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Aug 25 14

FBS’ furthers flexible mobile strategy

by Greg Robertson

FBS

“. The native Apps and Mobile Web deliver a seamless mobile MLS experience sharing the same design aesthetic, providing full access to MLS data (including customer information and saved searches) and, real-time data synch between systems, all made possible the Spark API foundation that powers the Flexmls® system. Some of the key shared features include: Quick Launch (entire MLS system can be searched from one place), Quick Searches and full access to MLS data including, all saved searches and favorites. One of the most powerful benefits of the system is real time synch; Agents can start working on their iPhone and then access the work they started immediately on their laptop via Flexmls® Web.”

These guys have been busy. I like the approach of controlling the whole customer experience. Many MLS vendors outsource all their mobile work, which sometimes means a whole different UI/UX experience. This control could give FBS a nice advantage.

The day is coming, and perhaps already has, when MLS vendors start their Suite demos with their mobile apps first.

Read Full Press Release Below:

_________________________________________________________________________________

Following successful Flexmls® for iPhone release, FBS launches new Mobile Web furthering comprehensive mobile strategy.

August 22, 2014 – FBS launches “new” Flexmls® Mobile Web on following successful launch of the Flexmls for iPhone App, setting the bar for mobile MLS.

The “new” Flexmls® Mobile Web and native iPhone App are the first releases from the Flexmls® Mobile App suite which when complete, will include Flexmls® for iPhone, Android, Tablet (all native) and Mobile Web. The native Apps and Mobile Web deliver a seamless mobile MLS experience sharing the same design aesthetic, providing full access to MLS data (including customer information and saved searches) and, real-time data synch between systems, all made possible the Spark API foundation that powers the Flexmls® system. Some of the key shared features include: Quick Launch (entire MLS system can be searched from one place), Quick Searches and full access to MLS data including, all saved searches and favorites. One of the most powerful benefits of the system is real time synch; Agents can start working on their iPhone and then access the work they started immediately on their laptop via Flexmls® Web.

Customer feedback on the native Flexmls® for iPhone App has been overwhelmingly positive so far; FBS expects the same strong reception with the “new” Mobile Web. Agents have tweeted, directly emailed and phoned in the accolades. Recently, after sharing accolades on Twitter, Jeremy Hart, an Associate Broker with Nest Realty, contributed to a Flexmls blog post citing simplicity and fast access to everything he needs as major win-factors in the new Flexmls for iPhone App. FBS CEO Mike Wurzer has taken calls from existing MLS executive clients complimenting the company on the impressive work, too. “I’m really excited to see our mobile investments paying dividends for our customers. Today’s agent needs and deserves the best possible mobile MLS products and that’s what we’re delivering”, says Wurzer.

Flexmls® is on a major growth trajectory and will add 35,000 members to its current roster with conversions completed in 2014. These impressive growth numbers are coupled with the best customer retention in the business. Both variables are attributed to FBS’ future-focus and consistent personal approach to service, more recently to their laser focus on delivering the pinnacle mobile experience via native Apps and the underpinning standards-driven Spark API platform.

“We’re delivering the pinnacle mobile MLS”, says Kim Prior, VP Marketing and Spark Platform Evangelist. “The underpinning Spark API plus native development was the only path to deliver this truly unmatched and seamless user experience: full access to all MLS information, real-time sync across systems and shared design”, says Prior.

FBS is a 100% employee-owned company that’s proud to provide personal service, future focused development and standards-driven, innovative products. FBS’ Flexmls® system (web, mobile, IDX), is built on the standards-driven Spark API platform, connecting real estate professionals to their customers through great collaboration tools and real-time information. The Flexmls® system is used by 130+ MLSs representing 130,000+ Brokers and Agents. For 30+years FBS has led the way in standards-driven innovation. Through ongoing investment and continued innovation, FBS is 100% prepared to deliver excellence that MLSs and their members can trust for the long term.

Media Contacst: Kim Prior kprior@FBSdata.com OR Katelyn Midtbo kmidtbo@fbsdata.com

Aug 22 14

Rumor Alert! – Industry vet Steve Allen to join Zillow.

by Greg Robertson

SteveAllenI’m pretty confident on this rumor that Steve Allen, director of business development at UtahRealEstate.com (or WFRMLS if you’re an O.G. like me) will be joining Zillow in an MLS relations role. If anyone can confirm in the comments we can make it official.

If true I think this is a good move for Zillow and the industry. Anything to help Zillow better understand the role of MLS providers, and the broker members they serve, will be a positive thing.

UPDATE: 8-27-2014

Rumor confirmed!
Curt Beardsley confirmed the addition of two hires to his team on Zillow For Pros blog:
Zillow Hires Two Industry Veterans => http://www.zillow.com/blog/pro/zillow-hires-two-industry-veterans-112835/

Congrats!

Aug 21 14

Guess what MLS system Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® is converting to….

by Greg Robertson

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via Tessa Hultz (who else?)

Aug 20 14

CMLS 2014 debuts “Disruptor Alley”

by Greg Robertson

CMLS 2014, Thursday September 25, 2014

“This exclusive event offers up-and-coming technology companies like yours the opportunity to get your product or service in front of MLS leaders and decision makers in a fun and casual way. Mingle with and demo your product to hundreds of CEOs and executives following the first day of sessions.”

Love this! Cost is $1,000. Seems like a great way for up and coming vendors to get exposure. If you are interested or know a company than might click below to download the form to reserve your space.

CMLS Disruptor -Reserve Your Space

Aug 20 14

Russ Bergeron joins Real Estate Digital!

by Greg Robertson

Russ BergeronThat didn’t take long! Seems just like yesterday when Russ announced he as leaving his position of CEO of MRED, LLC. Flash forward to today and I just spoke with Russ this morning, calling from Aliso Viejo, and he shared with me he joined Real Estate Digital and VP of their data licensing group.

He will head a relatively new group that includes; Jay Huffman (also a former CEO of MRED,LLC/MLSNI), Lisa Powell – recently of TheMLS/CLAW and Paul Dixon, – of Homes.com. Its a sort of homecoming for Russ. Many of RED’s employees have history back in the OCMLS and SoCalMLS days here in Orange County. When I spoke to Russ he was excited about being back in Orange County, and about joining RED because they have always been very “industry friendly and focused” and a great group of people. I couldn’t agree more.

Its a great fit for both Russ and RED. Currently RED manages over 1200 data feeds. That’s a helluva a lot of data to manage and track. This gives RED, and its new owner Nationstar, an individual that understands the importance and nuances of MLS data and, just as important, the industry’s trust. Congrats!

Aug 14 14

MRIS Receives RESO’s First RETS 1.8 Certification

by Greg Robertson

MRIS

“The RETS 1.8 Certification verifies that MRIS complies with the open standard for accessing and exchanging real estate transaction information with other organizations supportive of the RETS 1.8 Standard. MRIS originally created a unique method of updating new listing information via RETS, which is a piece of the contribution MRIS has made to the launch of the new certification. “

To be honest I’ve stopped following a lot of what RESO is doing. Seems like they are picking up some steam now. And I believe we (W&R Studios) are going to be stepping up our involvement as well.

Aug 14 14

Redfin nails it with “Redfin Home Dashboard”

by Greg Robertson

Redfin:

“At Redfin, our goal is to make the entire home-buying and selling process easier, from the day you start dreaming about owning the cute Craftsman on the corner, to the day you step inside your new home for the first time. We’ve transformed how you find homes for sale online, stay on top of new homes hitting the market, schedule home tours with agents, plan a weekend of open house visits, and take care of all the paperwork and tasks involved in the escrow process when you buy a home.”

OnMarket-dashboard

Coverage aside, one of the knocks I hear against Redfin is their conversion rate. People love the site. When I ask my industry friends which real estate portals they use personally Redfin is always at the top of their lists. But getting those site visitors to convert to using a Redfin agent has always been a challenge.

This new Home Dashboard is another attempt at improving that conversion, since it only available to clients who use Redfin agents. And I love it. The design is great plus it adds a nice cherry on top of a great value proposition for the Seller, check this out…

“The dashboard adds to the digital marketing program that Redfin provides for everyone who sells their home with us, including premium placement of their listing on Redfin.com (that doubles the amount of traffic the home receives from potential buyers), targeted emails and advertisements to homebuyers who are searching for homes in the area and free professional photography for listing photos. This additional exposure has been proven to sell homes faster, and for more money, according to a recent Redfin analysis. With the Redfin Home Dashboard, Redfin clients will be able to see the results of these activities in real time.”

Double the amount of traffic, free professional photos, 1.5% listing fee (not your typical 3%), and I can track all this in real-time. Imagine the television commercials these guys will put out once they go public.

Redfin is the dark horse and has the potential of being the true disruptor in this race.

Aug 14 14

MRED sticks with dynaConnections

by Greg Robertson

MRED:

“Our mission is to provide the very best MLS to our customers,” said Jeff Gregory, Chairman of the Board for MRED. “We have succeeded thanks in large part to dynaConnections, whose staff has been relentless in delivering an MLS solution that is unsurpassed in the industry. In fact, connectMLS has been the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey. Their customer service and responsiveness to our staff is top-notch. We are thrilled to continue this great relationship with Tim Ford and his staff.”

Some say its easy to get high ratings when you only have one or two customers, but being an MLS vendor (on any level) isn’t easy. A wins a win. Congrats to Tim Ford and his team.

Aug 14 14

THE MLS/CLAW sign direct licensing agreement with Trulia

by Greg Robertson

BH-sign-CropTrulia:

“The direct agreement with The MLS™/CLAW demonstrates the value MLS/Trulia partnerships can deliver to solve challenges around data distribution and display, helping brokers build their brand and support the success of their agents,” said Alon Chaver, Vice President Industry Services at Trulia. “By working with The MLS™/CLAW’s forward thinking leadership, Trulia can now provide The MLS™/CLAW members the freshest listings displays, increasing the volume and quality of leads they generate, and improving conversion rates to power the growth of their businesses and their brands.”

Nice win (for both sides). Annie is a tough cookie. For Alon and his team to turn these guys around is truly (pardon the almost pun) impressive.

This further cements my view that Trulia “gets it”, and is far more the industry friendly portal. For starters they have had a team focused on this longer, they are willing to make compromises to get better data, (where Zillow is not) and Alon’s team has shown a certain finesse getting these deals done.

Perhaps now that Zillow and Trulia are part of the same team maybe these types of deals will open some eyes at Zillow.

Aug 12 14

TAR says no to HAR

by Greg Robertson

shoot in footAndrea V. Brambila for Inman News

Texas Realtors won’t provide member info to competing statewide Realtor site, HAR.com

“Last week, in a 23-to-16 vote, TAR’s executive board rejected a motion from HAR that would have had TAR send HAR a data feed, updated daily, of TAR’s membership roster, complete with names and contact information. In the motion HAR said it would have paid any costs associated with providing the feed and promised not to use the list to solicit TAR members to join HAR or its MLS.”

HAR is asking for membership information, not listing data. And they’ll pay all implementation costs. Seems like a no-brainer. Especially cause…

“Nationally, HAR.com was the 19th most visited real estate site in June with 1.32 million unique visitors in June, according to comScore. By contrast, comScore does not track TexasRealEstate.com’s traffic because the site doesn’t meet a threshold of around 50,000 unique visitors per month.”

emphasis mine.

“TAR suggested that, instead of a data feed, TAR could offer HAR a widget that would pull in profile information from TexasRealEstate.com when consumers search for Realtors on HAR.com. The information would appear in framed results, giving TexasRealEstate.com a traffic boost. TAR has not yet developed the suggested widget.”

LOL, “a widget”. The guys at Zillow and Trulia are laughing there asses off right now.