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Dec 20 19

Project Christmas Tree

by Greg Robertson

W+R Studios had a contest at our year-end team meetings. We had two teams decorate Christmas Trees with a limited amount of supplies. Then the whole company voted on which one came out the best.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Dec 20 19

Industry Relations Episode 41: 10 Defining Moments & Trends in the Last Decade of Real Estate

by Greg Robertson

On January 1, 2010, organized real estate was still reeling from the recession. Dale Stinton was steering the ship at NAR. Zillow was seen as the enemy of the MLS. Real estate software was meh. Agent teams were rare. Nearly all brokerages took a split. Selling your house online seemed outrageous. And we still signed documents in pen.

On this episode of Industry Relations, Rob and Greg are looking back at the last 10 years in real estate. They discuss the passing NAR’s MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy, debating the significance of the office exclusives loophole and how it might lead to government involvement. Our hosts also express their disappointment around the Newsday investigation in Long Island, Testing the Divide, challenging brokerage leadership to make a strong statement against the egregious racism it uncovered. 

Greg and Rob go on to share their top 10 defining moments and trends with the biggest impact on the industry over the last decade, describing how the rise of agent teams, 100% commission brokerages, the iBuyer model and consolidation have transformed organized real estate. Listen in for insight into how NAR’s decision to fund RPR and Upstream changed the way the MLS saw Zillow and explore how the space has evolved from 2010 through the end of 2019.

Editor’s Note: We did record an Episode 40 that was never aired. It was about Policy 8.0 but wasn’t ready before the vote. After the vote passed we decided it didn’t add to anything to the issue.

What’s Discussed: 

NAR’s passing of the MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy

Rob & Greg’s take on the Newsday investigation in Long Island

How the loophole in 8.0 could lead to government involvement

The 10 defining trends/events in the last decade of real estate

  1. The end of poorly designed software
  2. The rise and domination of agent teams
  3. The transition in leadership at NAR
  4. Opendoor pioneering the iBuyer model
  5. Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia
  6. 100% commission brokerages
  7. Consolidation and the influx of capital
  8. The practice of buying agents/agent teams
  9. The mainstreaming of digital signatures
  10. NAR’s decision to fund RPR + Upstream

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


MLS Clear Cooperation Policy

Compass Pre-Litigation Letter to Bright MLS

Bright’s Response to Compass

Newsday Documentary: Testing the Divide

Rob’s Blog on the Newsday Piece

1000watt Article on Real Estate Software

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller with Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan

Ben Thompson Interview with Rich Barton

Our Sponsors:

Cloud MLX

The Red Dot

Dec 19 19

RE/MAX acquires First

by Greg Robertson

RE/MAX Acquires Data Science Startup First, Continuing the Brand’s Technological Transformation

“The four-year-old, North Carolina-based technology startup is known for creating the First app, an intelligent coaching platform that makes it easy for agents to identify likely sellers within their own network of contacts. With a focus on helping agents identify future listings, the app prioritizes who agents should reach out to and when, so they may strengthen current relationships when it matters most. It also organizes and consolidates an agent’s database and provides reporting on how much business is both won and lost from within an agent’s network.
“We have set our sights on becoming the global leader in real estate technology, and the acquisition of First is evidence of that steadfast commitment,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Chief Executive Officer. “With First, we found next-level talent combined with a game-changing service, delivering exclusive access to one of the best products for agents out there today.”

Big congrats to Mike Schneider of First and Adam Contos of RE/MAX. It will be interesting how they weave this in with their acquisition of booj last year.

So, the vendor consolidation continues. The year started with another CRM company, Contactually being acquired by Compass and BoldLeads being acquired by PropertyBase. ShowingTime acquired CSS. OJO Labs after acquiring Wolfnet in 2018, just acquired RealSavvy and chief puppy killers Scott Smith and Tom George of Constellation Software bought Offrs and SmartZip.

I believe First was represented by T3Sixy in the capable hands of Michele Conn. Seems like they might getting busier in the months to come.

Still no word from Realogy. 🤣

Would the last independent vendor leaving the building please turn off the lights.

Dec 19 19

Does have their heads in the sand?

by Greg Robertson

Everyone’s rushing to be an iBuyer — except for

“Industry observers said the fact that Zillow views iBuying as a do-or-die phenomenon makes Realtor’s indifference that much harder to understand.
“How do you have a situation where it’s an existential threat to one portal, but the other is twiddling their thumbs at the back of the classroom?” asked Mike DelPrete, a scholar in residence on real-estate technology at the University of Colorado who studies iBuyers. “I don’t think [Realtor] needs to be buying and selling houses directly,” he added. “That’s not what this is about, and that’s probably a bad idea for them.”

I’ve been curious about this for a long time. I still surprised how many people still don’t understand the value proposition that iBuyers give consumers. The narrative on Wall Street still seems to be centered around iBuying as “flipping” houses. 🤦‍♂️

Dec 19 19

Video highlights from around the industry

by Greg Robertson

I’ve been a big proponent of the use of video for a long time. Lately, I’ve been seeing an uptick in video creation in the MLS world.

CoreLogic videos are well produced, I also like the way FBS uses gifs showing product functionality within their blog posts and agent communications. CRS recently used video to highlight their company people and history. MARIS recently upgraded its website featuring industry luminaries answering the question, “How will tech impact real estate in 5 years?”

Sometimes you can have fun with it, last year we did a “W+R Employees Try Weird Flavored Candy Canes“. Which was super fun.

The latest video to catch my eye comes from Realcomp. I just love the fun after-effects (Karen waving her hand) and the use of real staff members and 70’s style music. The whole vibe of the video made me smile. Take a look.

Dec 17 19

Vendor Alley 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

by Greg Robertson

It’s that time a year again! The Vendor Alley 2019 Holiday Gift Guide is here! A list of gifts any vendor would love under the tree!

Apple AirPods Pro. I’m leaving my Bose Q35s at my desk. The noise cancellation on these new AirPods is legit, and they don’t take up any space in my laptop bag.

AirFly Pro. I recommended the previous version of this last year. The new Pro version has a better design, longer battery life and can pair two headsets (AirPods), plus an Aux jack. Your only worry will be forgetting they are plugged in on the airplane.

HEROCLIP. These are very useful. It’s a carabiner but with a hook option. I keep one on my laptop bag so when I’m in airport restrooms I can hang my bag even if there isn’t a hook. You’re welcome.

GoTubb containers. Love these. You can open them with one hand and are the perfect size for keeping small loose items like change, Advil, Zantac or edible gummies.

Biscoff Cookies. You know those delicious cookies they give out on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines? Well, now you can have them at home.

2020 Swanepoel Trends Report. What vendor wouldn’t love seeing this under the tree? Always some great insights as you plan for 2020.

What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture – Ben Horowitz. I just finished reading this book and highly recommend it. Ben is a co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz. His first book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is like a bible for the start-up VC world.

Well, there you have it. If anyone has any other suggestions please feel free to add them in the comments section. Merry Christmas!

Dec 16 19

Gary Keller on The Tim Ferriss Show

by Greg Robertson
Gary Keller

Gary Keller — How to Focus on the One Important Thing (#401)

Gary Keller (@garykeller) is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Keller Williams (KW), the world’s largest real estate franchise by agent count. In 2019, KW, which also ranks number one in units and sales volume in the US, was named by Fast Company as the “most innovative company” in real estate.”

The Tim Ferriss Show

Speaking of podcasts, I was surprised to find Gary Keller, CEO of Keller Williams, as a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, The Tim Ferriss Show. Worlds are colliding!

I’ve read the Millionaire Real Estate Agent back in the day, but haven’t read “The One Thing” he co-wrote with Jay Papasan. In that book, he posits a simple life hack, by asking yourself a question…

“What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

With the new year (decade!) fast approaching, I find myself thinking of ways of simplifying things so this is very timely.

Dec 16 19

Secrets of a Smarter MLS: Episodes 4, 5 and 6

by Greg Robertson

Subscribe: Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

The latest episodes of Andy Woolley’s podcast, Secrets of a Smarter MLS are great. He features conversations with Brad Bjelke, CEO of, Chris Carrillo, CEO of Metro MLS and Sam DeBord, CEO of RESO.

Find out more at the website:

Secrets of a Smarter MLS

Dec 13 19

Rick Sherwood joins CoreLogic

by Greg Robertson

Word on the street is that Rick Sherwood is starting a new adventure at CoreLogic. He has been at eNeighborhoods since 2007.

I’ve worked with Rick for many years and know him to be a true class act. Congrats!

Dec 12 19

New RESO Officers and Directors announced

by Greg Robertson

RESO Elects 2020 Officers and Directors

“The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) has announced its 2020 Executive Board and the results of its Board of Directors election for five open seats and other board appointments.

“RESO is attracting an unmatched pool of business and technology leaders who will help accelerate our vision of a streamlined real estate technology industry,” said Sam DeBord, CEO of RESO. “Our leadership team is devoted to a brighter future for real estate standards that foster the creation of technology as frictionless as using a mobile phone.”

Congrats to Katie Smithson and the rest of the new appointees.

2020 RESO Executive Board:
Rebecca Jensen, President and CEO, Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED) – Chair
Michael Wurzer, President and CEO, FBS, Creators of Flexmls – Vice Chair
Suzanne Mueller, Chief Industry Relations Officer,, Move, Inc. – Secretary
Richard Renton, CEO, Triad MLS – Treasurer

Representing Technology Companies, Developers, Partners & Consultants with revenue over $25 Million:
Chip McAvoy (Incumbent) – EVP Real Estate Solutions, Black Knight, Inc.

Representing Technology Companies, Developers, Partners & Consultants with revenue under $25 Million:
Mark Lesswing – Owner, Lesswing, LLC
Katie Smithson – Director of Enterprise Services, W+R Studios

Representing Multiple Listing Services and/or REALTOR® Affiliated Association with under 50,000 subscribers:
Rebecca Jensen (Incumbent) – President & CEO, Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED)

Representing Other Associations or Groups:
Jeff Young (Incumbent) – COO / General Manager, Realtors Property Resource, LLC (RPR)

Appointed for 2020:
Suzanne Mueller, Chief Industry Relations Officer,, Move, Inc.
Richard Renton, CEO, Triad MLS
Turan Tekin, Director, MLS and Industry Development, Zillow Group
Michael Wurzer, President and CEO, FBS, Creators of Flexmls

Appointed RESO Board Advisor:
Scott Woodard – CEO, ShowingTime