The Rise of “Lean MLS”

Recently, a very loud statement was made to the industry by The Realty Alliance at CMLS in Boise. Craig Cheatham and the people he represents are making a simple point to MLS administrators:

Re-build the MLS so it benefits us, not you.

No one here at Solid Earth HQ was very surprised. We saw all of this coming a few years ago. Somewhere around summer of 2010 we felt that a change was in the air. Industry norms were being eroded for a variety of reasons. The age-old arms race among vendors for miles and miles of features to achieve a one-size-fits-all-members MLS product began to be a major focus. We were helping our MLS partners alienate their own broker members.

Amid all the changes we saw on the horizon, we realized that we had an opportunity to do something special; to rethink everything from the ground up and produce a renewed, appropriate set of features (appropriate for 2013, not 1998) and put emphasis back on the broker.

That’s how Spring was born. A strategic solution to a market yet to emerge, but now it’s starting to happen.

Specifically, we have created a new definition of MLS feature “core”; that essential set of features that brokers require in their MLS platform. Naturally, we have been having a hell of time defining what’s on that list, but now it would seem that the broker community are doing it for us.

The list is not very long – it’s got all the basics. Plus, if the brokers or agents using this next generation product want more from their experience, they can buy up the food chain from a host of vendors orbiting the MLS – the app store concept that’s already in place in many markets. Those extra features do not have to be built into “basic cable” at the MLS, in fact, they should not be.

So “Lean MLS” is a concept, a way of considering what MLS really should look like in today’s changing environment.

Lean is a well-known philosophy to business and engineering professionals as a quality improvement tool. At Solid Earth, “Lean MLS” is most certainly that as well. MLS in our eyes, has become paired down to it’s basics and those parts are built for high capacity computing; scalable to host a market of any size.

If you are a broker on an MLS committee, you likely identify with this concept already. After all, the MLS has been inching over into the domain of the broker for years, leveling the playing field. Sound familiar?

If you hear yourself in this last paragraph, we’re kindred spirits and we might be the solution you’re longing for. Contact Bill Fowler, he’s the New Business guy at Solid Earth. He or I will be happy to come see you and expand on all this.

…and come see us at NAR Expo in San Francisco, we’ll be heavily marketing Spring… this “Lean MLS” at the show. We’ve been working on it for two years and we think it’s pretty special. And ready to change things in your city.

5 thoughts on “The Rise of “Lean MLS”

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