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Aug 3 20

Australians make the best property videos

by Greg Robertson
Aug 3 20

T3 Sixty launches a new management consulting division focused on increasing diversity in the real estate industry.

by Greg Robertson
Stefan Swanepoel and Kenya Burrell-VanWormer

T3 Sixty launches diversity initiative for real estate

“The initiative, led by Texas Realtor and Houston Association of Realtors board member Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, will focus on helping companies improve diversity with different strategies and initiatives.

“The desire by T3 Sixty to help improve diversity in the residential real estate industry was born out the frustration in seeing ongoing discrimination and the lack of opportunities that exist for people of color,” T3 Sixty Chairman and CEO Stefan Swanepoel said in a statement. “We must treat people of all backgrounds and race groups fairly and justly.”

I’m glad to see that the issue of increasing diversity in all aspects of our lives is here to stay. But it is not fraught with some risk. Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, who has openly talked about diversity being a high priority at his company has come under fire for talking the talk, but not walking the walk. So I applaud Kenya and T3 Sixty for putting themselves out there to help the industry move forward.

I know some want to see more focus on fair housing, especially after the Long Island scandal, and President Trump’s recent tweets. But how are we to change anything unless we have enough diversity in the people that are actually making decisions to effect real change?

It’s easy to be cynical about these issues. But I want to learn and send as much positivity as I can to any effort that will help our country become a more perfect union.

Jul 31 20

RIP Noreen Davis

by Greg Robertson
Noreen Davis

REBGV mourns the loss of Noreen Davis

It is with deep sadness that we share news of the passing of our friend and colleague, Noreen Davis. Noreen died last night after a brief and brave battle against cancer. We are heartbroken. 
 
Noreen worked at REBGV for more than 22 years. Over this time, numerous people came to know her well and appreciate her quick smile, good humour and willingness to take on challenges. She was a dedicated team member who stepped up to hard work. 
 
As a former REALTOR® and long-time Manager of Member Services, Noreen was well-known and liked by REBGV staff and members alike. She was a staunch supporter of her team in Programs and Events, Member Services and MLS®.  
 
Years ago, REBGV’s managers participated in an Insights teambuilding exercise. The observations that surfaced through that exercise described Noreen perfectly:
 
“Noreen is warm and gracious and believes in a philosophy of ‘live and let live’… As she is highly articulate with a quick sense of humour she is often the life and soul of the party… Noreen radiates goodwill and enthusiasm. She is optimistic about life in general and human potential in particular. She is seen by most others as a friendly, practical, realistic and down-to-earth person. She tends to live for today with a ‘you only go around once’ philosophy.”
 
She lived her life to the fullest. 
 
We will always remember Noreen. Please join us in extending our heartfelt condolences to Noreen’s husband Tony and the countless friends and family she touched in her life.

I met Noreen at CMLS. I didn’t get to know her too well, but I know she will be missed. #fuckcancer

Jul 30 20

Katie Smithson battles Andrew Graveno in W+R Studios’ latest “Scavenger Hunt” quarantine video

by Greg Robertson

Our very own Katie and Andrew battle it out in W+R Studios’ latest employee video. Spoiler Alert, it’s a photo finish!

Hope this brings a smile to your face as much as it does me.

Jul 30 20

Northern Nevada Regional MLS (NNRMLS) promotes George Pickard, current CTO to CEO position

by Greg Robertson

Search Committee Promotes From Within

In his nearly nine years with NNRMLS, Pickard has proven himself to be a leader. He’s played a crucial role in strategic planning, executive decision-making, data analysis, budgeting, negotiating, contracting, recruiting,  project management, business development, policy, public speaking, marketing, and communications. Pickard is a driving force behind the implementation of the NNRMLS strategic vision, empowering team members and contractors, coordinating solutions with vendors and stakeholders, and fostering strong relationships with NNRMLS’ Shareholders to deliver world-class MLS services to our members.”

George Pickard

This isn’t the first time NNRMLS has promoted from within, Shelley Specchio (now CEO of MIBOR) was also promoted when Merri Jo Cowen left for the top spot at Stellar MLS (formerly My Florida Regional MLS).

Great gig for George. As mentioned above NNRMLS is known for being a creator of leaders in the industry.

Congrats to George and NNRMLS!

Jul 29 20

W+R Studios’ 2020 Survey of Best Practices for CMAs and Listing Presentations

by Greg Robertson

Got a few nice write-ups on a recent survey W+R Studios put out.

From Andrea Brambila of Inman NewsMost agents aren’t including Zestimates, iBuyer info in CMAs

“W+R Studios, whose flagship product is comparative market analysis software Cloud CMA, fielded the survey “2020 Survey of Best Practices for CMAs and Listing Presentations” online from May 18 to May 31. The company sent the survey to its 298,520 Cloud CMA agent and broker subscribers, of which 3,325 completed the survey. Survey respondents hail from 46 states nationwide.

“Any agent creating a comparative market analysis wonders whether they are ‘doing it right’ or is curious about what other agents include or don’t include in their CMA. This survey gives agents an inside peek at the best practices of what goes into creating a winning CMA,” said Frances Wiseman, director of marketing for W+R Studios, in a statement.”

I was also surprised that most agents were not including Zestimates in their CMAs. Less so about iBuyer offers, since the number of iBuyer markets is still limited.

From Victor Lund of the WAV GroupSurvey Results: Best Practices for CMA

“A powerful data component that is affirmed by the report is that agents interrogate all listing statuses in their CMA. Active listings are important to understand what is available to buyers today, but pricing is particularly influenced by pending, sold, expired, and withdrawn listings. The CMA may be one of the reasons why homes are selling so much faster (lower days on market) than ever before. It is hard for a listing to hide when the listing price is too high. Surprisingly, the report indicates that the properties included in a CMA range from 5 to 11. Agents focus on the Days on Market Comparison more than 61% of the time, making it one of the most vital calculations in the CMA report.”

Yup, Days on Market (DOM) is a huge deal for agents. Which I know is a battle at most MLS organizations.

Check out the full results here. If you are at an MLS organization this would be a perfect thing to share, since a lot of agents wonder whether they are doing a CMA “right”.

I would love to hear any suggestions to make the report better for next year. Are there any questions you want to ask? Let me know.

Jul 28 20

Listing Bits Episode 59: How Agents Win by Working with Renters – with Ishay Grinberg

by Greg Robertson

Most real estate agents look down on rentals, preferring to work solely with clients looking to buy in the next three to six months. What they don’t realize is that there are $12B in leasing commissions available to those agents who are willing to work with renters. And they’re missing out on the opportunity to build relationships with the homebuyers of tomorrow. But how do you find out what rentals are available in your market—when only a small percentage are listed on the MLS?

Ishay Grinberg [pronounced ee-shy] is the Founder and President of Rental Beast, the MLS for rentals. The platform helps tenants and landlords navigate the rental experience and levels the playing field for agents and brokers, giving them access to a comprehensive database of rental listings. Ishay has 20-plus years of experience in the real estate industry, working as an agent and managing broker for firms in New York City and Boston before creating Rental Beast. 

On this episode of Listing Bits, Ishay introduces us to the Rental Beast platform and describes the opportunity available to real estate agents who are open to working with renters. He explains how the platform facilitates a fully virtualized transaction that is driven by the agent, exploring what the sales side of our industry can learn about virtualization from rentals. Listen in for Ishay’s insight on integrating Rental Beast with existing MLSs and learn how the platform helps agents earn more by generating transactions on the rental side.

What’s Discussed: 

Why Ishay describes Rental Beast as the MLS for rentals

The 50 unique data points Rental Beast collects for each property

Ishay’s experience in the NYC market where there is no MLS

The $12B in leasing commissions available to agents who are willing to work with renters

How working with renters helps agents build relationships with the homebuyers of tomorrow

What JCHS research reveals about the growing affluence of renters in the US

How Rental Beast facilitates a fully virtualized transaction driven by the agent

How agents can leverage Rental Beast’s AVM for rentals

What the sales side of real estate can learn about virtualization from the rental industry

–Streamline and digitize the closing process

–Touchless showings

Reading the local market to decide whether to hold or flip an investment property

Rental Beast’s vision for embedding themselves in the MLS universe via integration

The positive results brokers are seeing from the use of Rental Beast

Resources:

RESO

Harvard’s JCHS Research

FBS

Invitation Homes

MRED

MRED’s Partnership with Rental Beast

Connect with Ishay:

Rental Beast

Sponsor:

Cloud CMA Live

Jul 27 20

I need your help, again!

by Greg Robertson

Many thanks for all of your that helped me choose a book cover image. You can see the final image below, which was the third cover design.

I got close to 100 responses online and a lot of you emailed me and responded on Twitter as well. It was pretty close between the first cover design and the third cover design. In the end, I went with something more colorful that popped. I think seeing this book on someone’s desk would make them want to pick it up.

But I need your help again. This time it’s with the subtitle. In the example above I have the subtitle as:

“Win Hearts, Minds, and Loyalty by Mastering Real Estate’s Most Versatile Tool”

I’ve changed this once before but I’m still not 100% on my selection. So I going to ask you guys to pick a few other options we have come up with and even give you a chance to write your own.

This is the last piece I need. I’m sending this to the printers this week! So please get your responses in!

Thanks, everyone!

Jul 24 20

Industry Relations Episode 49: Why So-Called Disruptors Just Can’t Change Real Estate

by Greg Robertson

For every tech platform that sets out to disrupt real estate, there’s a story of slow evolution to working with brokers and agents. And while companies like Zillow, Opendoor, and Offerpad have brought about minor changes to the home buying process, they always end up morphing into our traditional system. Why is it that these so-called disruptors just can’t change the way we do real estate?

In this episode of Industry Relations, Rob and Greg are exploring why would-be disruptors have such a hard time changing real estate. Greg walks us through his five-stages-of-grief analogy around how tech platforms always end up working with brokers and agents, and Rob compares real estate with the auto industry, reflecting on how little buying processes have changed despite advancements in technology. 

Rob and Greg go on to introduce the idea that the human connection is what prevents tech disruptors from succeeding in our industry, speculating that agent teams have been the biggest disruptor in real estate in recent years. Listen in for insight on how human knowledge and connection factor into making tech platforms successful and learn why the human need for approval is not disruptable. 

What’s Discussed: 

Rob’s take on the two possible reasons why disruptors have trouble in real estate

–System has been perfected over time

–Entrenched infrastructure (need billions to play)

Greg’s five-stages-of-grief analogy re: how disruptors end up working with agents

The similarities and differences between real estate and the auto industry

–Way we buy + sell changed little in spite of technology

–Remember dealership but not broker (agents ≠ employees)

How technology has expanded consumer knowledge around price, inventory, etc.

Greg’s insight that real estate tech disruptors struggle because they lack human connection

Why agent teams have been the biggest disruptor in real estate in recent years

How Zillow has evolved its Zestimate algorithm to include human knowledge

Why Rob believes that our human need for approval is not disruptable 

What makes Zillow the most likely platform to cause true disruption in real estate

The Tom Ferry study around top agents living paycheck to paycheck

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Resources:

Rob’s Blog on Innovation in Real Estate

TrueCar’s No-Haggle Price

Notorious ROB on Facebook

Our Sponsors:

Cloud Agent Suite

Notorious VIP

Jul 24 20

Realtor.com offers iBuying marketplace

by Greg Robertson

Realtor.com® Now Gives You Options to Sell Your Home, Your Way

“Realtor.com® is the only national home search site to compare different selling options and enable consumers to determine the right fit with just a few clicks. Users simply provide basic information about their home and Seller’s Marketplace will present them with available options in their area. Homeowners will see side-by-side estimates for sale price, timeline and more with no upfront cost or commitment.”

Well, they certainly took their time but I think realtor.com implementation of side by side comparisons is a good one for consumers. Reminds me of the first implementation of Zillow’s “Instant Offers” before they took everything in-house.

This also represents a big shift from what I’ve seen/heard from larger iBuyers. Typically they have not wanted to participate in side by side comparisons. Companies that have offered services of aggregating iBuyer offers have been met with cease and desist letters. But with the current economic environment, things are changing quickly.

The other angle to this is what can be perceived as a “partnership” between realtor.com and Opendoor against Zillow.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”