Today on the Homesnap blog, we’re kicking off a new series called “Ask the MLS.” Here, we’ll talk to people running innovative MLSs around the country and ask them questions about their markets, their members and what keeps them up at night.
Our first post features Kipp Cooper, the CEO of Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors (KCRAR). Heartland MLS, the MLS in Kansas City, launched Homesnap Pro in 2017 as a member of the Broker Public Portal. Here’s what Kipp had to say:
What is the biggest factor affecting the real estate market in Kansas City today?
Kansas City is enjoying a bit of a renaissance right now, with a tremendous amount of innovation and inward migration of employers due to a much lower cost of living and high quality of life. These forces are very welcome, as they are increasing home values and quality of life. However, the other side of that coin is that housing inventory is not keeping pace with demand.
How has the role of your MLS, KCRAR, changed over the last five years?
KCRAR has always been the voice for real estate in our market, but over the past few years we have really focused on being a resource for the community through events like Realtors Rock the Block, where we bring hundreds of Realtors together each year to revitalize an entire city block. We have also become a stronger partner to the economic development groups in the area to attract great companies and talent to our region. Lastly, we have become a much stronger technology resource for our members to ensure they have the best tools available to service their customers and clients.
What one piece of advice would you give to real estate agents to remain competitive in today’s market?
Lean into the educational and technology resources of your association.
With so many products and vendors out there constantly trying to sell something, it is best to fully understand and train on the services your association and brokers are already providing you for free.
For us, one of those I highly recommend is the Homesnap Pro app, which we provide to all agents as a member service. We provide frequent online and live classes to help agents serve their clients and customers like a pro.
What keeps you up at night?
Well right now, it’s my amazing 6-month-old baby girl, but in the industry … I would have to say poor service. Many association executives and Realtors would call it professionalism. When you really ask them to explain why they might have thought that a Realtor, or an association for that matter, was not professional, it almost always comes down to someone not servicing their customer, client, or fellow Realtor in a way that they would expect.
So, my fear is that if we do not work tirelessly to help agents and brokers improve their level of service, technology will automate all of us out of relevance in the eyes of the consumer. The pace at which change is occurring will unfortunately leave many in the dust, but …
those who adapt and engage in ways that add value to data and help complex transactions or interactions work easier for the customer will have a very bright future ahead of them indeed.
If you could split your time between Kansas City and anywhere else, where would it be?
That is a tough question because Kansas City has a fantastic quality of life and some of the nicest people you will ever meet. My favorite vacation spots, however, are the Virgin Islands, Singapore, Thailand and just about anywhere in the US with great golf.