I had a chance to sit down with Mike Wurzer again at National Association of Realtors (NAR) Midyear to discuss the recent announcement about UpstreamRE not being, well, upstream anymore.

This was recorded before NAR announced the details of additional funding.

The first step of problem-solving is to assign blame, right?

That seems to be part of Upstream’s tactics in explaining their delayed progress at NAR’s May Legislative Meeting in D.C.

They succeeded in raising the heart rate of today’s guest by implying that a lack of cooperation from vendors is to blame for the slow pace of the project.

Upstream also made a big announcement regarding what they call a pivot, but may be more appropriately called a 180.

Michael Wurzer is the President and CEO of FBS, an employee-owned company committed to exceeding customer expectations. Their signature product, Flexmls, is a standards-driven technology platform connecting real estate professionals to their customers with collaboration tools that deliver timely and accurate information. FBS products serve 185 organizations and over 2,000 agents in the real estate sector.

Under Wurzer’s leadership for the past 20 years, FBS has worked to constantly evolve and embrace change. They were among the first to build a web-based system, striking a balance between stability and innovation.

Today, he examines the Upstream pivot in detail, discussing how Upstream messaging has evolved over time, pain points the initiative was working to address and the need to foster collaboration among industry players.

What’s discussed:

  • The major players in the Upstream initiative
  • How Upstream messaging has evolved over time
  • The major Upstream pivot announced at NAR’s legislative meetings
  • How the pivot was influenced by feedback from experienced multiple listing service (MLS) professionals
  • Greg’s take on the fundamental change of the Upstream initiative
  • Pain points the Upstream project was working to address
    • Ability to sync listings
    • Integration with third party products
  • The buy-in for Upstream from big brands
  • Upstream’s explanation for its delayed progress
  • The need to foster collaboration among industry players rather than assign blame
    • All focused on solving broker problems
  • The Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) campaign to highlight the value of the MLS
  • The controversy over Realtors Property Resource’s (RPR) team of developers
  • Confusion surrounding the meaning of a ‘live demo’
  • The ability to enter a listing from a third-party system as a Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) objective
  • The evolution of technology in the real estate software space
    • ‘We’re building the airplane as we’re flying it’
  • Success stories in MLS system consolidation
  • The beauty of competition in shaping market dynamics
  • Zillow’s next steps in light of the Upstream pivot
  • The need for clear communication regarding syndication
  • What the Upstream pivot means for Advanced Multi-list Platform (AMP)
  • Wurzer’s prediction of what’s next in real estate tech innovation
  • Upstream as ‘another option’ rather than a revolution

Connect with Michael Wurzer on Twitter or check out his blog.

Email Greg Robertson.

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