Subscriber Survey Changes Game Plan for MLS/AOR

Results from a recent survey have led this 6,000-member real estate Association/MLS to a more balanced approach regarding how and which technology tools are offered to subscribers.

As one of two MLSs nationwide owned-and-operated by a state Association, historically Rhode Island / State-Wide MLS aimed to provide subscribers with as many real estate tools as possible, said John Breault, vice president of MLS & member services. Yet, according to John, the dashboard tiles kept adding up.

“It’s a balancing act,” he said. “We want to provide customers necessary tools to do business but don’t want to overwhelm them with tools they’re not going to leverage.”

John Breault, Vice President, Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®

That balancing act took a turn for the better when State-Wide, a Top 100 Swanepoel member, launched a sweeping customer satisfaction survey. At its core, the survey aimed to identify which tools are being used by customers, what value they held, and whether the MLS is doing enough to deliver first-in-class tools and services.

The results supported many of John’s hunches:

  • Subscribers feel ambivalent about third party products.
  • They want to go into the MLS, get in, and get out.

With real data in place, the organization committed to a four-fold plan:

  1. Peel back the layers of all that the Association/MLS offers.
  2. Get real about which products and services offer true value.
  3. Strengthen the organization’s core by simplifying its offerings.
  4. Create greater customer satisfaction.

One area of improvement included a change within its MLS system that could simplify searches and listing input in less than five clicks. “That’s a bigger win than offering three CMAs products with an up-sell,” remarked John.

RPR (Realtors Property Resource®), the nation’s largest real estate data platform owned exclusively by REALTORS®, did not escape Rhode Island’s discriminating eye during the audit.

“Our strategy called for identifying and utilizing tools that don’t charge our customers for upgraded services and those that offer best-in-class services,” said John. “RPR houses tons of statistical information, compiled from a variety of credible sources. It’s included in every REALTOR®’s dues and there are no upsells or paid features, so it easily falls in line with our Strengthening Our Core initiative.”

With RPR as a top contender in the MLS’s offerings, fully leveraging the platform’s integrations helped raise awareness among its customer base. Their accomplishments include the following:

  1. Eased the gateway process by integrating single sign on (SSO) for a seamless transition from the MLS to RPR.
  2. Implemented a deep link from its system to RPR through property searches. Year over year, that one deep link has experienced a 35% increase.
  3. Immersed RPR learning opportunities into its training lineup, including CE classes.
  4. Increased support for training staff who become RPR certified.

Now fully integrated, RPR has witnessed a 19% increase in usage among Rhode Island / State-Wide MLS customers, nearly double since 2016. A sign that John and his team have succeeded in identifying and delivering tools that make a difference to their customers.

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