The nation’s second-largest multiple listing service, Bright MLS, has been experiencing outages for days and is expecting more, prompting frustration among some subscribers.
Bright has more than 100,000 subscribers in the Mid-Atlantic region. According to Bright subscribers that contacted Inman directly as well as others who took to Facebook to vent their frustrations, Bright has been experiencing outages for at least six consecutive days.
Here’s a sampling of comments from the Bright MLS Nightmares and Support private Facebook group about the outages since April 1:
- “OK…..Bright is DOWN…..AGAIN !!! And they are increasing our subscription price next month. I’m ready to start a new MLS…..can’t stand that Bright is a monopoly and we have no other choice. Who wants to be partners in starting a new MLS system ???? Can’t take this anymore. Have a few listing appointments and can’t work because Bright is down”
- “Bright down again.. I’d be homeless if I operated my business like they do. It needs to stop”
- “10 minutes or an hour, it’s ridiculous they can’t provide a reliable system”
- “Did it just go down again!!?? I have a RUSH to get out!”
- “Down again. These guys are clowns.”
- “System is really down right smack in the middle of the day?!?!… UNREAL…”
- “What are we paying. We look like dummies to our sellers when we don’t have any information at the Listing appointment.”
- “Has anyone actually spoken to an attorney regarding what our options are regarding Bright and all the issues many of us are having with the system? I have read a few posts regarding this and see people saying there is nothing we can do, but I feel like there must be something. I really just want to know who has explored this and what they found out.”
According to Bright, over the past 30 days, the MLS has been experiencing ongoing issues with the search function for Matrix, an MLS system provided by CoreLogic that powers search and automated email tools, among other functions. It’s the most widely-used MLS system in the country.
“These issues have ranged from spotty, intermittent minor outages to issues that have lasted for a few hours,” Christy Reap, a spokesperson for Bright MLS, told Inman in an email.
“While our subscribers have been able to enter and update their listings using the system Bright created and runs, we understand our subscribers extreme frustration with their inability to use the Matrix system to do things like search for properties and share them with their clients while there is an outage,” Reap added in the statement. “Matrix is a CoreLogic product that Bright licenses for use by our subscribers, and CoreLogic owns the codebase – we are working hand-in-glove with CoreLogic senior leadership to investigate, pinpoint and solve these issues for our subscribers.”
“Ensuring that our subscribers and shareholders get the value and service level they expect is paramount to Bright,” she concluded. “We will not stop until we have a concrete resolution and are confident our subscribers have the level of service they expect.”
The website of the Dulles Area Association of Realtors in Virginia, which is one of Bright’s shareholders, posted updates from Bright on Tuesday and Wednesday acknowledging the outages and saying they anticipated more.
“Over this past month, we’ve done everything CoreLogic has recommended — and after Friday’s outage, the Bright tech teams worked late into the night and through the weekend with the CoreLogic team to try and find a solution to this recurring issue,” Bright MLS CEO Brian Donnellan said.
“We know that access to Bright’s systems are critical to your day-to-day activities, so first off, we’d like to apologize for the inconvenience and strain these outages have caused you.”
Donnellan said Bright was “taking definitive action” to ensure Bright’s reliability, including working with CoreLogic “to identify and implement a permanent fix to the system downtime issues,” which is the two companies’ “#1 priority until a fix is in place.”
Donnellan also said Bright is looking into additional options for a new search system as well as for other overall MLS platforms as an alternative to Matrix. Many large MLSs have for years offered their subscribers more than one MLS system option for accessing their MLS.
“We are currently in advanced talks with two other real estate technology providers — providers that are also used by many large MLSs across the country — to discuss how we can bring their solutions into the Bright ecosystem so that our subscribers can have alternative options to use,” he said.
“Concurrently, we will also be moving forward with an alternate solution to Matrix from a different provider so that our subscribers have a choice of systems to use in addition to Matrix – we will provide updates on progress as we have them.”
In his Wednesday update, Donnellan acknowledged “additional outages yesterday” and told subscribers that “until we are able to identify the root cause, we can anticipate recurring issues with the Matrix platform.” He said Bright, CoreLogic and Amazon Web Services were working together “day and night” to stabilize Matrix.
“[Y]ou have my commitment, as well as the commitment of the entire Bright and CoreLogic team that we won’t rest until we fix this,” he said.
Reap said the MLS had “no news to share about an additional partner,” but said Bright was “committed to working through the issues with Matrix with our longtime partner, CoreLogic” and “have no plans to remove CoreLogic from our suite of technology tools we provide to our subscribers.”
Regarding the subscription increase that is prompting ire among some subscribers given the outages, Reap said Bright’s subscription fees have been $35 per month for the past five years and are being raised to $40 per month.
“Bright’s decision to increase rates was done after careful consideration of our shareholders,” she said. “Sharply rising costs across every industry have affected businesses large and small, and Bright has not been immune to these inflationary pressures. The issues with search are not caused by a lack of resources.”
Bright recently stopped offering Remine Pro as a free member benefit, but Reap said that had nothing to do with the outages. Bright also recently hired Realtor.com veteran Amit Kulkarni as its first chief marketing officer.
A spokesperson for CoreLogic told Inman in a statement that the disruptions were unique to Bright MLS and that it was working to remedy the issue.
“Bright MLS has recently experienced some periodic disruptions of service related to their implementation of Matrix software,” a spokesperson for CoreLogic told Inman in a statement. “We are working very closely with Bright’s team and leadership to address these disruptions as expeditiously as possible. Bright MLS’s implementation of Matrix is unique to Bright. No other Matrix instance across our client base has experienced disruptions during this time.”