Agent adoption within the first 45 days
The MLS: San Francisco Association of REALTORS® MLS (SFAR) is tech focused and determined to support its members with the most effective tools to run their businesses efficiently and build stronger client relations.
The Situation: After surveying members & receiving feedback from their Strategic Planning Team, SFAR realized that its agents needed a mobile MLS solution that could accommodate for the nuances of the San Francisco real estate market. In addition, clients were demanding a more modern & user friendly search experience throughout their home search process. Despite prior attempts made by other platforms, they all had fallen short of SFAR’s complex market needs. Previous apps suffered from data gaps & inadequate functionality, leaving members dissatisfied & with inefficient workflows. Zenlist sparked the interest of SFAR leadership as an agile software company that shared the appreciation & understanding of both the agent & MLS needs. Collaborating closely with SFAR, Zenlist crafted a comprehensive roadmap of new features such as broker tours, area/district filter, merged layers & listing input that would address the specific needs of the San Francisco market. The collaborative partnership between Zenlist & SFAR provides an inside-the-MLS tool for agents and their clients that enhances their existing MLS system & gives members the option of which system they want to use based on their preferences.
SFAR's decision to invest in Zenlist as their front-end-of-choice proved to be beneficial when Rapattoni Corporation fell victim to a ransomware attack on August 9th 2023. The impact of the cyber attack reverberated through the real estate landscape, affecting approximately 5% of the nation's MLS databases that rely on Rapattoni's MLS software system including SFAR. Thousands of agents across the country were unable to effectively navigate their listings, leading to confusion and frustration.
Using the duplicate data that Zenlist stored from Rapattoni, Zenlist provided a platform for agents and their clients to continue to search listings in the Bay Area. Zenlist quickly developed a process that would allow agents to copy the stale data for their listings from the stored Rapattoni data and place that data under management in the Zenlist database. With this new method in place, by August 14 2023, agents in SFAR were able to edit their existing listings right from Zenlist, and input new ones through Zenlist.
This accomplishment elevated the platform from being just a front-end-of-choice, to assuming the role of a supplementary MLS back-end system as well. Zenlist quickly realized, however, that updating data for other agents and their clients within Zenlist to see was only one piece of the puzzle. Seller clients were demanding that the most updated data for their listings be available on public search portals such as Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com.
To solve this problem, Zenlist began collaborating with the BridgeAPI team at Zillow during the week of August 14 2023 to take over the syndication of SFAR listings to popular real estate platforms like Zillow and Redfin. By August 18 2023, Zenlist launched its successful partnership that ensured listings on these sites were updated as edits were made in Zenlist, and new listings and open houses began appearing on these platforms, enhancing visibility and maintaining the market's momentum.
MLSs who invested in a front-end-of-choice solution understand the importance of creating redundancies to ensure that even in the event of a single system's failure, members can continue to access listings.
The Process: Zenlist was strategic in its launch strategy by limiting the initial rollout to a small group of SFAR members including their tech committee. Once the Zenlist had worked closely with this team on testing, they gathered feedback and enhanced a variety of features to support local market nuances. Members were supported throughout the launch with weekly webinar trainings hosted by Zenlist that were offered exclusively to SFAR. In addition, Zenlist provided in-person onboarding sessions to top brokerages. Zenlist became the most quickly adopted platform among SFAR members with a 15% adoption rate within the initial 45 days after launching.