Ahead of the NAR Midyear Conference next week, the PR teams at many vendors are busy pushing out press releases about new APIs, including Zillow with Retsly and Corelogic with Trestle, so this seems like a good time to report on the strong growth of our very own Spark API over the last several years.
More specifically, the Spark API has grown 173% to serve over 150 MLSs and 185,000 agents right now and we expect that growth to continue through 2016 to over 200,000 agents. To date, we’ve achieved this growth by more than doubling the market share of the Flexmls system, adding over 80 new customers and well over 100,000 new agents.
This growth doesn’t include a variety of large MLS data shares we’ve implemented. If we include those, the current coverage expands to over 250,000 agents. Regardless, I’m pretty sure this means the Spark API currently is one of if not the largest MLS aggregation available through a single API.
Perhaps more importantly, because we’ve sustained this growth organically by adding new Flexmls customers, the Spark API not only includes listing information for all these customers but also what I think is the more valuable data for brokers and agents, namely saved searches, contacts, and portal activity data (e.g., favorites, messages, etc.). What this means is that, in addition to being the biggest, the Spark API also is the deepest MLS data repository and the only API that truly allows developers and MLS providers to have a front-end of choice.
Lastly, an important distinction between Spark and several of the APIs being touted in the media these days is that the Spark API is live right now and growing actual usage every day. I like the look of hockey sticks.
Of course, FBS itself is the largest consumer of the Spark API, which has allowed us to build new mobile and consumer portal applications, as well as many other new features in Flexmls, all while maintaining interoperability across platforms for saved searches, contacts, and all the other data. But the most beautiful thing about the Spark API is that any other developer can access the same data to ensure that brokers, agents, and MLSs no longer need to double-enter data and are never locked into a proprietary data system again.
Lastly, inspired by Greg Robertson’s recent post, I’ll be writing some predictions of how I see the Spark API and the legion of followers impacting the industry over the coming years. As our VP of Marketing Kim Prior likes to say, stay tuned!