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Jun 23 17

Bob Goldberg is the N.A.R.’s new CEO

by Greg Robertson

NAR Senior Executive Will Be Next CEO

“NAR’s leadership team chose Goldberg after an extensive national search. He has been with NAR since 1995 and will be NAR’s 12th CEO since the association was founded in 1908.

“Bob’s vision, business acumen, and unique ability to successfully leverage NAR’s technology investments will ensure REALTORS® remain at the center of the real estate transaction,” said 2017 NAR President William E. Brown, a REALTOR® from Alamo, California. “With extensive knowledge of the association and real estate industry, Bob brings with him a strong track record for future-based thinking and enacting change, which is why the NAR leadership team is extremely confident in his ability to lead the association and membership to continued future success.””

Called it! Congrats Bob!

Jun 23 17

Inman Innovator Award finalists announced

by Greg Robertson

Inman Innovator Awards

“They are the visionaries, the forward-thinking, the stubborn, the obsessed, the tech-savvy, the creative minds always pushing boundaries. They are entrepreneurs pushing the old ways aside, data scientists discovering new ways to examine behavior, marketers inventing new ways to showcase properties, agents developing new ways to reach clients, companies building new technologies, brokerages creating whole new ways of doing business. They are the Inman Innovator Finalists, and they’re leading us into the future of real estate.

Lots of great names and products. I’m really proud that W+R Studios’ latest product Cloud Attract, made the list. It’s really one of the best software applications we’ve ever launched and the response from our customers has been fantastic.

Jun 23 17

The N.A.R.’s CEO, Dale Stinton, talks about partnerships.

by Greg Robertson

The CEO of the National Association of REALTORS, Dale Stinton wrote a 1,800 blog post entitled, “TO “B TO B” OR NOT TO “B”” about the N.A.R.’s commitment and partnerships with the Brokerage, MLS and Vendor community. It’s worth a read, and a re-read. I found it pretty fascinating and gave me ton of insight to the N.A.R.’s thought process.

The first part of his post summarizes the N.A.R.’s success stories, starting with the formation of RETS, CIVIX, domain names, the recent hire of a MLS advocate, Caitlin McCrory, and its expanding relationship with CMLS. Later in the post he did seem to acknowledge some of friction with RPR, Upstream and the MLS and Vendor community stating..

“Whether you’ve come to see it this way or not, RPR too was hoped to be an important (B to B) example of cooperation between NAR, RPR, and the MLS and Vendor communities.”

and I thought this section was encouraging.

“One of the first things Alex Lange did after coming on board with Upstream was to create an MLS Advisory Council to bounce ideas off of and create a channel of communication. He did not cherry pick our ‘friends’ so to speak, rather he engaged a cross section of all types of MLS’s and MLS executives. It is out of that group’s advice and counsel and the Upstream Board’s desire to bring everyone back together, that the second option (MLS input first) was born and which has been very well received.”

Furthermore he looks to walk back, or at least further explain his widely reported statement about the MLS/Vendor community being a “cartel”.

Some of you may have missed this signal or dismissed it as yet another attempt on NAR’s part to interfere or intrude itself into space in which it does not belong. Or you may have spent some time commiserating about what was accurately reported as my ‘cartel’ comment. Unfortunately, what was conveniently omitted was what I said right before that, which was:


….. followed by applause from the NAR Board of Directors.

Unfortunately the link to the audio portion of this statement on the blog post isn’t working. But good for him. I think his “cartel” statement was ill conceived and he seems to acknowledge that, or at least in my reading the sentiment is there.

This next section also caught my eye.

“Then, after the Midyear Meetings, I listened to a couple of excellent online interviews; one covering the events at the Midyear meeting and one which occurred shortly thereafter. I can’t say I liked everything they discussed nor do I agree with all of their conclusions, but they were even handed, and generally fair in their observations about the ‘pivot’ to option B and other NAR activities. What’s the saying …. ‘if you can’t take the heat’.”

Could Dale be a podcast fan? I wonder if this podcast or maybe this podcast was on his playlist. : )

And for reasons you’ll see I thought this section was particularly insightful.

” As previously mentioned, CMLS has blossomed as a force for cooperation and ideation. MLS data sharing is happening all over the place. Some MLS vendors are really stepping up with some state-of-the-art products, particularly focusing on MLS front ends. FBS and Cloud MLX are just a couple of examples of high quality vendors pushing the envelope.”

I always knew Dale had great taste in “high quality” front end of choice software!

Here’s the deal. It’s real easy to be cynical about some of the points he’s making. But, maybe, just maybe this can be a turning point. As Dale points out…

“One of the first things Alex Lange did after coming on board with Upstream was to create an MLS Advisory Council to bounce ideas off of and create a channel of communication. He did not cherry pick our ‘friends’ so to speak, rather he engaged a cross section of all types of MLS’s and MLS executives. It is out of that group’s advice and counsel and the Upstream Board’s desire to bring everyone back together, that the second option (MLS input first) was born and which has been very well received. Some have said this is where Upstream should have started to begin with and that its name now belies its mission and brokers original intent. The NAR learning moment was and is to remember to listen more closely to the Brokers and MLS executives.

Emphasis mine.

Maybe this can be a “learning moment” for us all.

Here’s yours truly from a previous blog post.

“We all need to press the reset button, and move forward.”


Jun 22 17

MREDPalooza 2017

by Greg Robertson

MREDPalooza has got to be one my favorite events. Too bad its only once every 2 years. The attendance was great, we had a huge number of signups. But I have to take my hat off to Rebecca Jensen and the MRED staff. They made the event so much fun! Lynn was hilarious as Austin Powers, and Jeff Lasky wins the award for “who’s afro was the roundest”.

And speaking of Rebecca, today’s her birthday! So Happy Birthday Rebecca!

Jun 22 17

Sindeo shuts down

by Greg Robertson

Nick Stamos, CEO of Sindeo.

Four years ago, Ori and I set out to create a new type of mortgage company where technology makes things easier and puts people first. We hired incredible people to help us build this business and we grew rapidly.

But, startups are hard and simplifying the highly regulated, complex business of mortgages is even harder. I believed we had overcome the biggest hurdles, but unfortunately, we didn’t. Today, we made the difficult decision to wind down Sindeo.

I am simultaneously devastated, as well as incredibly proud. While Sindeo as a startup has failed, our people did not. As a matter of fact, we did what everyone said couldn’t be done.

We built a place where people could shop and apply for a mortgage from a robust marketplace of over 1000 loan programs, with one single application and one credit check.
We secured partnerships with some of the top real estate and consumer finance brands.
We helped our clients save millions of dollars on their home loans.
We built a people-centric brand, putting the needs of Sindeo’s clients first.
The accomplishment I am proudest of is our customer satisfaction scores. Sindeo’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) this year is 81, compared to an average of negative three from the top banks. Sindeo achieved Zappos and USAA level service. It was hard, really hard, but Sindeo was delivering on our mission.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. The majority of the staff and leadership team have had their jobs eliminated today. A very small team will be kept on for a short period of time to help our clients successfully close their loans that are already in process.

I am devastated for our employees, their families, our partners and our investors who believed in us, and worked so hard to build Sindeo. We have very talented people who need jobs today. Hire them. They are truly innovators and some of the smartest, most dedicated people I’ve ever worked with.

To everyone who has supported us, who believed in us and who stuck with us during the toughest of times, thank you. We are eternally grateful for your support, and I will never forget everything we did together at Sindeo.

Nick Stamos
CEO, Sindeo

Just heartbreaking. They had a bunch of talented people that I’m sure will find new challenges. But its always better to be in the arena than sitting in the stands.

Jun 22 17

Tom Renkert to take CEO position at Ann Arbor Board of REALTORS

by Greg Robertson

Huge congrats to Tom! And it’s an awesome opportunity for someone to join MIBOR.

Jun 14 17

Tom Beede, CEO of MetroList Services, to retire in July

by Greg Robertson

Looks like July 14th. Bill Miller is in as new CEO. More details being released soon. Hard to imagine. He’s had such a positive influence on the career and lives of Dan, I and many others in the industry. I’ve got a lot more to say but it will have to wait for another post.

Jun 9 17

Sponsor: CoreLogic

by Greg Robertson

My thanks to CoreLogic for sponsoring Vendor Alley. Corelogic recently announced it’s Trestle solution for MLS providers. Close to 100 MLS providers representing over 500,000 agents have subscribed to Trestle. Just last month RESO awarded Trestle clients with Gold Certification. If you looking to find more about Trestle check out my interview with Kevin Greene on Listing Bits.

Jun 9 17

Black Knight partners with…Zillow?

by Greg Robertson

Bridge Interactive and Black Knight Financial Services Announce New Alliance to Provide Advanced Data Management Services to Paragon MLS Users
Paragon MLS users now have access to RESO-compliant listing input data management tools and services

“Paragon users looking for advanced functionality can now leverage Bridge Interactive’s set of management tools, including Contact, Cheque, as well as Compose, Bridge’s solution for listing input. Both Paragon and Compose fully support the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) RETS Update standard, and together they can provide a standards-based listing input alternative.

In addition, Black Knight has leveraged Bridge Interactive’s Contact product as part of its Property Information Central (PIC) solution. PIC is an aggregated, standardized database of listings from Black Knight MLS users and provides RESO Data Dictionary-certified data sets. It provides data distribution capabilities using RETS 1.8 and the new RESO WebAPI. Black Knight MLS users leveraging PIC have been certified by RESO for Data Dictionary and WebAPI compliance.”

Did anyone else find it kind of odd that they buried the Zillow name a bit? I gotta admit this whole press release was a bit of head scratcher for me at first. But I’m starting to put some of the pieces together, but that I’ll save for another post.

Jun 9 17

CMLS plays offense

by Greg Robertson

CMLS Launches “The Value Of MLS” Campaign

“Every day, well over a million real estate professionals wake up knowing they can count on reliable market information, agreed-upon rules and professional norms, and certainty about how they compensate and are compensated when working together” said Denee Evans, CEO of CMLS. “The MLS provides much more than data; it establishes and safeguards the conditions necessary for a large and diverse group of real estate brokers, agents and service providers to work together effectively.”

“Real estate brokers and agents sell real estate, and in doing so sustain our American Dream of homeownership,” said Lauren Hansen, president of CMLS and CEO of IRES, an MLS serving Northern Colorado. “And nearly all of them rely upon the MLS system to do that important work. This new campaign is aimed at creating a greater understanding of that basic fact.”

I really love this. And I think these types of initiatives are exactly what CMLS should be focusing on. Having the MLS industry play more offense, than being so defensive. Plus the work 1000watt did here is top notch. The slogan, “Making the market work” is exactly right. I hope MLS providers take advantage of the thought that went in to the whole campaign.

Kudos to Denee, Lauren and the rest of the CMLS board for making the investment in this. More please!