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Mar 25 19

If you are thinking about building a new MLS system…

by Greg Robertson

Speaking of either building a new MLS system or making enhancements to an existing MLS system please consider this idea:

Add a module that helps MLS organizations communicate with their members better. The standard Message Board that appears when agents login to the MLS isn’t cutting it. Here’s some features off the top of my head…

  • Native email solution (preferably double-opt in)
  • Native messaging within the MLS System that is context sensitive
  • In app Chat
  • Social media integration

An MLS system that helps MLS providers better communicate with their members is sorely needed. This will help get important information out to members about product updates and advocacy. And it will help increase adoption of MLS member tools.

You’re welcome.

Mar 25 19

Remine pivots

by Greg Robertson

Remine lays off two-thirds of sales staff a month after raising $30M

“These positions were focused on the ‘up sell’ of our agent product, and that is no longer reflective of our company’s overall strategy to serve as a partner of the MLS,” Pareja added of the terminated jobs. “Even though they no longer have a home at Remine, the people who worked in these sales roles did everything right.”
The company also announced that it was restructuring its leadership, with Pareja transitioning from CEO to president and chief financial officer Mark Schacknies taking over as chief executive.
In a conversation with Inman Friday, Schacknies said that the layoffs stemmed from Remine’s decision to focus on selling services to entire multiple listing services (MLSs), rather than trying to “up sell” individual agents.
“The internal decision was to kind of go deeper into the MLS world,” Schacknies said.

Inman News

Tough day for a lot of people. I’m hoping anyone reading this that is looking for sales people can contact Remine for what sounds like a lot of good folks.

When I heard about Remine’s MLS 2.0 product I wondered why they just didn’t fully commit to that model instead of relying on up sells. Now, It seems they’ve reached the same conclusion.

I think the future is going to very exciting, with Remine fully committing to building a next level MLS system (“MLS 2.0”) the competition in the MLS vendor space is going to get intense.

Mar 22 19

ShowingTime

by Greg Robertson

My thanks to ShowingTime to sponsoring Vendor Alley. ShowingTime is one of my favorite companies in the MLS industry. Recently they signed a deal with South Central Kansas MLS.

ShowingTime’s products and services are used to schedule more than four million showings per month in 250 MLSs across the U.S. and Canada representing 950,000 real estate professionals. Its market stats reporting tools equip MLSs, associations and their members with the ability to do in-depth analysis to better understand their local markets and help guide sales and marketing decisions.

Michael Lane, ShowingTime’s president recently sat down with me on an episode of my podcast Listing Bits. You can hear that conversation here.

Listing Bits Episode 38: Showing Management & Real Estate Market Stats with Mike Lane of ShowingTime

My thanks again to ShowingTime.

Mar 20 19

Homesnap signs agreement with CoreLogic for Matrix integration

by Greg Robertson

CORELOGIC AND HOMESNAP JOIN FORCES ON INTEGRATIONS TO MATRIX

This alliance represents the first time that CoreLogic has allowed these combined integrations directly into Matrix. The integrations will be available to CoreLogic Matrix and Homesnap Pro customers and users at no additional charge.
 
“Agents want to be able to perform their essential business functions in one place, using one platform. This groundbreaking collaboration with Homesnap will make that goal a reality for the brokers and agents who use Homesnap and Matrix,” said Chris Bennett, Executive Leader of Real Estate Solutions for CoreLogic. “We are proud to be working with Homesnap to deliver these integrations to the industry.”

Smart move by Corelogic. I think opening up Matrix to third party solutions is going to be a good thing in the long run. It keeps people on their platform, which will make it harder for them to switch. Here’s why:

CoreLogic is Google, Matrix is Gmail.

The analogy I keep coming back to is email. To me Matrix is something akin to Gmail. Gmail is a very robust and powerful email client. I can do crazy searches, add boolean operators, date ranges, and a ton of other stuff. But is it the most sexy looking interface? No. Hell I’m sure I don’t know 95% of what Gmail can do. Which is why I use Apple Mail (some of you may use Outlook), which is super easy to use, and has a clean interface and works well with my other Apple apps. But since Gmail hosts my email, if I really need to find an email from that client from 2 years ago, I can go back in to Gmail. Doesn’t happen all the time, but I always glad it’s there. And to be fair, there are a ton of people that love Gmail and use it exclusively.

What I just described is Front End of Choice.

Agent and brokers want more choices.

HomeSpotter, Homesnap, Cloud MLX, and others are really just like Outlook and Apple Mail. Currently Remine in that category, but they recently announced (MLS 2.0) they want to be Google (CoreLogic). 😀 Remine has also committed to be open and much more friendly to 3rd party solutions. So, as I’ve said, smart move by Corelogic.

Mar 19 19

Zillow won’t pay VHT 4 million

by Greg Robertson

Court tosses $4 million copyright award against Zillow

A federal jury awarded VHT more than $8 million, an amount a judge later cut in half.
Last Friday, however, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that award and sent the case back to U.S. District Court in Seattle for further proceedings related to a smaller group of photos.
In a statement Tuesday, Zillow attorney Ian Crosby called it a major win. VHT did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Washington Post

I wrote about this case back in February 2017. All those legal bills can’t be cheap tho’.

Mar 19 19

Every vendor (new and old) should read this…

by Greg Robertson

This just popped back up on my Twitter feed. I just read it again, I had forgotten how goddamn good it is. Jessica Swesey of 1000watt breakdowns what every vendor should understand about real estate, brokers and agents. This is mandatory everybody, stop what you are doing and read this now.

Things proptech startups should know

There are many paths. But at the end of the day, agents drive pretty much everything. That may sound like an easy answer, but it’s not, for a lot of reasons. Agents are expensive to reach, require a lot of in-person selling, onboarding and training — even for “simple” software. And there’s a LOT of churn. People seem to try on this career like a hat in a store window, then move along to other pastures often. 
And there’s this: An irregular, commission-based income and a regular credit card charge for a software or service subscription just don’t live well together. 
And whereas virality can work wonders with other business apps like Slack, agents tend not to want to tell others about new tools they suddenly can’t live without.

Jessica Swesey

And if you aren’t currently getting 1000watt blog posts via email you should. Sign up by clicking here —> Subscribe to 1000watt

Mar 18 19

SmarterAgent , LLC sues Real Estate Webmasters

by Greg Robertson

SmarterAgent sues Real Estate Webmasters, HomeAway

“SmarterAgent invented systems and methods generally related to location-aware search engines, providing content to those location-aware search engines, and making databases supporting location-aware search engines more efficient,” the complaint against HomeAway reads. “SmarterAgent has offered for sale software applications embodying or related to those inventions.”

I had written about the patents SmarterAgent had and how they might continue to enforce them. But here’s the super impressive part…

In 2013, SmarterAgent LLC split into two separate entities – SmarterAgent LLC and SmarterAgent Mobile. The former focused on patent licensing and the latter on mobile technology. In 2018, Keller Williams acquired a controlling stake in SmarterAgent Mobile, as the real estate franchise giant moved toward buildings its new end-to-end real estate platform and consumer-facing home search website and app.

So it looks like SmarterAgent only sold a “controlling interest” in the company that controlled the “mobile technology”, not the “patents”. Those Blumbergs are pretty freaking “smart”!

Mar 18 19

CREA signs Lone Wolf as National Transaction Management System

by Greg Robertson

Canadian Real Estate Association Taps Lone Wolf as National Transaction Management System

CREA intends to maintain The WEBForms® branding on the forms product, but it will now be powered by TransactionDesk and made available to CREA’s membership of over 100,000 REALTOR®members. CREA will be supporting the integration of the TransactionDesk suite into MLSs across Canada. TransactionDesk is already integrated into the MLS® systems in some major markets like Toronto, and TransactionDesk integration connectors have already been developed for CoreLogic® Matrix® and Black Knight Financial® Paragon® MLS systems. Other integrations are planned.

I gotta say I’m super impressed with what Lone Wolf has accomplished since it was acquired by Vista Equity Partners.

Mar 15 19

Have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

by Greg Robertson

From the crew at W+R Studios!

Mar 15 19

LionDesk intros “Lead Assist”

by Greg Robertson

LionDesk® launches innovative AI technology, Lead Assist™, ahead of refreshed platform

 LionDesk® , the leading Real Estate CRM platform that helps sales professionals connect, communicate and close leads faster, is proud to announce “Lead Assist™,” an automated lead conversion assistant. Nicknamed, “Gabby,” Lead Assist will qualify incoming leads with the goal of booking appointments, while agents focus on current business activities. 
Closely mimicking true artificial intelligence, Gabby will engage with incoming leads and existing clients via text message to further determine lead quality and speed response to general customer needs with the ultimate goal of qualifying the lead for the agent. 

Gabby, Kelle, Siri, and Alexa sounds like the next lineup of the Spice Girls.

Aside from that I love the video that LionDesk came up with to highlight the value proposition of this new feature.

I recently did a podcast with LionDesk’s CEO David Anderson. You can check that out here.