Skip to content
Sep 10 14

Apple Pay and subscription based services

by Greg Robertson

apple0132I’ve written about decreasing the “friction” of customers signing up for your products and services. My company still does a lot of transactions at live events (demos and trade shows). I found its much better to close deals at the event and not rely on them signing up when they get home.

To do this we still have to rely on paper order forms.

This is due to mostly crowd control issues. If a single presenter is doing a Cloud Streams demonstration to 40 people in a room there is no easy way for those attendees to sign up for the service asynchronously other than a paper order form.

I see more and more REALTORS coming to events with their digital devices, but filling out an online form by taping on a screen (whether an tablet or iPhone) is still a cumbersome process.

Yesterday Apple announced a brand new service called Apple Pay. They are also releasing an API for developers. With this service you can order online product with the Touch ID button on your iPhone. No forms to fill out, and a receipt is emailed you automatically.

Imagine the scenario at a presentation where after your demo you direct an attendee to a website address and have them click a choice of Monthly or Yearly Plan and then use Touch ID to sign up. That’s it. Boom.

I get goosebumps thinking about it.

Sep 5 14

Booth duty

by Greg Robertson

photo-6I’m here at Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS MLS Technology Forum today and wanted to do a quick post on a few thoughts I had about trade shows.

1. VP MPH. Nothing will help your product pitch better than working a busy booth. You quickly learn what features/benefits are a hit or miss with the agents. This is invaluable especially when launching a new product like our Cloud Streams. Reactions I get here will also overflow to our website landing pages and marketing materials.

2. More vendors, more better. The MLS/Associations/Organizations that put together a good trade show gather together relevant vendors. Stephanie Hill has done a great job here of bringing together some top industry vendors and the agents can tell.

3. Agents are buying.

4. Agents will take anything that is not nailed down to your table. It’s like some sort of twisted Halloween. “Excuse me Ma’am, but those are my car keys you putting in your bag.” Sheeesh!

5. I still get a rush every time I make a sale. There is something about the face to face, overcoming objections, banter, back and forth, asking for the order and getting it, that I will always love.

Sep 4 14

ListHub buys Point2’s syndication service

by Greg Robertson

Pipeline-valve
Word on the street is that ListHub (MOVE) has acquired Point2. If so, Holy shit! What you gotta wonder is, if this is a Hail Mary Pass to “Save Listhub”, or is MOVE, Inc. trying to cinch up the all the syndicated MLS data feeds for some other batshit crazy idea.

Plus if Point2 was up for sale, why do you think Zillow didn’t buy it?

Related: Saul Klein and John Reilly and left Yardi as of September 1st. Yardi was the previous owner of Point2. In a Facebook post Saul wrote:

“John Reilly and I want to let you know that we are no longer involved with Point2 and will be leaving Yardi. We completed our last responsibilities on September 1.”

UPDATE: Looks like the rumor was true: Move, Inc. Acquires Point2’s U.S. Listing Syndication Service

But it looks like only the syndication piece was sold, so Point2 still lives.

“Point2 will continue to provide its signature real estate solutions including Point2 Agent, Point2 Homes, agent and MLS public websites, IDX tools, mobile applications, and additional tools to help real estate professionals be more productive and competitive.”

Sep 3 14

Vendor Gadget – Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard

by Greg Robertson

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 10.13.19 AM

Logitech K480
A wireless desk keyboard for your computer, tablet and smartphone

Perfect complement to one of my new favorite iPad apps,the Hanx Writer

Who said skeuomorphism was dead?

Aug 29 14

RIP Eric Graning

by Greg Robertson

Graning-500x626 This one is tough. Not sure if I was going to write about it but needed to say something. Many of you know Kristi Graning while she worked at RE/MAX International. I first got to know her while working at eNeighborhoods when we worked with her closely re-launching remax.com as a “network of broker idx sites”. It became the standard for how modern broker and franchise portals work today. Kristi was our leader in that effort. We spent many long days, nights and weekends getting that project done. Flying back and forth from Florida to Colorado. It was one of the most rewarding times in my professional life. Around that time Kristi was pregnant, the joke was she was giving birth to two babies, the new remax.com and her new baby boy.

Kristi’s husband, Eric, recently died in a tragic motorcycle accident. So heartbreaking for Kristi and their two young boys, Tey and Dax.

You can read about Eric here. A celebration of Eric life is being held today.

I can’t be there today Kristi but please know I, and many others, are thinking of you and your loss today.

Aug 28 14

Jason Calacanis has a great idea for real estate

by Greg Robertson

And he’ll fund it….

I like this idea a lot. Kind of like a “secret shopper program”. But instead of having individuals do the work why not just power buyers/homeshoppers that are already looking to do so?

Aug 28 14

Redfin + Matterport = Awesome

by Greg Robertson


Yes please, now.

TOTH: @drewmeyers

Aug 28 14

NAR announces partnership with Clareity Security.

by Greg Robertson

I heard through the grapevine (do they have grapevines in Arizona?) that last week at the 2015 Leadership Summit Dale Stinton announced a new partnership with Clareity Security, dubbed the “NAR Portlet Project“. Despite the unfortunate name it seems like another big win for Clareity. Clareity will begin implementing NAR Resource Portlets in about 18 to 200 local and state associations in August and September. Which should reach about 100,000 members. The new “Portlets” fit into’s Clareity’s SSO Dashboards.

A lot of members get to their MLS system through their local association’s website but its not clear whether 3rd party vendors participating with Clariety’s App Store will be displayed on this new association dashboards.

Overall I think this is great for NAR. They have a lot of resources that not a lot of members know about (REALTOR University, .Realtor domain name site, MVP member benefits, and of course RPAC). Clareity strategy seems pretty clear, they want their Dashboards to be in front of as many agents as possible. Makes a helluva a lot sense to me.

Aug 25 14

Goomzee Redesigns Mobile App

by Greg Robertson

Goomzee:

“Some of our earliest MLS adopters like Intermountain MLS (IMLS) in Boise regularly share feedback from their agent users and leadership,” explains Mike Sparr, Goomzee CEO and Founder.  “We carefully consider all user suggestions for future release planning and IMLS’s CEO, Greg Manship, personally suggested we consider adding a built-in support or help link.  We pushed the envelope even further and included a completely integrated help desk and training system which I believe is another industry-first in the mobile arena.  Our latest release includes too many features to name, but we’re very proud of ways we simplified the navigation to further delight our users.”

Can’t believe I missed this release from last week. It speaks to what I was talking about for 3rd party solutions in the mobile space. Love seeing so many options for MLS providers to ponder. It seems a lot of these “alternative front ends” are finally appearing, but taking a “mobile first” approach.

See full press release below:

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Goomzee Redesigns Mobile App Navigation; Introduces Mobile MLS App Help Desk

Missoula, MT — August 18, 2014 — It just got easier for multiple listing services and REALTOR(r) associations nationwide to deliver competitive mobile solutions thanks to Goomzee’s latest mobile app innovation and industry first, a built-in mobile help desk.  Goomzee, one of the real estate industry’s leading providers of mobile solutions, announced today that their latest mobile app release included the industry’s first fully-integrated mobile help desk, minimizing support burden for MLS staff who want to provide mobile apps to their customers.

Goomzee’s Mobile MLS allows MLSs and Boards to provide professional native mobile app access to agent-only information, and configurable option to offer public access, or even invite-only access, on a per-market basis.  Now when users tap on the “Help” menu they can immediately access forum articles and submit support requests or view the status of their current requests without ever leaving the app.  Once they’re done with the help desk, they simply dismiss it and resume with their mobile work whether it’s searching for listings, sharing with clients, or saving searches for later use.

“Some of our earliest MLS adopters like Intermountain MLS (IMLS) in Boise regularly share feedback from their agent users and leadership,” explains Mike Sparr, Goomzee CEO and Founder.  “We carefully consider all user suggestions for future release planning and IMLS’s CEO, Greg Manship, personally suggested we consider adding a built-in support or help link.  We pushed the envelope even further and included a completely integrated help desk and training system which I believe is another industry-first in the mobile arena.  Our latest release includes too many features to name, but we’re very proud of ways we simplified the navigation to further delight our users.”

Goomzee recently shared that nearly two-dozen Boards/MLSs from coast to coast have already selected Goomzee for their Mobile MLS Apps for their customers, and the pace doesn’t appear to be slowing.  In second quarter alone, the company announced five additional MLS markets signed multi-year agreements to provide Goomzee’s software to their members and dozens more are lining up.  Goomzee’s mobile apps compliment current MLS systems, and deployments typically take thirty days or less, depending on the complexity of third-party systems integrations.

“I am impressed with the fact that [Goomzee] is always looking for ways to enhance [their] app, and our users love how fast it is,” says Julie Rietberg, CEO of Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS(r).

The latest mobile app featuring new simplified navigation and built-in help desk is now live for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch via Apple’s app store and the Android version will be live very soon.

ABOUT GOOMZEE
Goomzee celebrated its 11th year in business in 2014.  The company began as an e-commerce application service provider, powering and hosting small business’ e-commerce websites,  but shifted to real estate technology just as the industry fell into turmoil to solve recognized gaps in mobile technology.  The company has been serving the real estate industry since 2007, and multiple listing services since 2008.  It’s initial real estate product called Goomzee Connect allows agents to capture leads at the property via text message codes on sign riders and a lead capture system.  After working closely with MLSs and providing it’s service as a member benefit in nearly 30 MLS markets, representing over 296,000 agents, MLSs approached Goomzee to co-design a mobile solution that would best serve the needs of their members.  Their current solution represents a culmination of their first-generation web solution, and two years of research and development to offer a platform that rivals the large portals.  For more information, request a quote, or to schedule a personal demo, please contact Goomzee via http://www.goomzee.com.
###

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