Welcome to another edition of “Ask the MLS.” Here, we 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.
Today’s post features Tim Dain, President of Mid America Regional Information Systems MLS (MARIS). MARIS spans both Missouri and Illinois, launched Homesnap Pro in December 2015 and is a member of the Broker Public Portal. Here’s what Tim had to say:
What is the biggest factor affecting the MARIS market today?
Like many areas, inventory shortage is impacting the MARIS marketplace.
There are many side effects caused by inventory shortages. Agents deal with multiple offers, escalating accusations of unethical practices, pocket listings and off-MLS inventory.
It might seem like a hot market is simply another first-world problem, but the side effects tend to inspire an individualistic mentality opposed to cooperative. The correlating destabilization creates opportunities for disruptive technologies to gain a deeper foothold into traditional real estate.
That could eventually be a good thing, but currently the market is moving too fast to read the tea leaves floating down the Mississippi.
You came to St. Louis from Austin. What are some differences you’ve noticed between the two markets in terms of agents, clients and how they work together?
Agents from the Austin market are fiercely independent, bold and passionate about their state, city, fellow Texans and real estate. The culture is amazing and Austin itself is a beautiful, booming city with some of the best technology and civil mindedness in the country.
In Missouri and Illinois, the agents have a calm Midwestern mentality that quietly places value on performance, relationships, modest integrity and a get-your-hands-dirty approach to real estate.
You’re less likely to have an impassioned debate about how to be the next big industry disruptor and more likely to enjoy a cup of coffee and a friendly down-to-earth conversation. Perhaps the difference stems from the culture, which partially accepts that “crazy ideas” start on the coast and work their way inland.
Both markets have outstanding real estate communities, which make me proud to be in the industry at such an exciting time.
How do you see MARIS evolving over the next few years?
We’re choosing to focus more on member centricity – enabling our members with business solutions and empowering them with education and information to help them succeed.
We feel that it’s time to keep it simple and refocus on enriching our members experience and needs.
MARIS is currently invested in a series of business improvement efforts to help us serve our market more efficiently and effectively. We are essentially rebuilding our service foundations – improving how we manage member data, communicate and educate an adult population that’s always on the move.
We’re changing our CRM and phone system, building a new website, doing journey marketing and focusing on integrations that make sense from a service perspective. We’ve added staff to develop our marketing, communications, education and broker engagement capabilities.
I’m excited about how we discuss our future internally – if it’s anything like our whiteboards, it will be amazing!
What is keeping you up at night?
Nothing, I keep other people awake at night.
What was the first concert you attended?
I went to a Sublime concert on Honolulu, Hawaii in the ’90s and Pantera played the opening act. I remember watching a smaller man use some wicked karate skills against three larger dudes in the mosh pit. We’re talking Bruce Lee-level badass-ery. It was a memorable experience!
How about the best concert you’ve ever attended?
This response may earn me a fair degree of mocking … New Kids on the Block. I attended while we lived in Austin, Texas. Previously, I was not a huge fan. But moving away from your friends has the tendency to drive you toward your spouse for events they would normally attend with their childhood friends. We had the best time! I rarely see someone smile as brilliantly as my wife did at that concert.
As with many things in life, a great experience is often marked by who you’re with, more so than who you came to see perform.