Back in March, Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) announced that it would be creating a private, pre-listing network within the connectMLS system. The network, which is mobile-driven and designed for all mobile devices, allows agents to share “mini-drafts” of their listing information with other brokers before posting them in any public space.
Now that the new network is live, we asked Jeff Lasky, the vice president and chief of staff for Midwest Real Estate, for more insight into how the network was created and how it benefits local agents.
Chicago Agent (CA): Can you explain the purpose of the new private network on connectMLS?
Jeff Lasky (JL): MRED created the Private Listing Network (PLN) to provide our customers a secure network to enter their “Coming Soon” listings, with an opportunity to pre-market these listings to their peers. Providing listings to other real estate professionals in this manner maintains the spirit of cooperation and compensation that is at the heart of MRED and MLS.
CA: How did the idea for the network come about?
JL: MRED has monitored activity around the country regarding “Coming Soon” type functionality, as well as the news items that have naturally arisen from industry discussion on the issue. This, in combination with requests of numerous MRED brokerages and their associates, led MRED to make a private network a priority for release.
CA: Have any other MLS systems adopted such a network? Or do any have plans for a private network?
JL: MLSs around the country have adopted functionality to address “Coming Soon” type listings. There are differences – some subtle, some significant – depending upon the marketplace. This is a relevant service MLSs can provide that their customers are looking for.
CA: Did the growing popularity of pocket listings/brokerage listing apps play a role in the network’s creation?
JL: PLN addresses something different than pocket listings or brokerage listing apps. Pocket listings have always existed and will continue to exist in some small way. Pocket listings are NOT “Coming Soon” listings, the latter which do make it into the MLS once they have been pre-marketed. Brokerage listing apps, where listings are kept in-house for marketing to that brokerage’s associates only, are not affected by and have nothing to do with a listing network that benefits everyone in the MLS, and their clients as well.
CA: Your announcement emphasized the mobile aspect of the network; will agents be able to access it on their desktops? And why the focus on mobile for the network?
JL: The world is focused on mobile, and everything we do today is mobile-focused. It is almost like saying that something is “Internet-ready.” Of course it is. PLN is accessible from your desktop and anyplace else that connectMLS is accessible (i.e. all mobile devices).
CA: NAR’s “Danger” report questioned the future of MLS systems – how do features like the new private network keep the MLS relevant to agents?
JL: Without regard to anyone’s opinion of the future of MLSs, MRED does all of its work with the understanding that we must have the highest of value propositions to our customers. The PLN is another way we are helping our customers do the best business they possibly can. That certainly helps MRED not only remain relevant, but it enhances our relevance to real estate professionals.
CA: In the end, what do you hope agents get out of the network?
JL: More and better business, which is always our goal.