• Agents need their associations to be the leaders on technology innovation
  • Broker ThinkTank and RealTime MLS are making market data more streamlined for agents
  • The more control agents have over their data, the better consumers will be serviced

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

RealTime MLS is a social-driven, interactive property information platform for members of the San Francisco Association of Realtors

Platform(s): Browser-agnostic; mobile responsive
Ideal for: All members of SFAR

Top selling points

  • No new login credentials needed for existing members of the Association
  • Interface closely resembles Facebook newsfeed, although less cluttered
  • Group creation and communication

Things to consider

Success will rely on pace of adoption.

Full review

As I said about Austin-based Broker ThinkTank, RealTime MLS is what most market associations should have looked to create years ago.

Better late than never.

While it will take time, the standard, largely antiquated MLS search SFAR members know today should meet its demise at the sleek, dynamic interface of this new way to search, discuss and sell real estate in the Bay Area. The organization worked with a company in Vancouver to develop it, RESAAS.


Members log in using their existing association credentials to see a Facebook-esque stream of posts by other members.

Each post can support multiple images and video, and promote a “coming soon” listing or a buyer need.

By capturing this marketing approach under the association’s brand, all professional standards for listing and communication can be upheld.


This reduces the risk of fair housing violations or the submission of incomplete market data, two issues not uncommon to the fast-paced pocket listing market in this region.

Entering a new property is made easy by limiting the number of mandatory fields for a property. Agents can choose to add the full gamut or input only the price, address, compensation and neighborhood for faster publishing.

This reduces the risk of fair housing violations or the submission of incomplete market data

As Jay Pepper-Martens, Director of MLS and IT for SFAR put it, “The listing submission form now works at the pace of the agents.”

Members can create groups within RealTime MLS according to geographic specializations or industry interest. Posts can be specific to each group.

If you can post and manage your Facebook account, you’ll have no trouble getting the gist of this system.

Listings can also be shared publicly, even though the tool’s intent is to empower agents to communicate faster and with more straight-from-the-source data.

RealTime MLS also solves the problem of agents having to peruse multiple portals for listings within their own market.


The fear of missing out on a property has been perpetuated by the litany of listing portals and rise of pocket listing aggregators, a silly notion given the very intent of an MLS — a concept long forgotten in the race to outspend competitors and dupe consumers.

I’m happy to see a Realtor association innovating to improve services for its members. This is the exact model that should be pushed for on a national level.

Years of stunning shortsightedness aside on the part of NAR, it’s not at all too late for more local associations to reinvent how they facilitate the exchange of market data — and thus improve the pace and veracity of publishing it to buyers and sellers.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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