“You will have Pepperoni and you will like it!”

When I was an MLS vendor, “cutover” was a great time. It meant we won another contract and were going to get to learn a new place. And make more money. Back then we traveled to the town and sometimes spent weeks there living out of hotels, spending days teaching software classes. Eventually I was sure the whole world looked like the inside of a Marriott Conference Center. But for the agents and brokers attending my classes, my presence meant only that SOMEONE down at the Board office was forcing them to take time off to learn some new MLS system for NO REASON. Someone has decided that the whole world is changing from Coke to Pepsi, from Cheese to Pepperoni and your options are: 1) Like it, 2) Get over it.

Fast forward twenty years to today, and I am in charge of a big MLS, the 33rd largest in the country. To avoid the trauma of those cutovers, we are building a new system that will keep cutovers from ever happening again. I do not mean that new software will not come in, or that people will not have to learn new systems, but that the MLS will not decide what the subscribers have to use, or when. It will be up to Participants and their teams.

Details are: Listings will be entered through a new Add Listing workflow built by FBS. That database will be the Primary or Original dataset that will be used to update all others. Matrix and Paragon will have access to the data as close as real-time as possible to maintain Messaging Equity among the Front Ends of Choice. Subscribers can choose to use one, two, or all three of the interfaces, but all listing changes and all new listings will come through the new Add Listing workflow. RESO anticipates listing updates will come through RESO Web API at some point, so changes can come from any authorized UI.

The end result of this project will be data that is clean enough so that any compliant software can use it. It means that big brokers and small, with their own areas of concentration, can innovate. It means that MLSs vendors do not have a little monopoly for the terms of the MLS contract. It means they have to compare themselves against their rivals every day, not just every three to five years. It means each of them will have to invest in their systems to support their customer’s need for automation. Some are way ahead on that road.

The end result is something like a pizza buffet? You can have Pepperoni, or Cheese, or Sausage, or even Pineapple, back in the kitchen there are only a few ingredients and all dishes come off of the same counter. Really stretching the metaphor, but that’s like the MLS. Our new systems will allow each user to decide how which TMLS service adds the most value to their business, to make their own pizza.