Broker Public Portal Gets More Accessible

May 19, 2016

The Broker Public Portal, a collaborative venture between real estate brokerages and MLSs, will launch a nationwide ad-free home search that aims to provide a mobile-first solution in which consumers have access to real-time listing data directly from real estate professionals.

The BPP, a project first started in 2005, has taken a major step forward in its nationwide launch by entering into an agreement with Homesnap, the creator of real estate apps for consumers and agents, industry officials say. The program will be marketed under the Homesnap brand.

“In essence, the Broker Public Portal operates very much like a local MLS consumer-facing website, but is a nationwide collaboration,” the WAV Group explains. “We have learned from our years of research about MLS consumer websites that consumers really like these sites because they are unbiased, simple, and allow them to connect directly to the brokerage and listing agent that is most familiar with the property. The consumers that use these sites are not looky-loos. They are the more serious buyer that is further down the sales funnel and serious about buying or selling a home.”

With the BPP’s search, consumers will be able to collaborate with their agent or connect instantly to the listing agent. The BPP launch also will include an iPhone app, Android app, and mobile and desktop website.

Specifically for real estate professionals, the BPP launch will include Homesnap Pro so that agents can access real-time listing information as well as collaborate with their clients and other agents. Homesnap Pro already boasts more than 300,000 users compared to 100,000 Zillow and Trulia Premier Agents.

“We selected Homesnap because it is a young, innovative company with a track record of creating highly engaging real estate apps and websites that align with our mission to deliver a straightforward consumer experience with a direct connection to real estate professionals,” says Merle Whitehead, chairman of the BPP and CEO of Realty USA, a real estate brokerage operating in New York and Pennsylvania. “The Homesnap team is extremely bright, has proven that it can earn the respect of the MLSs that provision and safeguard real estate listings data, and absolutely has what it takes to build an outstanding product.”

The BPP is backed by 115 MLSs and real estate companies, including franchises, independent brands, large and small brokers, and represents more than 50,000 real estate professionals. The BPP will be funded by local MLSs.

Prior to the announcement, only BPP MLS Board members could sign up for the BPP. Four MLSs have announced their intent to participate in the BPP at launch: Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), an MLS with nearly 40,000 real estate professionals in greater Chicago; Connecticut MLS (CTMLS), with 10,700 agents and brokers across Connecticut; Northstar MLS, with 16,300 agents and brokers in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin; and Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® (BNAR), with more than 3,000 agents and brokers in Western New York. More MLSs are expected to sign on following the Homesnap partnership, officials say.

“For 20 years, how people find properties online has been imagined and defined by those who sell ads, not homes,” says John Mosey, BPP vice-chair and CEO of Northstar MLS. “This is our turn to speak, to imagine and to deliver a better experience for consumers and the agents that help them in their real estate decisions. Most importantly, the BPP is organized to be for the industry, by the industry and owned exclusively by the brokers and MLSs that supply quality listing content to power the industry.”

Source: Broker Public Portal and “Broker Public Portal Reveals Partnership and Plan,” WAV Group (May 18, 2016)