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Greg Saxx and Melissa G. Sax, Head of Communications, 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. The goal of the series is to humanize the tech side of the industry, fun included.

This week’s interview is with Melissa King, Chief Operating Officer at OneKey® MLS. This is Melissa’s second time with Three Questions, but she had to share the first time with a colleague, and that was two jobs ago!

For this session, we touched on those career changes, mergers, New York real estate and new music. Enjoy!

Q1: The last time we spoke, you were at Compass after a 10-year run at Stellar MLS. Then you hopped to Bright MLS for a quick stint before settling at OneKey for the last year and a half. Are you done changing jobs?

Melissa: I’m done for as long as OneKey will have me. I love working with Richard Haggerty [CEO at OneKey] and our excellent board of managers. It is a bold group that I quickly grew to love and respect.

OneKey is still relatively new, having launched about four years ago. The execution was about getting done quickly, so they got the ball rolling with a data share between the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® and the Long Island Board of REALTORS®. We’re now taking that great data share and consolidating the database so that it’s perfect across the whole of it.

The project first focused on joining ancillary services together through third parties, because we continued to support two implementations that sometimes were configured differently.

While that work was wrapping up, our board completed an extensive analysis of multiple MLS platforms and made the decision to consolidate all of the OneKey MLS customers to a single, Data Dictionary-compliant platform.

Building a staff and executing on our vision for more than 44,000 subscribers takes a lot of work and time, so I think I can settle in here for a bit.

Q2: OneKey has gone through a lot of consolidation over the past several years. Can you briefly describe what has occurred? Were they mergers or acquisitions? How are things going so far? Is there much more to do? And why is New York City such a different kind of entity where MLSs are concerned?

Melissa: OneKey is not a pure acquisition or merger. The two founding MLSs, HGMLS and MLSLI, dissolved and created a new entity.

Things are going well. The combination efforts occurred during the pandemic, so there were a lot of other things to worry about at the outset, but they persevered, and we are really finding our rhythm.

There are a lot of benefits to reap from this decision, and we’ve only realized some of them. There is much more to do to get it exactly where we want it, and if you stand still for any length of time, you’re going to fall behind.

Since I have been with OneKey MLS, we did acquire the Mid-Hudson MLS and completed that conversion at the end of January. 

Manhattan is part of the Hudson Gateway charter; however, I don’t believe REALTOR® participation is high in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Because OneKey has a REALTOR® requirement for participation in the service, this creates a challenge for reaching that group.

Manhattan is…fascinating. Even after my time at Compass and now at OneKey, I still don’t think I fully “get” it. I’ve heard ideas about how and why Manhattan is different, but I certainly don’t want to speculate. Regardless, there is magic in Manhattan.

Q3: Music is important to not just our lives but a lot of people’s lives in and out of real estate. You are a known attendee of music festivals, and I know that you love a good crooner with an acoustic guitar. What are a few newish artists that people should listen to that they may not easily find on their own and why?

Melissa: I really love a young band called Flipturn. So much energy. Beautiful vocals. Great lyrics, great performances.

Noah Kahan fits the crooner with a guitar you associate me with. Last summer, at a festival, I found him and became obsessed. His delivery, his angst, his words. He looks like Andrew WK but sings like an agitated Ed Sheeran.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise has been super high on my list for 10 years.

Sylvan Esso is great. Oh! And also Noga Erez is my newest music crush!

I love Tyler Childress. I love Glass Animals. Everybody knows “Heat Waves,” but it’s far from their best.

Ask me again next time, and I’ll have plenty more to share!

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