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On the last day of CMLS 2013, the most interesting 30 minutes in the history of real estate conferences happened. Seriously, I’ve been going to these industry confabs for years now, and have seen some really interesting panels, have heard great speakers, have been part of great debates. I was there at Midyear 2011 when Franchise IDX was going down. I was present when RPR was brought forth in 2009. I’ve been privileged to be at important meetings where important people made important decisions.
And I have never ever seen a room filled with a few hundred seasoned industry veterans — CEO’s, Association Executives, senior executives of major tech companies, — get like that.
Like what? Well, like the inside of a mausoleum on a moonless night. If a flea had farted, we all would have heard it. The tension in the room was second only to the quiet dread permeating the audience.
The immediate cause of this sepulchral atmosphere was the panel discussion entitled, “Eliminating MLS & Broker Conflict” featuring Gregg Larson of Clareity, Brian Donnellan of MRIS, and the star of the show, Craig Cheatham, CEO of The Realty Alliance.
Bottom line, Craig Cheatham made it clear that The Realty Alliance intends to Do Something about the MLS, which he said was the biggest pain, the primary focus of concern and the biggest source of frustration for his members. Those members, in case you aren’t aware, are some of the largest brokerages in the United States, including such names as HomeServices of America, Long & Foster, Howard Hanna, Crye-Leike, Ebby Halliday, Prudential Fox & Roach, Baird & Warner, Coldwell Banker United, etc. etc., and the list goes on.
This is one session I wish I had videotaped, since Cheatham’s comments were jaw-dropping, even though he delivered them with consummate grace and diplomacy. Words and phrases like “nuclear option”, “push the red button”, “don’t plan too many more of these CMLS events into the future”, and of course, “You have ten days” are… shall we say… attention-grabbing? Perhaps the CMLS website will have the video available soon. But you can check out the companion post to this one from Notorious B.O.B. (Bemis) for what went down, as well as some fantastic historical perspective. I’m sure we’ll have other reports of what went down from various sources soon as well.
What I’d like to do with this post — which is going to be lengthy — is to speculate as to what might come next. After the ten days are up (and by the time you’re reading this, it’s closer to seven days left), what is the Realty Alliance likely to do? So two warnings.
First, this is rank speculation on my part. I have no inside knowledge, I haven’t officially spoken to anyone from the Realty Alliance, nor do I have any proprietary information. Second, this is going to be long.
Predictions sure to be wrong, or your money back! Let’s get into it.