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RISMEDIA, September 15, 2009—Once MLS 5.0 has been fully implemented, the changes that will have occurred in the real estate landscape will be equivalent to a seismic shift of catastrophic proportions, catastrophic to those who refuse to adapt. Traditional MLSs, Realtor associations, franchises, brokerages, teams and agents that embrace these scalable, visionary initiatives will provide unprecedented benefits to consumers by better positioning the Realtor at the center of the online real estate conversation. Those who fail to act early and decisively may likely lag behind, lose market share and possibly cease to be a force of any measure or consequence in the industry. 

So far in this series, we’ve discussed what MLS 5.0 is and what it will look like. But, specifically, 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. Within a few years, these generations will be first-time home sellers and second-time home buyers. The size of these two generations combined is greater than the Baby Boom Generation. They will have a significant economic impact on the real estate industry. MLS 5.0 must be built to fulfill the expectations of the Realtor and consumer of today, as well as the Realtor and consumer of tomorrow. 

While there is a variety of information and definitions 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. 

Traditionally, MLS has always been a broker-to-broker (business-to-business) network. It was not created as a central platform to facilitate marketing efforts. As all listing information is now digitized, the first point of entry is typically the MLS. The MLS of the future must consider becoming the single point of entry to facilitate the distribution and, thus, the marketing of listings both online and eventually offline. This will actually give control back to the brokers. 

So how can an MLS restructure its business model to ensure the Realtor is in the center of the real estate conversation online, communicating and speaking the language of the new consumer? We’ll visit this issue in next month’s article. 

Tell us what you think or request the full article series to date at:

Saul Klein is CEO of InternetCrusade and Point2 Technologies Inc. 

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