Visionary Bill Chee

Jul 15, 2009 Michael Wurzer

I’m excited that Bill Chee will be one of the presenters during the MLS Track at Inman Connect on August 6.  The topic will be “From Listing Data to People Data: The Next Challenge in VOWs and MLS Consumer Sites”. In preparing for the sessions, I watched Bill’s 1993 (yes, 1993) “Lions Over The Hill Speech”, which, thankfully, NAR has archived and made available on the web.

Watching the video in retrospect, sixteen years later, is fascinating and instructive. This speech pre-dated, Google, and all the other recent lions. If my memory serves me correctly, the initiative approved here resulted in RIN and ultimately, the most popular real estate search portal on the web today. Interestingly enough, there are some new “lions” over the hill today on that top 10 list, and Google is seen as the biggest lion of all.

One of the key questions I’ll have for Bill Chee at the Inman conference is whether listing data really is a non-issue today because it’s everywhere, or whether opportunities remain to leverage the data quality from the MLS for consumer benefit through VOWs and IDX. Bill said recently at the MLS Connection conference in Portland that “people data” is the key today, and I’m very excited to learn more about how that fits into the site he’s created at Prudential Locations and how that helps him provide better service to his customers.