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Sep 27 17

MLSListings adds MLS-Touch

by Greg Robertson

MLSListings Inc. and Prospects Software Join Forces to Bring MLS-Touch App to Northern California Real Estate ProfessionalsMulti-year agreement offers unique and custom mobile functions to MLSListings professionals

“We heard from many brokers and agents that mobile apps for real estate are good, but an app with expanded functionality would be great. Charles Drouin and the MLS-Touch team understands that and they have used the input of thousands of brokers and agents from California to Montreal to build their model. They are committed to working with associations and MLSs to create a custom experience. We are proud to offer convenient features to support the more than 15,000 real estate professionals who trust us with their business,” said James Harrison, RCE, CAE, President and CEO of MLSListings Inc.

Félicitations to Charles and his team. Their persistence is inspiring. I’m big believer in giving agents more choices when it comes to the tools they use the most, like the MLS. This “front-end of choice” movement is gaining steam.

Sep 25 17

Jeff Turner takes CEO position at immoviewer

by Greg Robertson

immoviewer Announces Appointment of New CEOJeff Turner Named Chief Executive Officer

“We are thrilled to have such a highly regarded industry leader as our new North American CEO,” immoviewer founder, Ralf von Grafenstein said. “Jeff has a unique understanding of where the real estate market is heading and a clear vision for where technology fits into the picture. Jeff’s experience and reputation in the industry is stellar and well known. We are certain he will be able to lead us to the conversations that will move immoviewer forward at a rapid pace in North America.”

Huge congrats to Jeff. This stuff looks shit hot and affordable for most brokers/agents.

Sep 25 17

Industry Relations EP013: Barriers to Change in the MLS with James Dwiggins and Sam DeBord

by Greg Robertson

Stakeholders from every facet of the real estate industry are calling for change. Problem is, that’s about the only thing they can agree on. So what happens when you put a broker, a vendor, a consultant, and NAR leadership in the same room to talk about all things MLS? A sometimes uncomfortable, yet revealing discussion around consolidation, data standardization, MLS fees, and the policymaking process.

Stakeholders from every facet of the real estate industry are calling for change. Problem is, that’s about the only thing they can agree on. So what happens when you put a broker, a vendor, a consultant, and NAR leadership in the same room to talk about all things MLS? A sometimes uncomfortable, yet revealing discussion around consolidation, data standardization, MLS fees, and the policymaking process.

Live from CMLS2017 in Austin, Rob and Greg are joined by James Dwiggins and Sam DeBord. James is the CEO of NextHome, a progressive real estate franchise with consumer-focused branding, technology and marketing. Prior to founding NextHome, James served as Chief Strategy Officer and VP of Realty World Northern California & Nevada. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, James’ impressive resume also includes VREO, a groundbreaking company he co-founded in 2000 to develop web applications for agents and brokers.
Sam is both the managing broker for Seattle Homes Group and VP of Strategic Growth for Coldwell Banker Danforth. In addition, he is a member of the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board, and he will serve as the Vice-Chairman of MLS Policy for NAR next year. Sam writes for a number of real estate news outlets, and he was named to SP200’s Top 20 Social Influencers and Inman’s Top 101 in Real Estate.

Listen in as Greg, Rob, James and Sam search for a little common ground when it comes to the future of the MLS. James shares his concern regarding a lack of non-REALTOR members in NAR decision-making bodies, and Sam offers his take on the future of the industry. They cover the political barriers that prevent true collaboration in the industry, how the not-for-profit mandate hinders MLS progress, and the value of vendor-inclusiveness. 

 

What’s Discussed: 

James’ message at the CMLS event in Austin
The ongoing conversation among NAR, brokers and MLSs
The continued consolidation of MLSs
NAR’s focus on broker co-op
The vast differences in how MLSs are run
The challenges around a lack of data standardizationFactors that prevent a common data share
The brokers’ contribution to the technical barriers 
How a common MLS feed might affect membership
How members of the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board are selected

-Vetted by leadership
-‘Standard of experience’James’ concern regarding a lack of non-

REALTOR members NAR’s effort to bring in advisors/speakers from other industries to inform the advisory board

Why having your heart in the right place doesn’t mean you are a qualified decision-maker
The challenge of overcoming politics to engage in true industry collaborationNAR’s role in fostering cooperation
How CMLS is setting the standard of vendor-inclusiveness
Rob’s argument that the nonprofit mandate is the biggest issue hindering MLS progress
The pros and cons of raising MLS fees
The excessive fees vendors pay for access to IDX feeds
The benefits of MLS consolidation:

-Less overhead, more profitable for MLS
-Broker costs decrease
-Vendors can reinvest money saved

The painful loss of jobs that would result from MLS efficiency
James’ prediction that it will take outside forces to facilitate change
The value generated by a very small number of agents -Zillow market cap at 7.6B -80,000 agents

Sam’s take on the future of the real estate industry

-MLS will be part of equation (dependent on data)
-Fewer MLSs
-Realtor will remain at center of transaction

Greg’s A Few Good Men analogy
Rob’s theory about the future MLS breakdown
The top barriers to change: 

-Politics
-Lack of data standards

Sam and James’ advice to MLS execs moving forward

-Focus on broker priorities
-Be flexible, innovative in delivering
-Discuss pain points with vendors
-Work with other MLSs on same process

Resources:

Seattle Homes Group

NextHome

MLS 2020 Agenda

CMLS 2017

Connect with Rob and Greg:

 
Rob’s Website 

Greg’s Website 

Sep 20 17

Buyside gets stacked

by Greg Robertson

Industry Experts Join Buyside to Support Further Growth and National Expansion

“Charles Williams, Buyside’s Founder and CEO, has announced the expansion of the company’s senior leadership team with the addition of three tenured real estate industry veterans: Alissa Harper, VP, Growth; Dan McKeehan, VP, Operations; and Laura Scott, Chief Success Officer. Buyside is a data science & marketing company helping brokers transform real-time buyer data into leads, listings and profits.”

Here’s the team:

Alissa Harper, VP of Growth, joins Buyside from Market Leader, Trulia, and most recently, Zillow Group where she built and led the company’s Broker Engagement Team…

Dan McKeehan, VP of Operations, comes to Buyside from Dotloop where helped to scale the nationwide deployment of the platform, with large regional and national real estate franchise brands earning impressive user adoption levels with high customer satisfaction…

Laura Scott, Chief Success Officer is a veteran of Northwood Realty Services and Douglas Elliman, where she spent over a decade overseeing daily operations, driving strategy and recruiting effort…

Very impressive. This is about two thing I like the most, keeping talent in the industry and companies making the right investments. Congrats to Charles and the new team.

Sep 20 17

Industry vet, Dottie Shanley retires

by Greg Robertson

Art Carter, CEO of CRMLS

““I offer my best wishes to industry veteran Dottie Shanley as she enters retirement. Dottie served the MLS/AOR industry as a customer care specialist for 27 years, beginning her career as a bookkeeper with
Buena Park AOR. After Buena Park AOR merged with North Orange County and Pacific West, Dottie
began to get involved with other avenues of the industry. She learned many departments, including the
membership aspect of the industry, before moving into the MLS department. In 2000 Dottie made a
move to SoCal MLS, where she started on the Customer Care team. In 2011, SoCal merged with CRMLS,
and today she hangs up her headset from CRMLS as one of the most fearless and dedicated customer
service representatives around. Dottie is looking forward to retirement and plans to spend more time on
her hobbies, including playing bingo. Congratulations, and thanks for many years of outstanding
service!”

I’m a sucker for these announcements. Anyone devoting as much time to this business deserves recognition, and Dottie has seen it all!

Sep 19 17

CMLS officers announced

by Greg Robertson

I was a bit remiss earlier and failed to mentioned CMLS’ new officers.

“David Charron, chief strategy officer of Bright MLS (Maryland), will serve as president; Chris Carrillo, CEO of Metro MLS (Wisconsin), was named president-elect; and Stephanie Hill, MLS director of Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (Nevada), was elected secretary/treasurer.”

I’ll be writing soon about the CMLS 2017 conference itself later but wanted to make sure I recognized everyone.

Sep 19 17

MetroList® announces deal with Real Safe Agent

by Greg Robertson

MetroList® Chooses Real Safe Agent

““After several months of extensive research into real estate agent safety options, our staff and Board of Directors believe that Real Safe Agent and the behavioral science behind it, was by far the best choice to further help our subscribers stay safe while conducting their business,” said Bill Miller, CEO of MetroList Services, Inc.
MetroList® is the first MLS in California to adopt Real Safe Agent and joins several other MLS’s and Associations around the country that have already deployed the system; bringing the total number of brokers and agents with access to the new safety system to approximately 85,000.

MetroList is pretty picky so I know they have vetted this solution pretty well. Congrats to Susan and Lee.

Sep 8 17

See you in Austin!

by Greg Robertson

Really excited about seeing and catching up with everyone at CMLS next week!

I’m going to be giving my “Industry Update” again, this year. I’m told it was the highest rated session of CMLS last year in Las Vegas (and the lowest). I’ll be onstage Friday the 15th at 8:50am, Lauren Hansen will be doing an introduction, so don’t go big on Thursday night!

Sep 8 17

Larson Skinner promotes Camille Beshara

by Greg Robertson


Larson Skinner PLLC announces promotion of Camille M. Beshara to member of the firm

“According to firm Managing Member Mitchell A. Skinner, “Camille provides perceptive legal advice coupled with
deep industry insight to our clients. It was natural to bring her further into our team.” The firm’s founder and Of
Counsel attorney, Brian N. Larson, echoed the sentiment. “Clients appreciate Camille’s commitment to
responsive, practical, and insightful advice.”

So cool. Congrats Camille!

*I hope I don’t get in trouble from scrapping Camille’s photo from their website. : )

Sep 8 17

Pro Tip: Soapbox by Wistia

by Greg Robertson

We are a big believer in video at W+R Studios and have used it effectively in our support and marketing efforts. Due to this we are also a big fan of Wistia, a video hosting company out of Massachusetts. They have a really wonderful company culture and their website if chock full of tip and tricks. I’ve attended their last few conferences (WistiaFest) and at this last one they introduced a great new tool called Soapbox. Basically it’s a quick and easy way to make screencasts just using Chrome. It’s free and so easy to use, you really have to try it to appreciate it.

I did one this morning so you could have an idea of how it works. You can also check out this page for more information.