“You don’t have to look very far into any news feed to find a story of data breaches, unauthorized or misuse of data or entities gaining disproportionate gains on the sale of data,” said Dan Elsea, Upstream’s chairman in a statement.
“Our industry, of course, is based on data, so it is imperative that each broker and real estate practitioner be able to manage and control their data,” he added. “Upstream provides that opportunity for our industry, and it is wonderful to have our rollout underway.”
Upstream said in a release today that it launched with Regional Multiple Listing Service in Portland, Oregon. Brokers will be entering data into Upstream and feeding it into other systems, including RMLS, from there — a process called “direct input” that fulfills Upstream’s original aim to become the starting point for data — a role typically held by MLSs now.
Four pilot brokerages alpha- and beta-tested Upstream in RMLS’s market before it went into production, but today is the first day that Upstream will go live in any form, Upstream CEO Alex Lange told Inman in an interview. One of the pilot brokerages, Coldwell Banker Bain, will start using Upstream live “almost immediately,” Lange said.
But today’s launch is not just for the pilot brokerages. Starting today, Upstream will onboard any brokerage and its vendors in the markets where Upstream has launched. So far, Upstream has integrated 40 vendors, according to Lange.
Upstream today also launched in an easier to implement version called “broker direct feed” in which the MLS is the starting point and feeds to Upstream. Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, Inc. (NTREIS) are the first markets to debut the broker direct feed.
Multiple listing services in California (California Regional MLS); Pennsylvania (West Penn MLS); Texas (Austin Board of Realtors’ MLS); Minnesota (NorthstarMLS); and Michigan (Ann Arbor Area Board if Realtors’ MLS), are soon to follow, according to Upstream, with plans to expand by five or six each month. Upstream’s goal is to serve more than 250,000 agents by the end of 2018.
Brokerages representing almost 100,000 agents have signed the Upstream participation agreement, according to the Upstream site, including Baird and Warner, Howard Hanna, Long and Foster, Crye-Leike, Coldwell Banker Bain, BHGRE Rand Realty, and Latter & Blum.
According to the website, Upstream says it won’t bill until fourth quarter, even if the participant starts today. If it hasn’t deployed to all of a large multi-MLS firm’s locations, Upstream will only bill for the number of agents using the platform.
At press time, none of the multiple listing services involved responded to a request to confirm Upstream had launched.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Upstream CEO Alex Lange.
Additional reporting by Inman Deputy Editor Andrea V. Brambila.