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Aug 2 17

CoreLogic acquires Clareity

by Greg Robertson

CLAREITY SECURITY SOLUTIONS NOW A PART OF CORELOGIC REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS SUITE

““The Real Estate industry is full of visionary tech companies driving all of us forward,” said Chris Bennett, executive leader of Real Estate Solutions for CoreLogic. “Every day, a cutting-edge app or web service is introduced to agents and brokers to help them find and serve customers. The addition of Clareity solutions to the CoreLogic Real Estate Solutions suite helps tech companies deliver those innovative tools to users more transparently. We think our mutual cultures of commitment to moving our industry forward through innovation is a terrific catalyst for the benefit of our customers.”

Gregg Larson, founder and CEO of Clareity, who will be joining the CoreLogic executive team states, “We’re thankful for our employees, customers, and integration partners for their continued trust in Clareity. We’re confident that CoreLogic’s dedication to customer centered innovation will help fuel the growth and enhancement of the Clareity line of solutions.”

A huge congrats to both teams! Gregg, Matt, Troy, Amy, and the rest of the Clareity team have built a solid business that is a perfect fit for CoreLogic.

A few thoughts.

I hope they keep the MLS Executive Workshop going, but its hard to see a path forward under CoreLogic (but one can dream).
I guess the MLS Survey is kaput.
This is also a huge opportunity for some. Seems like T3’s MLS Division got an earlier Christmas present.

Jul 28 17

Redfin shares soar!

by Greg Robertson

Adam, Glenn and Scott

Real estate start-up Redfin surges over 40% in IPO

“Shares of online real estate broker Redfin hit the public market on Friday in a $138.5 million IPO.

The stock popped more than 44 percent headed in to Friday’s closing bell.

The stock was listed on the Nasdaq under the symbol “RDFN.” The 9.23 million share offering priced at $15 a share, above the expected price range of $12 to $14 apiece.

Redfin specializes in buying and selling homes and uses a mobile app to do tasks like schedule home tours and suggest listings.”

Huge congrats to Glenn and his team! Best line from Glenn talking about recruiting agents…

“They are working for a brand that doesn’t feel like the Radio Shack of real estate but the Apple of real estate’”

Jul 28 17

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

brightMLS
Project Manager

“We are looking for a Project Manager who will provide coordination and oversight for large scale, multi-team, company projects from inception to completion. Plans, directs, and coordinates project management activities of designated projects to ensure that goals and/or objectives of the projects are accomplished within the prescribed scope and funding parameters. Incumbent will be responsible for overall accountability and management of quality time and budget of project deliverables.”

Be sure to find our more about this gig and more at the Vendor Alley Job Board!

Jul 27 17

Industry Relations Episode 12: Can NAR’s New CEO Bob Goldberg Elevate the REALTOR Brand?

by Greg Robertson

We can all agree that raising the level of professionalism in the real estate industry is a good thing – absolutely necessary, even. But how do we get there? And who’s responsible for elevating the REALTOR brand? With Bob Goldberg assuming leadership of NAR on August 1, there is much discussion around what he can do to be an agent of change in the industry.

The gloves come off today as Rob and Greg debate the validity of the NAR CEO selection process and the best way to go about ridding the industry of incompetent, unethical agents. They discuss the strengths Bob brings to the table, how his leadership may facilitate cooperation among key players, and the likelihood of substantial policy change with Bob at the helm.

Listen in as Greg and Rob get fired up arguing who’s responsible for making the REALTOR brand meaningful. It is up to NAR to raise standards and differentiate between REALTORS and licensees? Or do brokers need to be held to a higher ideal when it comes to recruiting, hiring and training agents? Whether you’re Team Rob or Team Greg on this one, Bob has his work cut out for him as he takes over NAR this month.

What’s Discussed: 

Greg’s experience working with Bob through eNeighborhoods
NAR’s decision to choose someone from inside the organization
Greg’s sense of Bob as a leader
Rob’s take that hiring Bob may have been a ‘done deal’
Greg’s argument that employing a world-renowned recruiting company is ‘thorough’ as opposed to ‘clueless’
Why Rob contends that NAR should have named Bob as successor two years ago
How the NAR membership might have reacted to naming Bob as successor without selection process
How the interview process affords the opportunity for upfront conversation
Greg’s belief in the validity of the selection process
Why a succession plan is more feasible in the corporate world vs. a member-driven organization
Rob’s frustration with the lack of transparency demonstrated by NAR leadership
Greg’s assessment of how things will change with Bob at the helm of NAR
– Shift in tone
– Capacity to facilitate cooperation
Rob’s assertion that conflict in the industry is about policy rather than tone
Rob’s skepticism re: the probability of change in NAR policy
The relationship between personnel and policy
Greg’s assertion that bureaucracy comes from the association side rather than staff
The challenges Bob faces moving forward
– Elevating REALTOR brand
– Incompetent, unethical agents
Greg’s position that brokers are complicit in hiring unqualified agents
Rob’s counter that agents are not employees
– Only Redfin hires employee agents
– Agent pays broker, not vice versa
– Recruiting agents = sales (not hiring)
Why Rob finds it remarkable that any brokers institute standards
How NAR’s code of ethics runs counter to their acceptance of anyone with a license
Rob’s proposal regarding policy changes that would make the REALTOR brand meaningful
– MLS access no longer tied to membership
– Association staff allowed to take part in ethics hearings
– Remove 1099 exemption for real estate agents

Our Sponsors:
CSS
Corelogic

Resources:
Rob’s ‘Bob Goldberg Era’ Blog
Rob’s Response to Bill Brown’s Comment
NAR DANGER Report

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website
Greg’s Website

Jul 27 17

Industry Relations Episode 11: Redfin Goes Public and Quietly Eats the Real Estate Industry

by Greg Robertson

It’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for…

Redfin has been quietly dominating since its inception in 2004, and no one in the real estate industry seems all that concerned. We dismiss Redfin as a discount brokerage and debate what to call it – Tech company? Brokerage? Something else entirely? Whatever label you put on it, Redfin is disrupting the way real estate works. And with its S-1 filing, we can finally see just how well the company has been doing. With a sales volume of $16.2B and a 31% gross profit margin, Rob is justified in saying that Redfin has the potential to ‘eat the industry.’

Today Greg and Rob get into the impending Redfin IPO and the potential consequences of its success on traditional real estate. They cover Redfin’s phenomenal company culture and the advantages associated with having employee agents rather than independent contractors – and explain how its software has the ability to capitalize on repeat/referral business in a way that traditional brokerages do not.

Listen to understand why Rob believes that the industry should be more afraid of Redfin than Zillow, and hear Greg’s take on the relative importance of agent relationships versus company culture in shaping the consumer experience. Might there come a day when traditional brokerages would have to partner with (GASP) Zillow to compete with Redfin? As the company goes public, let’s talk about why Rob and Greg think industry leaders should start losing sleep.

What’s Discussed: 

The importance of culture at Redfin
Redfin’s recent S-1 filing
– Shares in $12-14 range
– Company valued at $1B
The debate around Redfin’s identity
– Tech company
– Real estate brokerage
– Agent team hybrid
Why there is no backlash against Redfin’s IPO
Rob’s take on why the industry should be more afraid of Redfin than Zillow
How traditional brokerages throw shade at Redfin as ‘discount brokerage’
Rob’s theory that Redfin is going to ‘eat the industry’
Standout stats from the Redfin S-1
– $16.2B in sales volume, #5 in RealTrends 500
– 31% gross profit margin
How Redfin’s software capitalizes on repeat/referral business
Redfin’s focus on data
– Measures customer satisfaction via NPS
How the Redfin culture affects the consumer experience
The myth that only independent contractors can provide high-level service
Greg’s take on Redfin’s limited ‘boots on the ground’
The advantages of employee buy-in to Redfin company culture
Who might be considered Redfin’s competition
The what-if scenario around Redfin establishing a ‘sneak peek’ listing agreement
How Redfin generates traffic to its site
– SEO
– Targeted email
When the heads of large real estate companies should start losing sleep over Redfin
– Redfin offers lower commissions, agents paid based on satisfaction ratings
– Customer demand could force traditional brokerages to enact similar policies to remain competitive
How a company with a multi-brand strategy could incorporate Redfin into its business model
How traditional brokerages might need to partner with Zillow to remain competitive
How reducing costs through automation would allow brokerages to charge less for commission
The way capital acts as an accelerator in the tech world
How having employee agents allows Redfin to fully adopt its technology systems

Our Sponsors:
CSS
Corelogic

Resources:
Redfin IPO: Tech Company, Real Estate Brokerage, or Something New?
Rob’s Redfin IPO Blog – Part 1
Sam Debord’s Guest Blog

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website
Greg’s Website

Jul 20 17

Redfin IPO video

by Greg Robertson

My “man-crush” on Glenn Kelman continues. You can watch the video here. So good, so well done. There’s been a lot of talk about whether these guys are a technology company or just a brokerage. That’s the wrong question(s). The question is will they succeed? And the deeper question is when/if they do succeed what does that mean for organized real estate.

In my opinion Redfin’s super power is its company culture. That, more than anything will drive their success. Best of luck to Glenn and his team!

Jul 20 17

CSS

by Greg Robertson

My thanks to Centralized Showing Service (CSS) for sponsoring Vendor Alley

CSS has a great solution to provide agents with a quick, courteous and accurate way to schedule their showings. Here’s some of what they do:

Book, cancel & reschedule showings online
Deliver/receive automated showing notifications by email and text messaging
• Edit listing information 
• Collect & share feedback 

This is all integrate with Matrix via SSO.

Kerry Rakuson recently joined CSS.

“”Kerry is a recognized leader with an enviable track record of improving the business processes of brokers and agents in Canada,” says Kevin Hughes, V.P. of Sales and Business Development for CSS. ”With Kerry leading our expansion efforts, we are ideally positioned to meet the evolving demands of the real estate industry. Our mission is to enable agents to efficiently exceed their sales goals,” he concludes.”

Congrats to Kerry on her new gig! So a big thanks to CSS and you can check them out at Showings.com.

Jul 18 17

Pro Tip: Save your sales literature for your suite.

by Greg Robertson

I love swag, but hate sales literature at a booth. By sales literature, I mean the one pager flyers or brochures that list the features and benefits of your product.

Why?

Swag attracts people to your booth.

A sales flyer is an excuse for a prospect NOT to talk to a sales person.

I’m not saying sales literature isn’t helpful is some circumstances. I might keep a sales literature at a booth, but hidden for special circumstances. Handing out sales literature in your suite is a good idea when your client has to go back to the office and hand out something to their committee members. Well done sales literature is a great way of promoting your brand and value proposition and should be treated as a supplement to your website.

But handing out sales brochures at a booth is just plain lazy. Sales people should be selling, not passing out pieces of paper.

And while we are on the topic of selling. Only have counter height tables at a booth and remove the any chairs at your booth. I always say, “Closers never sit”. And its easier to view a computer screen, or fill out an order from when standing.

You’re welcome.

Jul 18 17

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Manager of Training & Member Development

MLS of Hilton Head Island, Inc.

Propose annual plan and ideas for job and submit to CEO for strategic planning; responsible for creating and implementing training programs and overseeing development of staff; sets performance metrics and evaluates productivity; assists with business development goals, procedures; responsible for achieving established metrics for training & development.

I think this would be a great gig for the right person. Even if you aren’t looking, maybe you know someone who needs a change of scenery. Find out more about this position here, and check out our other positions on the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Jul 11 17

Triangle MLS selects ShowingTime

by Greg Robertson

TRIANGLE MLS, INC. SELECTS THE SHOWINGTIME APPOINTMENT CENTER

““ShowingTime’s advanced technology will be a great resource for our subscribers,” said Tessa Hultz, CEO at TMLS. “The ShowingTime Appointment Center is a service that aligns with our vision to provide subscribers with the most innovative tools available. We’ve been using MarketStats from ShowingTime for several years and have greatly benefited from the predictive analytics it provides, which will now include showing data for our market area. It just made sense to select ShowingTime.”

ShowingTime’s showing-related products and services – which improve efficiency by streamlining the appointment scheduling process – are used to schedule more than four million showings per month in 190+ MLSs across the U.S. and Canada representing 900,000+ real estate professionals.”

And according to the press release this is the 33rd MLS they signed up just this year for its showing management and market stats product. Super impressive. Hats off to Mike and his team.