Remine, a real estate data and analytics company known for its ability to predict which homes are “likely to sell,” has raised $30 million for ambitions that go way beyond lead prospecting.
The firm plans to launch a brand-new multiple listing service system in the third quarter of this year to compete with entrenched vendors such as CoreLogic, Black Knight and FBS as well as a suite of broker tools.
There’s a lot to unpack here. You should go read the entire Inman article. You have to admire the confidence these guys have. Mark Schacknies, Remine’s co-founder and CFO really does a great job outlining Remine’s mission and how it will be different from traditional MLS vendors. I’ve met and hung out with other Remine co-founders, Leo and Jonathan, and I wish I had 1/10 of the confidence these guys had when I was starting out.
With this latest round of funding it brings Remine’s total funding to $48.8 million dollars. Remine doesn’t say who the previous investors might be, but that’s a lot of money.
From the article and past conversations I’ve had it sounds like the business model is this: become the primary MLS Vendor by touting a “superior” MLS System and service than existing MLS solutions and at a very low price. The catch is that they get marketing rights to the MLS provider’s agent roster to allow them to upsell other Remine’s products and services.
This seems to be a pivot from their previous business model which didn’t have them being the primary MLS Vendor. I gotta wonder why? How does it help Remine by becoming the primary MLS system? Or is being the primary system even their goal? This quote makes them sound very AMPish.
Remine’s upcoming “MLS 2.0” platform will offer both a front end (the part that agents see and enter listings into) and a back end (database) like current vendors do, but unlike them, will also allow any front end MLSs choose to connect to its back end, including a tool like broker data management platform Upstream.
On top of that, Remine’s platform will be “open” in the sense that it will allow integration with any number of third-party vendors and allow MLSs to share specific back-end functionality — such as saved searches — with third-party vendors.
Aside from Michael Wurzer’s point about that some of that functionally has already been available through FBS’ Spark platform, this pivot sounds like something else entirely. My guess is that Remine as a third party software solution isn’t getting as many eyeballs on their product as they want and think that being the primary MLS system will give them more eyeballs and therefore a lot more chances to upsell. But, I’m not sure they realize the amount of work being a primary MLS system is, and if it’s worth those extra eyeballs.
Here’s the rub.
In the past vendors were controlled by the MLS Providers with what I call the “golden handcuffs”, we could license the MLS data, and could sell our products in the market. But if we were to get too aggressive in our marketing and sales tactics, we would be slapped on the wrist, or worse, shut down. Full disclosure, this has happen at my company.
It seems that MLS Providers are now giving up that role. I think Homesnap was really the first to break the chains, touting their “we are your partners” BPP bullshit, and thus convincing MLS providers to give them more access to the MLS membership for upsells. Now other venture funded companies like Remine who need to get big fast also need to be super aggressive to hit their numbers.
The best thing about this announcement is Remine is going to force everyone to get better, and that’s a good thing. So far we haven’t seen their MLS 2.0 product or listing input module. It could be great, it could be a colossal dud. The market will decide. One thing I know for sure, the existing MLS Vendors are not going away without a fight, and it’s been a long time since a new MLS System has hit the market. And MLS conversions are tough. So they have their work cut out for them.
I can be excited about this new world where not just one monolithic vendor controls everything and decides who it integrates with and who it doesn’t. This would lead me to believe that the best products will win; cream will rise to the top. But I also believe MLS Providers may need to have some rules on membership marketing, whether you are the primary MLS system or not. The alternative? Let the Hunger Games begin.