Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Listing Bits Episode 71: When an MLS Should Build Its Own Tech – with Faith Geronimo & Colleen Yasuhara of Hawaii Information Service

We’re baaaack!

I spend a lot of time at conferences explaining why MLSs, brokers, and franchisors should let the ‘professionals’ build their technology. And yet, there are real reasons why these stakeholders might want to design their own. 

So, when is it appropriate for an MLS to create its own tech stack rather than relying on a vendor? And what does the development process look like?

Faith Geronimo and Colleen Yasuhara are the CEO and COO, respectively, of Hawaii Information Service (HIS), the MLS provider for the islands of Hawaii and Kauai. On this episode of Listing Bits, Faith and Colleen explore HIS’s history of building its own technology and explain their decision to spend the last four years creating a new MLS system.

Faith and Colleen discuss the transition from their initial system, REsearch, to the new HIMLS, describing HIS’s partnership with software developer MEV and their experience working with a team of Ukrainian developers. Listen in to understand why the Russia-Ukraine conflict hasn’t disrupted the development process and learn how HIS leveraged research and user testing to inform the design of HIMLS.

What’s Discussed:  

HIS’s role as MLS provider for the islands of Hawaii and Kauai

HIS’s history of building its own technology 

How Faith & Colleen’s decision to build a new system on their own was influenced by their ability to integrate public records and MLS data

Faith’s take on why Hawaii needs 3 MLS providers

What Faith & Colleen learned in their research on MLS systems and how it informed the design of HIMLS

How the pandemic influenced the development process and allowed for rigorous user acceptance testing

The timeline for the transition from REsearch to HIMLS from 2018 to present

HIS’s partnership with MEV and how they built the portal and web API together before tackling the MLS

Faith & Colleen’s experience working with developers in the Ukraine and why they flew the team to Hawaii early in the process

How Ukrainian developers continue to work on HIMLS despite the Russian invasion and how they’re handling the conflict

Connect with Faith & Colleen:

The Story of HIMLS

Hawaii Information Service

Hawaii Information Service on YouTube

Faith on LinkedIn

Colleen on LinkedIn


HIMLS Update on YouTube

Inman Connect New York

CMLS Conferences

Craig Pennington






Alex Natskovich

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