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May 27 16

Slow and steady…

by Greg Robertson

Message from Art Carter from August Partners on Vimeo.

Andrea Brambila reporting for Inman News.
The nation’s biggest MLS gets even biggerCalifornia Regional MLS takes another step toward becoming a statewide entity

“As part of their agreements with CRMLS, the North Bay Association of Realtors and the Marin Association of Realtors will be offering CRMLS’s MLS service to their combined 4,500 members. The North Bay association covers Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties while the Marin association covers Marin County.

Members of the two associations currently belong to broker-owned MLS Bay Area Real Estate Information Service (BAREIS). Brokers and their agents will have the option of staying with BAREIS, switching to CRMLS, or belonging to both MLSs.”

It’s interesting to see CRMLS take a less dogmatic approach to their goal of a state-wide MLS, they just try to find a way to win, market by market.

Art Carter

“Given the slow-moving nature of politics, we absolutely want to respect local marketplaces’ wishes, but we do feel the whole entire state should be served by a single database that contains every listing in the state of California.”

He believes it will happen someday. “Whether it’s through our efforts or some of the other initiatives going on, I believe at some point the brokerage community will get what they want and need out of aggregated data,” he said.”

I want to believe that brokers see this, but listening the various Upstream panels it seems that aggregating all market data is something that might be a casualty if half the market is on Upstream and other is not.

Art again…

“There is a better way. There is the possibility of tearing down these borders. We’re not going to go anyplace that we’re not asked, but I think brokers and agents up and down the state need to know there are solutions to the pains that they’re facing and if they find those solutions viable, they need to talk to the leadership of their local associations,” he said.

I still think the ItsMyBusiness campaign is well executed, its more about “listing access” than CRMLS. Smart.

May 27 16

Lobby Bar Bucket List

by Greg Robertson

redwood-room-at-the-clift-hotel-san-francisco-ca130 iconic American hotel bars everyone should have a drink at

“To create the ultimate American hotel bar bucket list, we’ve honed in on 30 hotel bars that stand out as icons among their peers. From the birthplace of the Mint Julep to a menacing bar housed in an old jail, the drinks always taste better here”

How many can you check off already?

May 26 16

Miles Davis and software design

by Greg Robertson

Miles-Davis-sitting_edited-2
It’s the 90th anniversary of the birth of Miles Davis. The birth of cool, so to speak. I’ve been reading a lot about him today and some of his quotes struck me as being good advice for anyone designing software.

I love this one…

“I always listen to what I can leave out.”

and this…

“It’s not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.”

And then there’s this story about a Miles and my favorite, John Coltrane.

“Onetime Davis bandmate John Coltrane was capable of life-altering saxophone solos. Hear his efforts on “Psalm,” which is like being slowly led by hand to the glorious summit of a cloud-scraping mountain, or “I Want to Talk About You,” whose extended cadenza is the musical equivalent of a boxer skillfully working a speed bag. But Davis wanted none of this. When Coltrane tried to rationalize his lengthy solos by explaining that he couldn’t find a way to stop, Davis quipped, “You might try taking the fucking horn out of your mouth.”

The great ones always transcend.

May 23 16

Vendor Pro Tip: AAA Battery Caddy

by Greg Robertson

I love my BOSE QuietComfort® 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones, especially on log plane flights, but they eat AAA batteries like a motherf*cker. Usually it’s because I forget to turn them off. So I got accustom to carrying a lot of AAA batteries in my laptop bag. I carried them loose in an outside pocket in my bag and they were always hard to find. Not any longer.

Storacell by Powerpax Slim Line “AAA” Battery Caddy

aaa caddy

This holds 6 AAA batteries. It’s also orange so its easy to find in my bag.

You’re welcome.

#ProTip

May 23 16

RED launches 3 new websites

by Greg Robertson

Looks like the team at RED (Real Estate Digital), (or is it XOME/Solutionstar/Mr. Cooper?) has been busy lately.

The new Long & Foster site is now fully responsive. But what I really thought was interesting was their “Smarter Home Search”

LF Smarter home search

I also liked the look of their search results page.

LF Search Results Page
Keeping in tune with their brand, the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services website now has multi-currency functionality. BHHS multi-lingual price

And it looks like BHHS Florida Realty website is keeping it simple while focusing it’s home page on seller leads.

BHHS FL home page

The valuation is driven by a company called Quantarium, which is new to me.

BHHS HomeWorth

I think these sites give a good perspective on how far franchisor and regional broker websites have come.

May 20 16

Cloud MLX named “Best In Show” in Clareity’s Midyear 2016 report

by Greg Robertson

Matt Cohen wrote an epic post recapping NAR 2016 Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo Report. It’s a must read for anyone who didn’t attend the show or was there but stuck in a lot of meetings. I’m bummed I missed the FBS Party which sounded perfect (live music, good food and great conversation).

Of course Dan and I are really stoked that Cloud MLX was named “Best In Show” in Clareity’s post. Here’s a taste…

“As with their other products, the focus is on striking the right balance between ease of use and functionality. This product looks anything BUT the same-old MLS technology.”

We are super proud of our team at W+R Studios for the hard work they put in to getting Cloud MLX launched.

Please get in touch with Katie if you want to schedule a demo.

May 18 16

BPP Selects Homesnap

by Greg Robertson

Broker Public Portal Selects HomesnapNew national home search imagined by people who sell homes, not ads

“The BPP launch will include an iPhone app, Android app, and mobile and desktop website. The experience will be free from ads and paid agent placement. Instead, consumers can easily collaborate with their own agent, or connect instantly to the listing agent, ensuring information and answers from a pro who truly knows the home, neighborhood and local market conditions.

For real estate professionals, the BPP launch will include Homesnap Pro, already the leading mobile app for agents to access real-time listing information, collaborate with their clients and work with each other.”

Nice scoop for RISMedia Inman News. I hinted about this on Twitter earlier this week. Good for them, I don’t think the “get one year free” model to MLS providers was working out too well. Although I’m curious how this will effect those agreements with MLS providers to provide HomeSnap Pro, the way this reads I’m not sure any MLS should be paying for HomeSnap Pro any longer or in the future. Which begs the question, what’s BPP’s revenue model?

UPDATE 12/18/2016 – 4:05PM PT

Looks like a post of WAV Group (Broker Public Portal Reveals Partnership and Plan) Blog lays out a revenue model.

“The price for MLSs to participate in the BPP is $1 per MLS subscriber per month – about the same that most MLSs pay today for just a mobile search solution. For this, an MLS can now provide”

$1 per agent per month seems extremely high price, especially at 500,000 agents. Kudos to them if they actually get that! From the previous article is appears they have yet to sign an agreement.

May 16 16

When you see it…

by Greg Robertson

This is the ad on the back of the latest edition of REALTOR Magazine.

REALTOR Magazine Ad2

Priceless

May 9 16

Cloud MLX -Bringing sexy back

by Greg Robertson

mlx blog image

Yours truly…

W+R Studios launches Cloud MLX, an alternative front end to existing MLS systemsNew product can also serve as a hub for existing products, Cloud CMA and Cloud Streams.

“Greg Robertson, W+R Studios co-founder, stated “Real estate professionals can’t do business without access to MLS data, yet most traditional MLS systems are difficult to use and hard to navigate. We believe MLS members deserve more choices.”

Cloud MLX is designed to get agents up and running and searching the MLS with little or no training. It’s intuitive search bar, mapping, and the use of hashtags gives MLS members better tools to connect with other agents and work smarter with clients.

Super proud of the W+R Studios design and development team. The product is amazing. Cloud MLX follows what we always strive for in our software; simple, fast and beautiful. Here’s one of our on-boarding videos highlighting searching.

We are up and running in CRMLS and would love to add your MLS. We will be giving demos at NAR Midyear this week. Please get in touch with Katie if you want to schedule a demo (during or after the convention).

This release is just the beginning. I can’t wait to show all of you what we believe is going to be a great asset to your MLS.

May 5 16

“I like the look of hockey sticks.”

by Greg Robertson

Mike Wurzer on the success of their Spark API platform.

173% Growth For Spark API, More Coming

“This growth doesn’t include a variety of large MLS data shares we’ve implemented. If we include those, the current coverage expands to over 250,000 agents. Regardless, I’m pretty sure this means the Spark API currently is one of if not the largest MLS aggregation available through a single API.

Perhaps more importantly, because we’ve sustained this growth organically by adding new Flexmls customers, the Spark API not only includes listing information for all these customers but also what I think is the more valuable data for brokers and agents, namely saved searches, contacts, and portal activity data (e.g., favorites, messages, etc.). What this means is that, in addition to being the biggest, the Spark API also is the deepest MLS data repository and the only API that truly allows developers and MLS providers to have a front-end of choice.

Lastly, an important distinction between Spark and several of the APIs being touted in the media these days is that the Spark API is live right now and growing actual usage every day. I like the look of hockey sticks.