Editor’s note: this story has been corrected to note that SoCalMLS, not CARETS, has signed a non-binding statement of intent to participate in calREDD.
Backers of a plan to create a statewide multiple listing service in California are downplaying the long-term impact of a decision by the Fresno Association of Realtors to put participation in the system on hold just two weeks after its launch.
Fresno was one of three Realtor associations on board for the Aug. 17 launch of calREDD, a service of the California Association of Realtors’ CALMLS (California MLS Inc.) subsidiary. Ten other Realtor associations are slated to start using calREDD in the coming months.
But calREDD, an acronym for California Real Estate Dynamic Data, proved to be controversial when launched, with some users complaining the system’s newly developed software was difficult to use and had bugs that hadn’t been worked out (see story).
The Fresno Association of Realtors’ board of directors voted Tuesday to put participation in calREDD on hold and go back to using MLS software provided by vendor Rapattoni Corp., said board president Jared Martin.
Martin, a broker with Westland Realty & Investment Inc., declined to elaborate on the decision.
CALMLS Chairman Mike Silvas said he and others involved in the effort to build a statewide MLS met with a contingent of Fresno brokers Monday morning.
"They supported calREDD but they wanted the system working before they got their people on it," Silvas said. Silvas said there were "a number of glitches" in the calREDD software platform when it was launched, but "we’re probably 90 percent fixed — maybe better than that."
Silvas, co-owner of Napa-based luxury broker Morgan Lane Real Estate, said he expects Fresno will come back into the calREDD fold once those glitches have been ironed out.
"A lot of them were little things — fields filling incorrectly, an agent’s number not there," Silva said. "I think in the short term we’re going to have some potential repercussions, but so far (others that have joined calREDD have) indicated they are going forward."
The two other Realtor associations on board for the launch, Madera and Merced, continue to use calREDD, and the Lake County Association of Realtors is scheduled to go live next month, Silva said. Nine other Realtor associations have joined calREDD — Amador, Chico, Mariposa, Oroville, Paradise, Plumas, Tehama, Yosemite Gateway and Scenic Coast.
In addition to the 13 Realtor associations that have joined calREDD, more than 50 other Realtor associations and MLSs have signed nonbinding statements of intent to participate in calREDD. All told, calREDD claims groups representing more than 120,000 Realtors have expressed interest in participating in the system.
Brian Lonchar, vice president of calREDD software developer Concentric Software, said the company supported the Fresno board’s decision to delay complete implementation of the calREDD system.
Lonchar, who’s also a Sacramento-based real estate broker, said the company understands how difficult it is to switch systems, especially when new technology is combined with creating a new regional system utilizing new business rules.
"This switch becomes even harder when the desire for change is not present at the member level, which we feel it was our responsibility to provide," Lonchar said. "Most of the members did not have a chance to view or comment on the new system until it was launched. This was a huge mistake."
Lonchar estimated that he helped train 1,000 agents before the launch, and only a dozen or so had seen the software before it went live.
"You can’t expect people to wake up on launch day to wake up and use the technology," Lonchar said. "I’m excited because we did so many enhancements in the last two weeks that never would have been done" otherwise, including tools tailored for generating appraisals and broker price opinions. …CONTINUED