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2008-08-15 20:17:33

MLS 5.0 -- A Vision for Tomorrow -- Part Three

Recently, RealTown released the MLS of the Future Vision Article authored by RealTown's Saul Klein. The article release has created an incredible buzz in the Real Estate industry. If you have not read the entire 28-page paper, you can download it by visiting . In the meantime, we will be releasing a portion of the paper several times a week to allow you to read the specific sections and make online comments that will fuel additional views and opinions on the subject as we move forward

What will be required to build on the current solid foundation of today’s MLS? This paper attempts to answer this question and create a basis for an industry discussion. Open and frank discussion is essential to creating the tools and organizations that will position REALTORS® to provide services to meet the expectations of future buyers and sellers. This Paper is a vision and not a roadmap. MLS in the broad, generic sense, needs to be redefined in the age of information proliferation and online participatory environments. MLS is more than an offer of compensation and cooperation, but how much more? That decision is up to you.

MLS 5.0 is a Property Wiki - (Parcel based not listing based)

A wiki is a collection of web pages, where the content is written by contributors (Wiki in plain English). Wiki software can have many uses and applications, the most well known being Wikipedia, which is an encyclopedia written by volunteer writers and editors. Companies today often use wiki software to create searchable, retrievable information about the company. A wiki begins with something referred to as a “Stub,” which can be a word or a phrase and then contributors write about the stub. Because of a concept known as the “wisdom of crowds” the information about that stub becomes more and more comprehensive and accurate. Wikis are fundamental to Web 2.0. Do not be led to believe that wikis are not accurate. To test, go to and search for a word or phrase that you are familiar with and check the accuracy.

The word wiki is the Hawaiian word for fast or quick. If you have ever flown into the Honolulu International Airport, you have probably taken a ride on the Wiki Wiki Shuttle.

A property wiki then is a wiki where the stubs are property addresses or parcel numbers, to which information from contributors and editors can be added to create a comprehensive record.
Imagine a blank web site for every property address in the US. To that blank Web site imagine adding anything publicly known. Now imagine inviting the property owner and REALTORS® to add what they know about the property. While there are some concerns about accuracy, Web 2.0 concepts, self-policing, flagging, and social capital will in time minimize the inaccuracies.
This is a key to understanding MLS 5.0. A listing is merely a moment in time of the life of a property. MLS data is a subset of a larger body of data relative to a parcel of real property. Of value to REALTORS® and consumers is information about a parcel before the property is listed for sale. Property history, in one convenient place, is a valuable asset that grows in value as more information is accumulated over time. Pictures, video, audio, text and other formats of information relevant to a property and conveniently aggregated have value. A prospective buyer might be interested in pictures of a home before and after a remodel.

Who Will MLS 5.0 Serve?

MLS 5.0 will serve the customer of today and be ready for the customer of tomorrow. That customer is the REALTOR® and their customer, the buyers and sellers of real estate. According to NAR, Gen X and Gen Y made up 78.8% of all first time home purchases in 2007. This is a significant milestone. While there is a variety of information and definition about the different generations, one thing for certain is that there are truly generational differences based on the times in which people live, the seminal events in their lives, and the world conditions they experience during their lifetime. MLS has always been a Broker to Broker (Business to Business) Network. It was not created as a central platform to facilitate marketing efforts. Marketing today needs to take into consideration generational destinations, modes of communication, and targeted marketing messages.

At who is this message targeted?


Understanding and Adapting to Generational Differences

From Wikipedia:
Generation X – Baby busters - 48 Million
         Original Latch Key Kids
         Techno literate
         MTV generation
         Inception of the Internet
Generation Y - Echo Boom - 80 Million
         Generation Me
         “Bathed in Bits”
In their book, Connecting to the Net Generation, Reynol Junco and Jeanna Mastrodicasa found that in a survey of 7,705 college students in the US:
         97% own a computer
         94% own a cell phone
         76% use Instant Messaging and social networking sites.
         15% of IM users are logged on 24 hours a day/7 days a week
         34% use websites as their primary source of news
         28% author a blog and 44% read blogs
         97% have downloaded music and other media using peer-to-peer file sharing
         49% regularly download music and other media using peer-to-peer file sharing
         75% of college students have a Facebook account
         60% own some type of portable music and/or video device such as an iPod.
They represent Tomorrow’s REALTOR® and Tomorrow’s Home Owner. MLS 5.0 is built to fulfill the expectations of the REALTOR® and consumer of today as well as the REALTOR® and consumer of tomorrow.
The fourth part of this series will be published on Tuesday.

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