Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with the development of several real estate technology initiatives involving the licensing of MLS data. It can be a daunting task to work through the intricacies and nuances that are so disparate from one market to another. It’s great to see that after so many years the efforts to finalize and more importantly, implement an across the board data standard are finally beginning to reach their goals. Of the many companies that have created the technology platforms that MLS associations use, FBS’ FlexMLS has been at the forefront of supporting RESO (real estate standards organization) and the resulting RETS (real estate technology standard.)
Recognizing the difficulty that innovators in the RE Tech space have in licensing MLS data, FBS has created a groundbreaking platform they call Spark. I had the opportunity to meet with Kim Cipriano Prior, FBS’ VP of Marketing and Business Development. She shared with me how Spark was created to provide a solution that benefits everyone involved in the process. By creating a single license agreement for MLS data that consolidates all of the 100 plus associations they work with, Brokers/Agents, RE Tech Developers and RE Professionals all benefit from a consistent platform of solid data and the more reliable and robust applications that are built around them. Demonstrating an ability to scale quickly into multiple markets is a boon for anyone who starts their 16 hour day by pulling tight the bootstraps of the next big thing.
By creating a set of API’s (application programming interfaces), Kim explained how RE Tech developers can create applications that are offered to RE Professionals through the equivalent of an App Store. So far over 100 companies have or are creating products based on the API including firms like CloudCMA, Contactually, WellcomeMat and others. There is a revenue sharing component. Considering distribution is one of the most difficult hurdles for a start-up to clear, it makes sense in many cases.
After only a few minutes into our discussion, it was easy to see why FBS Kim is an integral part of the FBS team. She has a deep understanding of the re tech vertical and a passionate approach to helping re professionals succeed through access to great technology tools.
If you’re an active re tech provider building the next groundbreaking website or app. The Spark platform may be just what you need to light a fire under your idea.