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Jun 9 21

Chris Bennett, Amy Gorce, and Lucie Fortier are leaving CoreLogic

by Greg Robertson

Holy Shit!

Word is these are individual decisions and not related to any company-wide initiative.

Developing…

Jun 9 21

A bargain at twice the price

by Greg Robertson

1000watt Inside

Things are happening fast, and it’s hard to hear the signal through the noise.

1000watt can help.

That’s why we’re proud to announce 1000watt Inside, a membership program for companies that want to break away from the pack and win the future.

Think of Inside as “1000watt in a box,” your own private think tank, an ever-growing, advantage-building asset for your business.”

Brian

The team at 1000watt lead by Brian Boero and Marc Davison do the most creative work in organized real estate. They are design-centric, great thinkers, amazing copywriters, and best of all good people. They inspire me. They make me want to write better. They make me think.

I had an early sneak peek at their new Inside platform and was blown away. Not just incredible content, but real research that I know will cause a stir. The membership to Inside is a bargain, at twice the price. And I love that it is designed for your team, not just one person.

Marc

Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired and former editor of the Whole Earth Review came up with this concept of “1,000 True Fans“. Meaning that if creators, like the team at 1000watt, came up with something (a product, a service, a piece of art… whatever) they could charge just 1,000 true fans for, then they could sustain a business in doing something they cared about. That’s what I thought about when I first learned they were initially limiting membership to just 200 members. They really want people that will engage, not lurk.

The industry is ripe with “acquisition anxiety”. We all need to step up and support the independent companies out there grinding away at making our industry a better place. Signing up for Inside is a no-brainer if you are an MLS, association, franchisor, or brokerage, vendor, or any kick-ass team looking to be inspired.

So let’s break off a piece of that left-over travel budget and show Brian and Marc some love. Your team will thank you for it.

For more information about Inside click here——-> 1000watt Inside

Jun 8 21

Yours truly on the IRES Matters Podcast

by Greg Robertson

I got a chance to sit down with Annie McLaughlin from IRES, for their IRES Matters Podcast.

You can listen to the podcast on your favorite player or on this site.

Jun 3 21

CRMLS adds RentSpree

by Greg Robertson

CRMLS Selects RentSpree to Power Rental Listings

“As a part of its forward-thinking approach, California Regional Multiple Listing Service was the first MLS in the nation to offer RentSpree’s automated rental platform to users. Now, CRMLS will be launching a full RentSpree integration for all rental listings.”

With inventory levels still at historic lows, many agents and brokers turn to property management as a service to their clients. But the screening process can be time-consuming and fraught with liability concerns. RentSpree provides easy integration for MLS organizations to help their members with the rental screening process.

I have to say I have a soft spot in my heart for well-focused software. Meaning software that doesn’t try to be all things to all people. RentSpree’s simple and elegant design nails it by making the core experience of screening tenants a breeze while keeping additional (and useful) functionality just a click away. The MLS integration is the cherry on top… Nice job Michael and the entire team at RentSpree.

Jun 2 21

Lone Wolf announces leadership changes

by Greg Robertson

Lone Wolf assembles dream team of real estate veterans, leaders, and innovators

“Lone Wolf Technologies (“Lone Wolf”), the North American leader in residential real estate technology, is excited to announce it has added several prominent real estate veterans, leaders, and innovators to the organization, including:

• Greg Robertson, co-founder and CEO of W+R Studios, author, and thought leader behind Vendor Alley, is now Lone Wolf’s General Manager, MLS & Franchisors
• Lisa Mihelcich, formerly COO of zipLogix, is now General Manager, Associations
• David Anderson, founder and CEO of LionDesk, is now General Manager, Agent & Teams
• Aaron Kardell, founder and CEO of HomeSpotter, is now Head of Product
• Sean Wheeler, formerly of RealPage, is now Chief Technology Officer

Combined, these new leaders bring over 75 years of industry experience to the organization, reinforcing the company’s deep commitment to real estate agents, brokers, MLSs, and associations and its vision to simplify real estate through a connected digital experience.”

When Dan and I started to look at Lone Wolf late last year we were surprised that we didn’t know a lot of people (besides Lisa) from the industry. Now I look around and we are stacked. I’m really stoked to work with Aaron and David especially. Being independent software companies for so long we all checked in with each other regularly on how our respective businesses were progressing. I may have even stolen a few ideas from both of them.

When people have asked me how it is working for “the man” now, I get a chuckle. From my perspective I asked myself three questions, “Am I being challenged?” – hell yes. “Am I learning anything new?” – every day. “Do I like the people I’m working with?” – that’s a solid yes too. We have a lot of work to do but I’m looking forward to working with such a great group of people.

Jun 2 21

CMLS Conference is back! Vegas Baby!

by Greg Robertson

CMLS2021 is Hybrid

“CMLS is excited to announce CMLS2021 will be a hybrid event. We look forward to welcoming attendees in Las Vegas for an in-person conference the week of September 20th. Times continue to be interesting and we want to accommodate all comfort levels, so we will be offering a virtual option as well. 
We will see you this fall whether in-person or virtual for a content-rich conference covering the big issues swirling in and around our industry. We will celebrate the Power of MLS and all it does to help build a better marketplace. You will have the opportunity to share, learn, and connect at CMLS2021. We are reimagining the normal schedule this year so please block your calendars for Monday, September 20 – Thursday, September 23. Look for updates on securing your CMLS2021 tickets, hotel details, safety guidelines, and the program very soon. We promise an event you’ll be very glad you attended.”

I’m beyond excited that CMLS made this move. And I’m hoping that many of you will be able to attend live. I’m a firm believer that one of the most valuable things we lost was the ability to collaborate in person. See you there.

May 27 21

Au revoir Curt

by Greg Robertson

I got an email from him last week. Long story short, Curt has decided to leave Zillow at the end of the month and reached out to Dan and me. He expressed he loves what he is doing, but kids are gone, and it’s time to work on some other things. “The List” we all have. I was nodding my head as I read his email.

It’s easy to underestimate the impact Curt has had on this industry. He wrote the first web-based MLS system. Full Stop. He’s behind some of the most innovative agent tools in the industry. He helped Zillow become the listing powerhouse they are today. Steve Jobs once said, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why even be here?” Curt made a big ole fucking dent in this industry.

I wrote a post about Curt all the way back in 2011 (some of my best writing, if I do say so myself), I thought I would repost again.

I know I will see you again my friend, hopefully, sooner than later.

Curt

He stands over 6 and a half feet tall, he once rode his motorcycle (a Harley-Davidson) from Washington state all the way a Houston, Texas; and back! ( A trip covering over 5,000 miles), this year, he quipped, “I flew”. He lives mostly off the grid, doesn’t own a television, is the current VP of Business Development at MOVE, has a Cary Grant type of accent to his voice (meaning I can’t figure out what country the accent comes from, if any), his name is Curt Beardsley and is in my estimation one of the best minds and speakers in real estate today.

I met Curt in Kirkland Washington back in 1996. Back then I was trying to launch our product, “Lightning“, in the market in Western Washington. I met with a few brokers showing the latest innovation with Lightning. Moore Data had just introduced photos to its MLS software Compass. My business partner Dan Woolley had, for lack a better word, hacked the system so that Lightning could also display photos from the Compass MLS system. A huge feat that raised a lot of eyebrows. I still remember people looking under our table at trade shows thinking we had another computer running Viewpoint (Moore Data’s proprietary MLS access software). One of the brokers suggested I meet with a couple of guys that were doing some innovative stuff, on this new thing called “the Internet”. The broker made the introduction and the next day I went to meet them.

At that time Curt was the co-founder of a company called True North Technology. When I arrived they had a small office with a single “partner’s desk”. Or maybe it was just two desks facing together. His partner was Kevin Knoepp. I showed them Lightning and our ability to display Compass photos. I could tell both of them were impressed. Dan’s hack had brought me some street cred. (Although later he confessed that at our first meeting he never heard anyone curse as much as I did.) We were a small company in real estate technology (IRIS) and so were they. What I didn’t know at the time was that Curt and Kevin were working on what would be the first web-based MLS system.

We became friends, kept in touch, hung out together at real estate conferences, traded stories and tried to grow our respective companies. True North began getting some traction, and starting launching their new MLS system with MLS providers around the country. Not long after that they were acquired by another upstart in the MLS game, GTE. GTE had a MLS software called System 4, led by Errol Samuelson. Serendipity.

Errol is no slouch when it comes to speaking and bringing big ideas to this space. If you are lucky you’ll get to see both of them speak. Any panel in which Curt or Errol are participating leave the other panelists looking like the amateur hour. Curt is a perfect fit for the cerebral Errol and the real estate industry is better for their partnership together.

Curt brings more an academic vibe to his talks. His vibe is one of a well liked professor. If the TED conference wanted someone to talk about real estate I would send Curt. His mix of data and a passion about the idea of a “Home” is very inspiring. This is striking compared to others in the space. An article I read last week in the New York Times quoted Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia; “There was a time when owning a home was a symbol of you had made it. Now it’s O.K. not to own” and continued “I’m in no rush at all to buy”. Pete doesn’t get it. Curt does.

If you have been in this business a long time you can get jaded. To actually listen to someone who inspires you is a tall order. Curt’s mix of idealism and creative energy is a beautiful thing to watch and fills that tall order in more ways than one.”

May 26 21

OneKey MLS get tech talent

by Greg Robertson

OneKey® MLS adds Three Data and Technology Experts to its Board of Managers to help keep REALTORS® relevant and profitable

Jim Speer, CEO, OneKey MLS says, “When we formed OneKey MLS, we affirmed our passion for pursuing continual improvements in delivering meaningful services, and software that will help our customers stay relevant and profitable for the long haul. Adding three insightful, experienced, and objective technology leaders to our Board of Managers is one more important step toward achieving that important pursuit.”

So much going on in real estate you need all the help you can get. Alon I know has a ton of experience and perspective on this space. I think it’s a great idea for MLS organizations to add outside directors to give them a bit more perspective on the entire organized real estate ecosystem.

May 25 21

Join me on Clubhouse at 3PM PT today!

by Greg Robertson

Lots going on in Organized Real Estate. MLS Owned, retirements, CoStar. Let’s do this!

Join me on Clubhouse on your mobile phone by clicking the link below.

https://www.clubhouse.com/join/alley-cats/46FJ6Efi/m2YLW1j4

May 25 21

MLS, heal thyself

by Greg Robertson

MLS Aligned Acquires Agent Inbox to Create the Future of the MLS Showing Experience

“With this acquisition, MLS Aligned will build upon the Agent Inbox tools to bring messaging and showings together in a straightforward place for agents and brokers. The system will bring tremendous benefits to consumers due to the platform’s speed and enhanced showing system capabilities.

To better facilitate the showing process, MLS Aligned will integrate the showings and messaging systems within the platforms of their members to provide for seamless agent-to-agent and agent-to-client communications.”

Nature abhors a vacuum. While it seems that new showing software solutions are popping up everywhere, they still represented a problem to many MLS organizations. Mainly, “acquisition anxiety”.

That’s why an “MLS Owned” could have some legs. Many MLS members and their board of directors have given MLS staff the mandate to get off of Zillow’s ShowingTime. But many MLS organizations struggled as they faced the “devil you know is better than the devil you don’t” syndrome and good adoption.

This is somewhat of a travesty since I feel (and the vast majority of MLS execs I talk to) that ShowingTime has been unfairly treated. But some MLS execs find themselves in a bind because of angry member feedback or their MLS policies state that participants can’t be vendors.

Still, not all MLS organizations are suited for this type of acquisition. Just because you run an MLS, doesn’t mean you can run a software company. But many MLS Aligned members have deep experience in creating and supporting software solutions.

These MLS organizations represent about 100,000 agents, but the press release clearly states, “MLS Aligned will be making this software available to organizations that are not MLS Aligned members in the near future.”

I think this is a big story and “MLS Owned” represents a new type of disruption in the industry. I gotta give a lot of credit to the stakeholders at MLS Aligned. This is really a bold move. Now they have to match that with good execution.