In August 1981, MTV became the first all-music video channel. It went live with its first video by The Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” The cable television channel had a little over 200 videos to air. Sixteen of those videos featured Rod Stewart.
Still, those music videos helped sell record albums and deepened the relationship between music fans and artists.
But to reach more viewers and get record labels to produce higher-quality videos, MTV needed additional cable stations. A more prominent national footprint was vital to compete against the 100-percent ad-funded broadcast networks. MTV was only asking for 10 cents a month per subscriber, but the cable firms balked. Without more cable companies to distribute its content, MTV wouldn’t survive.
Cable companies back then were decentralized, and their owners were out of touch with what their new subscribers wanted. These owners couldn’t see the value in a cable channel appealing to a bunch of rock and rollers.
The only thing that could work to change this impasse was for artists to go directly to their audience. That gave birth to the “I Want My MTV” campaign. It was only because MTV was a matter of pride for rock and rollers that Mick Jagger of the Stones did an “I Want My MTV” promo, breaking his pledge to never do commercials. His promo is why Pete Townshend and David Bowie did ones, too.
When MTV ran their ads in every new market they targeted, every local cable operator gave in after just three weeks. They went market by market, adding up to one million new subscribers per month. MTV was saved.
Fast Forward to BPP
Does this sound familiar? Home search in the real estate industry today is dominated by ad-funded portals.
Meanwhile, Broker Public Portal (BPP) with Homesnap is fighting to build a larger nationwide footprint. BPP needs more MLSs to help take back the relationship with the consumer. It’s a grassroots strategy that’s being led by agents and brokers who already have relationships with homebuyers and sellers.
When the industry can deliver the best possible experience for consumers, then the consumer traffic to third-party advertising sites will be returned to the better alternative of a home-search experience delivered by the same people who create the listings and are best able to help buyers and sellers make informed decisions.
Many real estate agents spend hundreds—even thousands—of dollars a month to promote their listings with online advertising companies. Agents believe they have no choice but to spend their money on third-party sites. That’s why BPP was formed. If agents give their customer a superior home-search experience with the tools and information they want, there will be no need for the consumer to search elsewhere.
MTV was created to deliver something that was better than just hearing a song on the radio. It was born to help bands let their fans experience their music in a whole new way. Home search should be a much better experience than what advertising-driven media companies are offering. That’s precisely what BPP with Homesnap has set out to deliver to MLSs: a search experience so good it will help agents reestablish and reinforce existing personal consumer relationships.
Most importantly, the BPP movement, like the MTV movement, is about creators having control over their work. Agents work hard to create listings and shouldn’t have the leads they generate be sold back to them. It’s now 875,000 agents and over 145 MLSs strong. BPP represents our industry’s turn to speak.
I Want My BPP!
Our message now to agents and brokers is simple and clear: You need to ask for BPP. MLS boards, officers, management and staff need to hear your united voices. Tell them loud and clear, “I Want My BPP.”
It’s just $1 per agent per month for your MLS to join in supporting what’s already become the most successful, industry-driven initiative in real estate. Adding MTV wasn’t an option for cable operators until their phones started to ring off the hook. Signing up for BPP is easy if your MLSs are with the program.
Do you want your BPP? Contact your MLS today and say, “I Want My BPP!”
John Mosey is president and CEO of NorthstarMLS, which supports over 17,500 REALTORS® in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. NorthstarMLS facilitated more than 87,000 real estate transactions valued at over $24 billion in 2017. Mosey is also 2018-19 chair of the Broker Public Portal. For more information, please visit brokerpublicportal.com or homesnap.com/bpp.
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