Dallas, Texas-based real estate technology company HipPocket has announced HipPocket for Realtor Associations, a new communications service which augments (instead of replacing) the MLS with a suite of communications features designed to facilitate rapid communication between realtors during the marketing and discovery phase.
The new service offers associations the ability to introduce a new, innovative social-style communications platform to connect their members 24/7, while introducing a pre-MLS marketplace that brings structure and governance to the chaos of off-MLS activity. The service is built around a real-time “activity feed” versus a search-based experience, which means association members will have a new off-email, off-MLS channel designed solely for creating connections between selling and buying agents.
Realtors will have access to a more complete set of listing data and will have the opportunity to promote buyer needs more explicitly. Additionally, they will be able to use new features to efficiently market to and network with other realtors in their community and with their personal connections across multiple social networks.
“I’m excited to be releasing HipPocket for Realtor Associations,” said CEO, James Bohan-Pitt. “At a time when off-MLS activity is on the rise, raising legal, ethical and governance concerns for many Associations, we have a solution that helps Associations truly solve the off-MLS marketing conundrum. In fact, HipPocket for Realtor Associations upgrades the original mission of the MLS to a platform that facilitates Agent-to-Agent collaboration and communications between ALL members.”
Bohan-Pitt went on to explain that off-MLS marketing has become a popular strategy for real estate agents, driven in part by the lack of real-time communication features in the MLS. To fill the communications void, Agents have created their own pseudo-MLS’s in exclusive private groups and networks across social media, outside the purview of the Association. With no official structure and governance to any off-MLS channel, fiduciary responsibility and “Fair Housing” compliance are major concerns for Realtor Associations. Additionally, these private communities often exclude many real estate agents, going against the core tenet of the MLS being open to all Association members.
“We are at inflection point, just as we were 25 years ago when Associations responded to the need to move away from listing books to a listing database,” said Bohan-Pitt. “Realtors now have myriad platforms pieced together to help them market and discover homes off the MLS. Associations need a platform that augments, not replaces, their MLS. A platform that is truly agent-only and one that can unify off-MLS activity into a single platform from which the entire Realtor community can benefit. HipPocket for Realtor Associations is that platform, and I am excited to be showcasing it to many Associations in the coming weeks and months.”