More Numbers Play

Mar 26, 2007  |  Michael Wurzer

Clareity Consulting released its 6th Annual MLS Customer Satisfaction Survey today. Matt Cohen from Clareity did an excellent job again this year and really went the extra mile digging into the numbers. Matt put a new twist on the survey by creating some hypothetical customer profiles to help MLSs use the results more effectively. Clareity also hired a statistician to help crunch the numbers. The results for FBS? Although we ranked highly on the overall end-user and MLS staff satisfaction rankings (as we have every year in this survey), we didn’t match up very well to any of the three hypothetical MLSs. We’ll just have to hope those hypothetical MLSs stay that way.

P.S. Matt Cohen graciously points out in a comment to this post that the rankings on a couple of the hypotheticals were pretty much tied among the vendors. I guess I’m just as focused on the “rankings” as everyone else and overlooked the details. Thanks for clarifying, Matt!

6 Responses to “More Numbers Play”

  1. Robbie says:

    I wonder how much your blog will improve your “interactive customer community” rating for next year? Perhaps you can discuss the challenges, and opportunities in the MLS vendor marketplace. It seems like it’s a pretty fragemented market but has the growth in technology demand lead to MLS vendor revenue growth, or just more costs?

  2. That’s a good question about whether the blog will help with our customer community rating. I know a lot of our clients are reading and hopefully I’ll hit on some topics soon where they feel comfortable commenting. We’ll likely also step it up on the private side of our system, where our customers may feel more comfortable. We hold an annual Summit every year that’s a big hit, but we could do better at extending that experience throughout the year.

    Regarding revenue in the MLS business, there has been industry-wide revenue growth as the number of REALTORS® has grown but, generally, MLS vendor revenue is a zero-sum game. When we win a new client, we’re taking it from one of our competitors, and vice versa. It’s a dog eat dog world, you know? 😉 Seriously, this is a very competitive business, which keeps prices in check even as new features and functions are added all the time. So, to answer your question, my view is that the growth in technology demand has led to a shift in revenue from some vendors to others while overall revenue per member has stayed about the same. We’re fortunate to have been on the plus side of the growth exchange the last several years, and one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to continually test our ideas for moving forward so we can continue that success. I’ve learned a lot in a short time and look forward to seeing where the blog goes. I really appreciate your insightful questions and comments.

  3. Matt Cohen says:

    Having an interactive customer community correlated highly with staff satisfaction – whether it was causal or not, I can not say for certain.

    It’s a challenge each year to try to get readers to look beyond the “My system is number one on this list or that list” and look at both the big picture and the details. FBS had not only high end user and staff satisfaction ratings from its customers, but showed the most improvement from previous years – and a positive trend in that area is always a very good sign in my book.

    In the hypothetical scenarios numbers two and three, FBS did very well. Did you notice how close the average summary score was? In each of those cases, the FBS score was 90% and 96% of the highest scoring system. It was practically a tie.

  4. Thanks for the clarification, Matt. I should have noted that, too. Everyone (including me, apparently), wants the sound bite and doesn’t dig into the data.

  5. Matt Cohen says:

    Other key statistics to note about FBS from the survey:

    100% rated end-user satisfaction excellent or good (75% and 25% respectively)

    100% rated MLS staff satisfaction excellent or good (83% and 17% respectively)

    When asked if they would “select this vendor again”, 79% said definitely, 21% likely.

  6. This report makes me very happy. Fuel for the fire… I live in a po-dunk town in Texas where the brokers still argue over sharing listings. They are way in the dark ages as far as technology goes. My background is wireless networking (back when it was bleeding edge) in Silicon Valley and then in NY. To be on the MLS committee in this town and try to get some change is very frustrating. My MLS (Navica by Systems Engineering, Inc.) isn’t even on this report. Unfortunately, we just voted for another 5 years with these dinosaurs. Hopefully they’ll hurry up and convert us to their latest system. Can you hear me venting????