MRIS launches beta service
Could they become the one place to search for homes? Perhaps.
MRIS is launching a beta version of a service called HomesDatabase that shows MLS listings which currently shows homes covered in their region but anticipates partnering with other MLS systems nationally to create a complete database.
But for now, it’s going bigger, and that’s beneficial to all brokers and consumers who are searching for the “one place” to market and search for homes. MRIS “gets it” when it comes to the MLS space, and it shows with their new release.
MRIS innovates and guess who follows?
It’s a shot across the bow of Realtor.com – MRIS innovates where Realtor.com follows. Natural language search and “Amazon-like suggestion technology that presents users with properties other users with similar preferences have viewed?” Nice.
Where is HomesDatabase (HDB) right now?
“Check Hitwise or Media Metrix however and you will see that HDB traffic is significant when compared with the regional and national sites. The big guys certainly have a place but they also have a price. They need ads to make their models work. And every one of them has an exit strategy. This is not a bad thing. Consumers believe that data should flow like water. But somebody has to pay for it. And the way most sites pay for it is to surround the content with ads that have even greater potential to pull the visitor in another direction. “
Will MRIS sell ads?
“We will not sell ads. Don’t need to. And our ‘payday” is when our customers get more calls/inquiries.”
This has been one of the greatest complaints about Realtor.com, in addition to their limiting the number of photos to the “basic” members (Beta.homesdatabase.com offers 30 photos).
How do you see this benefiting Realtors?
“The benefit will hopefully be monetized by the folks that create the listing in the first place; agents and brokers. We will drive traffic directly to them. If the visitor wants to follow up with the agent for more information, they will. Our attempt here is to help the agent get invited into the conversation; they will have to earn their way into the transaction.”
Who is the primary audience?
“The primary audience is consumers. As a result, I hope that other markets will consider using (leveraging) the local MLS to make this happen. Do I hope they call us for assistance? Sure, but my business does not live or die on expansion to other markets.”
There are no plans to open the platform to Unrepresented Sellers (otherwise known as FSBOs) – they don’t pay MLS fees, so this space remains open.
What does this mean for search portals?
When I sat on a panel about MLS’ at the Virginia Association of Realtors’ conference a few months ago, someone asked whether the blurring of the lines between MLS’ and the inevitable mergers meant that smaller associations were living on borrowed time. My response then is the same as it is now – no one is entitled to either success or survival. Not the MLS’ Trulia, Zillow, Cyberhomes, etc, etc, etc. Survival and Success have to be earned.
What does this mean for the CyberTruliaZillows? They’ve now got some formidable competition. As a practicing Realtor and consumer, that’s good news.