October 2016

MLS of Hilton Head Island: 40th Anniversary Symposium & Celebration

Author: Kitty Bartell

Forty years ago, Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island (HHIMLS) began a history of serving the real estate industry on Hilton Head Island and the surrounding areas. Always ahead of the technology curve and only three years into the endeavor (it was 1979, and getting online was still nearly the stuff of science fiction), chief executive officer Yvette Acuff had an IBM Series I with phone lines connected to TI Terminals in local brokerage offices. Marking the beginning of MLS database searches, HHIMLS made a commitment to provide its members with the most up-to-date technologies possible. Today, members have access to 20 real estate data services, including, a lock box system of E-Keys operated via Smartphone, a Virtual Tour Creator enabling Realtors to include video tours within an MLS listing, along with cutting edge apps, and advanced data management.

In their true technology-focused, member-centric fashion, HHIMLS is celebrating their anniversary with a two-day symposium where real estate professionals will gather new market information, meet successful industry professionals, receive educational training, network with peers and industry partners, along with doing a bit of celebrating. Brimming with some of the best minds and forward thinkers in the areas of real estate, technology, and business building, Hilton Head Island MLS Real Estate Tech Talks will be presented in a TED Talk-style format on November 16 and 17 at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa in Palmetto Dunes. TED Talks are a forum for expert speakers on education, business, science, technology and creativity. Inspired to create a TED Talk-type format for the anniversary event, chief operating officer Colette Stevenson said, “We thought it was something everybody could relate to; it’s not intimidating.”

Opportunity trainer and former NFL wide receiver JJ Birden will be the event’s keynote speaker on Wednesday, November 16. Working with individuals, teams, corporations, and organizations, Birden helps clients seize and make the most of opportunities. “JJ will talk about how he went from underdog (at one time he was the smallest player in the NFL), to the NFL, to being a fantastic sales person,” Stevenson said. “He is very in-tune with marketing yourself. That’s so important when you’re a real estate agent, because you are your brand, and he is his brand. He understands marketing and he understands personal relationships. He will also be talking about how to react to change.”

HHIMLS is also thrilled to be welcoming presenters to the main theater: Curt Beardsley from Zillow, Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Core Logic, and a representative from brokerage giant Long & Foster out of Washington, D.C.
Beardsley will talk about connecting with today’s home shoppers, providing actionable information on how to best utilize their sites, along with connecting with their audience. Nothaft will bring the latest information on technology and research from Core Logic. “Frank Nothaft has a very broad view and will give information that people haven’t heard before,” Stevenson said. Stevenson anticipates learning a great deal and generating lively discussions having the opportunity to hear from Long & Foster, members of MRIS, the largest MLS in the country with 80,000 members. The talk will include information about how specialty markets (similar to Hilton Head Island) operate successfully within the large MRIS system.

In addition to the main theater, talks will take place in three additional theaters at the symposium. “The smaller theater events will be more focused on a specific topic or resource,” Stevenson said. There will also be a mayoral panel discussion covering what’s new and exciting in the Lowcountry. Hilton Head Island MLS Real Estate Tech Talks, including the Celebration Reception on Thursday evening, November 17, is free to members (reservations required). The event is also open to other MLSs, and other real estate-related professionals including mortgage companies, banks, insurance companies, appraisers, inspectors, etc.

Why tech talks? “You need to see the options,” Stevenson said. “You need to see different models of how the industry is working well. We’re getting ready to be bombarded with a lot of different products. Not everyone is going to be doing business the same way anymore, so the MLS is going to have to embrace all of that and find a way to work within it. We need to be open-minded and see how things work in other areas. We hope these tech talks will open up ideas of how to incorporate some of these changes into how our members do business.”

Celebrating 40 years of supporting local Realtors, HHIMLS continues to operate ahead of the curve of change. Hilton Head Island MLS Real Estate Tech Talks will be two days of education, connection, and celebration, preparing for the next 40.

For more information, please call (843) 785-9696 or visit hiltonheadmls.com. To register for the Hilton Head Island MLS Real Estate Tech Talks please visit eventzilla.net/web/event/2016-hhimls-real-estate-tech-talks-2138880187.

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