by G. Sax, Director of Growth Management, RESO
Welcome to “Three Questions,” an interview series that introduces you to real estate industry professionals, their businesses and how they interact with real estate standards with a goal of humanizing the tech side of the industry, fun included.
This week’s interview is with Dana Bennett from REcolorado, an understated legend in the making for creating the kind of work role that can transform the MLS industry. Please read on and enjoy!
Q1: Your current title is right there with our ideals at RESO – VP of Industry Engagement & Standards and Chief Business Development Officer. If we had our way, there would be one of these in every MLS house. How has the experience been so far, and what can you say to encourage others to consider creating such a role?
Dana: My thought around this has to do with paying attention to what’s going on in the industry and then connecting the dots. It’s not just about reading Inman News or going to all the conferences. You have to really dig in by listening, researching and understanding where the industry is going in order to be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
You kind of develop a “Spidey” sense. And you can only develop it by jumping in with both feet.
RESO: So you’re thinking more like a for-profit entity.
Dana: Absolutely! Let’s not be afraid to have the conversation about developing customer segments. Can we do a data deal? Maybe a product dev with a title company? With a mortgage company?
RESO: Like allowing commingling of MLS and non-MLS listings, which REcolorado has done.
Dana: Yes. Let the brokers do their business.
Q2: REcolorado was once called Metrolist, not to be confused with the MetroList MLS in Sacramento. In an era when MLSs are definitely thinking more about branding beyond borders, was there a strategy to your change in brand name?
Dana: REcolorado was our public-facing website name.
It was a way to play bigger in the state, but I’m not sure that that’s relevant anymore, because our state border shouldn’t be our organizational border. We’re not thinking that way anymore.
At one point, thinking statewide was pretty big. It was never a strategy of “taking over the state, and now we’re the big guy!” Our philosophy was not to grow at the expense of any other business. It was simply to meet the needs of brokers, because they were licensed anywhere in the state. As our brand and strategy continues to successfully grow, removing geographical constraints is our logical next step.
Q3: You’re that rare bird that worked in the MLS industry for 13 years, then went on to become an agent, broker and a broker owner for 12 years and then landed back in MLS land for another 10 years and counting. Are you a glutton for punishment or is there a method to this madness?
Dana: I’m a glutton for punishment!
My superpower is curiosity, and it hasn’t killed me yet.
I’m beyond intrigued with where this is all going. I love the innovation that is really starting to take off in the real estate space. It’s ever-changing, and that’s the part that is exciting to me.