He seems to be everywhere. And when he isn’t there, his name is still on the lips of everyone. In D.C. you had a sense that Bob was fighting for much more than the right for MLS public facing websites, he was fighting for his legacy.
I can’t say that I know Bob all that well. But when first meeting him and his wife Susie you got a feeling that these were “good people”. From time to time he does send me a text or a quick email with an insightful comment on a blog post I have written. I think he gets my weird sense of humor. His name has been so prevalent in our industry a few years ago I came up with the Vendor Alley awards, and the top “Vendy” I dubbed “The Anyone But Bob Hale Award”. I was glad to hear he liked the homage.
A quick story. I was visiting Houston a couple months ago and had a chance to get a tour of the HAR Central Office. Sam Scott graciously led me around introducing me to staff members. Towards the end of the tour we stopped by Rene Galvan”s office. Papers with handwritten notes were strewn across Rene’s desk. Bob was seating at the end of Rene’s desk just finishing up a phone call. They had been working on the MLS policy back then, and it was apparent they had been working for hours (days) and more hours (days) to come. “Hey buddy,” he said, “How you doing? Welcome!” His phone rang again, “I gotta get this”, and he was back working the phones. Lyndon Johnson would be ashamed. My impression was its not easy being Bob Hale, it takes work. A lot of work.
When I walked in to the the MLS Policy committee meeting last week Bob was at the microphone. He was summarizing the importance of MLS public facing websites. Answering questions, fielding counter arguments, always with a glint in his eye….in the arena.
The fight isn’t over. More challenges lie ahead. His biggest yet might be finding a decent hotel room in Boise at the 2013 CMLS conference. But this year, if I had to give out the “Anyone But Bob Hale Award”, I would have to give it to…Bob Hale.
Last week wasn’t so great for DotLoop. It was disclosed LoopNet filed a lawsuit against Dotloop for a Trademark Infringement. Which I think is ridiculous but I did find this tidbit in the “Answer and Jury Demand” document interesting.
“4. Defendant admits that dotloop was founded as “MLS Contracts” in 2008 and that its name was changed to “dotloop” in 2009.”
“MLS Contracts”? What a hoot! The more disturbing thing I’ve heard is that several state, local and MLS providers has issued Dotloop cease and desist letters for improperly using forms and contracts in their software. As most vendors know in this space forms are copyrighted and it takes a significant amount of time and resources to obtain licenses for these forms. Lets hope DotLoop does the right thing and honors these copyrights and licenses.
UPDATE: I also forgot to mention the news that Docusign acquired Cartavi. Like I said, not a good week.
Check out these new job postings:
Director of Account Management
Outside Sales Executive
VP, Broker Sales
Don’t forget to tell them you found them on the Vendor Alley Jobs Board!
There’s a lot of brouhaha over amendments to the MLS Policy Statement 7.57 outlined in the report and recommendations of the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board (say that five times fast). Overall the issues revolve around what types of services should an MLS provider, should well, provide. And should they “profit” from those services. As you can imagine this has caught everyones attention.
Recently Cathy Holefelder, president of CMLS (Council of MLS) drafted a letter with recommendations to the committee from the CMLS board of directors. You can find the letter and other information at the CMLS website. I think these recommendations, as you can imagine, are well thought out.
But another entity has jumped in to the frey with their own letter to the committee. Bob Moline, President and Chief Operating Officer of HomeServices of America. Here’s the money shot…
“We have no doubt, based on proposals and communications of others of which you are, no doubt, aware, that some want to use the fees and dues collected by MLSs and Associations to actively market public-facing sites. Such expenditures–and the public facing websites themselves–would put MLSs and Associations in competition with many of their broker-members, specifically their larger broker-members.
Therefore, we strongly suggest that the proposed new language on advertsing specifically exclude the use of MLS of Association dues or fees to market public-facing website.“
If you can’t promote a site, then what’s the point?
To me this letter is pretty transparent. HomeServices represents some of the largest brokers of the country. HomeServices doesn’t have any responsibility to “enable Participants and Subscribers to better their clients, customers and the public” (as it states in the Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy).
Balancing the needs of brokers of all sizes is one of the biggest challenges MLS providers face on a day to day basis. HomeServices heavy handed approach shows a lack of understanding of the clear benefits MLS public facing websites, and other services provided by MLS providers. These services give all members, not just the biggest, the chance to succeed.
The drama in DC is just beginning….
“The saltine cracker is a relatively harmless snack, great for topping soups or settling an upset stomach. Although eating one saltine at a time is nothing extraordinary, eating several in the span of a minute is surprisingly difficult. Zillow employees, however, are undaunted by such a challenge.”
You can’t make this shit up.
Good analysis from Brian Boero at 1000watt Consulting. Go read it, it’s really smart. I agree with him on most points. But just one quibble.
This is admittedly fuzzy, but both of these companies have suffered from something I will simply call “bad vibes” in the industry (yeah, I know, incisive analysis!).
I’ve been in this business since 1997. And you hear things. Opinions. Rumors. Rants. And I’ve heard more of these types of things about Market Leader over the years than just about any other company. I’m not certain it was ever justified, but it was in the air.
Trulia has been dogged by this too. Some in the industry fear Zillow. Some resent Realtor.com. But a lot of people I know always felt suspicious of Trulia. I think part of this was taken care of pre-IPO, and it seems to be getting better, but, again, it’s there.
Of course, a few bad vibes didn’t stop either of these companies from getting where they are today, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.”
I’m not exactly sure what Brian is talking about here. If people have been suspicious of Trulia I think its because they’ve kept things closer to the chest, whereas Zillow has pounded its chest like a gorilla. In regards to Market Leader, maybe the “bad vibes” that Brian speaks of is due to the multiple pivots Market Leader has made over the years. Nobody likes changes, but good leaders like Ian Morris and his team deserve kudos for keeping their company relevant.
Bad vibes indeed.
The end is nigh…
I’ve been contacted by a company (very reputable, not W&R Studios) who is looking to hire an Account Executive/Manager in the next 30 days. Salary is in the 100K range. They need someone strong with good people skills but also good industry product knowledge and project management skills.
If you’re interested, email me
VP, Broker Sales
We are looking for an exceptional leader for our VP, Broker Sales position. This role is responsible for generating overall revenue and profitability goals for National Accounts and large Franchises, leading a highly visible and motivated team of Regional Sales Directors, Business Consultants and Account Executives across the U.S. and continued development and strong satisfaction results of key broker relationships. Daily responsibilities include leading a team with direct responsibility for broker sales in the online real estate market, as well as establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with internal sales and support organizations. Our ideal candidate has vast experience coaching/training, providing team leadership to dynamic enterprise sales organizations in previous technology organizations.