It seems like everywhere I turned last week someone on the blogs was talking about data licensing, syndication and data security. John Heithaus, Chief Marketing Officer delivered this thought provoking post in which he suggests changes the industry may need to make in response to changes in how technology is used to mine valuable MLS data and what the MLS role is in monetizing valuable real estate data.
Data. Security. And real estate
So what do “innovative” data mining and monetization methods now in use by Google and others, mean to real estate – specifically the data aggregated by an MLS and then shared around the globe?
We all must first grasp what happens to listing data when it’s collected and syndicated into “the cloud”, as well as the human transaction interactions that follow from start to finish (and beyond, actually).
Second, we need to understand how business intelligence and analytics are being applied to the data generated by real estate transactions today. If there is a monetization to the data without the knowledge and permission of the rightful owner, then, potentially, agreements need to be negotiated (or renegotiated) and modified to get in step with today’s (and tomorrow’s) inevitable ways of doing business. I’m not in any way opposed to data mining per se, the issue at hand here is fair compensation for the data on which it is based.
–John Heithaus, CMO of MRIS
At the same time the business blogs were all a twitter about analytics, new ways of measuring the value your customers receive and more targeted service offerings. I was particularly intrigued by this article in INC online because I see the MLS organization as a B2B business offering a critical business application to their customers (traditionally brokers, agents, appraisers and other real estate affiliates). The article discusses how organizations can and should analyze the digital behavior of their customers to better understand the value they receive from your service.
As the Web 2.0 advances into a new decade, B2B marketing strategies will also continue to develop. Indeed, there are an increasing number of digital platforms, like social media, for marketers to explore. In 2011, the winners will be the ones that are best able to target their efforts to their customers’ online habits and interests, and provide true value – and be able to prove it – to users.
At the same time, Clareity technology partner Scout Analytics wrote this interesting post on customer engagement and a very effective way of measuring it.
I spent all week pondering how to tie all of this information together into something meaningful for my real estate industry colleagues and friends. (Special thanks to my Clareity partners and colleagues who hardly nagged me at all that it was “my turn” to write a post.) I think the best way I can summarize my take on things is this…the MLS has been and is likely to remain an agent and in some cases a facilitator of change. In my fifteen years in this space, I have watched the MLS organization respond to many threats and opportunities under the guidance of their leadership who also happen to be their subscribers. MLS organizations have consistently maintained their role as the stewards of current, accurate and reliable real estate listing information. As new tools become available that help them to provide better service or improved understanding of their customer needs, MLS organizations traditionally take action. As John Heithaus, Chief Marketing Officer for MRIS suggests in his very thoughtful post, now may be just the time for such action.
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