• A new survey by marketing automation firm Imprev involving 315 broker-owners showed that 84 percent of top real estate executives are in support of project Upstream.

Last week Upstream launched a website, upstreamre.com, as a resource for brokers to learn about the real estate data aggregation and distribution platform and keep track of updates as they roll in. But is Upstream’s target audience even on board?

Well, a survey (of real estate leadership) says “yes” — specifically, 84 percent of industry broker-owners and top execs support the project.

Within that group, 57 percent of top real estate executives said they are “very supportive” while 27 percent said they are “supportive” of the endeavor.

In addition, 64 percent reported feeling “confident” or “very confident” in Upstream’s success.

Real estate marketing automation firm Imprev conducted the independent research involving 315 participants at “leading franchises and independent brokerage firms that were responsible for more than half of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year.”

“The overall endorsement of Upstream is impressive,” said Renwick Congdon, CEO of Imprev. “With few exceptions, the real estate industry is showing incredible resolve in getting behind Upstream early on.

“This new study shows that most real estate leaders not only say that Upstream will be vital to how real estate listing and sales data is managed end-to-end, but are highly confident that this new venture — still in its infancy — will succeed.”

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Industry understanding and confusion surrounding Upstream

The survey also showed that industry leaders generally have a sound understanding of Upstream’s goals, with 72 percent correctly agreeing that  “Upstream is a centralized data repository that allows a brokerage to control and direct where any data — and not just listings — can be distributed.”

In addition, 38 percent understood that the system allows brokerages to distribute data to end users such as MLSs and tech vendors.

However, 16 percent “incorrectly believe it to be the first effort to create a nationwide MLS of listing data,” despite Upstream’s repeated insistence to the contrary.

Moreover, brokers pointed out that their understanding of Upstream doesn’t signify that the real estate industry, as a whole, is on the same page. Fifty-seven percent of participants believe that lenders have “no knowledge” about the project, while 41 percent also believe agents are “largely unfamiliar.”

What’s important to brokers?

In the mission statement Upstream outlined in its website, the project pledged unity with the MLSs and described the broker pain point its services address: “Every day, brokers enter data more than one time into different MLSs, into different portals, real estate tools, back office accounting systems, etc. Upstream gives brokers the technology leverage needed to manage their costs better, freeing up resources to innovate and serve their customers,” the website reads.

Brokers weighed in on the benefits Upstream’s organizers hope to bring to the industry, with 80 percent of respondents marking the following results as “valuable” or “very valuable:”

 

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Real estate leaders’ pro tips for Alex Lange

Respondents also offered project advice for Upstream CEO Alex Lange moving forward.

They encouraged him to be transparent with the MLSs and show unity by letting them “look behind the curtain,” ask for input, empower brokers to own their data and dedicate sufficient troubleshooting support to work out the kinks.

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Imprev’s breakdown of survey participants is as follows:

  • Nearly one-third (31 percent) of the 315 respondents are 61 years old or older
  • 29 percent are 51 to 60
  • 30 percent are 41 to 50
  • 8 percent are 31 to 40; and 2 percent are under 30

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.29.35 PM

Furthermore:

  • 22 percent of the leaders surveyed manage brokerages with 1,000 agents or more
  • 14 percent manage firms with 501-1,000 agents
  • 45 percent percent manage firms with 101-500 agents
  • 13 percent manage firms with 51-100 agents
  • 4 percent manage firms with 21-50 agents
  • 2 percent manage firms with 20 agents or fewer.

Finally, 71 percent of respondents are male, and 29 percent are female.

Email Caroline Feeney

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