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Mar 16 18

Say Yes to the MLS!

by Greg Robertson

An email sent out to NORMLS members made a special announcement.

The Shareholders of these two companies voted on January 22, 2018 to consolidate into one new company to be known as Yes-MLS. The combined membership will exceed 12,000 members and will serve 36 Counties in Ohio and West Virginia. Yes-MLS will be the largest MLS in Ohio and is expected to be fully complete by early Spring 2018.

Carl DeMusz, current CEO of NORMLS will serve as CEO of Yes MLS. “This consolidation opens many doors for our members as we empower our brokerages to serve their clientele locally and on a national scale by implementing standards that knock down barriers to their businesses”, said DeMusz.

John Kurlich, current CEO of CRIS who will serve as COO of Yes MLS observed, “The ‘consolidation’, rather than a ‘merger’, enables us to create a new and forward-looking MLS for our members. One that provides accurate data and the technology to use that data in an increasingly data driven real estate environment.”

Congrats to Carl and John. Love the new name!

Mar 16 18

HouseCanary wins $706M in lawsuit

by Greg Robertson

HouseCanary wins $706M after getting sued by Quicken Loans offshoot

“The jury agreed with HouseCanary that Title Source, as the Quicken Loans division was referred to in the case, failed to honor a software licensing contract and then used HouseCanary’s technology and trade secrets to try to construct its own version. Title Source had initially sued HouseCanary, alleging fraud and breach of contract over the software, but HouseCanary countered and won the huge sum.”

Great story. $706M represents 10 times the amount of HouseCanary’s initial funding. This case sounded vaugely familiar, then I recalled this other story…

Collateral Analytics sues Nationstar for allegedly stealing trade secrets

“Because there are no other products on the market with comparable accuracy, coverage, and functionality, (Nationstar and Xome) were unwilling to switch suppliers,” the lawsuit states. “And, because it literally takes decades of research and refinement (not to mention many millions of dollars) to make a product with the accuracy, coverage, and functionality that Collateral Analytics displays, Defendants were unable to develop their own.”

So, the lawsuit claims that Nationstar took matters into its own hands and stole Collateral Analytics trade secrets.”


Mar 16 18

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Sr DevOps Engineer – Real Estate Digital

“Design and implement auto-scaling and CI/CD solutions that improve the ability of the RED IT delivery teams to efficiently deliver solutions with quality.
-Will develop and implement a set of quality criteria and the associated validation method to ensure that any deliverable meets the expected quality levels of our customers
-Coding and scripting and operational tasks using one or more programming or scripting languages, design and implementation of configuration management and service discovery, secrets management, immutable infrastructure, containers, and the use of tools to accelerate the SDLC and improve availability and quality of releases
-Actively review their own and the team’s work processes and implement improvements seen from other teams or in industry to drive continuous improvement of the team’s efficiency, speed, and quality”

You can find out about this gig and more on the Vendor Alley Job Board

Mar 15 18

Clareity MLS Workshop 2018 Recap

by Greg Robertson

Report from Clareity’s 17th Annual MLS Executive Workshop

“Clareity packed a lot of perspectives and content into a ton of sessions over a day and a half – but the Workshop is about more than content – it’s about relationship building. We’ve listened to those attendees with ideas of how to make the event even better – besides the meals together and fun outings on arrival day, the longer breaks have improved the networking possible during the event.”

Good recap from Matt. I gotta say I was a bit cautious about the event, ever since Clareity was acquired by CoreLogic. But Gregg, Matt and team pulled off a great event with diverse content, that didn’t pander to the mothership. Hopefully they can keep this vibe/event going.

Mar 15 18

GSREIN launches Remine

by Greg Robertson

Gulf South Real Estate Information Network Launches Remine

“The Gulf South Real Estate Information Network (GSREIN), the largest multiple listing service (MLS) in Louisiana, serving more than 6,300 Realtors in the New Orleans Metropolitan area today announced Remine’s new, cutting-edge real estate intelligence platform is now live in Louisiana, making it among the first ten MLSs in the country to launch the product.”

Congrats to Jonathan, Leo and the rest of the Remine team. These guys are growing fast (close to 90 employees now and growing). I love the fact these guys are creating new ways for agents to do business. And it’s great to see this type of confidence in the industry.

Mar 14 18

MRED hires new CTO

by Greg Robertson


“This opportunity gave Haran firsthand experience with MRED, as he served on its Board of Managers from 2015-2017. During this time, Haran represented MRED on the Board’s Technology Focus Group. These experiences and more made Haran an ideal candidate to thrive in this vital role.

“Being a pioneer of technology is of the utmost importance to MLSs and I know that Chris is the perfect person to keep MRED at the forefront and push us ahead even farther.” said MRED President/CEO Rebecca Jensen. “Bringing in Chris is a huge milestone for MRED and our customers.”

Haran is a 2005 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University. He also spent time as a mentor for the National Association of REALTORS® REach program as well as Moderne Ventures, advising startup companies on business plans.”

Congrats to MRED and Chris!

Mar 14 18

Terradatum Acquires VScreen

by Greg Robertson

Analytics Provider Terradatum Acquires VScreen

““Analytics that Terradatum provides through BrokerMetrics® and its other services are critically important content that elevates a brokerage’s ability to better execute its business strategy,” says Mark Spraetz, CEO of Terradatum. “VScreen and OnHoldUSA’s multimedia content services offer tools that can elevate marketing efforts in a similar manner. Good content, regardless of form, seeks to engage a person with the brand. Their collective content educates and engages, offering utility across the spectrum of digital marketing. The combination of analytics and marketing content will be a differentiator for our clients.”

I get the where they will use VScreen, but OnHoldUSA is a mystery. But I’m more aware of their BrokerMetrics product than anything else.

Mar 12 18

Industry Relations: Gary Keller’s Polarizing ‘KW First’ Vision Speech

by Greg Robertson

Data is the new oil—and the one with the most insight wins.


As technology becomes more and more important to the industry, many brokerages are justifiably concerned that real estate will go the way of travel and eCommerce, eventually doing away with the agent altogether. Gary Keller is uneasy about the current shift from tech-enabled agent to agent-enabled technology, and that is where he is drawing a line in the sand. But his controversial ‘KW First’ solution has a lot of us scratching our heads…


Rob and Greg are camped out in the lobby of the 2018 MLS Executive Workshop to talk about Gary Keller’s polarizing vision speech at the recent Keller Williams’ Family Reunion. They are joined by Sunny Lake, official wrangler of Rob Hahn and partner in charge of brokerage consulting with 7DS Associates. Tim Dain, President of MARIS, the regional MLS serving Greater St. Louis, wanders into the conversation as well.


Rob, Greg and Sunny walk us through the crux of Gary Keller’s speech, explaining his fear of the shift from tech-enabled agent to agent-enabled technology. Rob explains his take that Garry correctly identified the problem but is misguided in his solution to paint real estate vendors and MLSs as ‘unsafe’ and move to control and protect their own data. They discuss the contrasting ‘better together’ approach being taken by Re/Max and Realogy, addressing why KW would be better served to embrace other players in the fight against agent-enable technology, and Tim explains why the MLS cannot legally ‘sell out’ brokerage data to platforms like Zillow without their permission. Listen in for debate around how much of Gary’s speech may have been theatre meant to ‘rally the troops’ and how his message might impact the upcoming DOJ/FTC talks on real estate data.


What’s Discussed:


Gary Keller’s polarizing vision speech

-Dangerous shift from tech-enabled agent to agent-enabled tech

-Data not safe with vendors, MLS

-KW will collect, protect own data moving forward

The pressure on brokerages as profit margins continue to shrink

Rob’s take that Gary identified the problem but misidentified the cause

How much of Gary’s speech was theatre to ‘rally the troops’

Why KW won’t be able to do predictive analytics

Agent hesitation to share data with the brokerage

-6-8% average agent adoption with Contactually

Why KW’s ‘go it alone’ approach is misguided

Re/Max’s acquisition of booj

Tim’s insight around the legal restrictions on ‘selling out’ data

-Broker decision, not MLS

The ‘open platform’ approach of Realogy, Re/Max

The fantastic culture at Keller Williams

How Gary’s speech might impact the upcoming DOJ/FTC talks




“Did KW Just Say FU to Vendors?” on Vendor Alley

“In Which Keller Williams Completely Confuses Me” on The Notorious ROB

“The Keller Williams Vision Speech: Followup and Further Thoughts” on The Notorious ROB

“Keller Williams Sheds ‘Traditional Broker’ Shell for New Data-Driven Model” in Inman


Connect with Rob and Greg:


Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Mar 9 18

What’s missing from this picture?

by Greg Robertson

I’ve be seeing a few friends post pictures like this from NAR’s “MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board” meeting going on this week(the one above is from Jon Colie’s Facebook feed).

One thing struck me. What’s missing from this picture?


The industry is changing quickly, we need as many perspectives/help/leadership/ideas as possible.

Mar 9 18

Listing Bits: Backing Ambitious Initiatives in Real Estate with Victor Lund of WAVGroup

by Greg Robertson

‘You can change anything you want to change. People can sit around and complain all they want, or they can do something about it. We’re consultants. We want to go do something about it. We’re tired of talking about it. Let’s just go do it.’


Victor Lund is involved in some of the most ambitious initiatives in the real estate industry. From Upstream to Broker Public Portal, Victor is passionate about solving big problems, and whether or not you agree with his approach, you have to respect his willingness to advocate for change. As the founding partner of WAVGroup, he serves as a consultant to large brokerage firms and MLSs with a particular focus on operational effectiveness, communications and strategic planning. Victor is also the founder and CEO of RE Technology, the leading real estate technology and media portal in the US.


Today Victor shares how he made the transition from venture capital to real estate consulting. He discusses the role of RE Technology and its unusual practice of inviting companies to read their articles in advance of publication. Victor defends his advocacy for the Upstream initiative, explaining the scope of the project and the many benefits it will provide for industry players. He also speaks to the intent behind Broker Public Portal, clearing up misconceptions around how Homesnap functions as a partner rather than a vendor. Listen in for Victor’s insight on tackling difficult challenges in real estate and cooperation as the way forward.


What’s Discussed:


Victor’s transition from VC to real estate consulting

The role of RE Technology as the CNET for real estate

Why RE Technology shares its articles before publication

How WAVGroup’s research department sets it apart

The significant disconnect between brokers and MLSs

Victor’s participation in controversial initiatives


-Broker Public Portal

Victor’s insight on the benefits of Upstream

-Ease burden of agent onboarding checklist

-Instant automation of systems migration

-Efficiency for vendors to deploy products

-Data sharing between MLSs and brokerages

-Facilitates data integration (acquisitions)

-Automate systems (photographer, records creation)

-The incredible scope of the Upstream project

-The timeline for getting Upstream up and running

-Why Upstream uses Web API rather than RETS

Victor’s Upstream pitch for small brokerages

-Premiere information management system

Why fear is the greatest challenge for the Upstream initiative

The impact of Add/Edit on an MLS and its related market

The intent behind Broker Public Portal

-Reimagine way consumers get info

-Consumer-facing website, benefit MLS

The joint venture between Broker Public Portal and Homesnap

How change of control provisions are built into the BPP/Homesnap contract

How Homesnap reinvented themselves as an industry partner

The concept of a parcel-centric database



Upstream fixes many problems, not just one

WAVes of Change


Broker Public Portal


Homesnap BPP


Connect with Victor Lund:


RE Technology

RE Technology on Twitter

Victor on Facebook

Victor on LinkedIn

Victor on Twitter