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Nov 20 14

FBS fights screen scrapers to protect MLS data

by Greg Robertson

Flexmls IDX: First to Gain Security Against Screen Scrapers

“In 2013, Clareity Consulting Chief Technologist, Matt Cohen wrote a blog that laid out the need for an industry-wide solution with important criteria for evaluating solutions available. In the end, he announced Distil Networks met that very specific criteria and endorsed them as a preferred partner for industry professionals seeking protection from screen scraping.

Here at FBS, we’re focused on delivering the very best product supported by world class service. Naturally, providing the highest level of security is part of that equation. To this end, we’re proud to be the first MLS provider to implement Distil’s powerful product as an extra security layer protecting Flexmls IDX websites.”

What I like about this is the industry collaboration aspect. Matt at Clareity has been banging the security drum for awhile now. Nice to see an MLS vendor is listening and take the lead on this. Gives me hope that more best practices will be implemented. Great win for Distil as well.

Nov 19 14

“Micro-flats” in Hong Kong

by Greg Robertson

In Hong Kong, One-Bedroom Apartments That Could Fit in a Bedroom

“Real estate in Hong Kong defies logic. The city is one of the most expensive places in the world to live and it has smashed one real estate record after another for years. As property costs continue to soar, even once improbable living spaces are now getting snapped up at astronomical prices.

At Le Riviera, three-quarters of the units sold so far have been microflats like the one Mr. Wu purchased. And Hong Kong developers are putting smaller and smaller units on the market — one recently built 165-square-foot apartments.”


Nov 17 14

Zillow shuts down Agentfolio

by Greg Robertson

Agentfolio End of Life

“Thus, we’ve decided to phase out the Agentfolio service and transition the Agentfolio team to work on other strategic initiatives at Zillow. Until we fully discontinue the service (see our schedule below), Agentfolio will be free for those continuing to use it. However, no new agents will be able to sign up.”

If there are any Agentfolio users that would like to try something else, I would humbly suggest this great new tool. : )

Nov 14 14

Homes by Tinybop

by Greg Robertson

New game for the future real estate aficionados in your house…

Homes by Tinybop

“Explore unique homes around the world. Wander in, make meals, decorate, and play games. Investigate electricity and utilities, from sparking wires to bubbling toilets. Clean up, or make a mess. Personalize each space with your own photos, drawings, and decorations. From the United States to Mongolia, Yemen to Guatemala, make yourself at home. For children ages 4+.”


Nov 13 14

SkySlope is being sued by DocuSign

by Greg Robertson

Looks like SkySlope is being sued by DocuSign for trademark infringement.

I’m no lawyer but it looks like it has to do with SkySlope’s use of the “no paper” logo, which is a registered trademark of DocuSign and has been featured in SkySlope advertising.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.28.01 PM

Also DocuSign isn’t thrilled with SkySlope’s logo for DigiSign

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.26.55 PM

I’ve scanned the court docs and if DocuSign prevails it could be pretty serious problem for SkySlope. Let’s hope they come to some sort of agreement.

Nov 13 14

Walk Score -300,000,000

by Greg Robertson


The Rosetta comet landing has made history

“It’s like doing archaeology, but instead of going back 1,000 years, we can go back 4.6 billion.”

Nov 12 14

Has the core mission of the MLS changed?

by Greg Robertson

It’s Time for a Grand Conversation on the MLS

“It seems to me that the core function, the core purpose, of the MLS is no longer limited to cooperation and compensation between brokerages. (This is especially obvious when the brokerages themselves were clamoring for this change.) The core purpose of the MLS in 2014 likely includes lead generation.

The MLS of today, properly understood, has added helping its broker participants find new customers to its core mission.”

You may or not agree with him but this is Rob Hahn at his best.

Nov 11 14

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

The Vendor Alley Job Board is starting to fill up!


“The East Bay Regional Data Multiple Listing Service ( for the San Francisco East Bay area is seeking a skilled MLS Manager. EBRDMLS provides the MLS system, technical support and customer service for the 3000-4000 subscribers from 4 Association of Realtors located in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the Bay Area.”

VP of Industry Relations – Mobile Realty Apps, creators of HomeSpotter

“Mobile Realty Apps, the company behind HomeSpotter, is a leading provider of home search apps for the real estate industry. We have experienced substantial growth and we now service over 200,000 agents through site licenses to MLSs and brokers.”

Recruiting Manager – Trulia

“As the Broker Manager, Strategic Partnerships, you will be a key player in a vital initiative to build and enhance key broker and industry relationships, increase overall engagement and improve conversion rates for the Strategic Partnerships sales team–resulting in an overall increase in revenue for Trulia.”

Also Redfin is looking for a ton of new people in a lot of areas. Including…

Real Estate Manager Broker / Market Manager – New Orleans, LA
Team Lead – Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Manager Broker / Market Manager – Pittsburgh, PA

See them all at the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Nov 11 14

Thanks Mom!

by Greg Robertson

Rebecca Lerma Army


Nov 7 14

NAR levels the playing field with $5 agent websites.

by Greg Robertson

NAR partners with Placester to offer members websites for $5 a month

“Nearly every Realtor can now get a personal website equipped with a listing search tool for just $5 a month.

The National Association of Realtors has partnered with real estate website provider Placester to offer the deal, which is available to all Realtors operating in markets where Placester has Internet Data Exchange agreements with multiple listing services.”

$5.00 is pretty cheap. When Zillow announced IDX websites for $10 a month, I quipped that many IDX vendors might have “pooped their pants” well now I think they shit their bed.

I’m curious if NAR guaranteed Placester a minimum number of sites. That would make sense to me. So that would mean NAR dues are paying for IDX websites whether or not you are utilizing this service. Also what if the MLS has a surcharge on IDX feeds, does Placester eat that cost or do they add it to the $5.00?

Three things strike me about this deal.

1. Big brokers are gonna be pissed. The Realty Alliance has made a big kerfuffle about MLS providers providing agents tools (like websites) for “free”, when brokers would typically want to charge their agents for those same tools.

2. Nice win for Placester! You gotta wonder if MOVE had the option to put a similar deal together.

3. IDX has officially jumped the shark.