REinventing MLS

Monthly Archives: February 2014

MRED Sweeps Medals at MLS Olympics

2013 System Usage Sets New Record

LISLE, ILLINOIS (February 19, 2014) – Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS) and one of the largest MLSs, serves nearly 40,000 real estate professionals.  Having that many brokers, appraisers and support staff accessing your MLS system, you expect the metrics to show substantial usage.  However, a recent review of 2013 statistics provides some eye-popping numbers that show how essential MRED and its MLS are to its customers.

MRED customers and their clients logged onto connectMLS™, MRED’s MLS system, over 57 million times (57,099,489 to be exact).  267,579 new listings were added, which is an average of 733 new listings per day (including weekends, holidays and polar vortices).  MRED supports the buying and selling of $80,000,000 of real estate transactions every day.

Per the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey, in recognition of connectMLS’s high performance and amazing reliability, users have voted it the top-rated MLS for two years running.  This “gold medal winning” system is complimented by Realist®, the number one public records provider in the country.  Joining them on the medal stand are a host of other great products and services such as: Infosparks, the leading interactive online market analytics tool; Cloud CMA, the powerful easy to use Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and listing presentation software; and Midwest Homes powered by MRED, the foremost MLS data app that provides agent-branded delivery of MRED listings to consumers’ iOS and Android powered devices.

Why is there such heavy use of MRED’s MLS and related services?  The MRED multiple listing service is the marketplace where real estate professionals communicate, cooperate, collaborate and compensate each other for the buying and selling of real property throughout the Chicagoland including the City of Chicago, Cook County, the surrounding “collar” counties and beyond.

One of the most impressive and amazing facts is that the MRED connectMLS system has experienced no downtime for six years. Six years, hundreds of millions of searches and emails, and tens of millions of photos displayed without interruption demonstrates the importance of the MLS system to the success of all the Realtors® and appraisers served by MRED.

“The MLS is the foundation of every broker’s business.” said MRED President and Chief Executive Officer Russ Bergeron.  “It is our highest priority to insure the continued operation, without interruption, of this critical system.  Our brokerages and the real estate consumer depend on it.”

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices.  MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana.  MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey.  MRED is the 2013 Inman News Most Innovative MLS/Real Estate Trade Association.  For more information please visit

What MRED Teaches Us About Mobile

by Victor Lund, WAV Group

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the MLS of the Chicagoland. It encompasses Chicago and the surrounding region. It is among the largest MLSs in the nation. As you know, here at WAV Group, we love data and charts. Any ability to track trends in our industry that are supported by data lends credence to the strategic planning efforts across our industry.


Lets take a close examination of this graph.

Adoption Curve

The first thing that you notice is that mobile adoption is not a hockey stick. It was in 2011 and 2012 when adoption doubled from 7500 users to 15,000 users (62% growth for those who are counting). But it failed to grow to 30,000 users in 2013 (41% year over year growth).  The numbers in the chart represent use by MRED Realtor® customers only.

MRED has just recently begun tracking the client use of mobile when accessing data sent to them by their broker.  If you were to add those numbers to the chart above you would see parallel growth amongst consumers – with volumes reaching an 8-fold increase in counts per device type.

Device Type

In the graph above, the purple tips are Windows 8 tablets. The green is Android. The red is the Apple iPad and the Blue is the iPhone. Within a reasonable range of variance, this graph would indicate that there is little market shift in the utilization of Android vs. Apple. This is notable because Android devices outsell Apple devices by a significant rate. You will also notice that Blackberry is officially in its grave, resting peacefully beside its fallen brother, Palm.

What is remarkable here is the emergence of the Windows 8 Tablet. If you are in the technology business, you need to go out and purchase one of these devices immediately. I have been using the Microsoft Surface. It is an extraordinary device that marries the mobility of the iPad with the utility of a laptop. Moreover, it runs full desktop versions of your installed applications. That means full versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Explorer. It also runs mobile apps, and it syncs with iCloud. All of my favorite iPad apps are available on the Surface – including Evernote, Flip, Skitch, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Bank of America, Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, ESPN, YouTube (plays all videos, even the ones that are not formatted for mobile), iTunes, Adobe, DocuSign, Find my Phone, Chrome, iCal, mail, QuickTime…..and of course the bell ringer…….solitaire! Like the iPad, it offers touch screen, but as a bonus…..there is a pen! If you long for the days of the pen that came with the Palm Treo, you will be back in the saddle.

3-Year Mobile Technology Forecast

Over 90% of REALTORS® use laptops over desktops today. They bring their work with them. Since just about every Windows laptop from every manufacturer is incorporating touch screen, you will see widespread adoption of Windows 8 Tablets by industry professionals. This may accelerate as these tablets come with Internet connectivity to the 4G or LTE networks. Right now, you need to connect to a wireless network or pair it with your iPhone or Android phone. In three years, I would expect to see fewer iPads and more Windows Tablets. They are about the same price and the Windows Tablet replaces two devices – a tablet and a laptop.

This practicality has the potential to kill the iPad.

Android and Apple will not give up. These great companies (Google and Apple) have proven that they can react quickly to market demands and reinvent the future in a short period of time. Hence, this is why I choose to only look at a three-year forecast. Mobile moves so quickly because of the two-year contract. Everyone gets a new phone every two years whether they need one or not. Even that two-year spacing is being challenged by 1 year upgrade options. Frankly, I am surprised that the laptop industry has not implemented a similar upgrade pattern with the offer of 2 or 3 year leases. Even the MacBook, which once had a 5 year life, has been reduced to 2 or 3. They get slow like PCs, encouraging upgrades.

Strategic Review

If you are an MLS and you are not watching patterns emerge with mobile adoption, you need to. With a few notable exceptions, the MLS system operates on mobile browsers and WAV Group believes that responsive design of web applications is the long-term viable strategy. Mobile apps are great toys, but they lack the industrial utility of the full application. MRED and their technology partner dynaConnections are moving forward with a complete responsive redesign of their workhorse connectMLS™ system.  Based upon the consumer usage mentioned above, they will be focusing first on the real estate client side of the system – making the consumer happy makes the real estate broker happy. Study mobile usage and adoption of both the consumer and the REALTOR®.

It may be unreasonable to test your MLS applications on every mobile device and operating system, but you should have a Windows Tablet, Android Tablet, and iPad for Quality Assurance.  MRED’s award winning Help Desk maintains a complete stable of mobile products for both application testing and troubleshooting customer problems. Compatibility with all three of these operating systems is a requirement, not an option.

Baby It’s Cold Outside [Infographic]

Baby Its Cold Outside

Infographic via KCM Blog

Top 10 Reasons To Hire A Real Estate Agent [Infographic]


Infographic via KCM Blog