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There are two fundamental problems with most real estate software applications…

1. Often times features are added in an attempt to make the core product ‘do more’ than it was originally designed to do. Such as an IDX adding an email auto-responder system. These attempts often result in limited functionality of the add-on, serious software bloat, and questionable increased benefits.

2. Software solutions do not communicate with each other. My chosen CRM doesn’t integrate with my preferred email solution or my lockbox solution doesn’t talk to my IDX. Why can’t I auto-generate a single property website from my photo slide show solution?

Why can’t a few leading vendors get together and agree upon a base open API from which to build inter-connectivity? Wouldn’t it be better for an IDX vendor just to focus on making their IDX product better, instead of having to cobble together a drip email campaign as well? I know agents would love to eliminate duplicate entry of data and also be able to choose the best service in each product category, instead of having to struggle with frustrations of one solution trying to be all things.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, I suggest real estate software vendors work with to integrate better with existing solutions. It’s actually sad to see the doesn’t even have a ‘real estate’ category on its directory. Real Estate has to be one of the largest small business industries in the country. Almost every single licensee is a small business (save a few Redfin and ZipRealty employees) in and of themselves. Heck, there could even be a Real Estate Business Web in and of itself.

Wouldn’t it be better (for everyone) if software solutions could just focus on what they do best? If you’re an IDX company, make the best damn IDX ever and integrate the API of some CRM solutions to give your clients options. There are already many killer email marketing services, why does my transaction manager try to recreate that wheel? I’m sure these vendors would operate more efficiently by focusing on their core product. This may even save them money (and there customers too) by having less staff and less development of ‘add-on’ bloat.

Here is the Small Business Web’s purpose statement:

“The Small Business Web is a movement to bring together like-minded, customer-obsessed software companies to integrate our respective products and make life easier for small businesses. While there are many products available for small business owners on the Web, the approach we’re taking is to use each others APIs to provide a high-level of integration between these applications and create a more seamless experience for our customers.”

Here is a video illustrating the Small Business Web’s benefits:

Who will be the first real estate software vendor to adopt the Small Business Web open API? or am I dreaming again?