As a child growing up in Fargo, Mike Wurzer remembers watching his father work on large circuit boards and computers. Paul Wurzer was the founder of Financial Business Solutions (FBS) now known as, FBS – Creators of Flexmls that started in Fargo almost 40 years ago to provide data solutions for banks, hospitals, and other organizations. The Fargo-Moorhead Area Association of Realtors, an early client, approached FBS needing a more efficient way to process real estate listings. In response, FBS created a multiple listing system called Flexmls, which offers a collaborative listing of real estate for a specific market. After almost 40 years, this system is still used and sold today.
Mike Wurzer, the current CEO, describes Flexmls as a tool to help real estate agents, “present their properties and receive market analysis at an unsurpassed level.” Today, Flexmls is utilized by almost 200 real estate markets worldwide and has 97 full-time employees at its Fargo office. Mike shared that the company has grown “consistently and strongly” over the last decade.
Wurzer himself is recognized as a leader in the real estate industry and serves on the board of directors for the Real Estate Standards Organization, whose mission is to create and promote the adoption of standards that drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry. This business success story is built upon FBS leadership and the adjustments and adaptations to the growth in the technology field.
Evolving with Time
Recently, Mike has reflected that “his father led this company for 20 years and I have now led it for 20 years.” The FlexMLS product remains a collaborative tool for real estate agents but there has been a change in the medium where it is available to customers. In the 1980s, Paul printed MLS books for customers. In 1997, Mike left his law career to rejoin his father at FBS and he took the company from a printed product to a web-based product. Now, with the frequent usage of smartphones and other mobile devices, FBS has created native applications on the IOS and Android platforms.
Under Mike’s leadership since 1997, the company has moved towards employee ownership and installed the three values of “Respect, Freedom, and Opportunity.” Mike explains that moving towards an employee-owned company has brought about a great change in the mindset of his employees, and he believes that it is “important for society to work together.”
Since moving towards being an employee-owned company, Mike has seen employees “working for themselves and each other to improve the product of FBS.” Giving employees stake in the company is just one of the examples of the values of respect, freedom, and opportunity that shapes the work of FBS. Mike shares that, “Respect is the foundation of what we do, and it is seen in its ultimate form in co-ownership.” This foundation of respect gives the basis for freedom of personal growth and opportunity for a profitable future.
Learn more from Mike Wurzer and FBS – Creators of Flexmls as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.