The post was first published on VendorAlley.com on Febrauary 6th.
I was at a meeting recently with a lot of MLS executives and the topic of reporting came up quite a bit and the frustration they felt getting accurate usage numbers from their 3rd party vendors.
Now we all know that not everyone will use the products and services offered by MLS providers to their membership. It seems like most industries it really falls more to the 80/20 rule. Where only 20% of a group is doing any real business. In fact I hear that ratio is closer to 85/15 in some MLS markets.
So I’d like to share what my company, W&R Studios, provides its MLS customers (and Broker customers) in regard to reporting to start a discussion on the best practices of offering such reporting.
What defines an “active user”?
To begin with you first have to defines an “active user”. I’ve seen many definitions. Typically this number represents when a member logs in to the service, at least once, in a set time period. Sometimes this is a 30 day period but many times I see an active user measured as a person who logs in to the system, at least once, in a 90 day period. The period is subjective and may have to do with market conditions as well.
At W&R Studios we give all our MLS customers access to an real time dashboard. At anytime they are free to log in to the system and see these metrics as they relate to Cloud CMA. Here’s just a sample of some of the data available:
1. Number of New Users Signups: Today, yesterday, this week, last week, this month last month and total currently active.
2. Number of Reports Created: Today, yesterday, this week, last week, and last month.
3. Report Types Created: CMA, Buyer Tour, Single Property and Flyers. (Including percentage breakdown)
It’s a lot of information, and our MLS customers love it. Below is a partial screen shot from an actual Cloud CMA MLS Site License customer. They have about 3,500 members total.
Having shown these number I do want to say that we look at these and want to improve. And yes, I chose to show you one of our MLS customers that is performing well (duh!), we certainly have others in which we are looking to gain traction. Point is our MLS customers see those numbers too!
Show Me The Money!
In cases where we have a Revenue Share agreement we also give access to a Revenue Share Pipeline dashboard to show what kind of quarterly revenue share they can expect to receive. The screen shot below is from an actual MLS customer:
All of this data is generated in real-time and can be accessed by the MLS executive at any time.
While not perfect we think this is a big step in giving our MLS customers the transparency they have always wished for and deserve.
What are they so afraid of?
In the end we know, as a vendor, that we will live and die by those usage numbers and with the technology available today there is really no excuse not to provide our customers these metrics.