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June 2012 – Chairman’s Message

Robert J. Bailey

As you swing into your busiest season, it’s important to remember to carve out time to evaluate your business, revisit your goals and consider whether you’re on track or in need of an adjustment. Are you taking advantage of opportunities to grow your business and/or realize cost-savings? With the mid-year mark already upon us, are you on top of the resources and tools available that might make the difference in your profit or growth this year?

At MLSListings, we went through this same exercise but from a slightly different approach – we wanted to see where we stood in creating business-boosting opportunities for our brokers and agents, and ensure that we were doing a good job of getting valuable information about our programs and tools into our subscribers’ hands.

We are happy to report that in the first six months of this year, we have added a number of new offerings, and condensed or streamlined others, with the goal of driving value for subscribers by helping you save time and focusing our services where and when you need them. The following is a snapshot of these achievements as a result of our half-year assessment:

MLS Source Mobile App. MLSListings successfully launched MLS Source, northern California’s first and only direct-from-the-MLS real estate app for mobile devices. Brokers and agents now have on-the-go access to MLS data (updated hourly) and nearby comparables, driving directions and multiple map views, in addition to private remarks and showing instructions.

MLS System Updates. There have been several improvements to the MLSListings system – and more to come – that promise to improve the user interface and bring efficiencies for members interacting with the system. Our new online billing system allows users to securely enter credit card information and pay bills online faster. Users also can select auto-pay for convenient automatic renewal of their MLS subscriber dues, and make changes to their third-party products. Additionally, this summer, MLSListings will be rolling out a new password system designed to make life easier for our subscribers and improve login system uptime. Created by national cloud security provider Clareity, the SafeMLS system works anytime, anywhere without the need to download a special app for mobile devices. And, subscribers will no longer need to update their MLS password every 90 days.

For new subscribers, MLSListings now offers an easier way to complete and submit applications with our new online Join Now application. Agents complete the application online and send on to their broker, who can “Docu-Sign” it online. The process is faster, paperless, and eliminates common errors and missed fields frequent in hand-written applications, improving processing time. MLSListings also has successfully condensed and relocated its network of servers from 140 to only 16, and did so without generating any system down time to subscribers. The move achieved a projected cost savings of $112,000 per year in operating costs.

Trainings Conducted. Training and development opportunities for brokers and their agents are among the most valued offerings by MLSListings and to date we have provided more than 260 trainings, workshops and seminars to close to 2,300 brokers and agents, covering such topics as Matrix training, Listing Management courses and general MLS Update visits. These are offered free of charge, yet are a benefit that can truly pay off in business dividends. We are also hard at work developing new courses geared toward how you do your business – such as MLS for iPad and others. Watch the training calendar for an upcoming class near you.

Media Outreach. This year, we have endeavored to expand our earned media coverage and our position as an industry expert, both locally and nationally. Enhancing our presence gives us more opportunities to drive consumers to your listings via www.mlslistings.com; to educate the buying and selling public about the realities and intricacies of real estate; and to support the role of agents and brokers as critical advisors and representatives in real estate transactions. Media coverage featuring MLSListings news and insights has jumped significantly in the last six months and been valued at an ad equivalency of more than $160,000.

Coverage has reached beyond Silicon Valley and the Bay Area to national platforms, including such prestigious media outlets as Bloomberg, PBS Nightly Business Report and Business Week. Closer to home, stories have appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate, Silicon Valley Business Journal and Peninsula Press, to name a few. In addition, real estate industry trade publications have done trend stories that successfully positioned MLSListings thought leadership and among those outlets are Real Estate Broker, Homes and Land, and Inman News.

The first half of 2012 has been a full one indeed and we are excited about what lies ahead. We hope that this report gives you a sense of how we focus our efforts and why. It’s about our subscribers and doing the things that will, in the end, support your business. We will continue to keep you informed about offerings and resources that help you and your agents work more efficiently and effectively. As you look ahead to the next six months and your year-end goals, we hope you will check in with us often at portal.mlslistings.com and see what’s new!

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