Regarding REcolorado’s Offer To Purchase IRES

RECOLORADO’S OFFER
REcolorado made an unsolicited offer to purchase IRES on Wednesday, December 7th.  We are disappointed the issue became public before IRES had an opportunity to discuss the proposal with our Owners (Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Loveland-Berthoud).

In an effort to maintain transparency, IRES leadership met with Owner representatives on December 19th, provided an overview of the offer and encouraged dialogue. No decision was made. IRES leadership will meet in January to continue the discussion. In order to allow IRES leadership to meet in January and continue the discussion, a 30 day extension was requested and granted.

As with any business proposition, IRES will weigh the pros and cons of the offer while maintaining laser focus on what is in the best interest of our customers.  IRES supports moving the industry forward to benefit brokers, appraisers and consumers.

There are many models for consolidation and merger surrounding us.  A solution and approach that best fits the parties involved while also serving the needs of its constituents is a lofty yet reasonable goal.

INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE
Our CEO, Lauren Hansen, is the 2017 President of CMLS (Council of MLS) and regularlyLauren Hansen participates in industry forums as a speaker and member of advisory councils and work-groups.  IRES Managers attend various industry and MLS conferences on an annual basis.  This experience fosters a deeper understanding of MLSs and the real estate industry as a whole for IRES and its management team.

Our past is proof that there are many approaches
and solutions for merger and consolidation.

IRES BACKGROUND
IRES’s roots are embedded in MLS consolidation and merger, having been formed 20 years ago with the combination of Tri-City Services, Inc. serving Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley, and the Market Area Database serving Boulder and Longmont.   Two different systems migrating into one gave brokers and appraisers access to properties throughout the region and was a benefit to brokers, appraisers and consumers.

Years passed and IRES became the MLS service provider for three additional Boards of Realtors®: Estes Park, Morgan County and Logan County.  Each situation was unique but became a win-win for all parties involved.

More recently, IRES significantly expanded the footprint of ColoProperty.com®, our cp-color-bluebg-square public facing website, by working with CREN (Colorado Real Estate Network) in SW Colorado, the Grand Junction Area Realtor® Association, and the Vail Board of Realtors®.  This expansion benefits brokers by increasing their listing exposure and consumers, offering a broader inventory of available properties.

Our past is proof that there are many approaches and solutions for merger and consolidation.

DATA SHARING, 2003-Present
Although not a new concept, data sharing is a solution in many areas, particularly those with overlapping markets such as ours.  In 2003, the introduction of CCM (Colorado Cooperative MLS) with Metrolist and Pikes Peak broadened access to listing inventory for 08inaug_4314real estate professionals across the Front Range of Colorado.  In 2008, IRES and Metrolist each received the Distinguished Service Award from the President of the Colorado Association of Realtors® for their efforts related to expanded and integrated data sharing.  IRES continues to support data sharing for the benefit of our brokers and appraisers.

 

WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT IRES
The IRES MLS system was launched in 2001 as a custom, Colorado-based platform and has continually evolved since then.  It was recently featured in an article by Matt Cohen about successful home grown systems entitled “Homegrown and Happy http://clareity.com/mls-homegrown-and-happy/.

From the outset, data integration and ease were the top priorities for our custom system. Today, IRES subscribers enjoy a menu of services and modules that are customarily third party options offered at an additional charge.  A few examples include Contracts, Showings module, Prospect websites, CloudCMA.   All of these are included in the IRES monthly fee, not to mention ListTrac, New Home Source, statewide public records, InfoSparks, RPR, Find, and listing syndication, including ColoProperty.com®.

A recent satisfaction survey of IRES users revealed 92% are either Extremely Satisfied or Satisfied with the IRES MLS system.

Feel free to post a public comment below or to privately send IRES your thoughts on this matter by clicking this link:
https://goo.gl/forms/kM9yimqlKx8vdSql2.

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25 Responses to Regarding REcolorado’s Offer To Purchase IRES

  1. A Y says:

    As long as REColorado will able to control the monthly cost at reasonable, it will be a pro for us as realtor members. In the past REColorado known before as Metrolist was charging users by minutes/ seconds, it’s definitely cost us a lot in using their service. This was one reason I left Metrolist/ REColorado in the past & switched to IRES. With IRES charging by monthly, Metrolist now charge by monthly flat fee. I hope with the merge, REColorado does not become one giant company who will charge users like in the past

  2. Eleanor says:

    It appears from the outside that RECOLORADO did not wish to honor their prior agreement with IRES in regards to data sharing. Not sure if that got settled. But it seems like they are trying to bully you into selling. I love IRES and find RECOLORADO very cumbersome to use. I won’t like the change for the above reasons.

  3. Jim M says:

    REColorado’s approach to technology and business development is poor at best. Their technology and system architecture, in 2016, remain strongly rooted in a pre-Internet mentality, at best. Their database system is kludgy to use and not user friendly. As someone who designed software years before becoming a Realtor, I find their continued support of their technology team a slap in the face to dues paying members such as myself. IRES is the far superior platform for features and ease of use, even though IRES continues to use frames in their system, rendering the mobile experience pretty awful.

    When you call REColorado, the first thing they say is “What is your member ID #?”. When you call IRES the first thing they say is “Hi, how can I help you?”. The difference between how each views their role and the support they provide to their members is as stark as that example. I have never felt like REColorado tries to help their members, and recent events like pulling out of the multi-year data sharing agreement has just made our jobs as agents that much more difficult to create CMAs and analyze neighborhood and town trends. REColorado’s CTMe platform is an awful experience to use and simply throws all data on the screen at once, rather than having a wizard-driven experience like you find with IRES’s integration to Docusign. I don’t feel as if REColorado takes a critical examination of their user interfaces, user designs and never has asked me for user feedback, unlike IRES.

    My vote, such as it were, is to NOT merge with REColorado. Competition is good and REColorado is the vastly inferior system to conduct business quickly and efficiently.

    • Mary Apple says:

      You nailed it!! They are incredibly difficult to work with as an agent and their web site is a maze. Very poor customer service, often confused phone interactions, ridiculous pricing, totally unresponsive. Mary Apple

  4. Crystal Sulik says:

    I love the message board, and the ease of use of IRES. I am also a Metrolist subscriber because I list property in Metro Denver. IRES is a superior platform, and the Metrolist platform is not a product that I like to use, as it is cumbersome, indeed. Most Metrolist subscribers also use CTMEContracts instead of Docusign. There will be significant challenges, but it would be easier to manage the blurry line between IRES and Metrolist at the southern boundart of Boulder/Longmont/Lafayette/Erie and the Northern boundary of Denver. If this merger happens, I hope IRES will become the platform of use, and the message board will be retained.

  5. Kathryn says:

    I decided to cut the cord from Metrolist a year or two ago. It was so cumbersome to use. I love, love, love IRES because it’s easy to use, fast, has Docusign integrated into it and it’s less expensive than the other. Don’t like and don’t care for CTMe in which you have to go to multiple classes to learn how to use. Docusign is very user friendly. I hope IRES is the preferred platform and we are not railroaded into buying into Metrolist and making this a big brother monopoly who dictates to us instead of listening to it’s users. We are the customers, make it easy for us to do business!

  6. Nanci says:

    hmmm. Nice to know that they think of lot of Ires. Interesting to have an opportunity to talk about merging. Not sure that Metrolist should be the lead. Should be Ires purchasing REColorado

  7. Mike Ramstack says:

    Having REColorado buy IRES would be a huge mistake, on the order of allowing non-Realtors to have access to the MLS. IRES is a great and user-friendly system. Please don’t sell it to an inferior provider.

  8. Tucker Group Real Estate says:

    IRES is overall a superior platform (just try to get information about real estate in any other state!) or spend time entering and updating information in RE Colorado. There are a few areas in which we could improve and perhaps integrate; but RE Colorado aka Metrolist is not the answer unless the two platforms can take the best from each and create an even more user-friendly service at the same monthly price with the same superior service provided by the IRES staff – which isn’t likely. The bigger the company the less personal attention we as the customers will likely receive.

  9. Steve says:

    REColorado sucks! I dropped a few years ago. As a member of IRES and LBAR I would oppose any sale. I am a secondary member of GSAR, and GJARA. I used to belong to Vail, and Grand County, and for a time Pikes Peak. All their systems, (many are MLS in a can 3rd party) beat the snot out of REColorado.

    The only reason they would extend a purchase offer is they realize their platform is garbage, and its cheaper to buy the best. Please tell them to go pound sand.

  10. Anna Barton, Owner/Broker, ABC Realty of Northern Colorado says:

    All the staff at IRES have been among the most knowledgeable, pleasant, and helpful people I’ve ever encountered. The platform works well and is continually improving. I would be very sorry to see them purchased and run by a company that gets consistently low marks from its users. I hope REColorado’s offer will not be accepted. It appears that healthy competition among providers in this arena is in the best interests of the real estate professionals using the services. The much better outcome would be REColorado honoring the data sharing agreement while IRES holds up the higher standard that encourages their competition to work a little harder.

  11. marla nation says:

    The only plus I can see is having access to data sharing again. I refuse to join recolorado again because it is so clunky and difficult to navigate, but I really feel handicapped by only having 6 months of information.

  12. Sounds like most of these comments about REcolorado are from before they made to switch from Prime Access to Matrix. They are profoundly different. As a Broker in Broomfield having 80% of all data as duplicates and IRES data being so inaccurate. It’s terrible. IRES is very 1990s and the Matrix system is super easy. I am in support of a merger or to completely do away with data share. Denver area realtors don’t need IRES data as much as Boulder area brokers need REcolorado data, so they can also work in the Denver metro area. The data share only serves to help BAR members. If merger doesn’t occur I’ll be pushing hard to end data share. I’d rather pay for two MLS systems then deal with duplicate listings in my market area. Especially with IRES data being so innacurate. Also the interactive portal for customers to use has been an enormous tool for service.

    • Steve says:

      Karen,
      I’ve used Prime. Its garbage compared to IRES. If you don’t want duplicates, simple uncheck the garbage box in IRES. Its that simple. As far as inaccurate data, if you enter data inaccurately you get in accurate data. Get over it.

      I have listings in Carbondale and Grand Junction – Its real simple to join another board and get access to their data.

      Look at the Grand Junction board. In a span of about three years they switched from CREN to another MLS, and now to Paragon. Stupidest moves ever when all they had to be done was for a broker to simply subscribe to another data source. Brokers suffered, and clients suffered.

      Why should everyone have to suffer because some seem to whine rather than self solve there own problem. I could care less about data sharing.

  13. Ann says:

    This is my second reply. I don’t see the first on this blog and there were only 2 when I wrote my first. I agree with the comments I see today (Dec 22). I recently used REColorado for a listing in Broomfield and it was not nearly as easy to use as Iresis. Much more difficult than in former years. Ires gives buyers much more info and Realtors many more opportunities for good service. I do LOVE IRESIS!!

  14. Ellen says:

    REColorado (Metrolist) thinks it is the watchdog of the real estate industry. Their unwillingness to share data for longer than a few months shows they want to control us.
    I was a member for years and do not want to deal with them again.

    Don’t like REColorado — please do not sell.

  15. CYNTHIA says:

    amazing—i gave you all my prior opinion on Dec 23rd and it was NOT posted. i see posting from Dec 27th—soooo skipping my post is not coool. i guess i was too blunt!!!!
    again—-reasons why NOT to sell, IRES has:
    1. superior software platform example: you can not download disclosures, brochure, plats, on & on, the software is clumsy–sprang from DOS operating systems (it seems), abundance of photos to download. ie verrrry user friendly
    2. staffing: ALWAYS the IRES staff can help graciously and knowingly any question i ask. Asking MetroList operators is like navigating in fog.
    3. can post URL custom website –easily.
    4. can have the option to use Docusign easily (more user friendly) than CTM with extra effort
    5. competition drives improvement in BOTH services
    6. less expensive—MetroList costs MUCH more.

    It is simple—SHARE the MLS data, as IRES and MetroList once did. forget control, money in your pocket from the sale, and serve the Realtors in the northern region. I can not imagine you all giving THIS sale a second thought! if you sell—we, Realtors, get an inferior software, inferior service, and costs us more money! NO upgrades for us though you all may get the money and run….
    NOTE: i will post this comment on an area Realtor blog myself since you all are NOT willing to share my prior comment…i have a voice and would like it shared. Thank you, cynthia

  16. satir says:

    I adore Ires, I currently pay for both RE Colorado, for the times I list in Denver, I always dread it in comparison to working with Ires. The staff is always kind,personal.and helpful.
    Ive been a broker in Boulder since 1992 and have lived through the evolution of mls weekly books..to today’s Ires, am very grateful for your responsive nature by heeding feedback..I truly hope you don’t sell us out..

  17. Shari E. says:

    EW! Agree that REColorado (formerly metrolist) is the worst to deal with. Not user friendly, software annoying, staff not as helpful, platform layout sucks. The ONLY time I have subscribed to Metrolist in the past was because it was an office requirement. As an independent I happily dropped them as soon as I could. They don’t integrate with Docusign and they bully you into using CTM contracts which can save time but also means that an agent can send YOUR client a live link to sign a document without your prior knowledge and once they sign it is locked. (actually had this happen in the past, and clients signed documents without my screening them prior to them signing)…not OK. Been very satisfied with IRES for over 12 years, love the contract templates, the ease of entering listings, overall great platform, best staff ever! PRAYING that IRES does not sell to REColorado as it is in the best interest of REColorado and NOT the best interest of the hardworking agents…

  18. Jack Adelfang says:

    Iresis is far superior to REcolorado. It is much more user friendly. REcolorado
    is mediocre at best and tries to control the entire front range. Everyone in NO Colo
    will suffer if it becomes one big MLS. Higher prices, less service will be the case with a monopoly.

    Regards,

    Jack Adelfang
    Managing Broker

  19. Paul Ross says:

    I also think this is a bad idea. The folks at IRES have always been great to work with and the platform is very easy to use. It makes no sense to me to sell to an inferior service, and i believe it would be a slap in the face to all your loyal clients.

    However, if the details of the transaction are such that RE Colorado was to convert to the IRES platform and management, then it might make sense depending on the details.. It is always in the details 🙂

  20. Richard says:

    Any offer from REColorado to ‘purchase’ IRES should be rejected. Even though I think having one MLS (and one public facing RE website) for the Front Range, if not the entire state, is one of the smartest decisions our industry could make to keep it relevant in the coming years; selling to REColorado would put in jeopardy the 20+ years of independence, originality and visionary work that has made IRES the incredible MLS it is.

    As illustrated by the recent decision to limit data sharing, the views of the leadership of REColorado have more in common with the old warning on MLS books: ‘this information is confidential and not to be provided to the public’ (not verbatim but close), than they do with the realities of today and where dissemination of information is heading. It is that kind of thinking that will open the door for an Uber or Amazon of real estate to come up with a better mouse trap and make us irrelevant to vast numbers of buyers and sellers.

    I would be in favor of having REColorado join IRES – along with some to be negotiated ownership and representation on the IRES board; I think that would be great step forward for our business and a template for others across the country. And it seems reasonable to expect that the costs per user would go down because of the very large increase in users – and even if it stayed the same the money and hassle saved by not having to belong to 2 MLS systems is justification enough. As part of any agreement the staff and leadership structure of IRES needs to remain and then see who and what from REColorado can be incorporated into a larger IRES.

    REColorado sees something in IRES that they want but apparently have concluded are incapable or doing for themselves; it’s OK to let them join and have some ownership if it will improve IRES and also benefit REColorado membership and our industry. But like the Little Red Hen, we who have been here from the beginning and have contributed to making this unique enterprise, should not be too willing to sell it to those that didn’t do any of the work.

  21. I agree with so many of the Realtors/Appraisers above Do NOT sell!!

  22. Mary M says:

    Is there any information that can be shared with us, that would help us to understand what this purchase would mean to us, as IRES users? How would things change? What would we lose and/or what would we gain?

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