Todd Harvey
REALTOR®,
Current Board Member
"Looking Forward From the Beginning"
In mid-1996, MTRMLS set in motion a development project to implement a browser-based, Internet platform for system development. The two goals in mind for that initiative were to ensure that:
 
  • Any system developed be fully capable of utilizing emerging technologies; and Realtors® remain at the center of the real estate transaction.
     
  • The result of the project was the most widely adopted Internet application in the MLS market at that time.

MTRMLS was the first large MLS in the country to successfully utilize an Internet-based platform for its primary system. The system, branded as RealTracs® by MTRMLS, was developed MarketLinx Solutions, a Knoxville, Tennessee based company that specialized in system design and web application development.

The complete conversion to RealTracs® occurred on December 28, 1997. Middle Tennessee Realtors® converted from a text-based system to a Microsoft Windows, browser-based application. In addition, and for the first time, MTRMLS assumed all responsibility for training, technical support, and customer support
services.

MTRMLS also expanded the scope of services to the Realtor® community, assuming responsibilities for
Internet access, email, photography and the continuous development of a comprehensive MLS system.
 
“Change does not come easily to everyone. At the time the conversion was made to the browser-based application, there were many who did not trust technology and were much more comfortable with the status quo. However, due to the choices made by MTRMLS leaders at the time and a deep commitment to training, real estate professions in Middle Tennessee took a quantum step forward well before most of the rest of the entire country.”
"A Look Back"
Bobby Wood
REALTOR®,
Original Board Member
Being one of the original board members of what was then the Middle Tennessee Regional Multiple Listing
Service and is now known as RealTracs provides some interesting perspective as we celebrate 20 years of
successful operation.
 
In 1996, home sales were about one half of what they are today and MLS books were the dominant way
listing information was shared between brokers.  For those who were on the “cutting edge” of technology
a modem, dumb terminal and mobile fax machine were impressive.
 
It was an exciting time, though, as new technology continued to explode into business processes and as
online, dial-up services were coming of age.  The Internet was the topic of magazine articles.
 
In Middle Tennessee in 1996, there were actually four MLSs in operation, with discussion of more being
initiated. If that were to be the case, the market in this region would have become more complicated and
expensive for sellers, buyers and real estate professionals.
 
Fortunately, the leadership of seven area Realtor® associations saw that there was a better path to follow
the establishment of a regional multiple listing service.  Middle Tennessee is a natural economic market, and
the Realtors® could more easily serve their customers and clients in this area with access to all the listing
data.
 
It took vision, commitment and cooperation in order to create the regional MLS - just like it takes those same characteristics to make real estate transactions happen. That vision, guided by the officers and directors over our 20 year history and lived out daily by our exceptional CEO and staff has provided the reason for this 20th Anniversary Celebration - and the anticipation of continued success in the future.
Lisa Culp Taylor
REALTOR®,
Past Board Member
"A Look Ahead"
Looking back 20 years is much easier to do than looking ahead 20 years. With the amount of change that we have seen in the last 20 years, it seems like the velocity of progress and development is just getting faster. Technology alone is a perfect example of that.

The leadership team of RealTracs is already working on new platforms and processes that will allow area real estate professionals to operate well in the technology environment of the next few years. And, as they continue to prove every day, they are committed to having the real estate professionals using the system being thoroughly trained so they can maximize its use.

In addition to just providing the operating platform so that transactions can be accomplished with the greatest efficiency, they also understand the emerging trends impacting the profession. A few years ago, the MLS was basically not just the primary source of real estate information; it was the only source. Now there are multiple sources where people can find information on available homes and properties.

Knowing what data is available, who it belongs to, how current it is, and how it is distributed are all part of what is addressed by the leadership and management side of the MLS.
 
The trends that are emerging currently will be changed even more in the years ahead. It is more important
than ever that RealTracs not only keeps a clear vision and “True North,” but that they own it, live it and apply it every day to make the right decisions that will continue building on its foundation of success for many years to come.
 
It is a pleasure to celebrate this 20th Anniversary. It is also encouraging and affirming to know we can look forward to another celebration based on the successes we know are in our future!
"Starting the Journey"
Price Lechleiter
REALTOR®,
Chairman of the Board
20 years ago MTRMLS, Incorporated, now known as RealTracs®, was formed as a for-profit, Tennessee
Corporation. The company was officially chartered as a regional multiple listing service on January 2, 1996.
 
Seven Realtor® associations in Middle Tennessee demonstrated uncommon leadership and cooperation by
merging four independent MLS operations and starting with 3,735 users in 418 offices. There are now
10,950 Users in 1,250 Realtor® offices.
 
Over its 20 years of operation, MTRMLS has been guided by a clear vision and purpose, an understanding
of its clients and a desire to be of excellent service in the present while preparing and providing for a
prosperous future.
 
Since its formation, the company has made dramatic operational changes to enhance services provided to
its users. The directors and staff of MTRMLS implemented these changes to:
 
  • Better serve their customers’ MLS information requirements
  • Provide first-rate user training and technical support
  • Create opportunities for Realtors® to better manage the real estate transaction
  • Provide an easy to use, quality-controlled system that can grow and adapt quickly to changing business
    needs and technology improvements
 
“As a veteran real estate professional with more than 24 years of experience, it is easy for me to attest to major changes that have impacted virtually every part of this profession. From transaction processes to new laws and from websites to online documents and signatures, the changes have often brought significant challenges. They also created opportunities. Through all of that, a rock-solid foundation provided by RealTracs has allowed the real estate market in Middle Tennessee to function accurately and efficiently.”