How well do you know the team behind the scenes of content delivery and implementation to top real estate, publishing, and technology companies? In the Inside Onboard series, you will get to know our specialists and more about how we are working to innovate on behalf of our clients. First up is Kim Prior, Director of MLS Market Development.
OB: What does your role entail? KP: Building relationships with MLS executives and the MLS community. Understanding current challenges and opportunities with the goal of improving agent/member services and the MLSs sustainable profitability. Because Onboard is also a leading IDX provider, I educate MLSs to the full scope of what we do (and what's possible) and liaison with our MLS acquisition team to ensure all parties are in sync when we identify opportunities for Onboard to provide products and services to an MLS or an MLS technology company - whether that's for member services, consumer facing websites or enhancing search functionality. I work closely with our in-house sales team to accomplish that.
OB: Tell us a little bit about where you're from and where you live now. KP: I was born and raised in Northern NJ and moved to Northern California in 1999 for career advancement. Life in Northern California is very different from life in the NJ/NY area. There's an emphasis on outdoor activities due to the mild year-round climate and 7/8 months of sunshine. I get bored easily, so the diversity of NorCal keeps me interested. I enjoy snowy fun in Lake Tahoe, the dramatic Monterey coast, the bounty of the Napa Valley, the contemporary buzz of San Francisco and the quiet majesty of the Coastal Redwood Forests. That's not even mentioning the fun little towns you can accidentally stumble upon during a random weekend drive.
OB: What are you passionate about? KP: My amazing 3-yr old son Hudson West - he's brilliant! Outgoing, funny, energetic and very snuggly. We do everything together - our favorite date is the Farmer's Market. Also, cooking and gastronomy: I am a gourmet cook and I'm a natural (no cookbooks). I have been told "open a restaurant" by everyone (not exaggerating) who eats my food - and I feed a lot of people! My signature dish is a creme brulee french toast strata with orange blossom syrup. And yes, my son cooks with me - he pulls up his little stool and smells all the herbs and ingredients. His favorite? Keffir lime. OB: How has your former real estate and business development leadership experience shaped your role at Onboard? KP: I worked with a very large Regional Brokerage in marketing, public relations and e-commerce divisions for nearly ten years. I am intimate with the Realtor DNA, the challenges that face Brokers and, the arsenal that's required to recruit and retain the best and brightest. I also have significant experience working with analytics and MLSs - so I understand the unique and challenging role that an MLS has with the Brokers/members, the public and the data. Pulling all of those together in my Onboard role means that I can provide experience, insight, foresight and some empathy when it's called for! I understand that things aren't always black and white and can provide sensible, scalable solutions.
OB: What is the biggest challenge facing MLS associations today? KP: Change and evolution. And, because every MLS is a little different (cultural, philosophical, organizational/hierarchical, business model, etc.) change and evolution means something different to each and every one of them. When we look at how technology, information and innovation has impacted our world (people, places, things) and bring that down to our particular business, it typically translates to two words: ACTION NOW. OB: What value can Onboard bring to today's MLS? KP: Onboard's "job" as an innovator has always been to stay ahead of the consumer curve. We help our clients navigate through change by innovating great things and having the implementation expertise to pull it off quickly and effectively. When we work with an MLS at the strategic level, we assess the whole picture. Evaluating the environment, the consumer and the possibilities. We find new, unexpected ways of doing "expected" things and great things happen. We grow. We meet the needs of consumers and agents. The real value is in being so much more than just a widget, a product, a vendor...it's bringing experience, incredible depth of data and technology to the table. It's about the ability to build something fantastic together and then, seeing it grow...for a long time.