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Dec 8 16

REColorado makes multi-million dollar offer to purchase IRES MLS

by Greg Robertson

Leaked document outlines plan….

“REcolorado has made a multi-million dollar offer to purchase all of the assets and liabilities of IRES. This will empower agents and brokers with the benefits that can only come from a real consolidation. MLS regionalization will remove boundaries and provide additional products and services to agents to help them better serve the consumer.”

Looks like Kirby doesn’t screw around. I haven’t heard of an MLS to straight up make an offer to acquire outright.

IRES has over 5,500 members and run their own homegrown MLS, REColorado (formerly Metrolist) has about 19,000 runs Matrix.


Dec 7 16

Come as you are…

by Greg Robertson

So I tweeted this earlier today…

mjnvx72me7xlxxnjymomsa-full-logo-small-transparents-01Just a few minutes ago we pushed it live to production. This means that Cloud CMA can integrate with Zillow’s RETSLY API.

The MLS requested this, and since we didn’t have the MLS already as a Cloud CMA partner it was a no-brainer.

Last month we presented at meeting for RPR showing Cloud CMA working with their AMP API, which is still in beta. And of course Cloud CMA has been working with FBS’ Spark API for many years now.

One thing is for certain, vendors are going to need to be more flexible in the ways they interface with MLS data. It’s going to be awhile till this all shakes out.

Dec 7 16

Real Estate Leaders’ Outlook for Housing Study Released

by Greg Robertson

Renwick Congdon, Chief Executive Officer of Imprev
Study Shows Real Estate Leaders’ Outlook for Housing, Economy Softens for 2017

“When we compare past studies, an interesting trend emerges: Executives and broker-owners are less confident in the global economy and far more confident in their local economies at the end of each year than they were at the beginning. In fact, their confidence grows stronger the closer the economy is to home,” Congdon explains. “This year, while only 4% of leaders say their confidence in the world economy has grown this year, 35% say their confidence in their own local economy has grown; while 13% have gained confidence in the U.S. economy, 26% have more confidence in their own state’s economy.”

I love these kind of insights, but I really love this.

But I wonder if this means anything…

The study was conducted from October 18 to November 1, 2016.

Dec 7 16

More on Opendoor

by Greg Robertson

Ben Thompson of Stratechery has an altruistic view of what the Opendoor can provide the changing job market.


There is a deeper reason why I am excited about Opendoor, and it too is related to how the company’s approach differs from Zillow and Redfin. While Zillow makes it easier to look for new houses, and Redfin promises to save sellers a few bucks, making it trivial to sell a house has the potential to fundamentally impact our economy at a time we desperately need exactly that. Many, including myself, have written about how globalization and technology are upending the job market; one particular challenge is that often new jobs are created in different geographic areas than where job seekers are located.”

The Notorious R.O.B. think he’s figured out how they will pay for it…

Forest for the Trees: Opendoor Edition

“The final observation here is that while buying and selling houses is painful — and Opendoor does want to make that process easier with all of its innovations — the real pain as of today is the financing process. Honestly, compared to trying to get and close a mortgage, the house-hunting process is a joyful jaunt through a shady park on a clear fall day.

Dec 6 16

Diane Ruggiero to take reins at COVE

by Greg Robertson

diane-professional-2014-8x10One name that jumped out at me on the last post was Diane Ruggiero. Diane was in the association and MLS world for 35 years.
-CEO in Burlington County, NJ for 10 years
-CEO in Washington DC when MRIS was formed
-CEO at Kansas City Regional AOR for 15 years and 7 years of that as the CEO as Heartland MLS.

Diane also spent one year at Microsoft HomeAdvisor in the early days of their formation. She joined Ann Bailey at Pranix in January 2016.

With Ann’s retirement Diane will now be the consultant and facilitator for the COVE group going forward. Congrats Diane!

Dec 6 16

N.A.R. CEO Search Committee revealed

by Greg Robertson

I don’t think a recruiter has been announced but from what I understand here are the members of the search committee.

Chris Polychron – Chair, Hot Springs, AR
Cathy Whatley – Vice Chair, Jacksonville, FL

Jeff Barnett, Los Gatos, CA
Tray Bates, Corpus Christi, TX
Brian Copeland, Nashville, TN
Julie DeLorenzo, Boise, ID
Travis Kessler, Austin, TX
Mike McGrew, Lawrence, KS
Mike Pappas, Miami, FL
Beth L. Peerce, Los Angeles, CA
JoAnne Poole, Glen Burnie, MD
Diane Ruggiero, The Villages, FL
Joel Singer, Los Angeles, CA
Tom Stevens, Vienna, VA
Rebecca Thomson, Chicago, IL

The choice seems pretty clear to me.

Dec 6 16

N.A.R. and score big win over patent troll

by Greg Robertson

NAR, Score Industry Win Against Patent Troll

“The real estate industry achieved an important victory last Friday on a patent-infringement case — one that stretches back more than a decade — when U.S. District Judge George King in California ruled the patent invalid.
The patent involves the use of a computer to display a database of real estate listings on a map and to zoom in on listings. The so-called ‘989 patent was granted in 1991 and has since expired, but the patent holder, Real Estate Alliance Ltd. (REAL), claims it is owed millions in licensing fees from past use by real estate agents, brokers, MLSs, and MLS vendors.”

The entire industry owes a debt of gratitude for N.A.R and for taking up this fight.

Dec 6 16

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Diverse SolutionSales Executive

“The Sales Executive role at Diverse Solutions provides a compelling opportunity for professionals with a proven track record to generate new customers and grow our existing business, while delivering an exceptional customer experience. You are versed in working to generate new customers as well as building and working with an assigned book of business.You will increase revenue, build strong customer partnerships, and increase retention and customer satisfaction. Have in depth knowledge of real estate trends, market conditions, be an expert in the real estate landscape as it pertains to top real estate professionals, teams, brokers, and brokerage houses throughout the United States. Partner with billing, customer service, and marketing to foster client growth and/or resolution.”

Find out about this job and more at the Vendor Alley Job Board!

Dec 6 16

What’s Opendoor going to do with the $320 million they just raised?

by Greg Robertson

Teke Wiggin from Inman News

What Opendoor’s Uber-like funding round means for real estate

Property-exchange platform Opendoor just bagged what is probably the largest funding round ever for a real estate tech startup, with a reported valuation of at least $1 billion only two years after launch.

The startup is overhauling the traditional real estate business model in a fundamental way. It buys and sells homes itself, giving it unprecedented flexibility to improve speed, convenience and customer experience.

Opendoor’s deployment of $320 million in equity funding and $400 million in debt will send shockwaves across the industry, perhaps most by popularizing new technology and business practices.

I might be oversimplifying this but I think it’s pretty obvious why Opendoor raised that much money and what they are going to do with it.

The need to buy houses (inventory). So unlike most institutional money, a lot of the money raised will be tied to an asset. So I think getting a larger sum was a good risk.

To me Opendoor is more akin to CarMax. I recently sold on older car through CarMax, I didn’t get as much as I would have wanted but the process was pretty much hassle free, and to me, time is money.

The rub here is that some in Silicon Valley have thought real estate agents would be replaced by software by now, just like travel agents.

But many of these new entrants have failed to grasp the emotional nuance of buying and selling real estate.

Dec 6 16

FBS taps AgentSquared as solution for its Broker Services Team

by Greg Robertson

FBS Broker Agent Services Team to Offer AgentSquared180,000 Realtors Gain Access to Instant IDX Websites

“With an AgentSquared IDX website powered by the Spark API, Flexmls users can register their domain and have a beautiful, live IDX website in minutes that’s modern, branded, mobile-responsive and integrated with their Flexmls contacts (so they don’t have to manually enter lead information from their AgentSquared website into their Flexmls CRM). Because the listing data is coming from a real time API, any changes to the listing record are reflected instantly on AgentSquared websites so consumers have the freshest and most comprehensive listing information possible.”

I’ve been meaning to write about Troy and his company, AgentSquared, for sometime now. It’s really the first API only solution I’ve been impressed with. You have to see it to understand that when they say an “instant IDX website” it really is that simple, and instant. The brilliant part about this solution is the way AgentSquared leverage the API data for setup. I don’t think that has been talked about much.

The only caveat is that things are much quicker and simpler with FBS’ Spark API platform which has agent info in their API and handles both the data and permissioning. That doesn’t mean that an MLS provider with an API could grant that permission for the product as part of the solution.