Ask the MLS: Meet Denee Evans of CMLS
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 Denee Evans, CEO of the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS). CMLS is the professional trade organization that serves to advance the MLS industry through unified leadership, cooperation, and education across the real estate industry. Here’s what Denee had to say:
1. You just finished up hosting a very successful 2018 CMLS conference in Orlando. What struck you as different this year, compared to past years?
The diversity of our attendees. We had a lot more first-time and volunteer leadership attendees, which tells me we are continuing to engage with more MLSs and industry leaders each year. That’s a good thing. We keep growing, with this year being our largest group to date with 832 attendees.
Our content had something for everyone, regardless of one’s title or area of expertise. And we really focused on getting new and diverse voices to the stage to bring a variety of perspectives to help spur innovation and generate discussion.
2. What do you think is the most important — perhaps worrying? — issue on MLS executives’ minds right now?
I think what continues to be one of the most important focuses for MLS execs right now is the rate of change. The industry is rapidly evolving and MLS execs are concerned about not only how to keep up with what’s changing, but also finding ways to lead the change to support the industry and build a better marketplace.
The issue isn’t how do MLSs stay relevant – it’s how do MLSs thrive? It’s exciting to see all the innovative solutions coming from the MLS community.
3. Consolidation is always a big theme at CMLS. What is your advice — philosophical and practical — to MLS leadership who are considering consolidating?
Consolidation is happening in every part of our industry and is not specific to MLS – brokerage, technology and MLS. My recommendation is to explore the topic each year with your organization. Identify what you are really excellent at and discuss what your opportunities to improve might be.
Where could you provide better service to your members? Then look around the industry to see who might help you deliver excellence. Is there a fit with another organization to provide best-in-class service? Explore that and it doesn’t always mean consolidation. There are lots of ways to collaborate, and consolidation is just one of them.
4. From the standpoint of agents and brokers, how could MLSs better serve their clients?
There can always be an improvement in communication between agents, brokers and MLSs. It’s essential to understand what your customers want and what they need.
It’s important that MLSs stay on top of what is happening nationally while continuing to gather feedback from their local market. An increase in communication usually leads to better relationships, and having better relationships goes a long way for customer service and delivering excellence.
5. Finally, where is your dream CMLS host market?
This is a tough question! I can’t base it on the city because my hardest (and most favorite) work week is the week of conference, so I don’t typically experience the city. I guess this takes it to who the host is, and that would be like having to pick my favorite child. And parents know you love all your children the same.