We are excited about the prospects. UpstreamTM has the potential to enable vendors like DocuSign to spend more time collaborating with the industry on usability, security and compliance – further accelerating the pace of innovation.
Imprev recently completed their 2016 Summer Thought Leader Survey where they focused on Upstream. The independent research surveyed more than 300 broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms that were responsible for more than half of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year. The study showed that widespread support for Upstream where 57% of top real estate executives say they are “very supportive” of Upstream, and 27% say they are “supportive.” Only 2% say they are “not at all supportive,” and 14% say they are “somewhat supportive.”
I was fortunate to sit next to Renwick Congdon, Imprev's CEO accidentally, shortly after the survey was published on my way home from Inman Connect. We both were intrigued by the support brokers are demonstrating. As I dug into the raw data, I found nuances that were worth sharing:
TESTING: The pilot testing continues with MLS Listings, RMLS Portland, West Penn MLS, North Texas Real Estate Information Service (NTREIS) and NorthstarMLS. Broker site visits continue and providing general education about Upstream, UI demos, customizing training needs, identifying broker business rules and qualifying vendors. As a reminder here is the final list of pilot brokers:
We are working closely with our pilot brokers and have identified 19 vendors to begin testing. A few notables include DotLoop, LoneWolf, BackAgent, Blueroof360, Showingtime, and Obeo.
DEVELOPMENT: The vendor has completed Sprint 7 and is well under way with Sprint 8. This Sprint focus is to support and extend the pilot market integrations through further development of the API by adding new listing features. Additionally, new functionality of rules engine framework, property search, and treatment of photo uploads will be addressed. Concurrently, the RPR Business Analyst team will focus its efforts on analyzing the rules framework. The Upstream Technology Work Group recently reviewed the proposed UI and workflow and is actively influencing the design with a focus on simplicity and ease of use.
STAFFING: A Project Coordinator has been hired to assist the CEO in managing work groups, develop both MLS and Broker Advisory groups, marketing and communications.
AGREEMENTS: The Agreements Work Group continues to refine participation agreement templates between Brokers and 3rd Party Vendors, Upstream and MLSs, and Upstream and Participants to help define usage rights and protect the confidentiality of proprietary information Upstream maintains in its system.
GOVERNANCE: One new governance items has been addressed. One of our board members has changed companies allowing the brokerage holding the seat to select a new representative or relinquish their board seat. If they decide to relinquish their seat, the board will need to vote on a replacement. Stay tuned for the decision.
NOTE FROM THE CEO: My excitement continues to grow as I've "hit the road" speaking across the country. Although communicating facts about Upstream and it's benefits to stakeholders has just begun, and there are many questions across the industry, support is very strong and growing. The most recent independent survey conducted by Imprev showed the vast majority of real estate leaders – 84% – say they are supportive of Upstream. Look for updates on UpstreamRE.com regarding the survey, questions I've encountered during my travels and more.
We seek to create efficiencies by reducing redundant entry, help brokers distribute deliberately by giving them control over who can access their data and inspire innovation by removing artificial barriers when the broker allows.