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Feb 10 17

Zillow loses lawsuit with VHT, Inc.

by Greg Robertson

Feb. 9 Securities and Exchange Commission filing

“In December 2016, the Court granted a motion for partial summary judgment that dismissed VHT’s claims with respect to the Company’s listing site. A federal jury trial began on January 23, 2017, and on February 9, 2017, the jury returned a verdict finding that the Company had infringed VHT’s copyrights in images displayed or saved to the Digs site. The jury awarded VHT $79,875 in actual damages and $8.24 million in statutory damages.”

$8.24M to VHT. Ouch. They don’t have much luck with lawsuits do they?

But they aren’t going down without a fight.

Zillow Group plans to appeal $8M photo copyright verdict

““We have persistently maintained our belief that this suit was without merit,” Zillow Group spokeswoman Amanda Woolley said in a statement to Inman. “While we are pleased that the majority of original claims were dismissed in this case, we regret that the jury did not find for us completely on those that remained, and will vigorously pursue all options to overturn their verdict.”

Feb 7 17

Shelley Fowler & Kevin McQueen take on new challenges

by Greg Robertson

I’ve been a bit remiss to mention that Shelley Fowler has recently taken a position at RE Technology.

Looked who joined RE Technology!

“Shelley has worked in our industry for over 40 years! She’s worked full time within the MLS and REALTOR® Industry since 1977 when she started with PRC/Interealty – one of the nation’s first MLS system providers. There, she held executive positions throughout the western United States…

Shelley will be responsible for furthering RE Technology’s partnerships and relationships with MLSs and associations.”

This morning I also read that Kevin McQueen has joined Swanepoel T3 Group.

Swanepoel T3 Group Adds New MLS Consulting Division

““Kevin is a proven and respected leader in the MLS space and will significantly enhance our efforts to help the hundreds of MLS organizations in need of intelligent research and quality advice,” said Swanepoel T3 Group CEO Stefan Swanepoel. “With MLS consolidation being the second most important trend of 2017, exploring all your options including legal mergers and partnerships as an MLS organization is vitally important,” Swanepoel said.”

Congrats to both RE Technology and Swanepoel T3 Group. Great to see these two talented veterans to continue making a difference in our industry.

Feb 6 17

Listing Bits EP006: Charting new directions in real estate tech

by Greg Robertson

Rebecca Jensen is busy.  She is the President and CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED), the real estate data distributor for the greater Chicago area. She also serves on the boards of Broker Public Portal (BPP), a national consumer-facing property search experience powered by MLS data, and the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS), the trade association dedicated to strengthening the MLS industry.

Jensen began her career working the tech support line for what is now UtahRealEstate.com (She even supported Lightning for a short time.) She rose through the ranks by creating her own positions in the small company, eventually serving as CEO at the age of 29. Under her leadership, the company developed a new in-house MLS platform, including an integrated public-facing website and mobile apps.

Jensen also served a full term of six years on the board of the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), acting as Board Chair from 2011 to 2015. During her tenure, the organization went from being a project within the NAR to a standalone nonprofit with support across the industry. On this episode of the podcast, she shares her journey from tech support to CEO. Click and listen to find out what drives Jensen, her take on the role of organizations like RESO, COVE and CMLS, and the direction of the MLS industry.

What’s Discussed:

– How implementing best practices from other fields can enhance your business
Jensen applied principles of Agile product development to identify priorities
– How “creating the opportunity to say no” helped Jensen land her gig at MRED
– The restructuring of RESO during Jensen’s tenure on the board
– Jensen’s aspirations regarding the direction of CMLS
Cultivate think tank atmosphere to generate ideas
Add policy creation arm to implement solutions
– What drives Jensen to achieve
– The promise of big data in real estate tech
Jensen is intrigued by a remine product that correlates data to drive better business decisions
– Jensen’s take on the future of MLS and real estate tech
Integrated software and business entities
Streamlined electronic transactions
– The non-traditional partnership between BPP and Homesnap

You can subscribe to Listing Bits on iTunes.

Resources:

Remine Website

Connect with Rebecca Jensen:

MRED Website

Feb 1 17

REcolorado to withdraw from data share agreement with IRES.

by Greg Robertson

I told you this far from over…

REcolorado with Withdrawal from CCM Data Share Agreement

“Today REcolorado sent IRES a formal 30-day notice that we will withdraw from the CCM Data Share agreement and no longer share data with IRES, effective March 2, 2017.
The CCM Agreement was put in place in 2003 to allow Colorado’s three Front Range MLSs to share data. Last year, Pikes Peak withdrew from the agreement, indicating the CCM Agreement has outgrown its original intended purpose, to be a resource for the occasional listing or sale falling outside the MLS’s primary jurisdiction.”

You get the feeling that there’s a whiteboard somewhere in Greenwood Village where these moves are already mapped out.

Feb 1 17

Is Lucie Fortier heading to industry startup Remine?

by Greg Robertson

My sources are saying yes. I first heard of Lucie leaving CoreLogic at Inman Connect NYC. At the time she was very vague about her plans. I thought the departure was significant, since she was part of the original Tarasoft Matrix team. Which makes me wonder if there is anyone left from that original team still working at CoreLogic. Brian de Schepper now works at Zillow Group.

Remine is getting a lot of buzz lately. Here’s what their website says…

“Remine is the next wave in real estate innovation
Remine’s intuitive interface visualizes public record, consumer data and transactional information to bring Big Data to life. By connecting this information exclusively through the MLS we provide one integrated platform that allows agents to turn new opportunities into revenue.”

Sounds a lot like TLCengine.

Developing….

Jan 31 17

“Alexa, make me a Cloud CMA”

by Greg Robertson

The geeks at Zillow, Bridge and retsly put this together as a proof of concept. Something similar was demoed at the Hacker Connect at Inman NYC. Just scratching the surface of what’s possible with APIs.

Thanks to Eric Finlay

Jan 30 17

IRES declines offer from REColorado

by Greg Robertson

IRES Response To REcolorado Offer

“The majority of our consideration of this offer focused on the ultimate impact on our customers. We heard from many of you and sincerely appreciate your input. We heard you loud and clear and understand you value the philosophy and company culture of IRES:

-Our customer service is top notch. A recent satisfaction survey of IRES users revealed 92% are either Extremely Satisfied or Satisfied.
-Although IRES is a for-profit company, by design, our profits are reinvested back into the system to benefit customers
-We believe in cooperative data sharing to benefit brokers, appraisers and their clients
-We are responsive and nimble
-Our array of services and system features are unparalleled
-We believe competition is good, healthy and spawns innovation”

I think everyone thought it would go this way. Although I think this is far from over.

Also, not shy about throwing a bit of shade at REColorado and Matrix are they?

Jan 30 17

Listing Bits EP005: The Staying Power of MLS

by Greg Robertson

You can subscribe to Listing Bits on iTunes.

Michael Wurzer is the President and CEO of FBS, Creators of Flexmls. FBS is a 100% employee-owned company, and every employee-owner is committed to exceeding customer expectations. Flexmls is a standards-driven technology platform connecting real estate professionals to their customers with collaboration tools that deliver timely and accurate information. Their products serve 185 organizations and 200,000-plus agents in the real estate sector.

Before taking over for his father at FBS, Wurzer enjoyed a seven-year career in law, primarily defending publicly traded companies in class action litigation. He also worked as the Assistant General Counsel for Aveda, a botanically-based hair and skin care manufacturer for beauty professionals. The method of thinking employed in legal analysis and writing provided unique preparation for his eventual work in the field of real estate tech.

Under Wurzer’s leadership for the past 20 years, FBS has worked to constantly evolve and embrace change. They were among the first to build a web-based system, striking a balance between the stability of being an established company and creating a culture of innovation. On this episode of the podcast, Wurzer examines the staying power of the MLS, real estate software product integration and the implementation of industry standards. Listen in to find out how building relationships provides the foundation for FBS’s success.

What’s Discussed:

– How a law background benefits Wurzer in the real estate tech industry
Talent in writing and communicating have been integral to his work with FBS
– The evolution of real estate tech community-building online
– The continued need for integration among real estate software programs
– Wurzer’s take on new initiatives like AMP and Upstream
– The source of anti-MLS sentiment
– The challenge of implementing standards in real estate tech
– How to solve the industry’s permissioning problem
– Wurzer foresees expanding agreements so that belonging to one MLS will provide access to a broader pool of data that can then be used
As long as the broker has permission, the vendor should have permission
– The necessity of reinventing yourself in the real estate tech business
FBS is actively developing leadership that embraces change

Connect with Michael Wurzer:

Twitter
Blog

Also, don’t miss Michael’s latest post

More Tired and Erroneous Propaganda About the MLS

Jan 30 17

Vendor Alley Job Board postings are up!

by Greg Robertson

Not sure if you noticed but the Vendor Alley Job Board is chock full of great opportunities.

CMLS
Marketing and Communications Coordinator

“The Marketing and Communications Coordinator is responsible for the execution of the CMLS communications plan and daily execution of marketing and communications projects. The ideal candidate will bring a minimum of 2 years of demonstrated success, experience and knowledge within the multiple listing services industry, including work with both senior executives and volunteer leadership. They will possess an in-depth knowledge of the real estate industry and demonstrate professional written and verbal communication skills.

Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing System (MLS)
Director of Data Quality and Compliance

“Working with the Vice President of Professional Development and Compliance with Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing System (MLS) maintain, develop and enforce MLS rules and policy.This position is responsible for the daily oversight of CVR MLS operations and serves as lead for external and internal inquiries on MLS policy/compliance issues and as a technical resource for Matrix and other MLS related services.”

FBS
Promotional Trainer

“We’re FBS, creators of flexmls, 100% employee owned, and the leader in real estate software innovation for 30+ years. We’re looking for a high-energy, self-motivated, Promotional Trainer.

This mid-level position lives within our Broker Agent Services division, which develops and sells IDX-based products and services to individual agents and brokers.”

Northern Nevada Regional MLS
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

“The Northern Nevada Regional MLS is seeking a visionary leader to begin by March 1, 2017 to continue a legacy of exceptional member service and strategic innovation and build upon the momentum that currently exists within the organization.

By focusing on keeping our 3,000 members central to the real estate transaction and moving on issues most impactful to their business, the next CEO of NNRMLS has the opportunity to keep this strong, nationally recognized, regional MLS flourishing and take it to the next level. The CEO will lead an exceptional team of 9 employees who dedicate themselves daily to the service of our members and work with a board of volunteer leadership that is engaged and enthusiastic.”

Diverse Solutions
Sales Executive

“Are you a sales professional that is passionate about helping customers grow? Do you thrive on building strong, mutually beneficial relationships with customers? Are you looking for a career where high ethical standards and hard work pay off? The Sales Executive role at Diverse Solutions provides a compelling opportunity for professionals with a proven track record to generate new customers and grow our existing business, while delivering an exceptional customer experience. You are versed in working to generate new customers as well as building and working with an assigned book of business.”

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty
Digital Strategies Manager

“The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty family of companies has an opening for a Digital Strategies Manager.The digital strategies director leads the online marketing efforts for the company.The role focuses on the creation and execution of digital marketing strategies designed to acquire and retain customers through interaction with the website, mobile and/or applications while delivering measureable results.This position provides leadership, mentorship and strategic direction for the digital team. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.”

One of the best parts about publishing this blog is how many people tell me that they found their next gig on this site.

Jan 30 17

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

W+R Studios
Software Project Manager

W+R Studios is seeking a Software Project Manager to play a key role in our agile product development team. This person will work with our designers, developers, senior management and the marketing department on existing and new web and mobile apps for the real estate industry. The primary goal of this person will be to ensure continuous progress and momentum towards shipping new products, features, and fixes for our subscribers. This position will be based out of either our Huntington Beach, California headquarters (preferred) or Boulder, Colorado office.

Find out about this job and more on the Vendor Alley Job Board!