BeachesMLS CEO Dionna Hall: 'MLSs are more forward-thinking than ever'
Hall, whose organization serves 41,000 members in South Florida, believes a willingness to explore new ideas is key to thriving in a changing industry.
- New collaborations among the nation’s MLSs and associations are helping to reshape the real estate landscape.
- “The realtor community, MLS industry and overall real estate environment are changing at record pace,” Hall said.
- Technology and data sharing can help agents be more efficient and competitive.
Editor's note: Each year, the Swanepoel Power 200 recognizes the most powerful and influential leaders in residential real estate. In this series of SP 200 Inside Look interviews, we're diving deeper and learning about these top leaders' aspirations and accomplishments, and the opportunities they see in the year ahead.
Advancements in technology and large-scale collaborations are two of the dynamics driving and reshaping the real estate industry.
For Dionna Hall, the No. 1 priority in this shifting landscape is "to make the strategic decisions and moves that best position our 41,000 brokers and agents to professionally represent their clients."
Hall leads the Broward, Palm Beaches & St. Lucie Realtors and BeachesMLS in South Florida, a region that has continued to see growth despite a cooling market.
A 20-year veteran of the industry, Hall said that many of the MLSs and associations that support agents and broker-owners are innovators leading a new era of partnerships to "productively influence the future of the industry." The South Florida organizations she leads are among them.
As a prime example, Hall cited data sharing underway between BeachesMLS and the nation's two largest MLSs — BrightMLS and California Regional MLS (CRMLS). Members are able to see property listings and sales histories across the three MLSs.
"This data share is particularly meaningful to our members because the geographic service area of these MLSs encompass a large number of consumers who are migrating to South Florida," she said. "There is a long history of mid-Atlantic consumers purchasing property in our area, and we are now experiencing a record number of Californians relocating to South Florida."
Hall has spent her career working at South Florida real estate associations and MLSs. The associations she represents are among the nation's largest and leaders in collaborating for the benefit of agents and consumers, a growing trend among MLSs and associations.
Better cooperation will have a significant impact in critical areas that include "putting brokers back in control of their MLS data," Hall said.
She sees an "overall mindset change in the MLS space… MLSs are more forward-thinking than ever; they are actively seeking collaboration with like-minded MLSs and vendors," Hall said.
'Continually re-evaluating the landscape'
A willingness to explore new concepts and ideas — as well as to revisit existing policies and decisions — are key to thriving in the fast-changing industry, Hall said.
"One needs to continually re-evaluate the landscape, strategic goals and look at things with a fresh set of eyes [to] make timely decisions and capitalize on opportunities that might not have been visible before," Hall said.
A key component for real estate leaders in the midst of disruption and change is "surrounding yourself with exceptional people that you feel are leaders and pacesetters in their arena," Hall said. "Whether it's your team of professional staff, colleagues or personal peers — your sphere of influence plays a significant role in how you view and approach the world."
Staying connected in a housing market 'hotspot'
Hall spends a lot of her time traveling 120 miles of South Florida coastline for in-person meetings and conferences. She frequently talks with broker-owners, agents and other key players to understand how the organizations she leads can best serve their members.
"South Florida continues to be a hotspot in the nation. We are fortunate that consumers throughout the country desire to live in a warm climate, with a beautiful coastal landscape," Hall said.
Like much of the rest of the nation, the Sunshine State's housing sector in 2022 was affected by inflation, higher interest rates and a slowdown in the overheated real estate marketplace.
But Hall said she is confident that South Florida's "favorable tax structure and open-minded regulations provide an atmosphere that promotes new housing opportunities and a pleasant environment for those who currently live here."
Technology helps agents 'practice their craft without physical borders'
Looking ahead, Hall emphasized the growing importance of technology to help agents stay competitive, deliver services and meet consumer demand. "Technology advancements have made it possible for realtors to practice their craft without physical borders and represent clients in a global capacity," Hall said.
Her organizations are placing a greater focus on providing members with the tech products, training and support they need to thrive. "Customer service is the backbone of our members' business; it's their value-add to customers and clients, and we view our partnerships with our members in a very similar light," she said.
"To that end, we are doubling down on our commitment to provide top-notch service to our members, when and where they need us."