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Apr 20 15

RIP Brian Wharton and Austin Drew of ARMLS.

by Greg Robertson


“The ARMLS family is sad to announce that we recently lost two of our own. Brian Wharton (62), former Business Development Manager, passed away on April 4, 2015. Austin Drew (39), Director of MLS Operations, passed away on April 17, 2015. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go out to the Wharton and Drew families.”

I worked with them both. Just brutal. Condolances go out to both their families.


Apr 17 15

Pro Tip: Product Videos

by Greg Robertson

I’ve been doing these kinds of videos for awhile now. I was typically using an iPhone to shoot them. They came out pretty good. I like having a person, instead of just a screencast. I think gives us a more personal vibe.

I recently bought a new camera (I’m a Nikon guy, but for video everyone told me I needed a Canon 5D Mark III, so I bought it) and microphone setup. And the improvement to quality has been astounding. The video below is our latest (Frances Brittle, our director of marketing at W&R Studios is the women in the video).

I use iMovie to edit. to buy the background music. Keynote for the slides and animation. And if I need to capture video off my computer I use ScreenFlow for Mac.

A company called Wistia has a great blog with lots of free tutorials and tips on how to create them. They have been a great resource, check them out.

Apr 16 15

Zillow “whistleblower” revealed

by Greg Robertson

Nice scoop from Andrea Brambila at Inman News.

Zillow whistleblower revealed

“The whistleblower that alleged Zillow steals data from agent websites and scrapes from is anonymous no more: he is Chris Crocker, Zillow’s now former vice president of strategic partnerships.”

Apr 16 15

Zillow to provide free public record data to MLS providers via an API

by Greg Robertson

News is slowly leaking out from the Zillow MLS Summit in Vegas…

Not sure of all the details but it appears Zillow has found RPR’s old playbook.

UPDATE: Now it’s official

Zillow Group to Give MLS Partners Free Public Record Data

“Organizations like multiple listing services can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to buy or license public record data, and only receive updates to this data periodically. MLSs use this data to help members create listings, and they share the data with members who use it to research their market, speed up listing input and help with prospecting and business development.

Looks like I was reading the tea leaves correctly…

Apr 15 15

A Few Good MLS Execs

by Greg Robertson

Some fun for the Zillow meetings in Las Vegas this week….


You want answers?

Industry Consultant 1
I think I’m entitled to them.

You want answers?!

I want the truth.

You can’t handle the truth!

And nobody moves.




Son, we live in a country that has an MLS. And that MLS is more than just a database. Who’s gonna do it? The Seller? You, Mr. Big Broker? You, Mr. Industry Consultant? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep that listings are now everywhere and curse the MLS. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: The genie is out of the bottle. Your old gatekeeper days aren’t coming back. Upstream and BPP are DOA. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, helps you do more business.


You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at Inman Connect, Realty Alliance or Gathering of Eagles, you want the MLS. You need the MLS!


We use words like cooperation, compensation, accuracy… we use these words as the backbone to a life spent building something. You use ‘em as a punchline.


I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very piece of mind I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you move to Australia. I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.


Did you do a deal with Zillow?


I did the job my members sent me to do.


Industry Consultant 2

Did you do a deal with Zillow?!!




You’re goddamn right I did!!

Apr 15 15

Jeremy Crawford to lead RESO

by Greg Robertson


Real Estate Standards Organization Announces Executive Director

“Mark Lesswing, RESO Board Chair stated: “Speaking on behalf of the RESO Board of Directors, we are thrilled that Mr. Crawford has agreed to join RESO as our new Executive Director. Jeremy has both the required skills and knowledge for the position as has been an active leader in the standards communities for many years. The next era of RESO is upon us.”

I gotta say this was a surprise. It’s gonna be great to see someone of Jeremy’s caliber taking over. Congrats to Jeremy, RESO, and the industry owes a big thank you to Bob Gottesman for paving the way and building RESO’s strong momentum.

Apr 14 15

Pro Tip: Hustle

by Greg Robertson


Apr 13 15

“Whistleblower” stirs things up between Move, NAR and Zillow.

by Greg Robertson

Whistleblower alleges Zillow is stealing listing data from agent websites

Andrea Brambila from Inman News:

“In court filings today, Move said it received the letter yesterday, April 9. The company, along with fellow plaintiff the National Association of Realtors, is calling for the court to grant third-party discovery in the case, saying “The defendants simply cannot be trusted to be the sole source of evidence in this case regarding their conduct.”

Move declined to comment on which third parties would be involved.

“The plaintiffs have complained for months that the defendants are systematically hiding evidence in secret non-Zillow email accounts and file-sharing services,” attorneys for Move and NAR said in the court filing.

“The defendants have denied the claims, deriding them as ‘silly’ conspiracy theories and claim they have produced everything. The whistleblower’s letter appears to confirm, however, the plaintiffs’ worst fears.”

This is getting very ugly. The letter itself is pretty detailed. It doesn’t just focus on Errol and Curt but Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, and Greg Schwartz, Zillow’s Chief Revenue Officer, and a bunch of other Zillow employees.

I think the letter was written by someone who had an executive position in the company (Zillow). I’m betting it’s a former employee, with an axe to grind, and I bet Zillow knows exactly who he is.

But its hard to believe any of the stuff the letter suggests. Its either blown out of proportion, not relevant, or taken out of context. Is having a rolodex a crime? Zillow has been kicking’s ass without any sort of help, why risk it?

Apr 9 15

The Lion rests…

by Greg Robertson


My heart goes out to Niki and the rest of the Rapattoni family. Andy was a true legend in this industry. In my post “42” I talked about how long Andy and Niki have kept the company going (since 1975!). As an entrepreneur you can’t get any better inspiration than what Andy and Niki have created.

And his legacy will continue. I think Tom Beede in the recent press release said it best…

” In recent years I have worked closely with the new generation of leadership at Rapattoni, and it is evident they will carry on his proud tradition. His wife, Niki, says that she has lost her lion. I say that we have lost the industry’s Statue of Liberty and guiding light. No one can replace him; we can only hope to treat one another as kindly as Andy treated all of us.”

We’ve all lost a lion. RIP Andy.

Apr 8 15

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Senior Customer & Community Marketing Manager
Move, Inc.

“Our Customer and Community Marketing Manager, reporting to the Business to Business Marketing VP, will extend our market leadership by working with our customer base to leverage their success stories to build our company. In this position, you should be ready to roll up your sleeves in a highly leveraged, powerful individual contributor role that will have high impact on the company’s strategy and market presence while making a direct impact on our growth.”

To see this job posting and more check out the Vendor Alley Job Board!