Connecticut MLS bails on plan to convert to CoreLogic's Fusion platform

Concerns about mobile compatibility have also been an issue with other MLSs

Citing a desire for better compatibility with the iPad and other tablet devices, Connecticut Multiple Listing Service has decided not to go ahead with a planned conversion to CoreLogic's Fusion MLS and is looking for a new MLS platform.

In a note to members, CTMLS CEO Cameron Paine said the CTMLS board of directors made the decision after conducting a thorough review of Fusion over the past year.

Airport mobile user image via Shutterstock.
Airport mobile user image via Shutterstock.

"When it became clear that Fusion would never be able to operate flawlessly on tablets (iPad, Kindle Fire, etc.), and after a series of meetings with the board and MLS committee early this month, the decision was made to NOT move forward with a conversion to the Fusion MLS system," Paine said.

CTMLS has more than 10,000 members and covers most of Connecticut. Paine told members that the board is currently in negotiations for a replacement MLS system. It hopes to let them know which platform it has selected by next month, he said.

In the meantime, members will continue to have access to Fusion and MLXchange, the CoreLogic MLS platform the MLS had hoped Fusion would replace.

Paine declined to comment for this story.

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CTMLS is not the only MLS that's been disappointed by Fusion. The platform scored comparatively poorly in customer satisfaction surveys from real estate consulting firms Clareity Consulting and WAV Group last year.

We have several customers that have converted to Fusion and are satisfied with the platform, but it wouldn’t surprise me if more customers opted for Matrix instead."

In October, the board of directors of My Florida Regional MLS, Florida's largest MLS with more than 33,000 members, approved a decision to test CoreLogic's Matrix MLS platform just months after the MLS launched Fusion in March.

"(O)ur rollout of Fusion has not provided the results we all hoped for," MFRMLS said in a notice to members announcing the tests. "We are making it our goal to consolidate our MLS into one easy, smart and intuitive system."

The Maitland, Fla.-based MLS currently runs MLXchange parallel to Fusion. Members' main problems with Fusion include system performance that lags in speed when compared to MLXchange, Chrome browser issues, and inadequate mobile functionality, My Florida Regional MLS CEO Merri Jo Cowen told Inman News.

While CoreLogic did address the speed issues, "there continues to be room for improvement," Cowen said.

"That's one reason why we have been drawn to Matrix -- it is extremely fast!"

MFRMLS members, like CTMLS members, have also had trouble with access to the Fusion platform on tablets, Cowen said.

CoreLogic's Fusion Experience mobile app "has not been embraced, as it is not truly 100 percent (device) agnostic," she said.

In regards to Fusion's mobile functionality, CoreLogic MarketLinx CEO Ben Graboske said the MLSs' criticisms "are fair and valid comments that reflect the nature of Fusion, which was designed primarily with desktop computers in mind."

Fusion launched in 2010, when iPads were barely on the scene. Fusion doesn't run natively on iPads because iPads do not support Flash, Graboske said.

"Matrix, on the other hand, uses a pure HTML interface that maximizes speed and compatibility with multiple platforms, browsers and mobile devices," he said.

For its Fusion customers, CoreLogic recommends a dedicated mobile application like its own GoMLS app, which Graboske said is "an extremely robust" native application available for both iOS and Android devices.

"Mobile applications that are specifically designed for smaller screens and touch-based input provide a better user experience on tablets and phones than a desktop interface that was designed for the mouse-and-keyboard paradigm," Graboske said.

In his note to members, Paine also said the best way to access CTMLS from a mobile device was through the CTReal Mobile app, which is CoreLogic's GoMLS app branded for CTMLS.

"Remember, once you log in to CTReal Mobile, it's like putting the MLS in your hand -- and it works great on the iPad," Paine wrote.

Similarly, My Florida Regional MLS has implemented GoMLS branded as MFRMLS' My MLS App, which Cowen said is widely used by members.

The app is "an acceptable solution to the tablet issue," with the exception that it does not allow users to add or edit information in Fusion, she said.

"(T)his is a key area of our Matrix testing," Cowen said. "I can't imagine why someone would want to add a listing on their cellphone, but can certainly see the value on tablet-type devices. This is a high priority for us and another key driver for us to look at the move to Matrix."

MFRMLS began testing Matrix this quarter for possible adoption in the second quarter. Cowen said it is too early to tell whether Matrix is the right product for MFRMLS, though "it is looking very promising and we are working diligently with our partners at CoreLogic to achieve success."

If and when MFRMLS launches Matrix, the MLS' leaders will decide on the phaseout of both MLXchange and Fusion after that point in time, she added.

Charlotte Regional Realtor Association subsidiary Carolina Multiple Listing Services Inc. will transition to Matrix starting in early March. The 7,700-member MLS is currently using Fusion and another CoreLogic platform, Tempo, but will be moving to Matrix for the same reasons noted by Paine and Cowen:  "the non-ability to use mobile devices and the poor performance of Fusion," CarolinaMLS Chief Technology Officer Steven Byrd told Inman News.

When asked whether CoreLogic is offering CTMLS a replacement system, Graboske said the company offers Matrix to all of its customers as an alternative platform.

"In fact, we are in the process of installing Matrix as a parallel system for many of our customers in order to expand their member options," he said.

"We have several customers that have converted to Fusion and are satisfied with the platform, but it wouldn't surprise me if more customers opted for Matrix instead," he added.

Last year was a banner year for Matrix. In 2013, the nation's largest MLS, California Regional MLS, expanded access to Matrix to all of its 73,000 or so subscribers. CoreLogic also signed Matrix deals with Metrolist in Colorado, Florida Gulf Coast MLS, two Ohio MLSs -- Akron area-based Centralized Real Estate Information Service (CRIS) and Cleveland area-based Northern Ohio Regional MLS (NORMLS) -- and TREND in the Philadelphia metro region.

Although CoreLogic's Matrix platform was in the running to provide MLS services to San Diego-based Sandicor Inc., it lost out to Lender Processing Services' Paragon 5 platform in August.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that CarolinaMLS will transition from Fusion to Matrix starting in early March.


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