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 Gene Millman, CEO of Northern Nevada Regional MLS (NNRMLS). NNRMLS serves more than 3,000 agents in the Reno, Nevada area. Here’s what Gene had to say:
1. NNRMLS is a very proactive and engaged MLS. What is on your list of goals for 2020 when it comes to serving your members?
First, it is an honor to be thought of as a proactive and engaged MLS. Our team works very hard to support our members.
Our focus and goals for 2020 are to continue to build on the many accomplishments that we were able to bring to our members relating to automating membership and processes for them, such as a new payment portal and a new internal CRM platform.
In 2020, we are committed and dedicated to empowering our members in their collaboration with consumers by using technology to simplify and streamline their interactions.
From a leadership position, we are committed to staying informed on issues that are facing our industry, as well as acting on the opportunities that will catapult our organization forward.
2. What is the most effective way for you to communicate with your members and educate them on products you offer?
We are so fortunate to have a Director of Marketing (Loy Mach) and a Director of Training and Membership Engagement (Andrew Cristancho). From a marketing and communication perspective, we use a variety of communication platforms, i.e. email, social media, etc.
We use a lot of target marketing — for example, with any communication regarding new products or enhancements to existing products, we communicate with our brokers 2-3 days prior to an all-member communication. That way, they can be proactive in answering questions from their agents.
Also, this year we developed a broker page on our members website where brokers can download MLS marketing materials to distribute to their offices. This saves the brokers time in not having to recreate MLS marketing materials.
In regard to education, we have a plethora of ways we deliver education to our members. We use an online platform called “Mindflash” through which we deliver both MLS orientation and on-going product training. This allows us to accomplish our goal of offering training 24/7/365.
We also offer both 1-and-1 training as well as group classroom training at our office. Andrew’s on-site broker office training visits are some of our most utilized services.
The face-to-face interactions at these sessions allows us and our members to build on the premise that we are their partner in building their success.
We strive to be “high touch and high tech” in everything we do!
3. What’s your position on iBuyers? Have they had a big impact in your market?
I believe iBuyers have a place in the marketplace. There will always be cases where a seller has a certain circumstance that makes an iBuyer offer attractive. I always get asked what percent of the market I think the iBuyers will occupy. I think it will be based on economic and local market conditions.
Currently, our market has not seen a large impact from iBuyers. Hard to predict what the future impact may be on our market.
4. What keeps you up at night?
I can’t say there is anything specifically that keeps me up at night. However, there are things that drive, excite and invigorate me every day.
How do we keep our members as the trusted sources and advisers to the customer? In addition, how do we as an MLS continue to keep the MLS data the most accurate, secure and trusted source to our members and their consumers?
Furthermore, we must continue to make decisions that allows our MLS to be the conduit to creating an effective marketplace for our members to service their consumers.
5. You moved to Nevada from Delaware. How does being a Realtor differ in the two markets?
Back in Delaware, I was a broker/owner and practitioner for 32 years prior to accepting the position as CEO of NNRMLS in March 2017. I think my brokerage background has been a tremendous asset in my role as CEO in relating to our membership.
What I have found is that regardless of what area of the country where you are a Realtor, the challenges and opportunities that face agents and brokers are very similar.
Market conditions can vary — however, at the end of the day, brokers and agents are working tirelessly to give outstanding professional service to their consumers in assisting them in achieving the dream of homeownership!