Gene Millman is CEO of Northern Nevada Regional MLS (NNRMLS), serving more than 3,000 agents in the Greater Reno, Nevada, area. Real estate is both Gene’s passion and his expertise, having spent his career of 32-plus years in the industry as an agent, broker-manager, broker-owner and now as head of one of the most progressive MLSs in the country.
As a RESO member, industry thought leader and company team-builder, Gene discusses how MLSs can make it easier for brokers to access and leverage RESO standardized data. “I think it’s very important for MLSs to be very forward-thinking,” said Millman, pointing to the emergence of the RESO Web API. “It’s quicker load times for everyone. Standardizing the data is so critical to our industry right now.”
“I think as quickly as the MLS can adopt those guidelines, those standards – really embrace the technology that is out there…once we do that, I think what happens then for the broker, whatever backend product they want to enable in their company, it will make it so much more seamless versus having to map all those fields every time a vendor comes in.”
As a former broker-owner, Gene empathizes with the plight of a broker today when it comes to technology-related decisions and choices they must make. “They don’t know the questions to ask…or that there is technology out there that is available to…help give them maybe some points of differentiation in the marketplace.”
Gene recommends smaller MLSs attend RESO conferences. Attending RESO conferences allowed him to become more familiar with the terminology quickly, as well as identify new opportunities and assure that NNRMLS was moving down the right path as an organization.
“You really get the opportunity to see other partnerships that are forming and how you can maybe bring those into your organization,” said Millman.
Millman’s advice to MLSs that don’t promote the use of MLS data because “nobody is asking for it” comes down to how one views their customers. “Without the brokers, there would be no MLS,” said Millman. “We are just kind of borrowing the data for them. And we’re trying with that data to help create an effective marketplace for them to work and make a living both for the agents and for the broker.”
Gene doesn’t view that data as belonging to NNRMLS. “We are the steward of the data, said Millman. “We are there to protect the data for them, but at the end of the day, it’s really theirs. We try to give them access in any way that we can to use their data for what they need to use it for, to run their companies.”
Millman encourages broker-owners to attend RESO conferences, as well, because it allows the MLSs in attendance to hear the pain points that the brokers have, especially large brokerages that have their own internal IT staff.
Said Millman, “The more we can get people to the table, the more we can have this collaborative thought process, it helps every aspect of our industry, from the MLS to the brokers to the vendors – everyone in one.”
Finally, Gene discussed how he worked with the NNRMLS board of directors to adopt RESO standards. His suggestion to his board was straightforward: Every potential data change should meet RESO standards.
Said Millman, “Our board really got that. We want to get to the highest, the best level.”DLU March 26th, 2020