Inman News Runs Long Piece on Spring

On December 4th Inman News Associate Editor Andrea Brambila published a great, long article about Spring. She described the platform as a new “lean MLS” platform and went on to quote blog posts from me and from Solid Earth’s Chief Marketing Officer Bill Fowler and Clareity Chief Technologist Matt Cohen. Following the post, comments have come in (so far) from several industry thought leaders like Seth Siegler, Bryan Robertson and Mike Audet.

  • Seth Siegler is a former broker customer of ours from Charleston South Carolina who has started a successful series of real estate tech companies, most recently winning second place at the Realogy Innovation Summit Hackathon in San Francisco with his new app Curb Call.
  • Bryan Robertson is a former Director at the California Regional MLS and a big broker in San Francisco.
  • Mike Audet is an experienced industry veteran and selection consultant for many MLSs as principal at The WAV Group.

Mike is sort of pushing back on us a little but Seth and Bryan are both really positive. Bryan said:

“This is on the right path to freeing data for open implementation by brokers without restriction. If this takes hold in the marketplace, other MLS vendors will (hopefully) stop forcing brokers to pay for unnecessary services or access/use of their own listings and data.”.

Exactly! Bryan is such a smart guy!

The conversation is very validating for us, and while we understand Mike’s viewpoint, we are eminently confident that our strategy is the right one for our company and is the best, most value additive strategy for our customers. Come over to Andrea’s article and make your views known.

2 thoughts on “Inman News Runs Long Piece on Spring

  1. Matt,
    Sorry you feel I am pushing back, I’m just being honest with what I see. I love lots about what you guys are doing, as noted and I have total respect for you, Bill, Rob and the rest of the Solid Earth team. The concern that I shared, that may be perceived as push back, is that I think it will be difficult for any vendor to compete with a slimmed down MLS against full featured MLS systems. Now, if you can offer a full featured MLS that can be slimmed down by MLS choice…that will work.

    The other point that I think is key is that brokers are not asking MLSs to slim down their MLS systems. They are asking MLSs not to include via “site license” software and services that should be offered to agents by brokers as they attempt to differentiate themselves. These are more likely to be “marketing type” products and service etc.


  2. Mike thanks so much for engaging, maybe pushback was a bad choice of words. I bet we agree about this if we talk about it enough. How about this, paraphrasing, you said that MLSs will have a hard time buying the “lean core” argument and that if we were offering to scale back a full-featured system that we’d have more success.

    That really gets straight to the question. Why would we go in with a solution that we did not feel was appropriate or sustainable? We believe that the huge applications, like our LIST-IT system, that has hundreds of identifiable features, are not sustainable for a couple of reasons. One, no one company can be all things to all people and a sure way to fail is to try. We’ve been guilty of that and so have the other big vendors, eternally bolting on new services and features to the MLS. The result is a bottleneck and is anti-innovation. Our core+store strategy, executed with Spring technology, fixes that problem with the Spring API. The core part of Spring is very deep and allows agents to load listings, search and map listings, flag them for monitoring and produce reports and analytics for themselves and for their clients. Beyond that, aren’t we getting over into the broker’s domain? What did I leave out?

    A second reason is that the big brokers are right when they accuse MLSs of leveling the playing field. Again, the core+store strategy with Spring addresses that issue effectively by scaling back the features offered in core and making them available in an adjacent marketplace. So, when we demonstrate the new MLS, we are not attempting to demonstrate a comprehensive solution. We are attempting to demonstrate a new business model, and a new, ready-for-2014 software platform for building the most appropriate and sustainable solution.

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