The third-largest multiple listing service in the nation will soon have a new name: Stellar MLS.
My Florida Regional MLS, which is also the largest MLS in Florida at 58,000 subscribers, will launch under the new name on June 4. As part of the debut, Stellar MLS will roll out new customer profiles that are part of its effort to create a “curated customer journey” for the agents and brokers that depend on the MLS for their business.
Stellar will also seek to differentiate itself from some of the pitfalls that plague many of the country’s 600 or so MLSs and give them a bad name, partly in an effort to expand its own burgeoning borders.
“Stellar MLS will give brokers and their agents the power to prosper with data,” said Stellar MLS CEO Merri Jo Cowen in a statement.
“That means we are saying ‘no’ to the things that are broken in the MLS industry and ‘yes’ to things that help our agents’ and brokers’ businesses flourish. ‘No’ to politics, broken data, overlapping markets, different rules, slow decisions, and inferior technology.
“And when Stellar MLS says ‘yes,’ no one will beat us. ‘Yes’ to a curated customer journey; to a first-class, highly personalized experience; to standardized data; to easy-peasy integrated technology that wows agents and their clients.”
Stellar will build on its already high customer satisfaction ratings to put its agent and broker subscribers at the center of everything Stellar does, Cowen told Inman via email.
“That means breaking with the norms of an MLS industry that allows for an environment today where doing just okay is good enough: it’s not,” she said.
Currently, agents and brokers in 16 Realtor association in Central and Southwest Florida and one in Puerto Rico belong to MFRMLS, which employs more than 75 full-time employees.
But the MLS has its eye on expansion. Realtor associations with more than 400 members are eligible to join Stellar as shareholders while smaller associations can join as customers with access to the same products and services as shareholders.
To that end, the Altamonte Springs-based MLS is exploring “front end of choice” for incoming shareholders and customers. This would mean that agents belonging to new MLSs that join Stellar may not be required to use Stellar’s “front end” (the part of the MLS that agents see), which is CoreLogic’s Matrix platform.
Instead, they could potentially keep using their current front end and have it connect to a common listing database (“back end”) built on standards from the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO).
“We believe in MLS consolidation, and that it can be done well. Our customers will thrive in a unified market when they have access to all the data they need to do business. We want others to want to join Stellar MLS because we have the happiest customers in the business. What we have learned is that brokers and agents thrive when their greatest competitive advantage – their MLS – runs with their best interest in mind,” Cowen said.
A customized experience
Stellar MLS’s new customer profiles will include attributes such as:
- Role: Is the subscriber a broker, agent or office manager?
- Primary business focus: Do they do residential listings, vacant land, commercial?
- Other skills: Do they speak different languages? If so, which languages?
Customer profile data will not be shared with third parties such as vendors, the MLS told Inman.
With the new profiles, “we can ensure agents and brokers are receiving the right information they need at the right time instead of bombarding them with communications that they don’t want or need or isn’t relevant to them,” said Stellar MLS President Brad Monroe in a statement.
Stellar will use information from the profiles to help develop new initiatives, products and services. The MLS will also show brokers and agents how and when to use its products and services to be successful, according to Monroe.
“As part of that effort, Stellar MLS is upgrading its education platform to provide a recommended training curriculum that is grouped together, easy to find and determined by an agent’s station in their career,” the MLS said in a press release.
“For example, new agents have a common set of training needs, new teams another, while established agents have a different set of educational needs. The new educational platform will allow faster access to these programs, packaged and tailored to an agent’s specific needs.”
The customer profiles will be part of Stellar’s membership system, which will connect to a new email marketing platform.
Stellar will also debut a newly reorganized product dashboard provided by real estate tech and security firm Clareity where they will be able to access their core MLS tools, additional products and the new educational platform.
“One of the biggest challenges our customers face is technology that operates in silos. Technology integration is essential for our customers to succeed and for decisions to be made faster. When everything works well together, it isn’t held up by a request that we can’t fulfill because our technology doesn’t allow it. We will be pursuing more seamless integration as we believe integration is no longer a nice to have; it’s a must-have,” Cowen said.
As part of its new brand, meanwhile, Stellar will raise its voice nationally and beyond to advocate for its agent and broker subscribers, according to Cowen.
“Let’s talk about MLS consolidation, data standardization, and getting rid of mediocre service forever,” she said. “We will provide products and services that show the brilliance and value of our industry and why the MLS will endure.”