Active Rain October 23, 2010

Staten Island: a Tight Ship

Staten Island Board of REALTORS and MLSFor happy reasons, the company has joined the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service. Thankfully, my brokerage is growing, and with that we see an expansion in our service area. I had to go there today to inspect and take photographs of several properties, and while in the area I thought it best to kill two birds with one stone and apply for MLS membership in person rather than via fax and mail. 

So, in my jeans and flannel shirt I arrived at the Staten Island Board of REALTORS office and was treated as if I were wearing a tux and tails. After filling out my application and providing my letter of good standing from Westchester, I was walked through the procedures and rules by Linda in membership. She was very helpful. As a matter of fact, given that is was a Friday afternoon and they had a retreat next week, I was humbled at how much she cared. 

Secure MLS Log InSI MLS does a number if things I like. For one, they have a token system for MLS log ins which is run almost exactly like a supra lockbox system: You are provided with a token which sincs with the MLS and issues a unique code to verify the log in every time you sign in. No token and update code, no log in. 

And that way, NO ONE can give MLS access to a non-member. It is brilliant security. 

Another high standard is a minimum of three (3) photos of the property are mandatory for all listings. Since some of the areas I work have listings with no photos for the entire time the home is listed, that is great. Obviously, more photos are better, and my average listing has over 20 photos, but not all brokers do that. And thee photos as a minimum is the highest set bar I have seen in 2 states and 8 MLS systems.

Lastly for this post (but certainly not for the SI MLS), all members have automatic accounts with Centralized Showing Services as part of the MLS-wide appointment system. Everyone uses CSS. No exceptions. I use CSS in Westchester, but I pay for it separately. We had a vote on making them an MLS-wide service like Staten Island, but the measure didn’t pass. They got it done on Staten Island, and that ensures better cooperation and management of showings. 

I mentioned to Linda that I am a Vice president in my home MLS, and she introduced me to their President and CEO, who were both in today. The president is actually an Active Rain member, Kathleen O’Leary. Mr. Kreuger, the CEO, had a very nice talk with me about how the MLS systems of the outer boroughs could work together better, and I will remain in touch with him on that front. 

I love professionals, and I love well run organizations. I will love doing business on Staten Island.