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Opinion Editorials

Vendors’ challenge of browser compliance and when clients should reasonably expect it

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Vendors have a challenge

A really big challenge. That challenge is the pace of change in the technology industry that grows exponentially every year. Because of the internet, consumers are more aware than ever of what tools vendors have to work with and when the winds of change start rolling in, consumers demand that vendors follow.

MLS vendors have an even more extensive challenge. Each MLS system has different business rules, for example, not all areas calculate days on market the same way and a simple MLS committee vote can change these rules. Those changes are expected to be updated in an MLS provider and that expectation is reasonable.

For years, a common standard has been sought in real estate feeds in the form of the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS). Mobile technologies have changed how Realtors input information into the MLS and how consumers see the data. Times have changed.

The challenge of browser compatibility

The challenge we address today is browser compatibility. We have heard from several MLS vendors that exist only on Internet Explorer that they’re working toward possibly becoming compliant with other browsers, but hear “it takes time” as the most common reason IE is still the only option despite the decline in its use globally. To be fair, some providers are now compliant with Chrome and Firefox, but we cannot locate an IE9 compliant MLS provider and those that are cross browser compliant mostly run on Flash and cannot be used on iPads.

Is it reasonable to expect vendors (including MLS vendors) to be iPad compliant or Chrome compliant? Maybe. Take a look at this and we’ll discuss it below:

1996 to 2011

I’ve outlined in red and green at what points a vendor should reasonably be expected to offer their product on a browser. If you look at the expansion and contraction, there is a relatively predictability in the growth patterns, so let’s start at the top. Prior to 1997, Netscape was the only major browser option, but by 1997, the growth expansion of Internet Explorer was large enough that vendors should have begun offering browser compliance (or at least be in focus groups researching their consumers). Between 1999 and 2000, the decline was so sharp with Netscape and the increase of IE so large that it would have been reasonable for vendors to discontinue improvement of their product for Netscape and focused on IE.

But this is where many vendors are stuck. The year 2000, but by 2007, Firefox adoption was large enough that consumers could reasonably expect a version of a tech product to be offered in IE as well as Firefox. This brings us to 2011. Based on the expansion/contraction paths of the past, 2011 is the year that vendors should reasonably be expected to exist on three platforms, now including Chrome.

The cost of browser compliance

It can be expensive to be cross-browser compliant, and adoption can pull a company in multiple directions, but it is the cost of doing business in the internet era for vendors. Several are working behind the scenes already to make this happen, but we hear rumors that some vendors plan on sticking with Internet Explorer.

That choice will only fly for a little bit longer as consumers, Realtors and Associations will not put up with it if there is a viable alternative. But for those vendors that closely study adoption (and you can tell who they are based on their offering), they will stay afloat.


Disclosure: an AG sister company is working with a Board of Realtors to evaluate one MLS provider through sentiment studies.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Roland Estrada

    April 1, 2011 at 8:15 am

    These vendors are about five years behind the curve. I’ve been complaining to SoCalMLS for the last five years about. I’m am quite a tech savvy agent. I saw the browser trend long ago. These vendors are just fat, lazy and arrogant. I’t time to call a spade a spade.

    As Realtors, we can’t be timid about calling these vendors out publicly. Considering the tools available to us in terms of social media, this can be done. How about a call to action – create a site of shame, flood bigger sites with phone calls and emails – you get the drift. Rise up and be heard. We are a powerful group and we should act as such.

  2. Lani Rosales

    April 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Roland, I think you missed my point… there is a *reasonable* expectation period for browser compliance and for Google Chrome, that is just now in 2011 based on historical data. If they had offered Chrome five years ago, they would have been time travelers because the browser didn’t exist.

    Is SoCalMLS not with CoreLogic MLS whose next generation (which I think might be live in your area) is Chrome compliant?

    • Roland Estrada

      April 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      Lani, I can see you point. However, Chrome isn’t the first browser war salvo. It started with Firefox. I’ve been a geek for some time now and an early adopter of new tech. The geek world really latched onto Firefox and for good reasons. They had been longing for a web standards compliant and open browser.

      I’ve been complaining about this to our local MLS since 2005. I’ve kept complaining year after year, pointing out IE’s continuing loss of market share. I really started complaining when I switched to a Mac in late 2006.

      It was an obvious trend that venders very didn’t pay attention because they just don’t care. As long as agents continue to pay and say nothing why should they change. There is so much lack of vision on behalf of real estate industry vendors. I’ve just had this talk with a IT friend of mine last night. The coding is not that difficult. If frost me because these vendors are selling us tech. It’s there business to know what is coming down the line or least hire people smart enough to know.

      SoCalMLS is rolling out something called Fusion this year. Do you what they tell me if I ask when – they say sometime between December 31st. You are correct, our product is Tempo from CoreLogic. Considering how much money our association pays them. When we ask them to jump they should be asking us how high. Not the other way around. By the way they never the saw the Apple juggernaut coming either. I think they might be starting to pay attention. We’ll see.

    • Roland Estrada

      April 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      Lani, I did some more digging today. I turns out that Fusion has been available in search-only to Sandicor members since late December of 2010. I spoke to someone at SoCalMLS today and was told Fusion is expected for us by late summer. The good news is it will completely cross browser compatible. The bad news is that it’s Flash based and won’t work on an iOS devices. I still don’t the why it was
      Flash based. Maybe it’s easer to compile. You lose a lot of options when using legacy solutions. Too bad. Also the plan is to run Tempo and Fusion concurrently forever. Forever?? Hmmm…

      I was also told that SoCalMLS will be releasing a new mobile friendly MLS service called Kurio as replacement for our current Wireless MLS solution. I was told four weeks for that release, so I’ll plan on 8 weeks. Do I sound cynical?

  3. Missy Caulk

    October 11, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Still relevant for today, and I am posting on our boards Facebook page.

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Opinion Editorials

5 ways to grow your entrepreneur business without shaming others

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) We all need support as business owners. Let’s talk ideas for revenue growth as an entrepreneur that do not include shaming your competition.

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Entrepreneur women all talking around a meeting table.

The year 2020 has forced everyone to re-assess their priorities and given us the most uncertain set of circumstances we have lived through. For businesses and entrepreneurs, they were faced with having to confront new business scenarios quickly. Maybe your entrepreneur business was set to thrive as behaviors changed (maybe you already offered contactless products and services). Or, you were forced to add virtual components or find new revenue streams – immediately. This has been tough.

Every single person is having a hard time with the adjustments and most likely at different stages than others. We’re at the 6-month mark, and each of our timelines are going to look different. Our emotions have greeted us differently too, whether we have felt relief, grief, excitement, fear, hope, determination, or just plain exhaustion.

Now that we are participating in life a bit more virtually than in 2019, this is a good time to re-visit the pros and cons of the influence of technology and marketing outreach online. It’s also a great time to throw old entrepreneur rules out the window and create a better sense of community where you can.

Here’s an alluring article, “Now Is Not the Time for ‘Mom Shaming’”, that gives an example from about a decade ago of how the popularity of mommy bloggers grew by women sharing their parenting “hacks”, tips, or even recipes and crafting ideas via online posts and blogs. As the blog entries grew, so did other moms comparing themselves and/or feeling inadequate. Some of the responses were natural and some may have been coming from a place of defensiveness. Moms are not alone in looking for resources, articles, materials, and friends to tell us we’re doing ok. We just need to be told “You are doing fine.”

Luckily, some moms in Connecticut decided to declare an end to “Mom Wars” and created a photo shoot that shared examples of how each mom had a right to their choices in parenting. It seemed to reinforce the message of, “You are doing fine.” I don’t know about you, but my recent google searches of “Is it ok to have my 3-year old go to bed with the iPad” are pretty much destined to get me in trouble with her pediatrician. I’m hoping that during a global pandemic, “I am doing fine.”

Comparing this scenario to the entrepreneur world, often times your business is your baby. You have worn many hats to keep it alive. You have built the concept and ideas, nurtured the products and services with sweat, tears, and maybe some laughs. You have spent countless hours researching, experimenting, and trying processes and marketing tactics that work for you. You have been asked to “pivot” this year like so many others (sick of that word? Me too).

Here are some ideas for revenue growth as an entrepreneur (or at least, ideas worth considering if you haven’t already):

  1. It’s about the questions you ask yourself. How does your product or service help or serve others (vs. solely asking how do I get more customers?) This may lead to new ideas or income streams.
  2. Consider a collaboration or a partnership – even if they seem like the competition. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African proverb
  3. Stop inadvertently shaming the competition by critiquing what they do. It’s really obvious on your Instagram. Try changing the narrative to how you help others.
  4. Revisit the poem All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and re-visit it often. “And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”
  5. Join a community, celebrate others’ success, and try to share some positivity without being asked to do so. Ideas include: Likes/endorsements, recommendations on LinkedIn for your vendor contacts, positive Google or Yelp reviews for fellow small business owners.

It seems like we really could use more kindness and empathy right now. So what if we look for the help and support of others in our entrepreneurial universe versus comparing and defending our different way of doing things?

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Opinion Editorials

Can we combat grind culture and injustice with a nap?

(OPINION EDITORIALS) A global pandemic and a climate of racial injustice may require fresh thinking and a new approach from what grind culture has taught us.

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Sleeping cat with plant, fighting grind culture.

Information is delivered to us at warp speed with access to television, radio, and the internet (and more specifically, social media). We are inundated with messages. Oftentimes they’re personalized by something that a friend or family shared. Other times we manage them for work, school, or just keeping up with news. Many entrepreneurs already wear many hats and burn the midnight oil.

During this global pandemic, COVID-19, we have also seen a rise in awareness and attention to social injustice and systemic racism. This is not a new concept, as we all know. But it did feel like the attention was advanced exponentially by the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020. Many people and entrepreneurs felt called to action (or at least experienced self-reflection). And yet they were working at all hours to evolve their businesses to survive. All of this happening simultaneously may have felt like a struggle while they tried to figure out exactly they can do.

There are some incredible thought leaders – and with limited time, it can be as simple as checking them out on Instagram. These public figures give ideas around what to be aware of and how to make sure you are leveling up your awareness.

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Center for Antiracist Research – he has been studying anti-racism and has several books and interviews that help give language to what has been happening in our country for centuries. His content also delves into why and how white people have believed they are more than people of color. Here is a great interview he did with Brené Brown on her Unlocking Us podcast.

Tamika Mallory – American activist and one of the leading organizers of the 2017 Women’s March. She has been fighting for justice to be brought upon the officers that killed Breonna Taylor on March 13. These are among other efforts around the country to push back on gun control, feminist issues, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Brené Brown – research professor at the University of Houston and has spent the last two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She has been listening and engaging on how racism and our shame intersect. She also speaks about how people can reflect on themselves and where they can take action to better our society. She has some antiracism resources on her website.

With all of this information and the change in our daily routines and work habits (or business adjustments), what is a fresh approach or possibly a new angle that you haven’t been able to consider?

There is one social channel against grind culture that may not be as well-known. At an initial glance, you may even perceive this place as a spoof Twitter and Instagram that is just telling you to take a nap. But hold on, it’s actually much smarter than that. The description says “We examine the liberating power of naps. We believe rest is a form of resistance and reparations. We install Nap Experiences. Founding in 2016.”

It might be a great time for you to check out The Nap Ministry, inspired by Tricia Hersey. White people are called to action, and people of color are expressly told to give time to taking care of themselves. Ultimately, it goes both ways – everyone needs the time to recharge and recuperate. But people of color especially are being told to value their rest more than the grind culture. Yes, you’re being told you need to manage your mental health and include self-care in your schedule.

Through The Nap Ministry, Tricia “examines rest as a form of resistance by curating safe spaces for the community to rest via Collective Napping Experiences, immersive workshops, and performance art installations.”

“In this incredibly rich offering, we speak with Tricia on the myths of grind culture, rest as resistance, and reclaiming our imaginative power through sleep. Capitalism and white supremacy have tricked us into believing that our self-worth is tied to our productivity. Tricia shares with us the revolutionary power of rest.” They have even explored embracing sleep as a political act.

Let this allow you to take a deep breath and sigh – it is a must that you take care of yourself to take care of your business as well as your customers and your community. And yes, keep your drive and desire to “get to work”. But not at your expense for the old grind culture narrative.

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Opinion Editorials

The actual reasons people choose to work at startups

(EDITORIAL) Startups have a lot going for them, environment, communication, visible growth. But why else would you work for one?

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Startups meeting led by Black woman.

Startups are perpetually viewed as the quintessential millennial paradise with all of the accompanying perks: Flexible hours, in-house table tennis, and long holidays. With this reputation so massively ingrained in the popular perception of startups, is it foolish to think that their employees actually care about the work that startup companies accomplish?

Well, yes and no.

The average startup has a few benefits that traditional business models can’t touch. These benefits often include things like open communication, a relaxed social hierarchy, and proximity to the startup’s mission. That last one is especially important: While larger businesses keep several degrees of separation between their employees and their end goals, startups put the stakes out in the open, allowing employees to find personal motivation to succeed.

When employees find themselves personally fulfilled by their work, that work reaps many of the benefits in the employee’s dedication, which in turn helps the startup propagate. Many aspiring startup employees know this and are eager to “find themselves” through their work.

Nevertheless, the allure of your average startup doesn’t always come from the opportunity to work on “something that matters.”

Tiffany Philippou touches on this concept by pointing out that “People come to work for you because they need money to live… [s]tartups actually offer pretty decent salaries these days.”

It’s true that many employees in their early to late twenties will likely take any available job, so assuming that your startup’s 25-and-under employee base is as committed to finding new uses for plastic as you are may be a bit naïve—indeed, this is a notion that holds true for any business, regardless of size or persuasion.

However, startup experience can color a young employee’s perception of their own self-worth. This allows them to pursue more personally tailored employment opportunities down the road—and that’s not a bad legacy to have.

Additionally, startups often offer—and even encourage—a level of personal connection and interactivity that employees simply won’t find in larger, more established workplaces. That isn’t symptomatic of startups being too laid-back or operating under loosely defined parameters. Instead, it’s a clue that work environments that facilitate personalities rather than rote productivity may stand to get more out of their employees.

Finally, your average startup has a limited number of spots, each of which has a clearly defined role and a possibility for massive growth. An employee of a startup doesn’t typically have to question their purpose in the company—it’s laid out for them; who are we to question their dedication to fulfilling it?

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