It’s been a while since I’ve been able to demo our products. But, luckily and I was given the opportunity by the folks at MLSListings, on their MLSListings LIVE YouTube channel. I think it came out pretty good. We’ve added a few enhancements over the past couple of years and are super proud of these products.
I’ve been experimenting a bit while in WFH mode. I’ve been trying to use video more, using different tools like Quicktime, and Mmhmm. Also playing with my DSLR camera (Nikon 810D) and studio lighting.
I don’t think I’ll ever get too comfortable being in front of a camera but I’m trying. I put all this together and made an eWebinar about Cloud MLX. I call it, “Let’s Talk About Your MLS”. I decided to start off the webinar with a monolouge about MLS and then go into a demo of Cloud MLX itself.
There are lots of things I want to improve about this but you gotta start somewhere! Hopefully, I’ll look back at this later and see some real progress. I’m pretty happy with the video and audio, although my Covid hair is so bad it looks like I’m wearing a toupee!
You can watch the eWebinar by clicking here ====> “Let’s Talk About Your MLS”. I’m welcome to any feedback too. Thanks!
Long-distance relationships are never easy. And if you’re part of the traveling circus that is the real estate conference circuit, you may be struggling to keep your professional relationships going in a virtual environment. Would being an orc help?
In this episode of Industry Relations, Rob and Greg are discussing the current pause in the real estate conference and trade show circuit and mourning the loss of chance meetings that don’t happen in a virtual environment. They explore why massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft work to create community and how real estate might replicate that always-on culture until the conference circuit comes back.
Rob and Greg go on to cover the challenge of sustaining long-distance relationships in an online world, explaining why we just can’t duplicate face-to-face interaction at virtual events. Listen in for insight on how going virtual is impacting MLSs, associations, and vendors and learn about the possibility for a 2020 MLS Proptech Symposium (which Rob wants to rename to the “2020 MLS Herd Symposium”) that would help sponsors make decisions about the feasibility of their own fiscal events.
The current halt to the real estate conference/trade show circuit
What Greg covers in his forthcoming book, The Art of the CMA
The chance meetings that don’t happen in a virtual environment
Why we can’t duplicate face-to-face interaction through virtual events
The challenge of sustaining long-distance business/personal relationships
Why MMO games work to create community + how real estate might replicate that always-on culture
When the real estate conference circuit will come back
The impact of going virtual for MLS and association communities
–Increased engagement and attendance
–Eliminates serendipity of networking
How new vendors might build trust in the absence of in-person interaction
What we can do to gauge circuit response to physical events
Connect with Rob and Greg:
“On cloudagentsuite.com, new and existing subscribers to W+R Studios’ products can easily see what’s available in their market, try all products free of charge, view training videos and launch applications from a single place. Subscribers will have one login for all subscriptions.
“This will also better serve agents in areas where multiple products are site licensed by their MLS provider. With this new hub agents we be able sign up for all site licensed products with one entry. The best side effect of this process is that it will greatly impact adoption numbers across all W+R Studios’ products,” said Greg Robertson, co-founder, W+R Studios.
Super proud of the design team at W+R Studios, they really designed a gorgeous and functional site. W+R Studios has 4 products, developed at multiple times. So that meant four different websites. The new site does 3 things.
Number one is give the agent one place to go to find out about the products offered by W+R Studios and try them all (depending on the market) for free. Unlike most third party software vendors W+R Studios has always had a way for agents to come to the site and begin using its products without having to talk to a sales person first.
Number two is a “Launchpad” that gives agents quick and easy access to all products via one page. W+R Studios believes this will be super helpful with adoption in site license areas.
Number three is a place to learn. W+R Studios recently hired a full-time video producer. Her job is to create instructional, “how to” and “why?” videos that can be accessed from the “Learn” section of the site.
“Rather than combining data into a single database, Cloud MLX acts as a virtual MLS layer on top of multiple MLS databases. Real estate agents are able to search for listings similar to how they search on Google, providing a modern way of searching, sharing and collaborating with MLS data, clients and other agents.
I’ve been excited to share this with everyone. I think Cloud MLX can serve as another tool in regard to consolidation challenges. Right now SFAR and BAREIS are on Rapattoni, and BridgeMLS is on Paragon. Theoretically we could have any type of MLS System under Cloud MLX and multiple MLS providers, and all those databases are still separate. This allows everyone to maintain their independence while providing their respective members with seamless access to the MLS data they need.
With this type of setup we could have launched BrightMLS (BrightMLX?) in under a month. It could also work for combined single database efforts like GRID MLS (GRID MLX?). You could have agents search either their local traditional MLS system, or login in to Cloud MLX and have access to multiple MLS providers with an easy to use modern interface. See below for a quick promo video we created to promote the Bay Area launch to get a better idea.
As is often discussed, the tech is somewhat easy, the politics are hard, but the MLS providers in the Bay Area made it happen. Kudos to K.B., Walt, DeVina and the others for starting this journey with us.
And if you are interested in learning more about Cloud MLX this video is a good start.
“We’re excited to offer our users another choice, another platform, and more decision-making power,” said CRMLS CEO Art Carter. “Now, every CRMLS user has another quality option to choose from when searching for and sharing MLS listings.”
Differentiating features of Cloud MLX include a smart search bar that auto-completes results as the user types, the ability to create uniquely-shaped map areas, and an agent-to-agent instant messaging service. The platform is also notable for its clean, easy-to-use user interface.
“Imagine searching the MLS the same way you search Google,” stated Greg Robertson, co-founder of W+R Studios. “Now it’s possible with alternative front-ends like Cloud MLX, and we’re proud CRMLS has selected our tool as an offering to their users.”
It’s been a couple years since we launched Cloud MLX. Dan and I felt at the time if there was going to be a new category (MLS front end of choice) that W+R Studios should go all in. But I felt we might have been a bit early.
Then, last year, we won the most innovative technology award from Inman News. Katie and I started building momentum 2017, launching 7 MLS Providers, representing 93,000 agent under site license with Cloud MLX . These MLS providers saw the potential early on, so a big shout out to them as well.
Realcomp, FMLS, Trident, NNRMLS, BAREIS, SFAR and NTREIS.
And now today, CRMLS, representing over 80,000 members, have signed on to give their members more choices in MLS software.
We are beyond thrilled and want to thank Art, Adrese, Sarah, Rob, and the rest of the CRMLS team for all their support and confidence. We will have more to share later as the MLS landscape continues to evolve.
Inman News also has a few other details regarding the launch, you check out that here: Cloud MLX interface now free for agents of nation’s largest MLS
Things are starting to get interesting.
The CEO of the National Association of REALTORS, Dale Stinton wrote a 1,800 blog post entitled, “TO “B TO B” OR NOT TO “B”” about the N.A.R.’s commitment and partnerships with the Brokerage, MLS and Vendor community. It’s worth a read, and a re-read. I found it pretty fascinating and gave me ton of insight to the N.A.R.’s thought process.
The first part of his post summarizes the N.A.R.’s success stories, starting with the formation of RETS, CIVIX, domain names, the recent hire of a MLS advocate, Caitlin McCrory, and its expanding relationship with CMLS. Later in the post he did seem to acknowledge some of friction with RPR, Upstream and the MLS and Vendor community stating..
“Whether you’ve come to see it this way or not, RPR too was hoped to be an important (B to B) example of cooperation between NAR, RPR, and the MLS and Vendor communities.”
and I thought this section was encouraging.
“One of the first things Alex Lange did after coming on board with Upstream was to create an MLS Advisory Council to bounce ideas off of and create a channel of communication. He did not cherry pick our ‘friends’ so to speak, rather he engaged a cross section of all types of MLS’s and MLS executives. It is out of that group’s advice and counsel and the Upstream Board’s desire to bring everyone back together, that the second option (MLS input first) was born and which has been very well received.”
Furthermore he looks to walk back, or at least further explain his widely reported statement about the MLS/Vendor community being a “cartel”.
Some of you may have missed this signal or dismissed it as yet another attempt on NAR’s part to interfere or intrude itself into space in which it does not belong. Or you may have spent some time commiserating about what was accurately reported as my ‘cartel’ comment. Unfortunately, what was conveniently omitted was what I said right before that, which was:
“THERE ARE SOME FANTASTIC VENDORS AND EVEN MORE FANTASTIC MLS’s OUT THERE THAT DO AN UNBELIEVABLE JOB, THEY ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!”
….. followed by applause from the NAR Board of Directors.
Unfortunately the link to the audio portion of this statement on the blog post isn’t working. But good for him. I think his “cartel” statement was ill conceived and he seems to acknowledge that, or at least in my reading the sentiment is there.
This next section also caught my eye.
“Then, after the Midyear Meetings, I listened to a couple of excellent online interviews; one covering the events at the Midyear meeting and one which occurred shortly thereafter. I can’t say I liked everything they discussed nor do I agree with all of their conclusions, but they were even handed, and generally fair in their observations about the ‘pivot’ to option B and other NAR activities. What’s the saying …. ‘if you can’t take the heat’.”
And for reasons you’ll see I thought this section was particularly insightful.
” As previously mentioned, CMLS has blossomed as a force for cooperation and ideation. MLS data sharing is happening all over the place. Some MLS vendors are really stepping up with some state-of-the-art products, particularly focusing on MLS front ends. FBS and Cloud MLX are just a couple of examples of high quality vendors pushing the envelope.”
I always knew Dale had great taste in “high quality” front end of choice software!
Here’s the deal. It’s real easy to be cynical about some of the points he’s making. But, maybe, just maybe this can be a turning point. As Dale points out…
“One of the first things Alex Lange did after coming on board with Upstream was to create an MLS Advisory Council to bounce ideas off of and create a channel of communication. He did not cherry pick our ‘friends’ so to speak, rather he engaged a cross section of all types of MLS’s and MLS executives. It is out of that group’s advice and counsel and the Upstream Board’s desire to bring everyone back together, that the second option (MLS input first) was born and which has been very well received. Some have said this is where Upstream should have started to begin with and that its name now belies its mission and brokers original intent. The NAR learning moment was and is to remember to listen more closely to the Brokers and MLS executives.
Maybe this can be a “learning moment” for us all.
Here’s yours truly from a previous blog post.
“We all need to press the reset button, and move forward.”
Matt Cohen does a great service to all of us for recapping some of the highlights of recent the N.A.R. Midyear meetings. You should check it out here.
I totally have to agree with this observation about the trade show.
” With all of the jewelry and other gear on the floor, one software vendor told us they thought it felt like a “flea market” down there.”
“Clareity has never included an MLS “front end” in this section of our report before, but we think W+R’s Cloud MLX deserves a shout-out here. There are now over 35 MLSs, covering over 200,000 agents on the platform.
Awhile back I was asked to give a presentation about the “history of MLS technology”, at a MLS strategic planning session. I spent a lot of time on it and I liked what I had put together. I’ve been using parts of that presentation, and how it fits in with W+R Studios’s “front end of choice” product, Cloud MLX.
The video is about 20 minutes long. It’s not too polished, I have a few flubs, some “umms” and “ahhhs”, but overall I think the video does a good job of showing our thinking about Cloud MLX.
I would love to get any feedback you might have. Enjoy.
I’ll be heading to Oahu next week. I’ll be speaking about Cloud MLX at the Worthshop Conference. Not sure how many MLS peeps will be there but if you are going, let me know. Here’s some information on the event.
Once a year, Hawai’i Life presents the Worthshop. Join us for an exclusive event and inspiring exchange of ideas with entrepreneurs, thought leaders and real estate professionals at the Four Seasons Ko Olina.