Upstream Study Shows Strong Real Estate Industry Support

A new study reveals that real estate leaders are nearly unanimous in support of Upstream, a new real estate brokerage-driven effort to streamline listing and sales data and its online delivery. The vast majority of real estate leaders – 84 percent – say they are supportive of Upstream.

The new independent research by Imprev surveyed more than 300 broker/owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms that were responsible for more than half of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year.

The study showed that 57 percent of top real estate executives surveyed say they are “very supportive” of Upstream, and 27 percent say they are “supportive.”  Only 2 percent say they are “not at all supportive,” and 14 percent say they are “somewhat supportive.”

“The overall endorsement of Upstream is impressive,” says Renwick Congdon, CEO of Imprev, who spearheads the automated marketing services firm and created the semi-annual Thought Leader Survey series in 2012. “With few exceptions, the real estate industry is showing incredible resolve in getting behind Upstream early on. This new study shows that most real estate leaders not only say that Upstream will be vital to how real estate listing and sales data is managed end-to-end, but are highly confident that this new venture – still in its infancy – will succeed.”

The research shows that more than four out of five (84 percent) top real estate executives say they believe Upstream will be “important” to some degree for their future data needs. 53 percent say Upstream will be “very important,” and 31 percent say it will be “important.” Thirteen percent say Upstream will be “somewhat important,” and just 3 percent say it will not be important.

Moreover, a vast majority of real estate leaders say that Upstream will succeed. Nearly two in three (64 percent) of top real estate executives say they are “confident” (38 percent) or very confident” (26 percent) that Upstream will be successful.

But the research also surfaced several challenges that Upstream faces, including a significant “knowledge gap” in the industry. While most top real estate leaders say they are familiar with Upstream (79 percent), they note that real estate agents and mortgage lenders are not. The majority (57 percent) of top real estate executives believe that lenders have “no knowledge” about Upstream and many (41 percent) believe that real estate agents are also largely unfamiliar with Upstream.

And while Upstream leadership has repeatedly said that it is not attempting to create a “national MLS,” the study shows some leaders still misunderstand Upstream’s mission. Nearly one in six top real estate executives agreed with the statement “Upstream is the first effort to create a nationwide MLS of listing data from brokerages” (16 percent).

Among the study’s other key findings:

Protecting data Integrityis cited as the most valuable benefit of Upstream: 83 percent of top real estate executives say that Upstream’s most valuable benefit is to “Protect data integrity and reduce listing errors by using one centralized, accurate data source.”

Efficiency” is Upstream’s second most valuable benefit: 80 percent of top real estate executives say that Upstream’s most valuable benefit is to “Provide single point of data entry, eliminating the need to enter the listing data multiple times/places.”

Upstream will help marketing automation, social media and advertising efforts: 88 percent of real estate leaders agree that “Upstream is a good solution for providing the data needed for automating marketing and advertising such as property websites, Facebook posts and advertising, YouTube videos, email, Google ads, flyers, brochures, etc. of a brokerages’ listings.”

The full Thought Leader Survey report can be downloaded here.

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