Bright MLS Hires a CMO. Great… But Why?

From Businesswire, we get “Bright MLS Strengthens Leadership Team with Award-Winning Marketing Executive Amit Kulkarni as its New Chief Marketing Officer“:

Bright MLS, one of the nation’s leading multiple listing services announced today that real estate industry brand innovator Amit Kulkarni has joined the company’s executive leadership team as Chief Marketing Officer to lead the company’s integrated marketing and brand strategies. The appointment comes at a time of unprecedented demand and influx of investments in real estate technology.

Kulkarni does sound like someone with an extraordinarily strong background in marketing:

Kulkarni joins Bright with over two decades of experience leading marketing, creative and brand teams, and has a track record of marrying data and insights with creativity to serve as a catalyst for growth. In his previous role leading the brand team at, Kulkarni built the company’s in-house agency, repositioned the brand, and delivered a number of breakthrough campaigns that helped grow the audience from 12 million monthly unique users (UUs) to over 100 million monthly UUs today.

All good. Congratulations to both Bright MLS and to Mr. Kulkarni.

However… I can’t help but ask, why does an MLS need a CMO in the first place?

Last I checked, Bright MLS is a local monopoly with 100% market share in its market area throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. They have over 100K subscribers, none of whom have any alternative for MLS services where Bright MLS exists. At, Kulkarni had to do a ton of marketing to beat out Zillow and Trulia and other portals, to get eyeballs and consumer traffic and ad sales and whatever else.

When you have monopoly power, what marketing work is there to do? What branding is necessary when your customers have no other choice? Premium products maybe?

I don’t know, since I haven’t looked at Bright MLS’s offerings recently, but do they have so much premium add-on products that they have an entire marketing department, which necessitates hiring a Chief Marketing Officer? If so, good for them. I was just wondering why an MLS needs a CMO.


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Rob Hahn

Rob Hahn

Managing Partner of 7DS Associates, and the grand poobah of this here blog. Once called "a revolutionary in a really nice suit", people often wonder what I do for a living because I have the temerity to not talk about my clients and my work for clients. Suffice to say that I do strategy work for some of the largest organizations and companies in real estate, as well as some of the smallest startups and agent teams, but usually only on projects that interest me with big implications for reforming this wonderful, crazy, lovable yet frustrating real estate industry of ours.

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2 thoughts on “Bright MLS Hires a CMO. Great… But Why?”

  1. Hey Rob. My comment is unrelated, but your posts I would have responded to are all old enough to have closed comment sections.

    I noticed that you haven’t posted anything web3-related in a month. Why is that? Did the technology of the future somehow fail to live up to its enormous promise? Or did interest in the web3 market collapse because its evangelists ran out of easy marks?

    It couldn’t be the first one. Futurists like you were so confident that web3 would be the new frontier of innovation! Did all the innovation screech to a halt a month ago? Are the “big idea” guys all finished with blue sky concepts and handing the reins to “code poets” building the world of tomorrow in their garages?

    It definitely can’t be the second one, though, right? If entrepreneurs are still coming up with brilliant new projects, blogs like yours that threw their weight behind web3 late in 2021 would still devote most of their time and energy to hunting down the next Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or Elizabeth Holmes. All the crypto maximalists – not just the altcoin gamblers, but the super-serious experts on Bitcoin/Ethereum/NFTs – who told the public about the inevitable takeover of blockchain, metaverses, DAOs, etc. are still turning their followers into millionaires… right?

    As far as I can tell, one of two things is true:
    – The technology is still a great and profitable idea, but you and others have suddenly and inexplicably gone quiet about it, or
    – There’s never been anything innovative about the space, which gained traction solely because of rapturous, breathless coverage from blogs like this one. (Well, nothing except how easily its deliberate opacity keeps the Ponzi scheme running.)

    Can you let us know which one it is? I sold all my stuff so I could buy a smart contract saying I own a link to a PNG of the Notorious ROB logo and I’m really counting on that investment to pay off. The guy who sold it to me said that I’d just supported one of the most innovative, reputable web3 projects on the market, but he hasn’t posted about it in a month and I’m starting to get concerned.

    • Love it 🙂 I’ve just been busy with other stuff, but your point is well taken. There is a podcast coming with Zvi Band talking about web3 and real estate 🙂 But I’ll get something together soon on that.

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