I’ve been asked to elaborate a little more about what I mean by “back-end” and “front-end” MLS services.
Back end involves all those services that a realtor or real estate office needs to do to maintain and keep track of their listings and clients. They add/update listing information, prepare Comparative Market Analyses, and even can have built-in contact management systems. This is especially helpful when you have a large office with a lot of listings and clients. However, we calculated what the average real estate office has for listings in the current MLS. The results were surprising; 80% of the offices had less than 20 MLS listings. 17% had between 20-50 listings and 3% had more than 50 MLS listings. Makes you wonder how complicated or sophisticated a system you need when 80% of your offices only have less than 20 listings.
Front end involves what is done with that information to help the Realtor or real estate office market their properties for their clients. This involves having MLS Search featured on websites on the Internet for the public. It involves tying the MLS properties in with print publications (such as what we currently do with the MLS Catalog and the Vallarta Real Estate Guide). Its using the MLS inventory as a marketing tool to attract buyers and sellers.
Back-end systems are about inventory and client maintenance and administration, Front-end systems are about marketing. In my opinion, Front-end systems are more important. Back-end becomes critical when you have larges offices and hundreds of listings, but if, as mentioned above, 80% of the offices in the Vallarta region have less than 20 listings, is it not overkill?
When we’ve looked at improving our back-end systems, we found it to be just too expensive with not enough members to make our investment pay for itself. The systems AMPI is currently looking at offer great back-end systems and as they are major US corporations serving major real estate boards, they can leverage their investments in this area to make it feasible for even small boards such as Vallarta. However, what they lack is the front end. As small as our company is, we can help market properties much better than they can. And with our Google positioning for key phrases, it is basically impossible for them to match what we can offer.
What I’m suggesting then, if Back-end is critical to AMPI, that they get a 3rd party vendor to supply that service for them. They then can use us to help market their properties, just like they currently do in our publications such as Vallarta Lifestyles and the Vallarta Real Estate Guide.