It is the year 2001, the new millennium, the time of DVD players, wireless telephones, and the Internet. The age of the Internet has produced a more educated Internet-consumer who desires a more Internet-savvy REALTOR®, with the ability to use the Internet to buy and sell their homes. TREND’s mission is to "provide real estate professionals with superior real estate information services and make technology accessible through education, communication, and support."
Starting before 1999, TREND’s Product Development department began exploring web browser technology solutions for MLS data. With the aid of the Board of Directors and the Sales Advisory Council (SAC), they considered several web-programming companies, focusing on MLS technology that integrated listing information with e-mail, delivered additional data services such as street maps, and had overall ease-of-use, employing standard browser software like Internet Explorer.
TREND staff, Board of Directors, and SAC agreed that MLSWeb harnessed the flexibility and power of the Internet and would allow Realtors® to easily perform all MLS work over the Internet. They quickly recognized that the advanced features of MLSWeb made it the right choice. In May 1999, TREND contracted with Terradatum (now Homeseekers) to customize and install the MLSWeb product.
TREND has spent the last two years working diligently to customize and implement MLSWeb. Through this, TREND has stayed focused on the main objective – to provide a stable system that allows members to conduct business efficiently. We established a New Jersey conversion schedule based upon the expiration of the Interealty contract for Stellar. TREND and Homeseekers worked aggressively to complete the programming necessary to fully implement MLSWeb for our New Jersey members at that time.
Through the course of the yearlong "soft rollover" to MLSWeb, TREND members repeatedly told us that
it offers the features and power that they want in an MLS system. But towards the end of 2000, it became apparent that the overall speed and performance of MLSWeb was not acceptable for our customers. So, in order to improve the situation, TREND and Homeseekers conducted system stability tests and performed upgrades on the array of computers that make up
the MLS system.
We were unsatisfied with the results. TREND staff and leadership therefore decided it would not be in the best interest of our members to implement MLSWeb as a stand-alone system in January. TREND decided to delay the New Jersey Conversion to MLSWeb.
With this delay, TREND needed to ensure that New Jersey members still had a primary MLS to use. The contract for the Stellar system was scheduled to expire on January 31, 2001. So TREND successfully negotiated with Interealty for a short-term extension of the Stellar MLS System, temporarily giving New Jersey members a primary system to use for adding/changing.
TREND still believes that MLSWeb remains the best possible MLS system to keep members in pace with the increasing role of the Internet in the real estate transaction. We continually monitor the implementation and results of web-based products in other MLS’s, and we have not been swayed from our commitment to MLSWeb. It provides superior MLS features as well the navigational simplicity other MLS systems just cannot provide. Rita C. Johnson, President and CEO of TREND, has no doubt that "when Realtors® have the ability to access MLS data and do business anytime, from anywhere, on a local call, with enhanced functions, it will take them into the future of real estate and MLS services. MLSWeb is the right product to make this possible."
TREND continues to work aggressively with Homeseekers, establishing priorities and pushing for continued improvements on
the MLS, in order to deliver it as a stand-alone product. In the meantime, we are exploring all options considered in the best interest of our members. One of these options is the feasibility of modifying the Maestro system (the primary system in Pennsylvania and Delaware) in order to implement it in New Jersey as the system members use to add their listings. This will allow them to continue learning about and gaining confidence in MLSWeb. Look for updates on the progress of
the MLS in broadcast faxes, and our website.