At our mid-winter Legislative Meetings in Monterey last week the California Association of Realtors moved forward with it's proposed statewide MLS system. The process, which started over 2 years ago, has now moved to the critical phase of product development and augmentation.
Last week CAR debuted a new brand for the product previously referred to as just the CalMLS system. The program will now be known as CalREDD, or California Real Estate Dynamic Data, a wholly owned subsidiary of the California Association of Realtors. CAR also announced vendor selection for development of the system naming Rocklin California based Concentric as the vendor of preference.
Demo'd to great fanfare, the Concentric web based system performs substantially faster than any product on the market and features a plethora of web 2.0 services and features including multiple simultaneous searches, layered mapping and, of course, access to information on any property within the state.
Whereas existing mls systems primarily layered legacy system functionality on a web based engine, the Concentric product represents a significant and unique quantum leap according to it's proponents. CalREDD will allow Brokers and Agents to access the statewide system either directly through their existing AOR or MLS with CalREDD functioning as their primary database, or the member can continue to operate under their existing MLS simply supplying a datafeed to CalREDD.
To date CAR claims to have letters of intent to participate in the CalREDD system from 66 associations and 3 regional mls providers representing over 120,000 Realtors, nearly 2/3 of California's Realtors.
Directors also voted to extend a $3 million line of credit to the venture for partnership activities, ongoing operations and future development. While the system is currently operational with 'test' data, it is anticipated that live data with full functionality will be operational by late 2nd quarter of this year. While I was not able to attend one of the demonstrations personally, several of my Directors who attended were 'blown away' by the program. Ease of user interface, search speed and flexibility were the most often noted enhancements mentioned by those who saw it perform. Granted it is operating with just a few thousand listings in test mode right now, but if the system holds up and continues to perform under the load of 300,000 or more listings, CAR will have backed a winning system that will then be rolled out to users in other states.CALMLS’ chairman, REALTOR® Mike Silvas, put it this way: “This initiative will fundamentally improve the most critical service for California REALTORS®. Thanks to the hard work and visionary leadership of California REALTORS®, CALMLS is poised to provide real estate professionals with next-generation technology in the MLS arena, as well as the ancillary benefits of optimized pricing and product flexibility. The historic actions taken this past week mark a sea change for the real estate industry in California.”