Blogging is a powerful way to connect with others. I understood that before but now it’s burned into my consciousness. First, the response from Phoenix area real estate bloggers to our announcement that Arizona Regional MLS has selected us to be their next MLS vendor was immediate. Greg Swann, Jay Thompson, Jonathan Dalton, Steven Groves, and Steve Belt all posted on the news within a few hours.
Second, and most importantly, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive, primarily because these guys have grown to trust us through the FBS Blog. Why is there this trust? Have these bloggers investigated every inner-working of flexmls Web, like the ARMLS selection committee did? No, they haven’t even seen it. So why the respectful response? Because we’ve established a relationship by engaging with our ideas on and around the FBS Blog. Greg Swann put it well:
What it means is that we are about to get an MLS vendor who is willing to listen to us, and who very earnestly wants to do his very best â€” not just because it will mean more business for his company but simply because he is internally committed to doing his very best.
Shortly after posting, Greg took this even further and suggested that he and other bloggers could help with the transition by creating a “users for users” group blog. In a few hours, Greg had a blog — The Phoenix Real Estate Technology Exchange — up and running and had assembled a team of contributors.
Make no mistake, these folks are not promoting FBS or flexmls Web. Rather, they are seeking to help their fellow members of ARMLS by creating a space where questions can get asked and answered objectively. If, as the conversion moves forward, there are things this group doesn’t like, they’ll call us out on it. Hard. And yet they know we’ll be there to respond, promptly, directly and honestly, which is why the trust exists in the first instance.
Without a doubt, there will be challenges as we move forward. There will be features that can be improved. There will be needs and wants to be fulfilled. As good as we think flexmls Web is, the system isn’t perfect (yet) but we’re always moving in that direction and getting there faster can only be helped through this level of engagement with our users. Such an open exchange is exactly what blogging is about and why it is so powerful. That vendors and users can engage at such a level without fear or loathing represents a new day dawning in many ways and I’m very excited to be a part of it.