I’m helping a few groups of MLSs regionalize. Recently, a few MLSs have begun to believe that they should not move forward with regionalization because, to quote one of them, “AMP is going to be a solution to all of this.” This showed a disturbing lack of understanding both of MLS regionalization and AMP.
For those unfamiliar with AMP, the idea is to de-couple the MLS “back end” database from the “front end” interface. Then, an MLS – or an individual user – could more easily switch “front end” vendors, improving technology competition and innovation in our industry. I’m not going to dive deeply into the subject of the potential good or bad of AMP in this blog post; there’s a lot to say on both business and technical fronts, and it would distract from the main point: de-coupling the front and back ends has little to do with most of the benefits of MLS regionalization that participating MLSs hope to achieve.
AMP, if successful and broadly adopted, will help achieve certain technical MLS goals:
- Reduce the number of systems some MLS subscribers need to learn
- Make it easier to switch technology vendors
And, depending on how MLSs change policy and practices around AMP, AMP may help:
- Reduce the need for multiple memberships
- Reduce the number of data feeds for subscribers’ information systems and websites
AMP is not likely to help with these additional goals of regionalization:
- Create MLS economies of scale or reductions in cost
- Improve the MLS organization’s product or service scope
- Improve MLS rule and data accuracy compliance, providing uniform rules and enforcement over a region
- Provide efficiency for subscribers wishing to be involved with governance / committees
- Allow associations to focus on association functions by offloading MLS functions
AMP has a limited set of goals, which have little overlap with the business goals driving MLS organization and system regionalization. Therefore, AMP should not be used as an excuse not to regionalize.
Shameless plug: If you would like assistance with the facilitation of your MLS regionalization efforts, please call me at 612-747-5976 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can discuss a highly efficient and effective process for moving your group forward.
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