REinventing MLS

Tag Archives: website

MRED Gives Company Website a Facelift

MRED Launches the New Look and Enhanced Functionality of

LISLE, IL–(Marketwire – Aug 20, 2012) – Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), announced that it has launched the new This redesigned website gives real estate professionals across the Midwest a more interactive and user friendly site with which to learn about the extensive set of products and services provided by MRED, including easy access to its workhorse MLS system, connectMLS™. This new site is the place to find tools Realtors® can use and to get all of the information and training on how to use them.

MRED retained the services of Warren McKenna Design Group ( of Chicago, Illinois, for the planning, design and building of the new site. WMDG was chosen based on its excellence in execution in creating and updating websites for other organizations in the real estate industry. “It’s all about creating an experience that anticipates subscribers’ needs and delivers results in the field,” Warren McKenna, Principal of WMDG, adds.

Users will find the new to be easy to navigate and very user friendly. The tabs across the top of the site give the visitor quick and easy access to general information on various topics. The powerful search feature allows you to enter a keyword and all documentation, links and information matching that keyword will be immediately available and accessible.

A substantial amount of is dedicated to MRED’s products and services. By hovering over the Products and Resources tab, you are given an extensive drop down menu with links to descriptions of MRED’s products by category, including: MLS and Public Records; Enhanced Property Info; Transaction Assistance; Marketing Tools; Statistics and Analytics; Mobile; Public Service Apps; Real Estate News and Views; and Data Licensing. Visitors can then click on the desired item and get all the information needed on a single page dedicated to that product. They can even sign up for training right then and there.

The Training tab itself has been enhanced and organized for ease of use. The Class Finder functionality has made searching and registering for classes, or scheduling custom training and webinars easier than ever.

“We are very excited about the launch of the new,” said MRED CEO Russ Bergeron. “The new allows our customers to easily access all the products and services that MRED offers. We love the much cleaner, more up to date look. One of our goals is to be able to communicate quickly and effectively with all of our customers. allows us to do that 365/24/7.”

MRED encourages its customers to take full advantage of the functionality that exists at the new The site is not a static page but is a living, breathing entity that will be updated to accommodate new ideas and suggestions, as well as any changes and new products that are added to the mix. Viewing activity will be measured in order to identify areas that might need improvement and areas that get the greatest use, helping MRED to focus on those areas of its operation that might need immediate attention. MRED will be continuously updating the site to keep it at the cutting edge of MLS websites.

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, agents 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. For more information, visit

5 Ways to be a Better Listener on your Website

 BY:  Jackie Berg, Onboard Informatics

Think for a moment about the best listener in your life. Your words bounce off of them and ricochet back in the form of carefully packaged advice – partially because they’re engaged in your cues, and partially because they knew half of the story about your neighbor’s dog always managing to go to the bathroom in your yard before you even started talking.

Now think about your favorite website for search – commercial or otherwise. Does the exchange of information follow the same flow it does in your interpersonal relationships? Can it take in your query and offer advice in the way that relates closely to the way you think? If it’s a good site, the answer is yes. If it’s a great site, it will also tailor its advice specifically to you (“Recommended because of your interest in Never Say Never by Justin Bieber…”).

Sure, the Amazons and Netflixes of the world have a ton to spend on interactive, but they also have gained household name accolades and cult followings throughout the process. Even if you start small, there are things you can do to show you are listening.

1. Show you know what’s important to their search

Real estate websites are really good at feeding information about the home, down to the smallest record detail. Without supplementary information about what’s outside the home, you’re missing one of the biggest parts of the search.

Only 4% of all buyers compromised on the quality of their neighborhood last year, versus 18% who compromised on the price of the home (according to the NAR Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers). The same is true of other quality of life aspects:

  • 2 out of 3 buyers said quality of the neighborhood impacted their search
  • Quality of schools and convenience to friends, family, shopping, schools, entertainment and parks also ranked highListening to your customer is almost as important as listening to your heart. Almost.

There is an arsenal of information available that can take care of this need for you fairly easily. (Onboard has been providing this information for nearly a decade if you’re looking for more specific ideas.)

2. Offer more than just a listings feed

Take a look at your site and ask yourself: what value am I adding beyond other sellers with access to an MLS feed?

Adding your local expertise, via blog or adding your unique content to the listing in a unique way can add a dash of local flavor and humanize the process.

If you don’t have time to do that for each property, are you showing home sales trends or accurate home values? For those looking to relocate, providing supplemental information in an interactive and engaging way can mean the difference between a buyer ending the conversation (going to a different site) and converting them to contact you. Even if the buyer is familiar with the area, having reliable school information and local points of interest will allow them to envision their life beyond the look and square footage of the structure.

3. Make it interactive

Third-party search sites and big aggregators offer great search experiences, but your site can compete. Building out a great, unique search experience is something that can set you apart. If you don’t have the resources for that, you can still quickly build in great tools that blend in with your brand’s site.

Speaking in relation to Onboard, we’ve done this numerous times for clients through easy plug-and-play Neighborhood Navigator and Lifestyle Search Widget tools that are colored and branded to match the client’s existing web presence. Clients can capture leads and get their time on site up without long development cycles.

4. Stop and ask yourself what you really know about your visitor

We know about what is important to overall buyers, but how deeply can characterize your website visitors? If you’re hazy, chances are, you’d benefit greatly by spending just 20 minutes a day digging into your site statistics to see where you’re hitting and where you’re missing.

Study the parts of your site where the visitor is likely to drop off and ask yourself what you can do to keep that conversation going.

We have clients who are taking an extremely proactive approach in understanding their visitors – not just for site improvement, but to price properties correctly based on search thresholds. The adage says that if you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.

To answer this call, Onboard has developed Listings 360°Insight. Do you know how price searches for 4 bedrooms are changing over time? What about the most searched neighborhoods on your site? The future of online success is responding to the business intelligence that buyers are lobbing at you just by being on your site.

5. Give them a reason to have a second and third conversation

This is perhaps the most important part. Not just capturing leads, but compelling them to work with you, is what you do best. If your site is great, chances are they will come back. But with lengthy search processes and buyers shopping around for weeks before they contact an agent, it’s your chance to stay engaged.

If you’ve implemented the content we discussed earlier, it’s easy to stay in touch. Send them emails on value trends in their community to entice them to list. Send them reports on trends in their community or where they’ve searched. Send them updates on price changes, open houses or other relevant updates or modifications to listings they’ve saved.

As is the case for our friendships and relationships, those who show they understand us the best are the likeliest to win our trust. With such a critical process at stake, building that trust is essential.

To view the original article, visit the Onboard Informatics blog.

%d bloggers like this: