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Aug 29 14

RIP Eric Graning

by Greg Robertson

Graning-500x626 This one is tough. Not sure if I was going to write about it but needed to say something. Many of you know Kristi Graning while she worked at RE/MAX International. I first got to know her while working at eNeighborhoods when we worked with her closely re-launching remax.com as a “network of broker idx sites”. It became the standard for how modern broker and franchise portals work today. Kristi was our leader in that effort. We spent many long days, nights and weekends getting that project done. Flying back and forth from Florida to Colorado. It was one of the most rewarding times in my professional life. Around that time Kristi was pregnant, the joke was she was giving birth to two babies, the new remax.com and her new baby boy.

Kristi’s husband, Eric, recently died in a tragic motorcycle accident. So heartbreaking for Kristi and their two young boys, Tey and Dax.

You can read about Eric here. A celebration of Eric life is being held today.

I can’t be there today Kristi but please know I, and many others, are thinking of you and your loss today.

Aug 28 14

Jason Calacanis has a great idea for real estate

by Greg Robertson

And he’ll fund it….

I like this idea a lot. Kind of like a “secret shopper program”. But instead of having individuals do the work why not just power buyers/homeshoppers that are already looking to do so?

Aug 28 14

Redfin + Matterport = Awesome

by Greg Robertson


Yes please, now.

TOTH: @drewmeyers

Aug 28 14

NAR announces partnership with Clareity Security.

by Greg Robertson

I heard through the grapevine (do they have grapevines in Arizona?) that last week at the 2015 Leadership Summit Dale Stinton announced a new partnership with Clareity Security, dubbed the “NAR Portlet Project“. Despite the unfortunate name it seems like another big win for Clareity. Clareity will begin implementing NAR Resource Portlets in about 18 to 200 local and state associations in August and September. Which should reach about 100,000 members. The new “Portlets” fit into’s Clareity’s SSO Dashboards.

A lot of members get to their MLS system through their local association’s website but its not clear whether 3rd party vendors participating with Clariety’s App Store will be displayed on this new association dashboards.

Overall I think this is great for NAR. They have a lot of resources that not a lot of members know about (REALTOR University, .Realtor domain name site, MVP member benefits, and of course RPAC). Clareity strategy seems pretty clear, they want their Dashboards to be in front of as many agents as possible. Makes a helluva a lot sense to me.

Aug 25 14

Goomzee Redesigns Mobile App

by Greg Robertson

Goomzee:

“Some of our earliest MLS adopters like Intermountain MLS (IMLS) in Boise regularly share feedback from their agent users and leadership,” explains Mike Sparr, Goomzee CEO and Founder.  “We carefully consider all user suggestions for future release planning and IMLS’s CEO, Greg Manship, personally suggested we consider adding a built-in support or help link.  We pushed the envelope even further and included a completely integrated help desk and training system which I believe is another industry-first in the mobile arena.  Our latest release includes too many features to name, but we’re very proud of ways we simplified the navigation to further delight our users.”

Can’t believe I missed this release from last week. It speaks to what I was talking about for 3rd party solutions in the mobile space. Love seeing so many options for MLS providers to ponder. It seems a lot of these “alternative front ends” are finally appearing, but taking a “mobile first” approach.

See full press release below:

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Goomzee Redesigns Mobile App Navigation; Introduces Mobile MLS App Help Desk

Missoula, MT — August 18, 2014 — It just got easier for multiple listing services and REALTOR(r) associations nationwide to deliver competitive mobile solutions thanks to Goomzee’s latest mobile app innovation and industry first, a built-in mobile help desk.  Goomzee, one of the real estate industry’s leading providers of mobile solutions, announced today that their latest mobile app release included the industry’s first fully-integrated mobile help desk, minimizing support burden for MLS staff who want to provide mobile apps to their customers.

Goomzee’s Mobile MLS allows MLSs and Boards to provide professional native mobile app access to agent-only information, and configurable option to offer public access, or even invite-only access, on a per-market basis.  Now when users tap on the “Help” menu they can immediately access forum articles and submit support requests or view the status of their current requests without ever leaving the app.  Once they’re done with the help desk, they simply dismiss it and resume with their mobile work whether it’s searching for listings, sharing with clients, or saving searches for later use.

“Some of our earliest MLS adopters like Intermountain MLS (IMLS) in Boise regularly share feedback from their agent users and leadership,” explains Mike Sparr, Goomzee CEO and Founder.  “We carefully consider all user suggestions for future release planning and IMLS’s CEO, Greg Manship, personally suggested we consider adding a built-in support or help link.  We pushed the envelope even further and included a completely integrated help desk and training system which I believe is another industry-first in the mobile arena.  Our latest release includes too many features to name, but we’re very proud of ways we simplified the navigation to further delight our users.”

Goomzee recently shared that nearly two-dozen Boards/MLSs from coast to coast have already selected Goomzee for their Mobile MLS Apps for their customers, and the pace doesn’t appear to be slowing.  In second quarter alone, the company announced five additional MLS markets signed multi-year agreements to provide Goomzee’s software to their members and dozens more are lining up.  Goomzee’s mobile apps compliment current MLS systems, and deployments typically take thirty days or less, depending on the complexity of third-party systems integrations.

“I am impressed with the fact that [Goomzee] is always looking for ways to enhance [their] app, and our users love how fast it is,” says Julie Rietberg, CEO of Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS(r).

The latest mobile app featuring new simplified navigation and built-in help desk is now live for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch via Apple’s app store and the Android version will be live very soon.

ABOUT GOOMZEE
Goomzee celebrated its 11th year in business in 2014.  The company began as an e-commerce application service provider, powering and hosting small business’ e-commerce websites,  but shifted to real estate technology just as the industry fell into turmoil to solve recognized gaps in mobile technology.  The company has been serving the real estate industry since 2007, and multiple listing services since 2008.  It’s initial real estate product called Goomzee Connect allows agents to capture leads at the property via text message codes on sign riders and a lead capture system.  After working closely with MLSs and providing it’s service as a member benefit in nearly 30 MLS markets, representing over 296,000 agents, MLSs approached Goomzee to co-design a mobile solution that would best serve the needs of their members.  Their current solution represents a culmination of their first-generation web solution, and two years of research and development to offer a platform that rivals the large portals.  For more information, request a quote, or to schedule a personal demo, please contact Goomzee via http://www.goomzee.com.
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Aug 25 14

FBS’ furthers flexible mobile strategy

by Greg Robertson

FBS

“. The native Apps and Mobile Web deliver a seamless mobile MLS experience sharing the same design aesthetic, providing full access to MLS data (including customer information and saved searches) and, real-time data synch between systems, all made possible the Spark API foundation that powers the Flexmls® system. Some of the key shared features include: Quick Launch (entire MLS system can be searched from one place), Quick Searches and full access to MLS data including, all saved searches and favorites. One of the most powerful benefits of the system is real time synch; Agents can start working on their iPhone and then access the work they started immediately on their laptop via Flexmls® Web.”

These guys have been busy. I like the approach of controlling the whole customer experience. Many MLS vendors outsource all their mobile work, which sometimes means a whole different UI/UX experience. This control could give FBS a nice advantage.

The day is coming, and perhaps already has, when MLS vendors start their Suite demos with their mobile apps first.

Read Full Press Release Below:

_________________________________________________________________________________

Following successful Flexmls® for iPhone release, FBS launches new Mobile Web furthering comprehensive mobile strategy.

August 22, 2014 – FBS launches “new” Flexmls® Mobile Web on following successful launch of the Flexmls for iPhone App, setting the bar for mobile MLS.

The “new” Flexmls® Mobile Web and native iPhone App are the first releases from the Flexmls® Mobile App suite which when complete, will include Flexmls® for iPhone, Android, Tablet (all native) and Mobile Web. The native Apps and Mobile Web deliver a seamless mobile MLS experience sharing the same design aesthetic, providing full access to MLS data (including customer information and saved searches) and, real-time data synch between systems, all made possible the Spark API foundation that powers the Flexmls® system. Some of the key shared features include: Quick Launch (entire MLS system can be searched from one place), Quick Searches and full access to MLS data including, all saved searches and favorites. One of the most powerful benefits of the system is real time synch; Agents can start working on their iPhone and then access the work they started immediately on their laptop via Flexmls® Web.

Customer feedback on the native Flexmls® for iPhone App has been overwhelmingly positive so far; FBS expects the same strong reception with the “new” Mobile Web. Agents have tweeted, directly emailed and phoned in the accolades. Recently, after sharing accolades on Twitter, Jeremy Hart, an Associate Broker with Nest Realty, contributed to a Flexmls blog post citing simplicity and fast access to everything he needs as major win-factors in the new Flexmls for iPhone App. FBS CEO Mike Wurzer has taken calls from existing MLS executive clients complimenting the company on the impressive work, too. “I’m really excited to see our mobile investments paying dividends for our customers. Today’s agent needs and deserves the best possible mobile MLS products and that’s what we’re delivering”, says Wurzer.

Flexmls® is on a major growth trajectory and will add 35,000 members to its current roster with conversions completed in 2014. These impressive growth numbers are coupled with the best customer retention in the business. Both variables are attributed to FBS’ future-focus and consistent personal approach to service, more recently to their laser focus on delivering the pinnacle mobile experience via native Apps and the underpinning standards-driven Spark API platform.

“We’re delivering the pinnacle mobile MLS”, says Kim Prior, VP Marketing and Spark Platform Evangelist. “The underpinning Spark API plus native development was the only path to deliver this truly unmatched and seamless user experience: full access to all MLS information, real-time sync across systems and shared design”, says Prior.

FBS is a 100% employee-owned company that’s proud to provide personal service, future focused development and standards-driven, innovative products. FBS’ Flexmls® system (web, mobile, IDX), is built on the standards-driven Spark API platform, connecting real estate professionals to their customers through great collaboration tools and real-time information. The Flexmls® system is used by 130+ MLSs representing 130,000+ Brokers and Agents. For 30+years FBS has led the way in standards-driven innovation. Through ongoing investment and continued innovation, FBS is 100% prepared to deliver excellence that MLSs and their members can trust for the long term.

Media Contacst: Kim Prior kprior@FBSdata.com OR Katelyn Midtbo kmidtbo@fbsdata.com

Aug 22 14

Rumor Alert! – Industry vet Steve Allen to join Zillow.

by Greg Robertson

SteveAllenI’m pretty confident on this rumor that Steve Allen, director of business development at UtahRealEstate.com (or WFRMLS if you’re an O.G. like me) will be joining Zillow in an MLS relations role. If anyone can confirm in the comments we can make it official.

If true I think this is a good move for Zillow and the industry. Anything to help Zillow better understand the role of MLS providers, and the broker members they serve, will be a positive thing.

UPDATE: 8-27-2014

Rumor confirmed!
Curt Beardsley confirmed the addition of two hires to his team on Zillow For Pros blog:
Zillow Hires Two Industry Veterans => http://www.zillow.com/blog/pro/zillow-hires-two-industry-veterans-112835/

Congrats!

Aug 21 14

Guess what MLS system Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® is converting to….

by Greg Robertson

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via Tessa Hultz (who else?)

Aug 20 14

CMLS 2014 debuts “Disruptor Alley”

by Greg Robertson

CMLS 2014, Thursday September 25, 2014

“This exclusive event offers up-and-coming technology companies like yours the opportunity to get your product or service in front of MLS leaders and decision makers in a fun and casual way. Mingle with and demo your product to hundreds of CEOs and executives following the first day of sessions.”

Love this! Cost is $1,000. Seems like a great way for up and coming vendors to get exposure. If you are interested or know a company than might click below to download the form to reserve your space.

CMLS Disruptor -Reserve Your Space

Aug 20 14

Russ Bergeron joins Real Estate Digital!

by Greg Robertson

Russ BergeronThat didn’t take long! Seems just like yesterday when Russ announced he as leaving his position of CEO of MRED, LLC. Flash forward to today and I just spoke with Russ this morning, calling from Aliso Viejo, and he shared with me he joined Real Estate Digital and VP of their data licensing group.

He will head a relatively new group that includes; Jay Huffman (also a former CEO of MRED,LLC/MLSNI), Lisa Powell – recently of TheMLS/CLAW and Paul Dixon, – of Homes.com. Its a sort of homecoming for Russ. Many of RED’s employees have history back in the OCMLS and SoCalMLS days here in Orange County. When I spoke to Russ he was excited about being back in Orange County, and about joining RED because they have always been very “industry friendly and focused” and a great group of people. I couldn’t agree more.

Its a great fit for both Russ and RED. Currently RED manages over 1200 data feeds. That’s a helluva a lot of data to manage and track. This gives RED, and its new owner Nationstar, an individual that understands the importance and nuances of MLS data and, just as important, the industry’s trust. Congrats!