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Apr 23 18

10 Million CMAs

by Greg Robertson

W+R Studios just published their 10 millionth Cloud CMA. To celebrate they made this short video.

Apr 23 18

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Vice President, MLS & Member Services -The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS & State-Wide Multiple Listing Service

The Vice President, MLS & Member Services, will oversee a staff of seven and is responsible for all aspects of the MLS and CIE operation, as well as all technology and MLS programs, products and services. The Vice President is responsible for providing vision, direction and oversight that enables the organization to achieve its service-based strategic objectives through use of business information and analysis, best practices and progressive technology.

Find out more at the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Apr 18 18

Listing Bits: The Century 21 Rebrand with CEO Nick Bailey

by Greg Robertson

‘Defy mediocrity and deliver extraordinary experiences.’

Century 21 has been in business for the past 47 years, and in that time, the branding has remained virtually unchanged. When Nick Bailey took the reins, however, he moved quickly to rebrand the company in a way that reflects the consumer-driven movement in the industry, engenders multi-generational appeal, and inspires his global team to deliver extraordinary experiences.

Nick took on the role of CEO and President of Century 21 in August 2017, and he is responsible for the organization’s 8K offices and 118K independent contractors in 80 countries around the world. He has 21 years of experience in the industry, earning his real estate license at the age of 21. Nick served as the VP of Growth and Development at RE/MAX World Headquarters for 12 years and VP of Broker Relations for Zillow Group for five years. He is a leader in franchising, brokerage management and technology, and Nick is known for increasing margins while mitigating the impact of economic change.

Today Nick explains how his diverse background allows him to see issues through different lenses, including that of the consumer. He walks us through the Century 21 rebrand, discussing the company’s new motto around delivering extraordinary experiences and the positive response to its new brand identity. Nick speaks to Century 21’s reputation for training, his take on new models like iBuyers, and the consumer-driven movement in real estate. Listen in for Nick’s insight on the necessity for open network, mobile-first technology and the healthy competition between Century 21 and Realogy.

What’s Discussed:

How Nick’s diverse real estate background helps create clarity

The consumer-driven movement in the real estate industry

Nick’s insight on the core of Century 21’s business

-Help affiliates grow companies

-Help agents get closings

Century 21’s new motto around delivering extraordinary experiences

The positive response to Century 21’s new brand identity

-Cross-functional (mid-priced AND high-end)

-Multi-generational appeal

How a brand’s design impacts consumer trust

Century 21’s reputation for training and education

Nick’s take on new models like Redfin and iBuyers

How the process of finding buyers and sellers has evolved

The difference between home search and home shopper

How agents remain essential to consumers despite industry disruption

Nick’s preference for integrated, open network technology

The healthy competition between Realogy and Century 21

Century 21’s international presence

Connect with Nick Bailey:

 Century 21

Century 21 on YouTube

Century 21 on Twitter

Nick on LinkedIn

Apr 18 18

Industry Relations: Solving for Professionalism in Real Estate with the W-2

by Greg Robertson

Would the woes of the real estate industry be resolved if agents were employees rather than independent contractors? At Inman Disconnect, Rob posited that shifting from the 1099 to a W-2 model would give brokers more control and allow them to address several of the fundamental issues in the space, raising the standards of professionalism by eliminating incompetent or toxic agents—without risking their livelihood.

Today, Rob, Greg and Sunny debate Rob’s proposal, discussing the challenges brokers face in mandating trainings and mentoring for new agents who are independent contractors. Greg argues that leadership is at issue rather than employment status, contending that employees and independent contractors alike are only motivated by leaders who inspire buy-in. Rob, Greg and Sunny address the broker’s responsibilities around professionalism in the industry and weigh in on whether or not brokers can afford to fire top producers who are toxic to the business.

Rob breaks down the revenue structure in a brokerage, explaining how the shift to a W-2 model would give brokers more autonomy and abate the head-count-driven model that fuels a lack of professionalism. Listen in as Rob and Greg come to an unprecedented agreement on the role of leadership in raising industry standards and learn how the law firm model—with its division of employee-associates and partners—might be adapted for real estate.


What’s Discussed:


Rob’s proposal that the 1099 is the cause of many industry woes

The history behind the shift to agents as independent contractors

Sonny’s take on the broker’s challenge in mandating trainings

Greg’s argument that the issue is leadership vs. control

The broker’s responsibility around agent professionalism

How great leaders attract great talent

Why it’s difficult for agents to move brokerages

Why brokers are hesitant to fire toxic agents

The breakdown of revenue in a brokerage

-Don’t make money on top producers

-Earn on 60/40 agents (five deals/year)

How the W-2 structure would give brokers more control

What triggers the head-count-driven model

-Companies compensate for recruiting numbers

-No cost to keep agent who does two deals/year

-Brokers make LESS from superstar top producers

How the law firm model might be adapted for real estate



 Inman Disconnect


Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


Our Sponsor:

Cloud Agent Suite

Apr 17 18

Has Silicon Valley given up?

by Greg Robertson

Its been something I’ve been sensing for awhile. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, just a feeling. But in the past few months I feel like Silicon Valley (at least for now) has given up on trying to replace the real estate agent/broker. This latest announcement by Zillow that they will begin buying and selling homes with agents really drove it home for me.

Make no mistake, that was Silicon Valley’s goal, to replace real estate agents. Disrupt! But real estate agents aren’t travel agents and it turns out that people want someone to advise them on the biggest purchase/sale of their lives.

There has been some great writing about Zillow’s latest announcement. I would check out Rob Hahn’s post, No Hat, Lots of Cattle: In Which Zillow Transforms. In which Rob argues (among other things) that Zillow is the only organization in the industry that is truly raising the bar for agents.

Drew Meyers (a former Zillow employee) reviews a competitor to Zillow in the iBuyer space, Knock, co-founded by a former Trulian, Sean Black: An Inside Peek at Knock, and Zillow’s Entry into Purchasing Homes

And I also just love Eric Wu’s, CEO of Opendoor, response to Zillow’s announcement, which harkens back to the Apple vs. MicrosoftIBM days.

Then there’s the content that Zillow themselves put out. The videos are great. Amy, Errol and Greg do a fantastic job explaining Zillow’s thought process in an easy to understand manner. Best use of video I’ve seen in this space.

Lastly if I had to recommend one thing to read it would be Ben Thompson at Stratechery: Zillow, Aggregation, and Integration
I’ve been reading Ben for a long time and subscribe to his newsletter. He does a great job outlining Zillow’s model and why they are making a shift. It’s a bit wonky but worth it.

Although I did have a quibble with his main premise Zillow was changing their business model. His response was to say the least, interesting.

Apr 17 18

ARMLS and Metro MLS announce new joint venture

by Greg Robertson

ARMLS & Metro MLS Lead Advancements of Noncontiguous Markets

The collaboration began as two innovative CEOs, Chris Carrillo (Metro MLS) and Matthew Consalvo (ARMLS), decided to combine their industry expertise by connecting their respective organizations in order to advance the MLS industry and best serve their broker and agent communities.

“We see real value in a shared vision,” stated Chris Carrillo, CEO Metro MLS. “It requires action in the moment and the opportunity for progress is now.”

Simply put by Mr. Consalvo, “It came down to our DNA, Metro MLS shares the same values, commitment to service and vision of the MLS of the future. We are better together than apart.”

I gotta be honest, when I first heard about this it was a bit of a head scratcher. Scottsdale and Milwaukee? But I think it’s pretty simple. You have two organization with a similar structure (the same DNA as they call it) both wanting to grow. And I’m not really talking about growing in geographic sense, I talking about growing my learning, doing things, building, and experimenting. The “non-contiguous thing” is interesting but the collaboration is what I think is key here.

It was also announced that they hired Cameron Paine’s new counsulting firm, Inevate, to facilitate. I think Cameron says it well…

“It’s a brave new world out there and it’s going to take innovative thinking, leadership, and industry expertise to navigate the challenges successfully. CEOs Chris Carrillo and Matt Consalvo are more than up the job and I look forward to helping them achieve success. We are focused on progress, tangible success, and intentional, strategic decisions to keep the MLS relevant to Brokers and agents.”

I’m very curious to find out what two passionate and progressive CEO’s like Matt and Chris can come up with.

Apr 16 18

MRED announces Lynn Strantz’s retirement.

by Greg Robertson

Midwest Real Estate Data VP of Product Management to Retire

“MLSs have gone through an amazing transition from being non-technical entities to extremely high-tech platforms and Lynn has been a crucial part of making that happen.” said MRED Chief Operating Officer Jeff Lasky. “It wouldn’t be a stretch to call her one of the founders of the modern MLS.”

Agreed. We are going to miss you Lynn.

Apr 13 18

About that logo…

by Greg Robertson

REALTOR® Brand Evolution: Updated April 11, 2018

“Since we announced the brand evolution and logo redesign, we have received a diversity of opinions that ranged from strong support to outright disapproval. Please know how much we appreciate member input and how seriously we take your feedback.

While the issues that drove this process to evaluate and ultimately evolve the REALTOR® logo still exist, we are pausing its implementation. This extra time will allow us to further examine the enhancement of the REALTOR® brand proposition, including the logo, which means so much to you and your business.

We are a member-centric organization and this decision to postpone the brand transformation demonstrates that your national association is listening.”

Personally I think NAR made the wrong call here. And I’m not talking about the logo itself. A lot of design is subjective. Some designs grow on you over time. There are always going to be haters, ignore them. Do what you do.

Apr 13 18

RPR shakeup. Dale Ross out, Jeff Young takes top spot.

by Greg Robertson

I’ve been on the road for about 11 days and have lots to catch up on. NAR issued a press release yesterday announcing some signifigant changes at RPR.

Realtors Property Resource® Announces Retirement of CEO, Appointment of New Leader

“Realtors Property Resource® LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of Realtors®, announced that its founding CEO Dale Ross will be retiring as of May 1, 2018. RPR’s Jeff Young has been named chief operating officer/general manager and will assume responsibility for all RPR activities, reporting directly to NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.”

I continue to be impressed with NAR’s new CEO, Bob Goldberg. With the shut down of AMP we could see this coming. It was only a matter of time, and how high the cuts would go.

Let’s face it, when RPR first launched it didn’t sit well with the MLS community. Hubris, revenue share issues, “national MLS” fears (AMP), usage rates, and questionable tactics to force MLS providers to sign up contributed to that rift. There may have been some rational reasons for some of those choices but there wasn’t a lot of love left on both sides.

To me it’s water under the bridge. There is a new sheriff in town.

I’ve gotten to know Jeff Young over the years and he has always been straight with me. I find him pragmatic, level headed and most importantly (at least in my line of work), he can take a joke. I think he is the perfect choice for this next chapter in RPR’s life.

Jeff has a tough job ahead of him. But with Marty Frame and Karen France as part of his executive team, they have a new opportunity to re-focus what RPR is all about and how it engages with its partners.
I wish them nothing but success.

Apr 6 18

Listing Bits: A New Approach to MLS Consolidation with Kevin McQueen of T3 Sixty

by Greg Robertson

88 MLSs serve 80% of REALTORS. The remaining 20% are served by the rest—that’s nearly 600 MLSs! We know that consolidation will make it much easier for brokers to serve consumers, but what is the best way to approach the issue? How can we work to understand the 20% in rural, small town and resort communities and bring that group in to alignment with the 80%?


Kevin McQueen is the President of the T3 Sixty MLS Division. He joined the firm with the express purpose of facilitating MLS consolidations, mergers and collaborations. Kevin has been a real estate consultant since 2000, when he founded Focus Forward to help MLSs and associations navigate the evolution of the industry. Prior to consulting, Kevin spent nine years as the CEO of Realcomp and eight years running technical operations for BORIS Systems.


Today Kevin shares his path to consulting, from his early days with BORIS to his experience consolidating MLSs in Michigan at Realcomp. He explains the role of a consultant in facilitating strategic thinking and what led to his collaboration with T3 Sixty. Listen in to understand Kevin’s mission to pick up the pace of MLS consolidation, addressing problem areas individually with a quiet, flexible approach.


What’s Discussed:


Kevin’s early experience with MLS technical operations

How Kevin transitioned to MLS leadership at Realcomp

Kevin’s insight on the benefits of consulting

Why Kevin chose the name Focus Forward

The role of a consultant in facilitating strategic thinking

-Discussion about what’s possible

-Organizational assessment

Why Kevin sought a partnership with T3 Sixty

The value of accurate data in decision-making to supercede emotion-based decision making in boardrooms

The shrinking number of MLSs from 2000 to 2018

Kevin’s mission to pick up the pace of MLS consolidation

-88 MLSs serve 80% of REALTORS

-20% served by the rest (nearly 600)

Kevin’s take on NAR initiatives as dividing vs. unifying

Kevin’s Do’s and Don’ts of MLS consolidation

-Be flexible, modify business model

-Don’t go into takeover mode

Paul Prince’s quiet and respectful approach to consolidation

How Kevin’s MLS map initiated a conversation

T3 Sixty’s approach to addressing problem areas individually



Number of MLSs By State

Paul Prince Case Study

T3 Summit


Connect with Kevin McQueen: 

T3 Sixty


Kevin on LinkedIn

Kevin on Facebook