This blog will be important for my current clients and informative for those who don't use us for our listing and transaction management. So, take the time to read all of this.
So I'm sure that everyone has heard about the new MLS coming out. I believe that the launch date is August 17, 2008. Am I correct on that?
Anyway, one of the features is a transaction management service. That peaked my interest. When I heard that I went to Russ and had him show me what it's like. Here are my thoughts -
Learning Curves - At this point everyone is use to the current MLS system. I remember when the new MLS came out in..what was it, 2001-2002? It tooks agents forever to get use to all of the new features. But aside from the new features that had come out, the basic idea of having to learn a new UI (user interface - the way the system looks) really threw agents for a loop. Which brings me to the next thought...
Time - For an agent who does NOT have a personal assistant, the thought of how much time it will take to learn how to do property searches, tax searches, HOA searches, CMA's, and so forth, is a little overwhelming. In order to continue to seem seamless to clients when it comes to buyer searches and CMA's for listing clients, an agent will have to put forth effort (time) into learning the system quickly.
Bells and Whistles - There are, in fact, new bells and whistles on the new MLS system. There is a transaction manager on the new MLS. It's pretty cool. It is actually very similar to Sure Close, Settlement Room, and the program that we use, Transaction Point. When I first saw it I thought "Hey, I can use this for what we do instead of Transaction Point. But then I realized 2 things:
- There are some nuances of the MLS transaction manager that vary from the transaction management programs built specifically and solely for transaction management. They are slight, but noticeable if you've used other programs.
- The MLS transaction manager won't print out a report with all the "to do's" for every transaction. That's a big thing for a virtual assistant, and an agent.
The one thing that agents have going for them at the Heritage market center...well, there are 2 actually - is Russ and Sean. They are going to do a great job, as usual, on training folks. So rather than having to just adapt to a new system, there will be support for the agents. I highly encourage you to do the training. It will save time, although it takes time.
Now, my true thoughts on this are that most agents won't use these new bells and whistles. It really does take a lot of time to do the data entry, customize the checklist and plans, import and export, and manage the daily activities within the program that are necessary in order to be up to date on everything. Do agents do this in Top Producer or Agent Office as it is? Typically, no! This is why they hire assistants.
So while I think that this new MLS system is kind of cool, I don't think that it's going to make that huge a difference for the larger groups and teams. I think it will be good for single agents who are learning how to deal with transactions. I think that it will stream line a few things that agents currently have to deal with. But I think that the bells and whistles will make some immediate noise, but then be drowned out by the invariables of real estate.
So, agents, let me know your thoughts. Will you want to take the time to learn a transaction management program in order to maintain your transactions within MLS; or will you want to have an assistant (by using our services - or a personal assistant) do these things for you? Will you use the new MLS for ALL that it has to offer; or will you simply learn the basics so that you can continue to do what you have to do on a daily basis? I'm genuinely interested.
I actually think that this will help my business. It is going to make agents more aware of the way that things are going. Title Companies, Lenders, and whole real estate companies are moving to online transaction management. This is what I am already doing for a large majority of the agents within the company.
Have a great day,