By: SFAR MLS & Technology Committee Chair, Matt Fuller
SFAR has been working hard to deliver tools our members need to not only thrive but to lead in a rapidly and continually changing technology landscape, and Zillow's flattering imitation of our "Coming Soon" status reflects our leadership in addressing the changing needs of Realtors. In early 2013, SFAR identified several immediate areas for MLS improvement with our MLS vendor, the first of which - a "Coming Soon" status - went live in August of 2013. Zillow recently announced they will be launching a similar feature, a reminder to us all that imitation remains the sincerest form of flattery. While Zillow may get more press, our launch of the Coming Soon status in 2013 is proof positive of the vibrant ideas, talent, and commitment to innovation from our member volunteers and association staff.
Since the beginning of 2014, SFAR has been on a campaign to raise the awareness of this new MLS capability in San Francisco while simultaneously working on improvements based on member feedback. Zillow's approach forces a listing to flip active in their system "within 30 days" of the entry. Our approach honors the listing agreement: when a listing is entered as coming soon the Realtor simply enters the agreed-upon On Market Date (which can be changed to reflect market preparation realities). The "coming soon" MLS listing automatically transitions to Active on the appropriate date. In other words, our solution was developed with the goal of simplifying listing entry and management, not making it more complicated.
By entering a listing as "coming soon" in the MLS, San Francisco REALTORs are guaranteed to have accurate listing data shared with the 4,000 other MLS members working with active and pre-qualified buyers as well as benefitting from our agent-centric workflow. The Coming Soon listings in SFARMLS transition naturally from the pre-active status, to active, and finally to inactive when the transaction concludes. The REALTOR manages the listing in one place, the MLS.
As we've increased our communication about Coming Soon and made improvements based on member feedback over the past 4 months, the "coming soon" status is increasing in popularity:
Month (#Listings using "Coming Soon")
Feb -> 93
Mar -> 98
Apr -> 124
May -> 138
We continue to make improvements based on feedback from our membership, in the near future we will be implementing changes to make the "coming soon" status more prevalent in both search criteria and search results. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the "coming soon" status - join the conversation on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sfarsocial.