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Jul 1 20

You can’t choose your neighbors

by Greg Robertson

😂🤣😂

Jul 1 20

Georgia MLS extends fee reduction/suspension through August

by Greg Robertson

Re: Georgia MLS Extends Fee Reduction and Suspension Through August 2020 To Ease Financial Strain On Brokers, Agents, and Appraisers

“Georgia MLS (GAMLS) is extending the suspension of the broker office dues and the reduction of the appraiser monthly fee through July and August. During this uncertain time, GAMLS has been working to help ease the financial strain on brokers, agents, and appraisers

The country is going to have to hunker down if we are going to defeat this thing.

Also, found this interesting.

“We are also pleased to report that our member numbers have increased during this time period to an all-time high of 42,356 subscribers, up from our previous high of 42,033.”

I’m seeing this with other MLS providers as well. Not many, but some. Plus we are seeing more Cloud CMA reports being generated YOY. Does anybody have any theories? Put ’em in the comments.

Jun 30 20

Greg Manship joins BeachesMLS

by Greg Robertson

BeachesMLS names Greg Manship as Senior Vice President of MLS and Data Integrations

“Manship joins Florida’s fastest-growing MLS from his previous executive leadership positions with Intermountain MLS, CoreLogic and most recently HOUSECHECK.
“Greg is an MLS industry veteran, demonstrating his progressive thinking, leadership and out of box thinking in both his executive positions as well as his industry leadership as former Chairman of the Council of MLS and Paragon User Group Chair” said Dionna Hall, CEO of the Broward, Palm Beaches and St. Lucie Realtors® and BeachesMLS.
“Greg is well-respected among his MLS leadership peers for his strategic thinking, calm demeanor, and ability to inspire his team. Given his accomplished background, we are confident that he will continue to make BeachesMLS one of the most customer-centric, progressive MLS organizations in the nation”, said Kim Hansen, Chief Operating Officer.”

This is an awesome gig for Greg and great to see him back in the game. I think the South Florida lifestyle is going to big a huge change from Boise though. Congrats to Greg and BeachesMLS!

Jun 29 20

Industry Relations Episode 48: Networking in a Virtual World & the 2020 MLS Proptech Symposium

by Greg Robertson

Long-distance relationships are never easy. And if you’re part of the traveling circus that is the real estate conference circuit, you may be struggling to keep your professional relationships going in a virtual environment. Would being an orc help?

In this episode of Industry Relations, Rob and Greg are discussing the current pause in the real estate conference and trade show circuit and mourning the loss of chance meetings that don’t happen in a virtual environment. They explore why massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft work to create community and how real estate might replicate that always-on culture until the conference circuit comes back. 

Rob and Greg go on to cover the challenge of sustaining long-distance relationships in an online world, explaining why we just can’t duplicate face-to-face interaction at virtual events. Listen in for insight on how going virtual is impacting MLSs, associations, and vendors and learn about the possibility for a 2020 MLS Proptech Symposium (which Rob wants to rename to the “2020 MLS Herd Symposium”) that would help sponsors make decisions about the feasibility of their own fiscal events. 

What’s Discussed: 

The current halt to the real estate conference/trade show circuit

What Greg covers in his forthcoming book, The Art of the CMA

The chance meetings that don’t happen in a virtual environment

Why we can’t duplicate face-to-face interaction through virtual events

The challenge of sustaining long-distance business/personal relationships

Why MMO games work to create community + how real estate might replicate that always-on culture

When the real estate conference circuit will come back

The impact of going virtual for MLS and association communities

–Increased engagement and attendance

–Eliminates serendipity of networking

How new vendors might build trust in the absence of in-person interaction

What we can do to gauge circuit response to physical events

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Resources:

CMLS 2020

RESO 2020 Fall Conference

Inman Connect 2020

2020 NAR Realtors Conference and Expo

Cover Art Choices for Greg’s Book

Charles Warnock

VirBELA

Second Life

EverQuest

Asheron’s Call

MMORPG

World of Warcraft

Roblox

Overwatch

Discord

Dungeons and Dragons Online

ARMLS

GoToMeeting

Greg’s Draft Agenda for the 2020 MLS Proptech Symposium ( With Rob Hahn’s suggestions)

Our Sponsors:

Cloud Agent Suite

Notorious VIP

Jun 26 20

An investor group led by Bill Foley set to acquire CoreLogic

by Greg Robertson

Cannae Holdings and Senator Investment Group Submit Proposal to Acquire CoreLogic

“We have followed the Company closely and have spent the last nine months performing extensive “outside-in” due diligence. Despite its strong market position as a provider of data and analytics for the real estate and mortgage industries, we believe the Company will not achieve its full potential under its current strategic plan. We therefore believe the proposed transaction is in the best interests of all the Company’s stakeholders.
Cannae and its affiliates in the proposed transaction are led by William P. Foley II (Bill Foley), a preeminent operator and investor with an established track record of successful acquisitions and value creation. Under Bill Foley’s leadership, we would seek to reignite growth at CoreLogic, increase operating efficiency, and improve overall allocation of scarce capital resources. Bill Foley has extensive experience transforming similar businesses and is uniquely positioned to strengthen the Company’s customer, financial, and employee relationships.

Holy Shit!

Of course, you know Bill Foley is also the chairman of Black Knight too. So in this scenario Matrix and Paragon would be under one roof.

And the deal is likely to happen…

“Please understand, however, as demonstrated by our sizable investment in the Company, that we are committed to this transaction. Senator has conducted a thorough study of the Company’s governance documents and the remedies available to all shareholders and is prepared to exercise our rights, including by calling a special meeting and soliciting proxies, for the benefit of the Company’s shareholders should that be necessary.”

Many people (and by people, I mean investors) believe that the current COVID crisis will accelerate rapid transformation in real estate. Bill Foley is a Grandmaster in chess at seizing crisis and making opportunity.

Beyond the COVID crisis itself, this is the biggest news in the MLS business this year (so far).

Jun 26 20

Homebot acquired by private equity firm

by Greg Robertson

ASG Acquires Homebot, A Market-Leading Mortgage Lending and Real Estate Software Solution

“Headquartered in Denver, CO, Homebot was founded in 2015 by Ernie Graham (CEO) and Ira McMahon (CTO). Ernie and Ira, with previous experience at Realtor.com, saw an opportunity to create a software solution that empowers all three parties involved in a home transaction – homeowner, mortgage lender and real estate agent – with the data and communication tool they needed to be successful. Today, Homebot serves thousands of loan officers nationwide and achieves an average 50% monthly engagement rate across millions of homeowners. The current Homebot leadership team – Ernie, Ira, and Michael Lynch (COO) – will continue to lead the business in addition to their newest member, Charlie Pratt, who joins as CRO.”

Congrats to Ernie and his team. Things are heating up!

Jun 25 20

Marriott Wardman Park endangered of closing

by Greg Robertson

Marriott Wardman Park might close for good 

“Employees of the 102-year-old Woodley Park institution on Sunday received word from managers that the hotel would be shuttered and a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice would be filed permanently terminating them from their jobs, their union representatives said Wednesday. The hotel has been closed since mid-March and its more than 500 employees were laid off, temporarily, it was thought, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

😢

Jun 25 20

Homes.com : Always

by Greg Robertson

Always: Your Listing. Your Lead. Your Commission.

At Homes.com, we are committed to being a friend and ally to the real estate industry. Our purpose is to connect consumers and real estate pros through a simply smarter home search experience. 

Period.

I don’t think Homes.com gets enough credit in the industry for not only talking the talk but walking the walk. Other portals are going deeper into agent’s pockets with new business models that really attack the heart of a real estate practice. Listing portals now want to take ownership of the customer, charge referral fees, and then convert them to their own mortgage house. Basically making agents Uber drivers.

Not Homes.com. While they may not have the most traffic their site does get a lot of engagement. And there’s this:

“And we promise to always send a copy of every consumer inquiry on a property to the listing agent. None of the other big real estate search sites can say this.”

What remarkable about that simple statement, is that it’s remarkable.

Jun 25 20

Keller Williams ends partnership with Offerpad

by Greg Robertson

Keller Williams ends exclusive deal with Offerpad

“As Keller Williams does with any product or service for associates, Keller Offers consistently measures the value we provide to ensure we remain a product that agents want in their tool belts,” Gayln Zeigler, director of operations at Keller Offers, said. “As part of that process, we now recognize the need to expand the program beyond Offerpad.”


Going forward, the company will use multiple offers for each home that requests an offer through Keller Offers. The aim, according to Zeigler, is to provide homeowners with more competitive offers and fuel the company’s expansion plans in 2020 and beyond.”

This was not going to last. Gary only wants to work with Gary. Gary wants to be the only vendor that KW agents work with, period. He basically craps on all other vendors, not in private, but on a stage in front of thousands of people. It’s a shame because some of the most passionate and smart agents I meet are from KW.

The multiple offer concept is great, but if you play it out it will never work. iBuyers don’t want to be aggregated, and building a network of independent investors that have the resources to actively service these types of requests in real-time is really hard, if not impossible.

I will say that I enjoyed Gary’s last interview with Brad at the recent Inman ConnectNow conference. I do believe his motivation is consumer-driven. But why all the vitriol towards other companies in the space? There are other good people in this industry who care about agents and have the same beliefs.

Jun 25 20

OJO Labs raises $62.5M

by Greg Robertson

OJO Labs raises $62.5M, acquires residential search site Movoto

OJO Labs, the real estate technology startup behind OJO, an artificial intelligence-powered virtual home shopping assistant, has raised a new round of $62.5 million in both equity and debt funding, the majority of which is equity funding, it announced Wednesday.

The company is also acquiring Movoto, a growing residential search website that says it has more than 24 million monthly visits.

We have large ambitions and those ambitions are only exciting if they get realized at scale,” John Berkowitz, the CEO and co-founder of OJO Labs, told Inman. “What this allows us to do is be able to really innovate and create a better experience from the very beginning of home search all the way to living in the home and innovate along that entire journey within completely our control and autonomy.”

No purchase price is given for Movoto. And the $62.5M in a combination of equity and debt (loan), which brings their total raise (equity and debt) to $134M. Remember equity you don’t have to pay back, debt you do. Even if the majority was equity, so let’s make that $32M in equity and $30.5M in debt. Movoto had previously raised $8M. VCs would love a 10X return, but that obviously isn’t happening here. But 24M unique visitors (even if it’s peak COVID stats) is impressive.

So I think the VCs are just moving their Movoto chips to OJO, with a modest 2X multiple ($16M) payout and hoping for another bite at the apple.

But I’m always surprised how much money is being thrown around so I could be (meaning I am) wrong.