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Can you imagine if every time you wanted to buy groceries, you had to go to a bunch of different stores? A hundred years ago, that’s what most people did. You went to the butcher for meat, the baker for bread, a dairy shop for milk and butter, and a greengrocer for vegetables.

Piggly Wiggly, the first supermarket, offered the convenience of providing everything in one place, and it changed the entire food industry.

This is precisely the challenge that MLSs face today as we work to bring disparate technologies together. First Multiple Listing Service, Inc.’s (FMLS) mission is to help fulfill financial dreams by providing superior technology, service and training to facilitate the success of our brokers.

We know that interoperability—or offering technology that talks to each other to eliminate repetitive tasks—is vital: This is what our members want. It’s also one of the most important ways an MLS can deliver ongoing value to members.

Supporting the Broker Public Portal
FMLS was founded 62 years ago by eight brokers, and we’ve always kept the principal broker member as our No. 1 customer. Brokers are at the forefront of everything we do, and we must ensure that they have products and services to support their success.

That’s also what the Broker Public Portal (BPP) is about: putting brokers first. The BPP was created by brokers for brokers, in partnership with MLSs. This philosophy manifests itself in BPP products, which is why FMLS adopted the Homesnap technology right out of the gate.

Homesnap Delivers Value
Every technology we offer must provide value to a broker’s business. Offering Homesnap helps support our role in making the market work. It’s a technology that “wows” clients. Our members are enjoying what Homesnap provides all in one place, from its built-in agent safety feature to its Rapid CMA. Homesnap is even integrated with ShowingTime.

We believe Homesnap will become even more popular when we soon debut editing functionality for listings. Once we expand the integration between Homesnap and our MLS software system, FMLS members will benefit from better integration with their CRM, as well as the ability to save searches—all in one single solution.

The convenience factor is crucial for our brokers. Making it easier for brokers to access all their technology tools in one place today isn’t an option; it’s a basic requirement.

Leveraging What You Do
Our FMLS continuing education class is an innovative approach we’ve taken to educate members about the value of Homesnap and other technologies we offer. Through our FMLS Real Estate Institute, we offer a course on mobile technology that allows us to demonstrate how apps like Homesnap work. Our members love it because FMLS provides 33 of the 36 classroom hours needed to renew their licenses. The courses are free to FMLS members, and we don’t compete with Association-provided CE classes.

Why Joining BPP Is an MLS Imperative
Every MLS that’s not already a member of the Broker Public Portal isn’t putting the broker at the forefront of their business decisions. They need to ask themselves why the broker isn’t their priority. If they do, every MLS will then make the obvious decision to support the BPP.

Jeremy Crawford is president and CEO of First Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (FMLS – fmls.com), an MLS and data services provider for real estate brokers and agents in Georgia. For more information, please visit www.brokerpublicportal.com.