Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Sarah Trent Miranda to head business development at newly formed VC firm, Venture MLS

Sarah Trent Miranda

A few things to unpack on this announcement. Here’s a description of Venture MLS from its website…

Venture MLS has launched a $10MM fund built to back seed and early-stage companies within the property technology space. Founded in 2021 by prominent veterans of organized real estate, Venture MLS seeks companies that can leverage the unmatched experience, expertise, and connections it holds in this well-defined, underserved industry.”

$10MM dollars isn’t chump change, but smaller in regard to many other funds. Not sure, for comparison, the size of NAR’s Second Century Ventures. But I have to say I love everything about the messaging. Again from their website.

“Venture MLS will invest in a portfolio of innovative property technology companies working to deliver high-quality software systems for real estate professionals. The majority of investments in this space so far have targeted vertical integration under a single brand, including brokerages, media advertising, and resellers. Venture MLS focuses instead on brand-agnostic products for all U.S. real estate professionals.”

The story to me here is that MLS organizations are basically saying, well we can’t stop companies from being acquired, so we might as well get paid. Pretty pragmatic, but there are some nuances.

I do think Sarah is a perfect choice to lead the Business Development role here.

She has been with CRMLS for over six years, beginning in the Training and Product Development Department, and soon becoming the Director of Education & Product Development. She has been in real estate since 2001.

I talked to Sarah and she told me that Venture MLS is part of an effort by CRMLS to get ahead of industry changes by investing in technology companies working on MLS-tech that aligns with CRMLS values.

So, instead of hoping that there’s never another merger, acquisition, or other disruptions that uproot the systems CRMLS and its 110K+ users rely on, the nation’s largest MLS is switching to a proactive strategy: invest in new tech now and protect itself against disadvantageous changes.

I asked her if CRMLS would have the ability to “kill” any deals that didn’t “align” with “CRMLS values”. She stated that CRMLS would make its best effort ahead of investing so it only works with companies that were on a path for IPOs and/or aligned with CRMLS values. I guess the devil will be in the details.

Huge congrats to Sarah on her new role. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for this new development.

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