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IRES Subscriber Update May 22, 2018

IRES MLS

 

To Our Subscribers:

After working for more than a year to find a mutually beneficial path to merge IRES and REcolorado, we received a letter from REcolorado’s CEO on May 21st stating REcolorado is terminating all merger negotiations.

We are both surprised and disappointed by this. In fact, we were discussing a meeting with some of the owners of REcolorado to further the conversation just hours before receiving the letter of termination.

As most of you are aware, we have been working with REcolorado and a team that included consultants who specialize in such deals, MLS leadership, attorneys representing both organizations to ensure the needs of all stakeholders were fairly represented, members of the boards of directors and association leadership. We believed our collective goal was an agreement that was best for the industry we serve, not one organization or the other. All of us at IRES believed we were very close to such an agreement.

Despite this setback, we will continue to work toward solutions on behalf of our subscribers.

Let us be very clear: we believe that the concept of merging REcolorado and IRES is in the best interest of Colorado real estate brokers and those they serve. We continue to feel strongly some agreement for merged data access is in the best interest of our industry and consumers. At the same time, we also believe that we have a responsibility to you, our current subscribers, to ensure that any plan is both fair and beneficial to all affected brokers. We have been working diligently to ensure that specific points you told us were important to you — things like data access, system integration and even the timing of any changes — were being addressed in a way that met the needs of our subscribers. As you might imagine, with so many important stakeholders involved, negotiations over such things takes time.

Both IRES’s Board of Managers – chosen by you as the subscribers – and the Boards of REALTORS® who own IRES, felt a few points still needed adjustment and consideration before we finalized the agreement. As I noted earlier, it seemed we were moving in the right direction and we were surprised by this sudden ultimatum to drop deal terms we believed were in your best interest. Obviously, we are disappointed with REcolorado’s decision.

Where do we go from here? The management and ownership of IRES remain committed to providing the best service and information to our brokers. To that end, we believe consolidation could be a positive evolution for our industry in Colorado and would welcome the opportunity to resume discussions to find the best possible solution. Rest assured that IRES will continue to serve our subscribers with the quality of service and data you’ve come to expect. In short, it’s business as usual here at IRES as we approach real estate’s busiest time of the year.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

20 thoughts on “IRES Subscriber Update May 22, 2018”

  1. In my review of facts, it looks like REColorado bailed because IRES demanded that the merger be able to have a dismantling provision after one year, and that they also wanted to continue to operate separately and have agents continue to pay two bills. I am sure there are two versions of every story, so, Is this correct?

    1. Frankly I am totally disgusted with both sides for not reaching an agreement after so long. At this point I don’t care who is blaming who anymore. The lawyers are the only ones making out on this and we the Realtors have to double the work load to take care of our clients. If it was up to me I would get rid of both MLS’s and start new, with new people. These entities are for us and we are the ones paying the ultimate price. We deserve so much better! Increased fees and these two continue to squable like school yard children. Enough is enough!!

      1. Thank you for your comments Anne and Jeff. Please know there will be a FAQs post shortly. We appreciate your questions in the interim.

        Briefly, the withdrawal provision was recommended by legal counsel (not IRES) and is considered a current best practice with MLS mergers.

    2. I just spoke with the chairman of the board of directors of ReColorado because of my disgust with what has been going on and the inability of the 2 sides to come to agreement. To be honest after talking with him and doing more research I believe the FULL burden of not making this merger work lies with the IRES board of directors, their lack of leadership or desire to support their membership.
      ReColorado was willing to do the following.
      1. IRES would have 25% ownership even thought their membership would be much less than that (I believe it was 18%)
      2. IRES would make up 40% of the board and hold a super majority for 1 year
      3. Realtor Boards would have 9 months to convert to Matrix (which as a member of both MLS’s I can with full confidence say the MATRIX is an exceptional tool and that the IRES website is something out of the late 1990’s)
      4. Lauren Hanson would not lose her job.
      The note sent out from IRES to the membership is disingenuous at best. There was no “surprise”. Sometime within the last month or 2 the IRES board added a provision that IRES should be able to disband the merger and get all the money back at a potential cost of $2 million dollars to ReColorado and subsequently the membership.
      ReColorado gave the board of IRES an ultimatum that if they did not remove the provision that they could back out after a year then the merger talks would end.
      18 months trying to resolve something that should have be 60 days.

      I am tired of paying for mulitiple MLS memberships. For those of you who do most of your business in the crossover areas. I believe you should become a member of ReColorado and allow IRES to ultimately succumb to market demands.

  2. This is what is being published on REColorado:

    “The IRES Board of Managers continued to make conditional demands, including:

    1) the addition of a withdrawal provision that would give them the ability to walk away from the merged company after one year. (Could you imagine selling a home with a clause that rendered the contract null and void if the new homeowner chose? Yea…not a good idea.)

    2) that REcolorado and IRES continue to operate separately. This meant our subscribers would continue to use two systems, operate under two sets of rules, and pay two bills for at least a year. (We’re assuming that doesn’t sound like a merged company to you either.)”

    If this is true, then it appears the IRES Board of Managers isn’t really interested in “needs of our subscribers”. What’s in the best interest of the subscribers if for IRES to improve their system. Right now it’s terrible. Did the Board of Managers ever really ask anyone outside of the Board what is best? Doesn’t sound like it.

    1. Hi Arnie, thank you for your comment. Please know there will be a FAQs post shortly. We appreciate your questions in the interim.

      Briefly, the withdrawal provision was recommended by legal counsel (not IRES) and is considered a current best practice with MLS mergers. Stay tuned…

  3. I am super disappointed in the leadership of both MLSs. If you were doing what was right for the membership and the customer this would be done already. If you don’t start to adopt and change your ways you will be a dinosaur and be extinct.

    Scott Nordby

    1. Thank you for your comment, Scott. Please be on the lookout for a post of Merger Talk FAQs, we appreciate your questions in the interim.

      Briefly, the withdrawal provision was recommended by legal counsel (not IRES) and is considered a current best practice with MLS mergers. Stay tuned…

    2. Hi Scott. Our primary concern has always been what is in the best interest of our subscribers.
      We’ve built our entire organization around this philosophy.

      We’ve posted more about the withdrawal provision and clarified the statement about “operating separately”. You can find that here: https://ires-net.com/2018/05/24/answering-your-questions/ I hope this will answer some of the concerns you may have, but I do understand that, at this time, it isn’t the solution you’re seeking.

      We have always been and continue to be willing to data share, and are ready to implement as soon as the data is available to us. While this is not a long term solution, it does provide immediate relief to brokers.

      –JP Pleitner; Product Manager

  4. REcolorado has chosen to end negotiations is because IRES presented a withdrawal provision, which would essentially force the operation of two companies, with the ability to reverse the merger, thereby further fragmenting the market, and putting us back in the position we are in now. Having the ability to withdraw after a year does not show a committed partner in creating unity across the front range. Brokers and agents need to be confident that they will have a permanent long-term solution and not worry that after a year it all dissolves.

    1. Thank you for your comment, John. We are working on getting a more detailed response out via FAQs soon, and appreciate your questions in the interim.

      Briefly, the withdrawal provision was recommended by legal counsel (not IRES) and is considered a current best practice with MLS mergers. Stay tuned…

  5. ReColorado, Realist, and their controlling interests CoreLogic, already are way too big and if realtors think they are working in their best interest, then those need to have their head examined. Look to see how big Core Logic already is, how much data they provide and how much they control of that data and how it’s presented. When they get big enough, they won’t need realtors, they will sell for flat fees, online, and the appraiser’s will be replaced by AVM’s.
    Check out Wiki to see how much they control already, and imagine a world with no realtors…….

  6. I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if dozens of appraisers suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

  7. This is all very interesting, will be looking forward to hearing more about the process and challenges in the future.

  8. It is all ridiculous. Took a great system and messed it up so that they could charge more. Just my opinion and probably will get a rash of negative comments, but things worked way better before.

    1. Hi Paul, JP here. I’m the product manager with IRES MLS. We are very agile with system development and consider user feedback as top priority. I would greatly appreciate learning more on what you feel needs improvement within IRESis.

      If this is regarding data share, we have always been and continue to be willing to data share. We are ready to implement as soon as the data is available to us. While this is not a long term solution, it does provide immediate relief to brokers in our market.

      –JP Pleitner, Product Manager

  9. Ceasing the data sharing during negotiations of the past year or so was a demonstration of a total disregard for the needs and desires of your customer base. Perhaps you can decide to be consumer focused and go back to data sharing while you two organizations continue to find new ways to hasten down the path to becoming a non-essential part of the industry.

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