are both competing with one another, yet sharing inventory by way of compensation and cooperation. In the middle of it all is CMLS, challenged with refereeing any acrimony between brokers and MLSs, promoting best practices, and supporting its membership of 203 MLS providers representing 1.2 million subscribers. At the helm is Denee Evans, the CEO of this premiere organization dedicated to leading the MLS industry in North America.

Denee is a self-proclaimed small-town girl who grew up in Nevada, earning a degree in finance with a specialization in real estate from UNLV. She has always been involved in the industry in some form, doing flips, additions, as well as scrape and builds. Denee spent more than a decade in retail banking, where she dealt with home equity and mortgage loans. Prior to her role with CMLS, Denee was the Executive Director for EnergyFit Nevada, a nonprofit working to make homes more energy efficient.
Through EnergyFit’s efforts to add sustainability information to the MLS, she learned about the opening for CMLS CEO and threw her hat into the ring. Today, Greg asks Denee the tough questions around how to address MLS’s that don’t comply with best practices, the best way for CMLS to support its members, and the organization’s partnership with NAR. Denee explains the ‘blessing and the curse’ of taking on the role of CEO as an outsider in the MLS industry and the benefit for consumers when organized real estate’s stakeholders collaborate. Listen in and learn about the CMLS initiative to create an interactive tool that would assist MLSs in developing a plan to implement best practices.

What’s Discussed:

How Denee’s background in banking informs her understanding of real estate
The intense interview process she experienced to become CEO of CMLS
The blessing and the curse of being an MLS outsider
Denee’s take on the ‘us v. them’ mentality of industry stakeholders
The dichotomy around brokers competing, yet sharing inventory
The challenge for MLS execs to make diverse stakeholders happy
The benefit for consumers when stakeholders cooperate
Denee’s role as an advocate for MLS execs
Denee’s contention that pain points exist in MLS’s of all sizes
The ‘wall of shame’ identifying who hasn’t complied with CMLS best practices
Greg’s proposal to offer free CMLS memberships to non-compliant MLSs

CMLS’s plans to create a best practices interactive tool
– Developed at last CMLS strategic planning session
– Could grow into certification necessary for membership

How CMLS should provide support to its members
– Education v. leadership/advocacy
– Study of industry initiatives to identify needs (e.g.: Upstream)
The controversy around CMLS’s partnership with NAR
– CMLS members assigned seats on NAR committees
– Speak as national voice for CMLS


White Paper 7.42
2017 CMLS Best Practices Survey Brief

Connect with Denee Evans:

The Council of Multiple Listing Services
Denee on LinkedIn
Denee on Twitter (Nice hair)

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