A panel of multiple listing service executives at Inman Connect Las Vegas argued Thursday that their industry’s technology could use an infusion of time, talent and money.

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A panel of multiple listing service (MLS) leaders on Thursday argued that their industry’s technology landscape is ripe for change, though there are still obstacles getting in the way.

The panel included Abhinav Gupta, head of digital product management and strategy for Bright MLS, as well as Tim Dain, a vice president at Remine — both of whom participated in an Inman Connect session dubbed “Splitting Apart the MLS Tech Platform.” During his comments, Dain argued that everyone in the MLS space knows the technology needs to evolve, but “we’ve all picked a different starting point.”

Tim Dain on stage at Inman Connect Thursday. Credit: AJ Canaria of MoxiWorks

He went on to note that of the many hundreds of MLSs in the U.S. right now, only 10 or so actually have tech developers on staff. And problems in the world of MLS technology don’t always get addressed when they should.

“As an MLS executive, my experience is we don’t solve technology problems until they become political problems,” Dain added.

It wasn’t all bad news, though.

Dain did say that many MLSs have the resources to invest in technology, noting that such investments would require commitments of “treasure, talent and time.” And in his ideal world, he’d like to see the industry rally behind a handful of solutions.

“It would be kind of amazing to see an industry effort put behind a couple different companies,” Dain added.

Dain also argued that MLS technology needs to move toward “modularity and microservices,” among other things.

From left to right, moderator Sam DeBord, Abhinav Gupta and Tim Dain on stage at Inman Connect Thursday. Credit: AJ Canaria of MoxiWorks

For his part, Gupta agreed that there was an opportunity for the industry’s technology to evolve. And he noted that Bright MLS — which is both one of the largest MLSs in the U.S. as well as one of the ones that has most invested in technology — wants to be at the forefront of pushing the industry forward.

“Treasure talent and technology,” Gupta said. “I think that is where the opportunity lies.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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