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Feb 27 17

The Rob and Greg Show

by Greg Robertson

I’ve been really having a good time with my new podcast, Listing Bits. In Episode 5 I teased that Rob Hahn (The Notorious R.O.B.) and I were launching another podcast, called “Industry Relations“. I’m happy to announce that it’s now available on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher with 4 episodes.

Here’s the rundown.

In Episode 1 Rob and I discuss the state of organized real estate.
In Episode 2 we talk about the state of MLS industry.
Episode 3 we invited special guests, David Charron, Andrea Bushnell along with Sunny Lake and discuss her “NAR Girl Boss” initiative.
In episode 4 (which is just being posted) we discuss what’s going on in Canada, specifically British Columbia, and how it might effect real estate here in the U.S.

We are currently looking for sponsors. So if you want to reach some the industry finest, please drop me a line at vendor.alley@gmail.com

Feb 24 17

Life is short

by Greg Robertson

Feb 24 17

Remine inks deal with NTREIS

by Greg Robertson

NTREIS signs license with Remine to bring Big Data to North Texas

““Remine complements our existing MLS systems by adding a beautiful visualization of all our data,” said John Holley, CEO of NTREIS. “An incredible feature is their ability to reconnect with past clients, and see their propensity to sell. And then even if you’ve lost their contact info, Remine can update it.”

Leo Pareja, CEO of Remine, said “Remine will be deeply integrated with the existing front end system to create a seamless experience. We’ve designed Remine to meet the unique needs of real estate professionals; we look forward to delivering our core functionality to the community in North Texas.”

Remine has been getting a lot of buzz lately. They are hitting the ground running with many deals signed and more in the pipeline.

I think it would be fair to qualify them in the “alternative front end” or “next gen front end” category. The twist with Remine seems to be predictive data analytics and a lot of data visualization. Although I haven’t seen the product and their website is scant on any product shots or video. Unfortunately the website does include the hokey copy, “Remine was built for agents, by agents…”, which kinda made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. ; )

Remine and others are filling a vacuum left by traditional MLS vendors. They promise a modern UI and UX with a bunch of other bells and whistles. The challenge will be adoption. Will any of them change agent behavior enough to draw traffic/usage away from their “main” MLS system?

Time will tell. In my opinion we are at just at the beginning of a new cycle in MLS technology.

Feb 24 17

NNRMLS chooses new CEO, Gene Millman

by Greg Robertson

NNRMLS Welcomes New CEO

““I’m so excited to be joining the Northern Nevada Regional MLS as CEO! Even before my official start date of March 1st, everyone that I have met or spoken with has been so welcoming. My focus is to build on the strong and vibrant foundation that the previous CEOs have established and nurtured for our MLS. My extensive involvement with MLS Evolved which lead to the new BrightMLS (BrightMLS is one of the largest MLSs in the nation) allows me to bring a unique perspective to NNRMLS. Equally important, being in the real estate brokerage business for 32 years as an agent, Broker/Office manager of large regional companies and also as a Broker/Owner of my own company, affords me the opportunity to have experienced the user side of the MLS. I look forward to communicating and meeting all of you over the coming months!”

Millman is highly accomplished in the real estate industry and will bring his distinguished and time-tested record of performance as a business builder and industry thought leader to the Northern Nevada Regional MLS. He will build on the strong foundation of NNRMLS to inspire, motivate, and empower the staff and organization with a “big picture” vision, while providing the same 5-star service that the membership has grown accustomed to.”

To me NNRMLS has been a fountainhead of talent for the MLS industry. This is a great opportunity for Mr. Millman. Congrats!

Feb 24 17

Austin and San Antonio consider consolidating to one MLS system

by Greg Robertson

ABoR and SABOR Consider Merging MLS Systems

“While still in the feasibility phase, this consideration has emerged amid rapid development throughout the Central and South Texas areas, further blending Austin and San Antonio. In addition, it is driven by changing dynamics in the real estate industry, including opportunities to leverage cooperation and technology to create order across the marketplace, enhance offerings and maintain affordable rates for our subscribers.”

Interesting to see if this plays out. Getting to the point of these discussions is a huge accomplishment. In a recent post by Brian Boero of 1000watt he stated his thoughts in regards to MLS consolidation…

1. It should probably happen where MLS boundaries are significantly incongruent with natural market areas and impose burdens of time and cost on brokers and agents

2. It should probably happen if an MLS’s broker and agent customers are consistently unhappy with product, service, scope of activity or management.

3. It should probably happen if a strong business case can be made that combination will create a stronger organization with more human and financial capital directed at supporting brokers and agents.

Everything else? Case-by-case.

I think this merger idea meets a lot of his criteria. Although, having lived in San Antonio, I think culturally Austin and San Antonio are an odd fit.

Feb 17 17

Cloud Agent Summit

by Greg Robertson

My company, W+R Studios, is hosting our first big event for customers here in Southern California. We are only about 10 tickets away from selling out. Super proud of our marketing team, led by our director of marketing Frances Brittle, for making this happen and can’t wait till next week! If it goes well we might be coming to a city near you.

Feb 16 17

Inman News to ban “unsanctioned parties”

by Greg Robertson

I guess you gotta fight, for your right, to party.

In an email titled “An update on our event policy…” a representative from Inman News laid down some stringent policy changes regarding its event policy in relation to “unsanctioned parties”.

“In a few short months, nearly 4,000 industry professionals will gather in sunny San Francisco for Inman Connect. Each year, companies host dozens of parties and events that surround the conference, taking advantage of having the best of the industry in one place.

We’ve introduced a special sponsorship level for companies who host satellite events at Connect for 30+ people that provides additional visibility to attendees and influencers they hope to connect with, while ensuring that the Connect attendee experience isn’t compromised.

Due to the negative impact that unsanctioned parties have on the conference, we have implemented a more stringent event policy for companies who choose to host events at and around Inman Connect without directly participating in the conference as a sponsor. The policy will be strictly enforced and violations will result in revocation of attendee badges, speaker spots and other sanctions at the sole discretion of Inman.

Emphasis mine.

I would argue that instead of being a “negative impact” or having the event being “compromised” the amount of industry parties being held around the conference is a huge draw.

No doubt Brad and his team have done a great job in putting together a great show, but threats of revoking badges and speaker slots is pretty draconian by any standard. How is having a party any different than having a meeting in the lobby with someone? What’s next? Do they shut down the lobby bar or Starbucks in order to get more people in to the sessions?

I sincerely hope Inman News reconsiders this policy before Inman Connect in San Francisco.

Feb 16 17

Really Zillow?

by Greg Robertson

Zillow Group nixes manual listing entry for real estate agents, doubles down on direct listing feeds

“Zillow advised agents to check if their MLS provides a listing feed to Zillow Group on its “MLS Checker site.”

“If a feed is available, a Zillow Group team member will be able to answer any questions and help you keep your listings on Zillow and Trulia,” the email said.

But if agents discover their MLS does not provide a direct feed to Zillow Group, the company suggested they ask their brokerage or MLS to start.

“If an MLS feed is not currently available in your market, ask your broker about setting up a free feed with Zillow Group,” the email said. “You can also reach out to your local MLS and request that they establish a feed. Please visit the Zillow Help Center for our list of MLS contact information.”

I don’t like it. Their “MLS Checker” (maybe “hit list” would be more appropriate) site links to the “contact me” page of the MLS/Association. To me the whole process is set up to make the MLS look like the bad guy. Just poor form in my opinion.

At least they are stoping short of having the agent send a “robo-email” like RPR did.

Feb 15 17

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Strategist
1000watt

“Does this sound like you?

You love marketing. You are schooled in the dark arts of digital, print, advertising, video, direct mail, social media. The tactics matter, but so does the big picture. You live, sleep and dream about all the ways brands can impact the world.

You love branding. You can recite Carl Jung’s 12 archetypes, have a copy of “The Hero and the Outlaw” on your desk and have read “Lovemarks” more than once. You’ve discovered the 3rd hidden element in the FedEx logo and can use your vast knowledge of identity and story to guide work and keep clients enthralled.”

Find out this job and more on the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Feb 13 17

FBS doubles MLS user base

by Greg Robertson

FBS Doubles Real Estate MLS Customer Base to 200,000+ in Four YearsFlexmls System Fuels Company’s Record Growth

Michael Wurzer, who is celebrating his 20th year as CEO at FBS, says, “I’m proud of the growth we’ve experienced welcoming in so many new customers while fostering deeper partnerships with existing customers — many of whom have been with us for more than 20 years.” FBS’s growth is further bolstered by a client attrition rate that’s less than 1 percent — an unprecedented accomplishment for a technology company in any industry. “We’ve set some impressive benchmarks and we’re definitely looking forward to the next twenty years,” Wurzer added. He expressed that FBS’s notable growth is the result of FBS being an employee-owned company focused on serving its customers.

“…less than 1 percent”. That’s beyond impressive. Congrats to all the owners of FBS.

If you missed my conversation with Michael Wurzer on Listing Bits you listen to it on iTunes.