- California Regional MLS opened a platform for members to purchase software and tech services at a discounted rate.
- The Marketplace currently offers discount memberships to Spacio, CallAction, CloudMLX and ListReports.
- CRMLS plans to introduce Paragon as a front-end alternative to CRMLS Matrix later this year.
The California Regional MLS (CRMLS) announced the opening of the CRMLS Marketplace to its subscribers.
Accessible by subscribers through CRMLS.org since July 18, the marketplace is an online portal through which members can purchase access to tools and technology at a discount.
CRMLS CEO Art Carter stressed the need of current tools and enhancements in order to better the agents and members.
“We’ve looked at a lot of the different MLS stores out there, and all of those opportunities were really more of the thought process of revenue generation…the model within CRMLS is more about getting more services out to the members,” he said.
Phone call, email, text or direct
One of the biggest pain points for real estate agents, according to Jessie Beaudoin, CEO and founder of CallAction, is the minutes between missing a call or not being able to respond to a text message.
“We have much less patience than we did before,” he said, referring to the consumer’s ability to call an agent from a website.
CallAction is the virtual assistant that answer those calls — sort of. When using CallAction, consumers may call the number the registered agent has displayed on a listing.
If the agent doesn’t answer, CallAction automatically responds with a personal message from the agent. The same action applies for email inquiries and even second callbacks.
“The consumer has access to all the information they need for real estate,” Beaudoin said. “Consumers will call an agent when the web or app they are using can no longer answer their question.”
Membership to CallAction is $49 per month, but CRMLS members receive a 25-percent discount.
ListReports, another service offered at discount to CRMLS subscribers, acts as more of a marketing tool for agents. When using the service, an agent can send a property address via text message and, within minutes, receive a concise report of that property.
Taking it one step further, ListReports builds a custom marketing package that includes local schools, restaurants and events.
Managing an open house after the doors close
One of the issues Spacio, another service offered to CRMLS members, takes to task is the handling and vetting of potential leads.
“What is the impression that I am putting forward when they walk in? Am I going to hand over a clipboard? We built this and designed with agents and brokerages in mind,” said Melissa Kwan, co-founder of Spacio.
Spacio is a mobile application that can be used by anyone but comes in especially handy for open houses, Kwan says.
“Because of the democratization of data, it’s so easy to find listings and open houses. There are more and more buyers going to open houses unrepresented,” she said.
“And what that means for open houses is it becomes an even more important practice, because people are showing up unrepresented.”
Instead of an agent standing with a clipboard, Kwan offers Spacio’s user-friendly platform to engage clients. Upon entering, consumers are given the option to answer three very basic questions: Are you mortgage-approved? Are you an owner or renter? Are you represented?
After the open house, Spacio aggregates public data about the consumers from social media sites and other public information to “vet” the consumers.
Spacio then generates a lead score based on the answers and public information, and provides them to the agent in order of who is most likely to buy a house.
Spacio is a free service, but it costs around $15 with “all the bell and whistles,” according to Kwan. Members of CRMLS receive a 25-percent discount.
User-friendly MLS upgrades
CloudMLX is the fourth service currently offered in the marketplace. This software puts the core features of an MLS system upfront through a more user-friendly platform. Social media profiles are linked between agents, breaking another barrier of peer-to-peer communication.
“If you look at many of today’s MLS systems, they are still based on the look and feel of MLS books. A few of the major MLS systems haven’t made any significant changes to their UI in over a decade, and that’s unacceptable,” CloudMLX developer and W+R Studios cofounder Dan Woolley in a press release.
The marketplace is laying the foundation for CRMLS as the organization plans to introduce Paragon as a front-end alternative to CRMLS Matrix later this year.