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Competition in mobile MLS apps heats up

By January 12, 2015 One Comment

Mobile access to one of a real estate agent’s most valuable tools — the multiple listing service — is often a top priority when MLSs choose their vendor. Today, FBS — an MLS system vendor that serves nearly 160,000 real estate professionals — has filled out its mobile offerings with the launch of an Android app for its Flexmls system.

The Android app includes the same key features as FBS’ Flexmls iPhone app, launched in May. These include the ability to find listings nearby with one tap; draw on a search map to view listings in a specific area; filter searches using saved “quick search” templates; run hot sheets; see listings in gallery, list and map views; and access all details for each listing, including showing information, agent details and documents.

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Agents can find listings by MLS number, address or agent name; quickly recommend listings to clients; and share listings by email. The Android app syncs with Flexmls Web, the desktop version of Flexmls, so that an agent can begin an action out in the field and finish it at the office, or vice versa.

Flexmls for Android also includes a new “map clusters” feature that groups large sets of listings together to make the map easier to navigate and particularly zoom in, the company said in a blog post.

Fargo, North Dakota-based FBS also has a mobile site version of Flexmls, updated in August, and is working on native tablet versions, the first set to be released the first half of this year.

In October, FBS competitor CoreLogic acquired the technology behind its mobile multiple listing service app, GoMLS, from mobile tech company DoApp Inc. and hired seven of DoApp’s 17 employees. In doing so, CoreLogic said it has “ambitious goals for mobility” and planned to add new features to GoMLS, which serves more than 60 MLSs representing over 500,000 real estate professionals. CoreLogic offers iPhone, iPad and Android versions of GoMLS.

Other mobile MLS apps in this space include Homesnap Pro and Mobile Realty Apps’ HomeSpotter, both of which are making attempts to woo MLSs. In July, Homesnap began offering its app free to MLSs for a year and has thus far inked deals with MLSs representing 137,000 agents and brokers.

In September, Mobile Realty Apps began offering a free version of HomeSpotter in a play to get the app out to more agents and to upsell them to premium versions. At least 25 MLSs, including the nation’s largest, have bought the premium version of HomeSpotter.

Both Homesnap Pro and HomeSpotter are available for iPhone and Android devices.

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