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MLS Executives Discuss Challenges and Predictions for the Industry

By: Michael McGee, CAE, RCE on in

As 2020 draws to a close, which I think we’re all grateful for, I recently talked with representatives from the two largest MLSs in Pennsylvania about the market, some of the challenges the industry is facing and what they expect in the New Year.

Barbara Kohl is the COO of West Penn Multi-List, Inc., an independently owned MLS, which provides service to about 6,000 PAR members in the western part of Pennsylvania. And Kurt Miller is the regional vice president of Bright MLS, which spans six states and provides service to nearly 20,000 PAR members in the eastern and central part of the state. Together, they represent more than 70% of Pennsylvania Realtors®.

What are their predictions for the New Year?

Barbara said, “Personally and our board of directors feels that 2021 will start out a status quo. If they can get the virus somewhat under control by the spring, we’ll see the new year with about the same stats as 2020. But of course, the determining factor is the general public. They’re the ones that determine whether they’re going to list their home or not and the perception of safety in the listing of their house for sale will be at their discretion, not at our discretion. That’s the general feeling of the board of directors at West Penn.”

And Kurt’s response, “For the future, I won’t talk too much about the market, because that’s humbled better men than I in the past. But I will say there are excellent indicators that we’re going to see inventory improvement in 2021, so far as everything else economically remains relatively stable. But one thing I think we can very comfortably predict outside of the market is the speed of change will increase. The pandemic has only escalated trends that we were seeing prior to the pandemic. People are realizing that geography no longer limits opportunity. We’re going to see more prop tech mergers and acquisitions, increased emphasis on MLS consolidation and MLS partnerships.”

To hear more of more of our conversation, view CEO Corner.



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