Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Bright MLS

I think it’s important to give some perspective to the news that Tom Philips is leaving Bright MLS next month.

The first is that MLS conversions are hard. Extremely hard, especially when you have two cultures (MRIS and TREND) that are so different, wide geographic boundaries, and memberships so large.

Second, the advent of social media has made these types of scenarios even more difficult. When every whack job has a microphone, things can get blown out of proportion real quick.

Third, Tom has been in the MLS business for close to 20 years. He took on an incredibly difficult task (see above). And one thing is very certain, the next person to take his role will certainly have an easier time. Someone always has to be first.

And lastly, and many people forget this point, Bright MLS has been the inspiration for the wave of consolidation we’ve seen in the industry. The fact that MRIS and TREND were doing it meant that many other MLS providers had no excuses left.

So yeah, change is tough. It’s not easy. Mistakes are made. But from my perspective, the future is Bright.

  1. We are certainly going to miss Tom. He always appeared to be the calm during storms. He is an inspiration.

  2. Being on a couple of MLS committees myself, I can say that for some folks you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You just have to push on.

  3. Totally agree with you David. You both worked very hard and are transforming MLS across the country. Tom thanks for all your leadership in taking an impossible job that was very hard, possible. Best of luck on your future endeavors.

  4. I have been a full time realtor for 9 years and my husband has been an agent for over 20 and we have never reached out about other sweeping changes that have happened in our industry …nor ever really thought we needed to. At this point however we are at the breaking point with BRIGHT.

    Their information is not credible. Current listings are WRONG, Past Listings are WRONG, Tax Records are WRONG, Search features are NOT ACCURATE.

    Their customer service is beyond negligent. I have had multiple questions posted to them that have gone unanswered. Friday I got an answer for ONE question that took them 18 days to respond. Via facebook I have asked multiple times about the same issue with a response of “we will pull another ticket for that”. Hold wait times to speak with a live person is not seconds or minutes but sometimes hours.

    This week via Facebook Jay Thompson has admitted that they are “working on a system” for responding to agents. This is appalling that they are STILL working on a system. In other words – they have NO idea on how to properly handle the flow of questions from agents/users. “yes, we’re working on a tracking and reporting methodology.” This system is not in place and he has now knowledge of when such a system will be in place.

    This merge to BRIGHT is horrific and is affecting how I market to my clients, how I send listings to my buyers, how I run reports for my sellers. We are a small business owner and this is damaging our livelyhood EVERYDAY.

    There was NOTHING wrong with MRIS that BRIGHT has solved. It’s information was accurate for not only myself but to my clients.

    So please do not patronize thousands of hard working business owners whose livelihood depends on a system that is currently, and will continue to be, screwed up for a LONG time.

  5. Julie Seys Llewellyn

    Hi Greg, are you a BRIGHT user yourself with boots-on-the-ground feedback?
    Please explain the need for this conversion & why someone “had to be first”. BRIGHT is an answer to a question we Realtors did not ask.
    We here in the DC Metro area had a system that worked (MRIS) and now have one that doesn’t, with inaccurate data, inadequate customer service, and Orwellian declarations about it’s superiority when it is in fact damaging to our business to access incorrect/missing information. Being able to provide & analyze data is key to the service we provide to clients.
    This is not an improvement. This is an enormous step backwards for those of us forced to convert since our old MLS was absorbed into this new dysfunctional system.
    Referring to frustrated customers trying to make their voices heard as BRIGHT has no efficient or effective forum to address these deficiencies as “whack jobs” is a curious response to legitimate concerns by end users.

  6. The MLS should be gone long ago. It is an old system that extort money from real estate agents. With the third party portals who are doing a great job for consumers agents should not have their listings on the MLS anymore.

  7. I think that everyone is perplexed by the idea that consolidating MLS’s makes any sense. Real Estate is hyper local and no one understands the benefit to the end user (the real estate agent who pays for the data and access). I have no use for access to a system that includes states that I am not licensed, nor will I ever be licensed. So who really benefits when multiple states are consolidated into one enormous MLS? The Associations? Leadership in those Associations? The consumer? The agent? No one can reconcile the benefits and THAT is what is causing such an uproar- if the data were not a mess then maybe these things would not cause the membership agents to question the decision in the first place. Agents are now starting to bypass the IDX altogether and posting their listings on syndicated sites…so our own agents are putting us out of business when the consumer no longer needs an agent or the data to support their value. Just my two cents.

  8. Jennifer Boyce –

    You said, “This week via Facebook Jay Thompson has admitted that they are “working on a system” for responding to agents. This is appalling that they are STILL working on a system.”

    Perhaps I didn’t communicate well. The system I was referring to was in reference to issues raised in the Bright Community group. It’s been in existence for 19 days. There have been over 5,000 posts and comments in those 19 days, so it’s not that Bright is STILL working on a system to handle support issues. We’re working on reporting issues raised **in the group**.

    You also said, “This system is not in place and he has now knowledge of when such a system will be in place.”

    Actually, what I said was, “Within the next week, that should be mostly complete.”

    Here’s the comment I left. If it wasn’t clear that I was referring to the group only, I apologize, but I’m not sure how to make it any clearer:

    “We’re working on having a better feedback loop from this group to the appropriate development teams within Bright to address specific issues. Within the next week, that should be mostly complete. Time to fix will of course be dependent on the extent of the issue, the priority, and the resources available. I realize this is a bit of a non-answer. I’m not trying to dodge the question, I just don’t have all the answers.

    I do know from my conversations with the new CTO (Chief Technology Officer) that he’s very driven and systematic and wants issues addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

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