New CMA tool combines MLS, Web data

Agents can generate 'Cloud CMA' reports with an e-mail

W&R Studios will launch a new Web-based comparative market analysis tool next week that the company says will allow real estate brokers and agents to generate reports by e-mailing a property address or multiple listing service identification number.

Cloud CMA pulls information from the agent’s multiple listing service (MLS) and combines it with images and data from online sources including Zillow.com, Google, Panoramio and education.com, to generate three types of reports: single-property profiles, "buyer tours," and a comparative market analysis (CMA).

Users can either send e-mails to CloudCMA.com to generate the reports automatically, or use a Web interface to produce customized reports that can be printed out or provided to clients as PDF files, said Greg Robertson, who co-founded W&R Studios with fellow software developer and marketer Dan Woolley.

"Dan and I are kind of design geeks, and we spent a lot of time on the look and feel of the application," Robertson said. "It looks great — it’s clean, crisp, simple and intutitive to use."

The irony, Robertson said, is that "with all the work we put into the (Web) interface, people might just use this app totally through their e-mail."

Many users will proabably want to use Cloud CMA’s Web interface to customize reports by viewing and selecting comparable properties, Robertson said. But he thinks the ability to automatically generate reports by sending an e-mail to CloudCMA.com will be a hit with agents, especially for individual property profiles and "buyer tour" reports that include information on the surrounding neighborhood. …CONTINUED

"If you are at a grocery store, and someone asks about a property, you put the title of the report in the subject line of an e-mail and the address of the property in the body" of the message, Robertson said. The e-mail "goes to our servers, and we grab the information, and it makes a nice report. Two minutes later you get an e-mail back with a link to the PDF." 

"To me it seems like consumers have had better real estate tools and applications than real estate professionals themselves, and that’s unacceptable," Robertson said. By integrating data from the MLS with pertinent information gathered from around the Web into a single report, he said, "We’re trying to give the Realtor his or her edge back, and make them look awesome again."

In order to access listings data, Cloud CMA must have a licensing agreements with the agent’s MLS. The service will launch with data licensing agreements in place with five MLSs participating in the California Real Estate Technology Services (CARETS) listings database, which serves 30 Realtor associations in Southern California with more than 106,000 members.

CARETS’ uniform data standard offered an opportunity to provide the greatest number of agents with access to Cloud CMA on launch, Robertson said.

Agents served by CARETS’ member MLSs will be able to use Cloud CMA by purchasing individual licenses for $29.95 a month. Annual subscriptions will be offered at an introductory price of $199.95, Robertson said.

Cloud CMA will also offer "enterprise" level licenses to brokers and MLS. Colorado MLS provider Information and Real Estate Services LLC (IRES) has entered into an agreement to provide its 6,000 brokers, appraisers and support staff with access to Cloud CMA, Robertson said.

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