The AMP Value Proposition for MLSs and Associations

Part Three of a four-part series on the value of AMP™

So far, we’ve defined the AMP™ system by detailing what AMP™ is and clarifying what AMP™ is not designed to do. We then discovered how AMP benefits agents and brokers, the most prolific users of the MLS. Now, let’s turn our attention to two, equally important, industry segments: the MLS and Associations.

How AMP Benefits MLSs

AMP™ offers benefits to the MLS well beyond anything that current technology is capable of offering. As you consider each benefit, remember AMP™ is not a replacement for your MLS service. Rather, it is an alternative to your MLS system technology. The purpose of AMP™ is not to replace current personnel but to give them better tools with which to serve the membership.

MLS IssueBefore AMP
After AMP
System SecurityMany unmonitored data feeds to developers; controls lackingRoles-based access under MLS management to only data needed by application; no data replication needed
Licensing Terms

Lengthy contract with each vendor requiring expensive legal reviewStandardized licensing template with options for MLS customization and specify terms of use
Revenue Sharing

Seldom offered, difficult to negotiate, monitor, audit
MLS sets the price and the revenue split; vendors agree to concept prior to placing product
MLS System Conversion

Major headache; training challenge; pain for everyoneNo back end system change needed ever again. Agents choose their own interfaces.
Support Costs

Maintain hundreds of RETS feeds for every product, vendor, broker partner, portalMost data access is real-time, through API, so data feeds are greatly reduced
Site LicensesOften the only way to buy products at lowest cost for most usersNo longer required. Agents pick tools and pay only for what they use. (Site license still available, but not required.)
Rules Compliance and Data IntegrityAgents forced to re-enter all data for every listing even when data seldom changesProperty-based data records have most data included, so agents add only what is new for that listing. Fewer entries, faster input, fewer mistakes.
Product Evaluation

MLS must review and evaluate every product offered to make sure it meets minimum requirements. Inefficient use of staff and volunteer time.Vendors pre-screened and required to agree to standard contract provisions about IP rights, data re-use, derivative products. More efficient and cost effective approach.

How AMP Benefits Associations

REALTOR® Associations own and operate the vast majority of MLSs—over 92 percent by our calculation. In most cases, the health of the Association is dependent upon the value proposition offered by its MLS to its members. Association management and leadership have a financial stake in offering the most functional and flexible MLS system possible.

All of the benefits outlined above for members who use the MLS would accrue to the Association itself as the organization that had the foresight to offer such a modern and evolving MLS system. Beyond that, AMP™ offers Associations more options when thinking about and planning the strategic future of the organization.

AMP™ neither mandates nor impedes organizations from considering working relationships with their neighbors up to and including a merger. This level of autonomy and self-direction has not been available to Associations that rely on traditional technology structures.

The AMP structure offers great flexibility for Associations considering a merger. Combining the data of MLSs that are both on the same AMP™ platform, and therefore use the same data structure, becomes a non-issue. Each MLS can offer access to the full database of both systems to their collective memberships through a simple configuration change in the AMP™ database.

However, discussions among organizations about mergers often entail three major agenda topics: governance, technology and money. The thought of tackling all three of these topics at once discourages some organizations from moving forward. However, by sharing data with subscribers of neighboring MLSs, leadership is free to consider the more pressing issues of governance and financial structure. There would be no rush to do everything at once.

A common database offers Associations a first step toward a future merger by allowing MLSs to share data and perhaps cooperation/compensation, while at the same time maintaining their local culture, identity and integrity.

Next Steps …

In our next installment, we’ll look at the benefits that can be expected by technology vendors, both the traditional large system vendors but more importantly the smaller independent development shops that have up until now been blocked from entering the real estate marketplace.

Questions? Want to learn more? You will find a wealth of information about AMP on our blog at http://blog.narrpr.com/amp. Or send an email to AMP@narrpr.com.

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