Looking at the Technology Timeline, one can quickly see how fast the Industry mobilized to the new opportunity presented by the Web. It was also seen as a threat to many. From concept, to creation, to launch, much was done in such a short period of time with overwhelming pressure and under less than optimum circumstances.
Once it was decided that a public display portal was the right path, we had to gain industry acceptance as we built out the technology, and signed up MLSs. A believable message was created and delivered across the US, as the platform and content were readied.
At this point, I was charged with content, Richard Janssen with technology. I began with a small team that selected the RPA Pilots and out we went to procure MLS contracts. After my trip to Austin, the MLS team consisted of Walt Baczkowski, Carl DeMusz and myself. On the periphery was Derry Davidson. Derry was from Comdisco (along with Ed Evans, John Schladweiler, Cathy Hartke, and Jim Tebay). We added Roy Rainey and Jim Guy to the MLS team within a few months.
April 4, 1995: Richard Janssen’s first concept of REALTOR listings on the WWW explained in his letter to Walt Baczkowski.
June 3, 1995 : Barriers to Entry, early considerations – Create a plan to acquire MLS listing content created and distributed to RIN Staff , Leadership and BAH.
September 5, 1995: First MLS Contract Signed – Austin
Between September 5 and November 10, a Critical Mass of Listings were acquired and Realtor.com was formally launched
November 10-13, 1995: – Launch of RIN and REALTOR.com at NAR Conference in Atlanta.
Attached are status reports of the first MLSs to contract with Realtor.com for Display of listings for sale on the Web, including a report from Carl DeMusz. I think that after Austin, the next to see the future and sign was Teresa King-Kinney of Miami.