Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Utah MLS CEO recognized for leadership, innovation 

Brad Bjelke was recently named the Shuttleworth MLS Executive of the Year for working to build a better marketplace.

October 24, 2022
2 minutes

Key points:

  • Much of Bjelke’s work has been to push for better client services through improved technology.
  • The current slowdown in real estate sales can provide an opportunity to focus on improving the industry.

As the real estate industry weathers the current economic transition, Brad Bjelke expects to see new opportunities for MLS organizations that seemed impossible just a few years ago.

Bjelke, CEO of UtahRealEstate.com, was recently named the eighth recipient of the Shuttleworth MLS Executive of the Year, given out by the Council of Multiple Listing Services. The annual award recognizes industry leaders “who have exhibited the highest qualities of leadership within their organizations and demonstrated a dedication to excellence in building a better marketplace,” according to CMLS.

Much of Bjelke’s push to move the industry forward has been through technology. Under Bjelke’s guidance, UtahRealEstate.com — which provides services to nearly all real estate professionals in the state of Utah  — recently completed a migration of its hardware to be 100% cloud-based, which Bjelke said makes it one of the fastest MLS software systems in the industry. He’s also one of the founders of MLS Aligned, which works with MLS organizations to build software that solves industry data-related issues. 

The slower housing market, Bjelke said, creates an opportunity for MLS organizations to show their value to clients. “The marketing tools and reach of the MLS provides listing data with the greatest exposure to the consumer, which in turn widens the audience of potential buyers,” Bjelke said in an email.

Taking advantage of this real estate slowdown, Bjelke said they plan on rolling out new software later this year as well as a new client collaboration tool in 2023. 

Bjelke believes this is also a good time for further consolidation in the industry. In recent years, the number of MLS organizations has decreased from more than 800 in 2016 to 529 at the start of September 2022, according to T3 Sixty data and the T3 Sixty 2022 Real Estate Almanac. (Note: T3 Sixty founder Stefan Swanepoel is also the founder of Real Estate News.)

“I’m hopeful that consolidation will speed up,” Bjelke said. “This [economic] slowdown allows for more time for discussions to improve efficiency.”

Write to Dave Gallagher.

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