At IRES we put our technology at the forefront of everything we do, which is why we want to give our customers an opportunity meet a key member of our technology team: CTO Colby Ackerfield.
Colby has a long history with IRES and has been fundamental in shaping the development of our MLS system over the years. Ackerfield was working with RealGo, a company that was developing websites and apps for the local brokers, when RealGo approached IRES about developing an online MLS system. They secured our contract in 2001.
“We were developing that product along with some other real estate products,” said Ackerfield. “When about five years in, the owner decided to retire and move on.”
At that point, IRES decided to buy RealGo and RealGo devoted all of its attention to providing technical expertise for the IRES MLS, adding new functionality and features.
IRES is one of the only MLS systems that has an in-house technology team and having that team offers numerous advantages. Having an in-house development team allows us to target specific customer needs and rapidly develop the best solution on the market.
“We focus specifically on IRES’ needs and tailoring products and services for IRES,” said Ackerfield. “We have the option to build something more specific to what we need and IRES has the support of our development team.”
The technology team is able to add features or change aspects of the system quickly while meeting our lofty standards. We have the confidence to know these changes and additions will happen when we need them to, rather than waiting around for them to take place.
“If we have specific market demand, those aren’t going into a queue — that doesn’t provide an advantage for our market,” said Ackerfield. “We’re able to deliver what they want, when they want, as our priority.”
The technology team occasionally turns to third-party products and other technology vendors for inspiration, as well.
“If we meet tech vendors who are doing something cool, we can get them in the pipeline and integrate with them,” said Ackerfield. “Graphiq evolved out of one of those meetings.”
Having an in-house development team allows for a higher quality MLS system and easy, quick integration for a more seamless product on the back end. Developing a high-quality MLS system and integrating state-of-the-art resources that both save our customers time and allow them to educate their own clients is both challenging and rewarding, according to Ackerfield.
“It’s a really great job — there’s never any shortage of ideas,” said Ackerfield. “There’s a thousand things to do and it can be a challenging job. How do we develop something that provides benefit to our users with the resources we have? Finding that balance is one of the more challenging and rewarding parts of my job.”