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Some favor new system, others resisting change
When the Houston Association of Realtors decided last year to replace an aging mainframe computer system with a new one, folks were a little nervous.
After all, the computer network, run through the agency's Multiple Listing Service, is the real estate agent's lifeblood, containing listings of almost all homes offered for sale in the Houston area through licensed agents.
The computerized MLS is an indispensable marketing tool exposing a listed property to thousands of potential buyers and, at the same time, allowing buyers to narrow their choices by eliminating properties that don't meet their criteria.
For the past 15 years, the association's members had used another system called UltraPro, which relied on prompts and required users to enter numerous memorized codes to get information. This computer operated at slow speeds and was limited in terms of the amount of information it could store. …