People on the Move
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

People on the Move: ‘Technological trailblazer’ named CEO of San Diego MLS 

Saul Klein, who helped push real estate online in the '90s and served in numerous tech and leadership roles, is the new CEO and director of SDMLS.

January 4, 2024
3 minutes

Editor's note: As an industry with millions of agents and over 100,000 brokerage companies, new leaders rise to the top every day. Here we highlight executives and other notable leaders who've recently taken on roles that influence the residential real estate landscape. 

Saul Klein, CEO and Director, SDMLS.
Saul Klein, CEO and Director, SDMLS.

A longtime real estate industry consultant and entrepreneur has been tapped to lead the San Diego Multiple Listing Service.

Saul Klein, who has been a California real estate broker since 1977, is the new CEO and director of SDMLS. A veteran in the real estate technology space, Klein played a key role in driving internet adoption within the real estate industry. He was one of the creators of RealTalk, first developed for the National Association of Realtors in 1995, and an original member of the team where he was instrumental in the search portal's development and launch, according to his LinkedIn page.

In his new role, Klein will handle day-to-day operations at SDMLS, the largest local MLS in California with around 20,000 subscribers, and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR). Klein has longstanding ties to SDAR, holding multiple leadership roles within the association in the 1990s.

"I am thrilled to once again participate in the operation and growth of the MLS in San Diego County, at this critical period in the history of MLS nationwide. San Diego is my home and where I began my real estate career 48 years ago," said Klein in a news release.

In addition to helping propel the industry into the Internet Age, Klein created and delivered ePRO, the online Technology Certification Program for NAR, and has been an innovator in MLS data distribution, creating "Opt Out Syndication" for MLSs. He previously held leadership roles at prominent real estate technology companies including Yardi and Point2.

"With an unparalleled track record as a technological trailblazer in real estate and a seasoned data expert, Saul brings a wealth of experience to SDMLS," said SDAR CEO Cory Shepard. 

"Under his leadership, SDMLS is on the verge of implementing an innovative and carefully crafted long-term strategy," Shepard added.

With Klein's hiring, both SDMLS and SDAR now have recently installed leaders. Shepard moved into the role of CEO at SDAR in July, replacing Mike Mercurio, who was accused of embezzlement and is currently involved in a lawsuit.

When he was hired, Shepard shared an open letter to members, pledging his commitment to leading the organization into a new chapter that would strengthen the bond between members and the association.

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