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May 9 18

Get ready to rumble!

by Greg Robertson

Op-ed piece from Jim Harrison on Inman News…

It’s time to stop ignoring the crisis at NAR

“Over the past 90 days these issues have intensified over events related to NAR finances. Questions have been raised internally and externally about a pattern of unsuccessful NAR efforts and exploits. These include HouseLogic, the Realtor Credit Union, Realtor Radio, The Realtor University, RPR, Upstream, AMP, the almost childlike, “Logo-gate,” NAR’s lackluster performance at the recent T3 conference and, most recently, NAR’s wholly-owned Second Century Ventures entity.

Get your popcorn ready, next week is going to be fun!

UPDATE: NAR Responds!

NAR ‘furious’ over criticism of leadership, denies profiteering

“We are not afraid of criticism and welcome an open respectful dialog and honest discussion. However, this type of bullying is unacceptable and no volunteer or staff should be subject to this. It discourages participation and involvement. The future of our organization is strong and we want our members to be fully engaged with their National Association of Realtors.”

May 8 18

Rapattoni launches custom report writer

by Greg Robertson

Rapattoni MLS Launches New Custom Report Writer

“The new Custom Report Writer includes a variety of templates which MLS members can use as starting points for customizing their own reports, or they can start on a blank page to build new reports from scratch. Users can overlay listing images in different sizes to highlight important features and amenities, increasing visual interest with customizable shapes, borders, and background colors.

In addition to listing photos, Rapattoni’s powerful report designer allows users to add clip art from the MLS’s “royalty-free” library, or users can upload images to create a unique look. Once completed, reports can be printed, emailed, and shared with clients.”

This is interesting to me. I actually had a back and forth with a friend of mine about the value of such a product. His take was that report writers have “never, ever” worked for MLS and third party software vendors before, why would this be different?

I have to agree somewhat if you look at the past. Remember “Crystal Reports“? Yuck. These so called WYSIWYG editors, were the farthest thing from user friendly. Plus design is hard. You have to have a certain level of skill to make something look good and convey information in an easy to understand format.

Today is a bit different. Sites like Squarespace, Wix and on some level WordPress have really changed the game. These sites are template driven but offer a much better experience than tools of the past. My company created Cloud Attract, which is drop dead simple way of creating beautiful landing pages.

Granted, creating printed material is a little different and I haven’t used Rapattoni’s new Report Generator but I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions on basing old tech/UI/UX with what’s possible now.

May 8 18

CoreLogic partners with Homes.com to offer MLS providers public-facing websites

by Greg Robertson

CORELOGIC TO OFFER CONSUMER SEARCH SITES POWERED BY HOMES.COM

“Under the agreement, CoreLogic will begin offering the Homes.com Fusion Portal product, a public website platform for multiple listing organizations to CoreLogic clients. Consumer-facing websites follow fair display guidelines, clearly identifying the listing broker and agent on properties for sale.”

Make sense on a lot of levels. First Real Estate Digital (red) left this market awhile back, so there’s no clear leader. Second, Homes.com is one of the best at MLS data aggregation. Third, it gives the CoreLogic’s sales teams a quality product to sell back in to its channel. Plus Homes.com is a good partner. They’ve been powering RE/MAX national website since 2006. Andy Woolley and his team are second to none in integrity and have always been champions of the MLS industry.

A couple of observations. To me this puts CoreLogic in direct competition with BPP and Homesnap. Will MLS providers who signed up for Homesnap also purchase a public facing website? Doesn’t that go against what the BPP “partnership” is all about? Also, the marks the third time (by my count) the industry has used the “fusion” moniker. Please everyone, stop trying to make “fusion” happen. 😉

[UPDATE: Turns out Black Knight is Real Estate Digital’s reseller, so they haven’t exited as I first thought. Sorry for the confusion. Plus we know that with FBS acquisition of Solid Earth they also have a dog in this fight.]

May 8 18

John Mosey recognized for work at BPP

by Greg Robertson


St. Paul real estate veteran plays key role in development of Homesnap

The site is the real estate industry’s answer to the countless third-party property listing sites that have become influential in the sale of homes. Years in the making, a key player in its inception and launch is St. Paul-based John Mosey, longtime president of Twin Cities-based Northstar MLS.

“There was this grand notion that the industry could tap its resources to go head to head with the Zillows, Trulias and Realtor.coms of our world,” Mosey said.”

Zillow Group couldn’t have asked for a better picture of John for their dartboard. Of course he’s a much smaller target now. 😄

Photo credit [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

May 4 18

Caitlin McCrory joins Redfin

by Greg Robertson

Welcome Caitlin McCrory, Redfin’s New Head of Industry Relations!

“We’re thrilled to announce that Caitlin McCrory is becoming a Redfinnian! As head of industry relations, Caitlin will work to strengthen Redfin’s relationships with multiple listing services, associations and other brokerages around the country. Caitlin will focus on supporting the MLSs’ mission to share data fairly, advocating for listing brokers to get proper credit for the listing data they share, and suggesting ways MLSs and associations can support innovations that benefit agents and customers alike.”

Nice get for Redfin. Super excited for her. Congrats to both Redfin and Caitlin.

May 2 18

MFRMLS matches RESO standard on its native MLS system

by Greg Robertson

MFRMLS Removes Non-Standard Data in Native MLS

“Very few people understand the difference between the data that is in the Native database of an MLS and the data that is shipped out of an MLS.

The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) has created a Data Dictionary of fields and field enumerations for data being shared with brokers and technology providers. The Native data in the MLS – the data that the broker’s agent enters into the MLS system is custom to every MLS. Not anymore!

My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS) is among the first MLSs in the country to adopt the same RESO language in their Native MLS. Here’s why this is important.

Good article from Victor. I think this is a great example of leadership shown by Merri Jo and the rest of the MFRMLS staff.

May 2 18

Seriously zipLogix?

by Greg Robertson

Below is a few of “questions” sent out by zipLogix as part of a “survey” to NAR’s Board of Directors. Apparently it’s part of an effort to help secure zipLogix’s renewal at the upcoming budget meeting at NAR Midyear.

If you can’t read the questions, here’s what they ask….

1. Please choose the answers that most closely describe the value of zipForm(r) to your business.

– I couldn’t do business without it
– It’s the most valuable membership benefit
– I use it regularly and find it valuable
– I would regret not having access to zipForm(r)

Fucking shameless.

The third question is basically a phishing scam to gather intel.

3. If the vote to keep zipForm in the NAR budget was held today, how would you vote?

-Yes
-No

This is just embarrassing. Puts them and the whole renewal process in a bad light.

May 1 18

Rob Hahn launches The Red Dot

by Greg Robertson

The Red Dot, a Premium Monthly Report

I have been looking for a way to help more of you survive disruption, thrive amidst the chaos, and drive the change we need. I think I’ve found a way.

That way is Red Dot, our premium monthly report. It’s a way to experience the level of work I have been doing for some of the largest and most important organizations in real estate for the past 10 years, but with a different level of commitment from you. Your time and money are valuable, and I promise not to waste either.

I will not be able to give you specific suggestions for your organization without working with you on an engagement. But Red Dot will give you enough to set your organization on the right path with the current facts on the ground.

Rob was generous enough to share with me Red Dot’s first issue. To say its comprehensive is an understatement. I can almost guarantee that after reading this you are going to walk in the office the next day with a action item list (which he actually writes for you). He’s done a great job of breaking down the content too. He starts out with an Executive Summary which gives you the gist of the issues he is tackling in the report, which is great if you are super busy and want to overview of the content before going in to detail. After reading this month’s report I feel I’ve got a good deal of understanding to make solid decisions about the issues he discusses.

The report is $250 per month. I would recommend signing up just for this first report alone, and I’m sure you’ll be hooked. BTW, I don’t receive any compensation for any of this. I know Rob has been working hard as hell on this and I’m all about helping anyone wanting to help make this industry better.

You can find out more and how to sign up here.

Good luck Rob on your new venture!

May 1 18

RESO honors top innovators and volunteers

by Greg Robertson

RESO Innovation Winners, Top Volunteers Honored at Spring Tech Summit

RESO (Real Estate Standards Organization) honored more than two dozen of its members and leaders last week in Denver at its sold-out real estate tech summit. The conference attracted more than 275 real estate technology leaders from real estate brokerages, Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and technology firms. Outstanding volunteers honored received personally engraved wooden cases with classic games (pictured) in tribute to the tech summit’s theme: “It’s Game On for Data Standards.”

Shawn Whitaker of MLS Data Tools based in Boise, Idaho and Robert Humphreys of Predicted Property based in British Columbia, Canada, were the Innovation winners. They were flown in to present their breakthrough ideas that leverage artificial intelligence and automation at the summit, built on top of a standardized RESO data set that was provided to them by Austin Board of REALTORS®, CoreLogic, and RESO.

I had a chance to moderate a panel on OUIDs, which was a lot of fun (believe it or not). One of the best things about the event is the mix of people. You get the standard conference crowd mixed in with the tech guys and gals working on the intricacies of data. They are such a cool group of passionate people, with a wide range of interests. I got in to several really interesting conversations. Zillow hosted a great party the last night too. It’s easy to see why this event gets sold out.

Next stop Milwaukee!

Apr 28 18

Industry Relations: Does the NAR Logo Controversy Suggest a Failure to Communicate?

by Greg Robertson

If Rob and Greg are cute when they fight, then our co-hosts are particularly adorable on this edition of Industry Relations as they take on the current controversy over the new NAR logo: Is #Logogate indicative of an alarming disconnect between NAR leadership and its members? Or did NAR leadership take the appropriate steps to engage constituents in the decision-making process—and it simply didn’t work out?

Today, Rob and Greg begin their discussion with a review of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation forum in DC on using technology to make real estate more competitive, describing the lack of understanding demonstrated by the moderator and the defensiveness of the industry players on the panel. They go on to address #Logogate, and Rob shares his take that the controversy demonstrates a flaw of governance, while Greg argues that a logo is subjective—and leadership may havesolicited member input during the process.

Rob offers insight on the ‘culture of confidentiality’ he has observed among association leaders, while Greg contends that the current leadership is more transparent and proactive than ever. They wrap up with dialogue on how Zillow may be raising the bar in real estate by entering the iBuyer space, choosing the best of its Premier Agents to represent the company in selling its inventory. Fasten your seatbelt and listen in as Rob and Greg clash on ITIF, #Logogate, and the best agents in real estate!


What’s
 Discussed:

The recent ITIF forum on using tech to make real estate more competitive

The defensive posture of real estate representatives on the ITIF panel

David Kelley’s focus on broker reaction to competition as opposed to data

Rob’s call for a more collaborative approach vs. playing ‘hide the ball’

The current controversy over the new NAR logo

The disconnect between NAR leadership and its members

Rob’s take that #Logogate is indicative of a larger communication issue

Greg’s view that member engagement is the bigger problem

NAR’s proposed dues increase and assumption of budget approval

Rob’s view on the culture of confidentiality at NAR

How Zillow may ‘raise the bar’ for real estate agents

Greg’s argument that the best real estate agents aren’t on Zillow

 

Resources:

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

‘Blocked: Why Some Companies Restrict Data Access to Reduce Competition and How Open APIs Can Help’ by Daniel Castro and Michael Steinberg

Rob’s #Logogate Blog

Rob’s Zillow Blog

 

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

 

Our Sponsor:

Cloud Agent Suite