Consultants & Facilitators

Working with neighboring MLSs on broker efficiencies can sometimes be set back by various issues including personnel, governance, technology, ownership, financial considerations, and more. A facilitator or consultant can be used to mitigate these concerns and be a rational party in what can be a tense setting.

NAR and CMLS do not endorse any of these companies.

Clareity Consulting, a CoreLogic company

Contacts: Matt Cohen and Gregg Larson
Phone: (612) 747-5976
Email: mattcohen@clareity.com and gregg.larson@clareity.com
Address: 9180 East Desert Cove Avenue, Suite 104, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Website: https://clareity.com

References

"Matt at Clareity Consulting played a foundational role in the creation of our regional MLS® system, ORTIS (Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems). Back when we were three boards, which eventually grew to eight, we asked Matt to outline options and proven best practices in how to share an MLS® system. It was interesting to watch the path our collective leadership took as they diligently eliminated the alternative models Matt had presented only to eventually end up where Matt had initially suggested they might want to be. We also engaged Matt in the more formal RFP process of vendor selection, where he kept our team on focus of what is truly important to our users, versus getting distracted by the bright lights and whistles provided by the vendors. What I liked about working with Matt is what he brings to the table – he provides context and perspective – but then lets the client view this through the lens of their own environment to find what is best for them." - Bill Duce, Executive Officer Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®

Comments About MLS Consolidation

MLS consolidation efforts become derailed easily and, as trusted industry consultants, Clareity is often called on when that happens to help facilitate the discussion. Establishing consensus on regional MLS ownership, governance, money flow, product and service mix, leadership and staffing, and other aspects of what the new or evolving organization could look like as quickly as possible is a key part of the process. Understanding leadership and subscriber concerns as early as possible and making sure they are addressed in the vision is also important.

Clareity hopes that we can collaboratively redefine MLS borders so no MLS is smaller than a natural market area as needed to best serve the needs of brokers, agents, and consumers - and so that the MLSs in this country are not just ready to meet the MLS challenges of today, but those that are coming tomorrow.

 

Diane Ruggiero

Company: DR Consulting, LLC
Phone: (913) 244-5471
Email: dianerug@msn.com or dianerug@icloud.com
Address: 4290 McDowell Dr., The Villages, FL 32163
Website: www.linkedin.com/in/dianerug

References

  • Jessica Hickok, CEO, Oklahoma Association of REALTORS, jmhokrealtors.com, (800) 375-9944
  • Shelley Specchio, CEO, Metro Indianapolis Board of REALTORS, shelleyspecchio@mibor.com, (317) 956-5009
  • Kathy Condon, CEO, MLS Property Information Network (New England), kcondon@mlspin.com, (508) 936-1320

Comments About MLS Consolidation

Consolidation can be a difficult, yet rewarding experience for organizations – and it can take on many forms. Consolidation can be anything from complete mergers to collaborative efforts and can also mean consolidations of organizations, data, forms, licenses, etc. In any case, consolidation is an opportunity to discover new ways of doing things, new ways to work together, but most important – new ways to bring efficiencies and enhanced services to your members and subscribers. Explore the possibilities and ask “what if?” and “why not?”

 

Foster Pepper LLC

Contact: Christopher R. Osborn, Attorney at Law
Phone: (206) 447-8916
Email: chris.osborn@foster.com
Address: 1111 Third Ave, Suite 3000, Seattle, WA 98101
Website: www.foster.com

References

Northwest Multiple Listing Service
Tom Hurdlebrink, CEO
11430 NE 120th St., Kirkland, WA 98034
(425) 825-4314

REALTORS® of Palm Beaches and Greater Ft. Lauderdale
Dionna Hall, CEO
1 Harvard Circle Dr., Suite 102, West Palm Beach, FL 33409
(561) 727-2766

IRES LLC
Lauren Hanson, CEO
2725 Rocky Mountain Ave, Suite 450, Loveland, CO 80538
(800) 596-4901

REcolorado.com
Kirby Slunaker, President
6455 South Yosemite St., Suite 500, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
(303) 796-2574

Bright MLS
David Charon
9707 Key West Ave., Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 838-7100

MRIS
Erik Feig, of Counsel (former general counsel of MRIS)
Nemphos Braue LLC
100 West Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 101G, Baltimore, MD 21204

Comments About MLS Consolidation

Chris and his colleagues provide both legal and facilitation services to multiple listing services and boards of REALTORS®. They have in-depth expertise applying tax, corporate, anti-trust, employment, and other legal disciplines to successful mergers and consolidations. They have facilitated and provided legal representation in some of the nation's largest (and smallest) mergers and consolidations.

 

Larson Skinner, PLLC

Contact: Mitch A. Skinner, Attorney at Law
Phone: (612) 424-6775
Email: mskinner@larsonskinner.com
Address: 2701 University Ave. SE, Ste 201, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Website: www.larsonskinner.com

References available upon request.

Comments About MLS Consolidation

Larson Skinner delivers industry-leading service and advice with a candid, open, and personal feel. Its personnel tackle complex legal and business issues to help clients make well-reasoned decisions about consolidation and other collaborative efforts. 

 

T3 Sixty

Contact: Kevin McQueen
Phone: (949) 771-0303
Email: kevin@t3sixty.com
Address: 29222 Rancho Viejo Rd, Suite 221, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Website: https://t3mls.com

References

1) Indiana Regional MLS (IRMLS) – 13 association/MLSs came together by creating a new regional MLS – 6,000 subscribers. Carrie Kendall, General Manager and AE (765) 429-5411 or Julie Alert, AE Carrie@irmls.net or julie@irmls.net

2)  Ontario Collective – 13 MLSs who created a new regional MLS in 9 months – 6,000 subscribers. Crystal Henderson, EO (705) 788-1504, chenderson@thelakelands.ca,; John Geha, CEO, (519) 641-1434, John@lstar.ca; or elected Chair Cathy Polan, (613) 243-9659 cpolan@royallepage.ca.

“Kevin played an integral part in forming the Ontario Collective. We could not have done it without him. He is results oriented and kept discussion positive and future-focused.”

3) Commonwealth Regional MLS – 3 MLSs who created a new regional MLS. Laura Lafayette, CEO, Richmond VA. (804) 422-5000, llafayette@RARealtors.com.

4) Northern Great Lakes REALTORS® MLS – 3 MLSs who created a new regional MLS. Traverse City, MI. Kim Pontius, AE / General Manager (231) 947-2050, kim@taar.com.

5) Carolina Regional MLS – 10 MLSs coming together. Doris Nurenberg, CEO, (252) 503-8057, doris.NCRMLS@gmail.com.

6) Montana Regional MLS – 2 MLSs came together in 6 months. Ruth Hackney, AE/CEO, rhackney@missoularealestate.com.

7) Pacific Regional MLS (PACMLS) – 3 MLSs. Lola Franklin, AE, (509) 783-2184, lolafranklin@tricityaor.com.

8) NYS Alliance of MLSs in New York working together in shared service contract including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse NY. John Leonardi, jleonardi@bnar.org, (716) 636-9000; James Yockel, jyockel@grar.net, (585) 615-5312.

Many more references available upon request – 400 organizations including MLSs and associations since my start into residential real estate in 1983 as an MLS vendor, Regional MLS CEO, and trusted advisor and facilitator of the politics. 

 

WAV Group Consulting

Contacts:

Website: http://wavgroup.com

Comments About MLS Consolidation

There is no magic formula for consolidation. The most challenging hurdles to manage are the emotional and political ones. Once the letter of intent has been agreed upon, moving forward with blending the organizations becomes a series of manageable tasks. There are a handful of consulting firms that have experience supporting Associations and MLSs though this process, and WAV Group is a leader among them. WAV Group would never take credit for any mergers, but we have contributed in appropriate ways in the formation of My Florida Regional MLS, California Regional MLS; Smart MLS; and, REALTORS® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Ft. Lauderdale REALTORS®. Importantly, we have participated in a number of significant merger discussions that, for whatever reason, did not happen. Consolidation cannot be forced.

WAV Group’s consolidation approach drives the group to identify specific, measurable and achievable goals, projects and timelines to move the organization though the process while always examining key economic, stakeholder, and consumer impacts along the way. We focus on finding the “high ground” – the path to strengthen the local real estate marketplace and support the on-going success of members. We work with the organizations involved to find the right type of approach to accomplish the most important goals for the area. We have experience with outlining a spectrum of unique solutions including data sharing, shared databases, shared services all the way full mergers and consolidations.

We bring our unique mix of strategic planning, research, deep technology knowledge and combine it with our well-rounded working knowledge of the needs of large brokers, MLSs, Associations, members and even real estate clients to facilitate the formation of the most appropriate and cost-effective solution.

One of the most important elements you can manage within the consolidation process is communications. That’s something that WAV Group has a deep expertise in helping you navigate. What you say internally and externally, whom you say it to, and the channels you select to communicate during the consolidation process are crucial to its success. We have helped organizations build the communications to inspire positive votes. We have also helped identify the new organization’s positioning, mission, vision and the visualization of the brand with logos, websites and taglines.

WAV Group is a full-service consulting firm with three executives and nine support staff. Marilyn Wilson manages our delivery of world class services in Strategic Planning, Research, Recruiting, and Marketing. Kevin Hawkins manages our center of excellence in Communications and Public Relations. Victor Lund is expert at managing the execution of the process and relationships with large stakeholders – Boards of Directors, Management and Staff, Vendors, Legal, and Brokers. The size of our team and the decades of experience and working knowledge of Association and MLS operations uniquely positions WAV Group to be able to successfully facilitate even the most complicated and comprehensive consolidation challenges. All three partners work together to outline a specific timeline and deliverables to ensure a smooth and stress-free consolidation process.

You will see from our work that we apply ourselves totally, fueling our efforts on robust knowledge and an ability to complete projects on time. We’re collaborative by nature, we’ll lead, steer, guide, inspire, take the leap, but we’ll also listen. It’s this ability to pause, that has created many long-standing client relationships.

The process always begins with a discussion, and we hope you will consider us.

 

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