Innovative Changes Create a “Lightning rod” for MLS’s Success

How does a new CEO create transformative change for both himself and his MLS? Revisit priorities, rethink processes, and then put the pedal to the metal on data, tools and training.

“We are the engine that drives REALTOR® business,” says Patrick LaJeunesse, director of marketing communications and education at North Carolina Regional MLS (NCRMLS). “Our 10-member think tank of REALTOR® Associations both govern our organization and continually challenge us to think in new and original ways.”

The Wilmington-based MLS covers 287 cities and towns in 24 counties—an area encompassing about 25 percent of the Tar Heel State.

In March 2019, Daniel Jones—known for his significant achievements in MLS data quality—accepted the role of CEO for the MLS. At that time, NCRMLS recorded 6,655 members. Eighteen months later, membership increased nearly 25 percent, to 8,200 REALTORS®.

"In 2019, I had to personally evolve to become the leader that NCRMLS needed in order to propel us forward with a solid vision,” says Jones. He goes on to describe the diversity among the MLS’s member Associations as coming from “various landscapes” and having equal footing at the table.

“We found a way to harness all of that power into a lightning rod,” he adds. Jones shifted the paradigm of how managers come together and make decisions, made Board meetings more meaningful and dynamic; and created task forces that analyze, recommend and implement enhancements—all member focused.

The result? A “well-oiled machine committed to selecting and delivering the very best member benefits and training,” says LaJeunesse.

Carrying on its foundational commitment to Associations, Jones and his team then developed a “We will” proclamation.

We will enhance and promote a cooperative regional real estate marketplace by focusing on our core services.

North Carolina Regional MLS

1 Data

We will provide accurate, reliable, complete, and timely regional real estate information.

2 Tools

We will deliver quality systems, technology, and resources for real estate professionals and those they serve.

3 Training

We will offer support, information, and content focused on standards, knowledge, and expertise for all users.

Led by LaJeunesse, a new marketing and education department helped maximize the MLS’s commitment to data, tools and training. The department’s mission is “to aim our attention toward software and technology that give REALTORS® authority and high visibility,” he said.

The department created new communication channels with its Associations that highlight member benefits offering data, tools and training. They created a trainer’s bureau and video library, shared links to vendor webinars, and published benefit-related content in newsletters, on its website and in a community blog.

RPR is among those member benefits selected by NCRMLS for inclusion in the marketing and education program.

"NCRMLS is bringing clarity to its member Associations, providing each a solid foundation on which tools, such as RPR, become clearly recognized for their added benefits," says Jones.

LaJeunesse regularly shares RPR editorial content and learning opportunities in MLS communications, and houses a dedicated RPR page on its website.

Through its awareness-raising and training efforts, NCRMLS subscribers have increased usage of the RPR platform by more than 20 percent since January 2021. “In a fast-paced real estate market, there is no better tool than what RPR offers our members. It is a must-use tool,” says LaJeunesse.

Jones adds, “I am truly amazed and proud of what NCRMLS has become. It is a living, evolving entity, in which every manager plays a mighty role."

For more on helping your members/subscribers fully leverage the RPR platform, please contact us.

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