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Jan 17 20

Kirby Slunaker, CEO of REColorado, resigns

by Greg Robertson

CEO of REcolorado, the state’s largest MLS, resigns

Kirby Slunaker

“Kirby Slunaker has resigned from his position as President and CEO of REcolorado,” Deborah Shipley, the organization’s marketing and communications manager, said in a statement. “This was a personal decision made by Kirby.”

It seems kind of sudden, but I guess when you’re done, you’re done. Kirby came from outside the industry and brought some interesting perspectives to the industry and the job.

Needless to say there are going to be a lot of people interested in this gig.

Jan 14 20

The 2020 Swanepoel Power 200 list keeps it interesting

by Greg Robertson

Rich Barton took the top spot from Ron Peltier this year, with Gary Keller coming in at number 2. So that means two “technology companies” CEOs are on top of the list. 😏

I count about 17 MLS Execs making the list this year, which I think is up 2 from last year.

Bob Hale, CEO of the Houston Association of REALTORS was the highest MLS exec, moving up 1 spot to #26.

The list also includes Art Carter, CEO of CRMLS at #35, up 1 spot from last year, Brian Donnelan, CEO of Bright MLS #75, John DiMichele, CEO of Toronto Real Estate Board, Teresa King Kinney, CEO of the Miami Association of REALTORS #108, Rebecca Jensen, CEO of MRED, LLC, #120, Merri Jo Cowen, CEO of Stellar MLS (formerly MFRMLS) #121 Kathy Condon, CEO of MLSPIN #130, Matt Consalvo, CEO of ARMLS #131 , Dionna Hall #141 CEO of Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale, Jim Speer CEO of One Key MLS (formerly New York MLS) #146 Jeremy Crawford, CEO of First Multiple Listing Service, Tom Hurdelbrink, CEO of Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Anne Marie DeCatsye CEO of Charlotte Regional Realtor Association and CarolinaMLS at #179, John Mosey CEO of Northstar MLS #180, Emily Chenevert, CEO of Austin Board of REALTORS, #183 Brad Bjelke CEO of UtahRealEstate.com, #184, Chris Carrillo, CEO of MetroMLS #185,

Sam DeBord, CEO of RESO was listed at #154 and Denee Evans, CEO of CMLS was listed at #181.

Notable vendors include Errol Samuelson of Zillow Group at #38 (up two spots from last year), Chris Bennett of CoreLogic at #56. Mike Wurzer went up a few spots to #87. Morgan Carey, CEO of Real Estate Webmasters is listed at #129, Grier Allen, CEO of BoomTown is at #133, Joel Macintosh CEO of WolfNet #142, David Anderson, President of LionDesk went from the “Watchlist Group” last year all the way to #148 on the big list, right in front of yours truly, Greg Robertson at #149 (woohoo!). Charles Williams, CEO of Buyside, #157. Brian Boero and Marc Davidson of 1000watt #161, Mark Schacknies & Leo Pareja co-founders of Remine made the list at #164, Andrew Flachner, co-founder of RealScout at #168, Marilyn Wilson and Victor Lund of the WAV Group at #169, Mitch Skinner of LarsonSkinner up a few spots at #173, Suzanne Mueller of Realtor.com #188, John Mazur, CEO of Homesnap came in #199.

Congrats to everyone! I apologize in advance if I missed anyone.

Jan 10 20

Zillow does a better job of highlighting KW listing agents than the new KW.com

by Greg Robertson

KW launches revamped, neighborhood-centric website

“Our redesigned KW.com is centered on our core efforts to further optimize the home experience for consumers,” Darryl Frost, a spokesperson for Keller Williams, told Inman. “More updates on our web-based home search will be unveiled in sync with the release of our updated consumer app early in 2020.”

I’ve been poking around the new site. There are a few interesting features, and I wanna do a full review later, but one of the first impressions, besides that it is SUPER SLOOOOOOOOOOW, (which I’m sure they will fix), is the attribution. Comparing KW.com listing detail page to Zillow’s page it looks like Zillow does a WAY better job of highlighting KW agents.

Keller Williams listing on KW.com

The agent/office attribution is kind of a joke, even for their own agents. It doesn’t include any way to contact the agent. You can click on “Find Agent” and start filling out a form. Lame.

Now let’s take a look at Zillow.com

Keller Williams listing on Zillow.com

Once you scroll. a bit down you see the agent’s name very clearly, his photo KW logo and telephone number. Nice! This is from what I understand is per an agreement KW did with Zillow.

So, as it stands now if I were a Keller Williams agent, I would consider sending consumers a link to Zillow, not the new KW.com to look at properties.

Jan 9 20

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Senior Developer – W+R Studios

“W+R Studios is seeking a Senior Developer with advanced Ruby on Rails skills to play a key role in a growing, agile product development team. This person will work with our team of programmers, designers, project managers, and senior management on existing and new web and mobile apps for the real estate industry. The primary responsibility of this position is to develop new products, features, and fixes for our subscribers. We have offices in Huntington Beach, CA and Boulder, CO and are open to adding more remote positions in select areas.”

Check out the Vendor Alley Job Board to find the industry’s best and brightest and find out more how you can become a part of the team at W+R Studios.

Jan 9 20

Coverage

by Greg Robertson

Looks like my hashtag, “#PutItOnTheMLS”, which first appeared here, got some love on the cover of the latest issue of REALTOR Magazine.

It’s not the cover of the Rolling Stone, but I’m surprised how much this made me smile.

Jan 6 20

Opendoor weirdness

by Greg Robertson

Friday Flash: The year things got weird

“No, 2019 was the year consumers, also known as people, began to do very strange things in very significant numbers.
 
Two years ago, many in the industry thought the idea of a home seller paying 7-10% in fees for the privilege of getting a low-ball offer on their home was crazy, a pathway only for the desperate. 
  
Turns out lots of people were willing to do this in 2019. “

Brian Boero, 1000watt

Over the holiday break, I kept thinking about this insightful post (as usual) from Brian Boero of 1000watt. It pairs nicely with a webinar I did with Tyler Hixson, Opendoor’s Director of Real Estate Partnerships & Strategy.
You can watch the replay of the webinar in the video below. But one of the more “weird” things that came out of the discussion is that a vast majority of consumers were willing to pay the fee from Opendoor AND the agent’s full commission. They saw value in both. They appreciated the certainty and speed that Opendoor provided but also saw value in the guidance they received from their agent.

Think about that. In an age where many business models are trying to push commissions lower, or get rid of them entirely, many consumers are willing to pay more.

The fact that iBuyer offers have gone from “lowball” to fair market value might also be a factor. Here’s a quote from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

“The new study from Mike DelPrete, a scholar in residence on real-estate technology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, found Opendoor and Zillow typically purchase homes for just over 1%, or around $3,800, less than the value of the home as determined by First American Financial Corp. , a real estate title insurance company.”

These two shifts are more significant than people realize. iBuyers are not an either-or proposition, but something entirely different.

Things definitely got weird in 2019, hell I would include the entire decade. What weirdness this new decade will bring is what I’m excited about.

Back to work.

Jan 4 20

MARIS appoints new outside directors

by Greg Robertson

“MARIS MLS announced today that it has appointed two external directors, Craig Cheatham, president and CEO of The Realty Alliance, and John Mosey, president and CEO of NorthStar MLS, to its broker-driven board. This decision comes after MARIS separated shareholder governance from ownership
 in a move that ensures greater agility, diverse perspectives and balanced decision making.“

I think the more interesting story here is that Tim was successful in separating shareholder governance from ownership. I know many an association/MLS saddled by an outdated corporate structure. John Mosey is an excellent choice. Craig Cheatham is a curveball but exactly the type of move I expect from Tim, a bit unexpected and somewhat controversial.

Dec 31 19

CRMLS first MLS Provider to break 100,000+ members

by Greg Robertson

CRMLS to Begin 2020 As First MLS Serving 100,000+ As Ventura, Pasadena, and Palm Springs Vote to Participate

“CRMLS will offer its listing data, technology products, services including compliance and licensing, training, and 7-days-a-week customer support to members of each new Association.

These benefits are the same as those offered currently to CRMLS’s 98,000 users across the state of California. With the January 2020 addition of members from these Associations, CRMLS will reach over 100,000 real estate professional users.

“This is an unprecedented day for CRMLS,” said CRMLS CEO Art Carter. “It’s a huge honor to serve the nation’s largest MLS constituent of real estate professionals. I know everyone here is excited to start working with our new users in Ventura, Pasadena, and Palm Springs.”

Boom! This is huge news. Congrats to Art, Adrese, Sarah, Ed and Rob and the rest of CRMLS for this huge accomplishment! Nice way to end a decade.

Dec 24 19

All I want for Christmas is for NAR to fund RESO a million dollars next year

by Greg Robertson

Now more than ever I feel that RESO has a lot of momentum of helping the industry crack the problem of standards. Many people have led to this stage. I credit Jeremy Crawford for really transforming RESO from a small group of dedicated members to a large industry powerhouse made of people from all roles of organized real estate to help push standards further.

I’ll also give credit to Art Carter and Rebecca Jensen. Both prodded (shamed?) a lot of us to be more involved.   Art was also key in the hiring of Sam DeBord. Sam brings a business acumen to the RESO leadership that I believe is a crucial step in helping make standards a reality.

At the time of his hiring, I wrote  the industry needs to “step up and give Sam and RESO our full support.”

That time is now. I’ve heard that NAR budget for RESO is less than $300K a year. That is shocking. When I think of the millions of dollars spent on RPR, AMP, and Upstream it boggles my mind. Less than $300K?

The arguments for standards in real estate data don’t need to be re-stated here, but to keep this momentum going, RESO needs proper funding. Membership dues and events can only do so much.

In the most recent episode of my podcast, Industry Relations, I recapped the biggest new events of the decade. One of them was the accession of Bob Goldberg to the role of CEO for the National Association of REALTORS. Bob has stated and has delivered on the promise of being more inclusive, wanting to be a partner to new technology companies, and therefore keep NAR members in the mix. I can’t help but think the role of standards fits perfectly into this message.

So on Christmas Eve and the second day of Hanukkah, all I want is for NAR to bring RESO funding to a level where they can do the work needed to bring standards to life.

Dec 23 19

FMLS signs exclusive deal for appraiser members

by Greg Robertson

FMLS Reaches Exclusive Agreement to Provide DataMaster as a Free Member Benefit to Georgia Appraisers and Reduces Appraiser Membership Fees

“DataMaster is considered the gold standard for appraisal data management, and FMLS is the only MLS in the state with this exclusive partnership,” explained Jeremy Crawford, President and CEO of FMLS.

“We’re also going to reduce appraiser membership fees for accessing tax data, and add free, state-approved CE classes for appraisers. In addition, FMLS is expanding appraiser access to statewide tax data in all 159 counties and reducing lockbox key fees while removing the requirement to pay fees in person,” Crawford concludes.

Sounds like a great deal for appraisers. Congrats to DataMaster and FMLS.