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Oct 19 18

RESO 2018 is a wrap!

by Greg Robertson


I had a great time in Milwaukee this year with everyone (although I think it could be one day shorter). One of the fun things I did was being a game show announcer on Bill Gaul’s panel. Participating on the game show (left to right) in the photo above, Kejii Ikuta of RMLS, Greg Moore of RMLS, Srinivas Mankala CTO of Builders Update, Bill Gaul CEO of Builders Update, and Melissa King of MFRMLS.

I also moderated a panel featuring Steve Byrd of Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Rebecca Jensen, CEO of MRED, and Art Carter, CEO of CRMLS. While I didn’t get all the answers I was looking for I think it helped shine a light on some of the core issues we face to get things going.

Thanks to Jeremy and his team for putting together another great conference!

Oct 16 18

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies

by Greg Robertson


Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner, dies at 65

“Gates, in a statement Monday, said he was “heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends.” Personal computing would not have existed without Mr. Allen, he said.

“But Paul wasn’t content with starting one company,” Gates said. “He channeled his intellect and compassion into a second act focused on improving people’s lives and strengthening communities in Seattle and around the world. He was fond of saying, ‘If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it.’ That’s the kind of person he was.”

Growing up I consumed everything I could about Microsoft. Tons of books, every newspaper article, every television interview. Those of you who know the origin story of Microsoft understand that Bill’s quote above is not overstated.

I love this quote from Paul Allen about failure. It was in a talk he gave about the first product he and Bill Gates worked on, called Traf-D-Data (a device to measure traffic patterns)

“Objectively speaking, Traf-O-Data was a failure as a company. Right as our business started to pick up, states began to provide their own traffic-counting services to local governments for free. As quickly as it started, our business model evaporated.

But while Traf-O-Data was technically a business failure, the understanding of microprocessors we absorbed was crucial to our future success. And the emulator I wrote to program it gave us a huge head start over anyone else writing code at the time.

If it hadn’t been for our Traf-O-Data venture, and if it hadn’t been for all that time spent on UW computers, you could argue that Microsoft might not have happened.”

As I sit here in the audience at the Fall RESO Conference and look around at all the attendees I can’t help wonder what 2 people are going to create next big thing. If two guys from Lakeside School can change the world, then what’s stopping us?

Thank you Paul.

Oct 15 18

Vendor Tech: Get off the floor!

by Greg Robertson

It’s trade show season again, so that means many of us have been on the road. I still do a little booth duty now and then and thought I’d share something with everyone.

Does this look familiar?

Yup that dreaded rat’s nest of cables on the floor, just to the side of the table cloth at your 6 foot table. Sometimes your charging cables are too short to reach your phone on the table, and it just looks like shit.

But today I have the solution for you. The Accell Powramid! These bad boys are awesome for trade tables and regular conference tables.

Sure they take up a bit of table space, but no bending over, no rat’s nest of cables, they fit all types of power bricks and they come with 6 outlets and two USB charging ports. Love ’em.

You can buy them at Amazon, here’s the link. => Accell Powramid

Take my advice, order twice as many as you think you’ll need because once you start using them you are gonna to find other places to put them.

You’re welcome.

Oct 10 18

OJO Labs acquires WolfNet

by Greg Robertson

OJO Labs acquires WolfNet Technologies

“Specific financial terms were not made public but the deal involved a mix of equity and stock.

The founders of both companies, who had previously been working together on a partnership wherein OJO was using multiple listing service (MLS) data from Wolfnet, said that the deal made sense because of the synergies to be found between them, merging a new consumer-facing property search tool in the form of OJO with a trusted agent-and-broker focused software and data company in the form of WolfNet.”

Seems like every week a deal gets announced and this is a pretty big one! I con only think of one other vendor that currently aggregates the amount of MLS data WolfNet does. I don’t know much about OJO Labs but they are VC backed.

Joel is definitely an O.G. in the industry and a big congrats to him and his team.

Oct 10 18

Listing Bits Episode 33: Choosing the Right MLS Technology Solutions with DaVina Lara of OBAR & bridgeMLS

by Greg Robertson

 

How do MLS executives make decisions around which technology solutions work best for their REALTOR-members? What motivates leadership to establish a system of choice? Are there benefits to offering agents options when it comes to MLS solutions? And what are the challenges associated with giving members more alternatives?

DaVina Lara is the CEO of the Oakland/Berkeley Association of REALTORSand bridgeMLS. Her career in real estate began working for Russ Bergeron at SoCalMLS in 1993. Since then, she has served as an association executive with both the Hemet San Jacinto and Palm Springs Regional Association of REALTORS. DaVina took on the role of OBAR CEO in August of 2015 and added the MLS leadership responsibilities in April of 2016. She is committed to providing members with access to reliable data through innovative technology, offering subscribers access to 10-plus MLSs across California.

Today, DaVina shares her extensive industry resume, discussing her early years as the office manager for SoCalMLS through her current role as MLS and association executive. She explains the thinking behind her decision to implement a system of choice and what impressed her about the dynaConnections’ connectMLS system. Listen in for DaVina’s insight around the pros and cons of offering members additional technology options and learn more about the trend to separate listing input from MLS systems.

What’s Discussed:

DaVina’s early years as the office manager for OCMLS

DaVina’s extensive resume in the real estate industry

Why DaVina is establishing a system of choice

DaVina’s goals as the CEO of bridgeMLS

  1. Change name, reputation
  2. Improve governance structure
  3. More advanced technology

The advantages of dynaConnections’ connectMLS system

-Give members options

-Great mobile site

-Phenomenal service

How data is shared in SoCal vs. the Bay Area

DaVina’s plan to provide connectMLS training

The trend to separate listing input from MLS systems

The relationship between choices and support challenges

 

Resources:

Cloud MLX

dynaConnections

connectMLS

Bridge Interactive

Paragon

BOOST MLS Staff Summit

 

Connect with DaVina Lara:

DaVina on LinkedIn

bridgeMLS

Oakland/Berkeley Association of REALTORS

Oct 9 18

Florida MLS provider kicks Homesnap to the curb

by Greg Robertson

Florida’s Space Coast listing service ditches its Homesnap site

“In an Oct. 2 announcement and email to members, Space Coast MLS said the Homesnap-powered public search on its new association website “wasn’t the right fit for our needs” and had been replaced by a search tool from Financial Business Systems’ (FBS) Flexmls, a previous vendor, while Space Coast MLS works on a permanent solution.”

Looks like Space Coast was iframing Homesnap as their public facing site, which according to Steve Barnes..

““This is really kind of a fringe case related to Homesnap,” Barnes said in a phone interview, adding that none of the other MLSs that iframe Homesnap’s site have chosen to turn it off.

“What it might say is a very local MLS needs unique flavor and a more seamless [tool]. Iframe might not be the best solution for them, but it’s not something that’s actually core to the Homesnap brand,” he added.”

But here’s the rub. According to the article whether you iframe or not you still can’t filter on pools? WTF?

Also, something else. Did you know that you can’t get listing alerts via Homesnap? That’s right you have to login on to the site run a saved search manually (like a caveman) and then find out if properties match your criteria. Unless of course if you just wanted a home with a pool because there is no way to do that currently.

Think about it, it’s 2018 and Homesnap can’t

1. Search for homes with pools
2. Create and send listing alerts (which is ironic because this.)

2 things, I’m sure 99% of IDX vendors have been able to do, for the last 19 years.

Who the fuck cares about “fair display guidelines” if you can’t search for homes with a pool or get listing alerts?

And this is supposed to be “the real estate’s industry answer to third party sites like Zillow and realtor.com”.

I bet they are laughing their asses off in Seattle and Silicon Valley.

But hey, “downloads”, right?

Oct 8 18

Listing Bits Episode 32: The Influence of Design on a Real Estate Brokerage with Matt Beall of Hawai’i Life

by Greg Robertson

How does design impact a real estate brokerage? Does it go beyond aesthetics to influence processes? How does quality design shape the user experience? And what are the benefits of an in-house creative team?  

Matt Beall is the CEO and Principal Broker at Hawai’i Life, the state’s largest listing brokerage with over $25M in annual revenue across 13 commercial locations. He founded Hawai’i Life in 2008 to solve for representation of properties in marketing and digital technology, and now the firm does thousands of transactions each year, representing approximately $1B in sales. Matt also produces the Worthshop Series, a unique industry event designed to facilitate content and conversation among real estate’s brightest minds, and he serves as the cohost of HGTV’s popular reality show Hawaii Life.

Today, Matt shares his diverse experience in real estate, discussing how his background in sales, investing and running a traditional brokerage inspired him to found Hawai’i Life and what differentiates the company from other firms in the space. He explains the value of design in creating a clean and simple user experience and his decision to employ a full-time team of creatives and engineers. Matt also describes the benefits of being featured on HGTV in terms of brand awareness and credibility. Listen in for a preview of this year’s Worthshop at Mauna Kea Resort and learn how the design focus at Hawai’i Life contributes to its company culture.

What’s Discussed: 

Matt’s background running a traditional brokerage

What inspired Matt to found Hawai’i Life in 2008

Hawai’i Life’s recent merger with Joy International

Why Matt employs a full-time creative design team

Hawai’i Life’s focus on simplicity in user experience

The benefits of being featured on HGTV

The aim of Hawai’i Life’s annual Worthshop Series

What differentiates Worthshop from other conferences

The key aspects of Hawai’i Life’s company culture

How an ‘ethos of reset’ influences the tone of Worthshop

 

Resources:

Hawaii Life on HGTV

Worthshop Series

CMLS 2018

 

Connect with Matt Beall:

Hawai’i Life

Matt on LinkedIn

Worthshop 8

Oct 5 18

MLS PIN promotes key executives Melissa Lindberg and Holly Haines

by Greg Robertson

I’m still catching up from the CMLS conference but didn’t want to forget to share this exciting news.

MLS Property Information Network, Inc. Appoints Melissa Lindberg to Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer

“In this new role, Melissa will provide leadership and management while focusing on MLS PIN’s strategic initiatives and opportunities in alignment with the company’s goals for growth. Her responsibilities include industry relations, marketing and communication, expansion, customer engagement and education, product user interface, and the roll-out of company initiatives.”

MLS Property Information Network, Inc. Appoints Holly Haines to Chief Operating Officer

“In this new role, Holly will provide leadership and management while focusing on organizational excellence and technical vision in alignment with the company’s goals for growth. Her major responsibilities include internal operations, software and product development, quality assurance, administration, and human resources.”

In reading both press releases about Melissa and Holly’s accomplishments it easy to see why Kathy has given them these new responsibilities. Congrats to Melissa and Holly.

Oct 2 18

Looking for a little help….

by Greg Robertson

My company, W+R Studios, is running a “Fall Promo” this year. For the first time we are offering all agents the chance to try all our products in the Cloud Agent Suite free until the end of the year. That means agents could have as much as 3 months of free service, this includes our premium product, Cloud Attract, which is usually over $100 per month. And also for the first time we are releasing the new Cloud CMA to all current and new agents.

I recruited some of our W+R employees and made a short video to promote the special offer. I really think it came out great.

What we need to do now is spread the word. So we’ve made it super simple for our friends who want to help by providing 2 things.

1. A co-branded landing page. Here’s what MFRMLS’ looks like:

2. A personalized Media Kit. This will have sample emails, copy, social posts, everything you need. Check out this link to see what MFRMLS Media Kit looks like —->Click to see MFRMLS Media Kit

So please drop Katie or me a line and we will build you a co-branded landing page and send you a personalized media kit.

katie [at] wrstudios dot com
greg [at] wrstudios dot com

If you don’t need a landing page or kit, just sent them to http://cloudagentsuite.com

One of the side effects I’m noticing is that this promotion really helping driving adoption. A lot of the signups are for free member benefit tools. So help me, help you!

The team has some pretty hefty goals, so even if its one email, or one post on your MLS login page, it would really help.

Thanks in advance!

Oct 1 18

Black Knight integrates Homebot in to Paragon MLS

by Greg Robertson

BLACK KNIGHT INTEGRATES HOMEBOT INTO ITS PARAGON MLS SYSTEM Provides Brokers and Agents With Cutting-Edge Client Engagement Solution

The Homebot integration represents another example of Black Knight’s continual enhancement of Paragon’s Collaboration Center, which provides brokers and agents with advanced features, collaborative tools and capabilities to help them serve the needs of prospective home buyers and sellers. Paragon’s Collaboration Center also enables agents to provide their clients with one common, mobile-optimized portal throughout the entire real estate life cycle.

This is pretty cool. I’m not too familiar with Homebot but what I found interesting is the integration with Paragon MLS. Forget the fact that Homebot uses Black Knight’s data, since Homebot is a mobile-optimized collaborative tool they are integrating it as part of their Paragon MLS Collaboration Center.

While there is an additional charge to agents/brokers for using Homebot they are giving them (Homebot) a huge opportunity by placing the app in an area of the Paragon MLS where agents are already looking to collaborate with their clients. Putting apps (or call it an ad) in places that mirror what the agent is already doing should boost signups, compared to placement on a random dashboard.