When CarolinaMLS launched the Remine analytics tool in May, CarolinaMLS board member Kourosh Sharifi promptly scheduled a conference call with all brokers-in-charge and managers at his firm, RE/MAX Executive Realty.
“Here’s a new tool your agents can use that is a one-stop shop for consumer and property data, and it’s very intuitive,” Sharifi excitedly told the brokers.
Remine’s basic level is offered free as part of a subscriber’s CarolinaMLS membership, and approximately 1,500 subscribers signed on to it the first week it was available.
Sharifi was one of them. As chief financial officer of RE/MAX Executive, he keeps an eye on marketing costs at the firm. He sees Remine helping agents fine-tune farming efforts by having more data on properties and property owners. “This allows us to spend our marketing dollars more wisely,” he says, noting that the cost of mailers continues to rise. “You don’t want to spend money contacting people who aren’t good prospects.”
He offers this example about targeting prospects using Remine. “For instance, you can search on data for the geographical area you select to exclude tenants and recent purchases and to include only people who have owned there for seven or more years — which is when many people think about selling,” he says. “Then, you reach out to those people who fit your criteria.”
Remine’s “sell score” is also valuable information. The search filter represents Remine’s opinion of how apt a property owner is to list their house in the near future — based on an algorithm that draws from a wide range of public data and whose results are translated into easy-to-use, visually-pleasing maps.
Search filters in the free, basic program through CarolinaMLS are: MLS status, last sale price, mortgage rate, ownership time, mortgage age, sell score, land use, building type, Airbnb and cash buyers. Additional search criteria — such as property valuation, home equity, flood zones, schools and neighborhoods, and absentee owner information — are available at the first paid level, which is $29 a month. More information is available at $99 and $199 a month levels.
Like Sharifi, Billy Shugart began using Remine as soon as it became available. As a Keller Williams SouthPark agent and CEO of Shugart Realty Group, he had served as a tester of the program for CarolinaMLS. He finds Remine useful not only for identifying potential listings but quickly learning about properties and neighborhoods. “It is very, very visual and user friendly,” he says.
But he and Sharifi caution that while CarolinaMLS has confidence in the program, the MLS has not independently verified the data and processes. “We can’t guarantee the metrics,” says Sharifi, who serves on the CarolinaMLS Board of Directors. “Almost every type of technology has a flaw somewhere in how it processes data.” Adds Shugart, who is secretary of CarolinaMLS and the Association, “I use it as a guideline.”
Remine adds to an agent’s overall knowledge, Shugart says. “It helps in having more education when we talk to clients and allows the Realtor® to better analyze the home and the market based on his or her experience.”
Shugart notes that Remine allows users to access a list of all mortgages on a property, the property’s sales history, whether the owners have children and more. Users can also buy household contact information for properties, with the cost of such contact info declining as the user pays for higher levels of service.
Shugart also likes Remine’s “tracking” function. It allows him to see information related to properties he’s interested in as the data changes over time, including shifts in sell score, MLS activity, occupancy, deeds and more. The free, basic service through CarolinaMLS allows for tracking 100 properties, while the fee-based levels permit tracking of 250 properties ($29 a month), 500 ($99 a month) and 10,000 ($199 a month) properties.
CarolinaMLS subscribers can find Remine in the alphabetical list of tools at the left of the Matrix home page. With one click, you’re in the program. There is no separate sign-in, a feature CarolinaMLS insisted on, says Steve Byrd, chief technology officer for CarolinaMLS.
“We wanted it to be simple for our subscribers, so they don’t have to log in again,” Byrd says. “We make ‘single sign-on,’ or SSO, a requirement with the vendors whose tools we offer.”
Byrd says that Remine is a tool available only to MLSs and not to brokerages, and that CarolinaMLS plans to continue adding tools to aid subscribers. “We’re in a mode to expand our offerings. We also recently launched Homesnap Pro for our subscribers. We are growing, and we are trying to provide more tools to help our subscribers grow their businesses.”
Sharifi notes that having the CarolinaMLS technology staff to evaluate programs is a tremendous benefit. “There are so many vendors marketing their tools to individual firms and Realtors®,” he says. “We can’t be technology companies. CarolinaMLS has people trained to do this, from going to conferences and following trends to checking out tools on our behalf.”