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Oct 25 17

BAREIS MLS announces member assistance due to recent fires

by Greg Robertson

BAREIS MLS® Announces Assistance to Members Affected by Northern California Fires Regional MLS Offers to Waive Fees, Replace Lockboxes and Keys, and Make Cash Donations

“As an initial step, BAREIS is waiving its fees for members directly affected by the fires, which have destroyed at least 8,400 structures. The MLS has been reaching out to broker members to get the names of agents directly affected and offer help in relief efforts. To date, BAREIS has received requests for assistance from more than 70 members who have lost their homes, and has provided over $70,000 in Visa gift cards to help them get back on their feet. The MLS has also waived fees for these members for the next 12 months, and will replace all destroyed lockboxes and keys.”

I was up in the Santa Rosa area helping BAREIS rollout their new products and services just about a week before the fires started. Breaks my heart to see the devastation. Kudos to K.B. and team for making this effort.

Oct 25 17

Austin Board of REALTORS promotes Stan Martin to Director of MLS

by Greg Robertson

Austin Board of REALTORS:

“We are very proud to announce that Stan Martin has been promoted to Director of MLS. Effective immediately, Stan will assume the responsibility for leading efforts to continue to drive strategic relevance and operational excellence of the MLS for ABoR in partnership with its Board of Directors.
Martin is an active leader in the MLS industry, earning the Council of MLS’s CMLX3 Executive Certification and serving on its Finance Section Council. He also serves on the Board of Directors for MLS Grid, participates in the CoreLogic Advisory Group and is actively working with RESO to provide testing platforms for developers and brokers.”

Congrats Stan! Well deserved.

Oct 24 17

Point Counterpoint on “MLS of Choice”

by Greg Robertson

“MLS of Choice” is really a poor choice of wording. I think someone at Inman News coined the phrase. It gives the wrong impression of what 7.42 and 7.43 are really all about. But lucky for us we have Tom and Stan! Tom Berge Jr., NAR’s current chairman of the Multiple Listing Issues and Polices Committee, did a great job outlining their recommendations in a video which served as a supplement to an F.A.Q. page.

As a counterpoint Stan Harke, CEO of Western Regional Information Systems & Technology, Inc., also created a video outlining their concerns over “unintended consequences” of the policy change. He makes a few good points (His “pocket listing” scenario is quite clever) if you can make it through the cheesy music.

Then there are some who believe this might be a giant conspiracy! Just don’t shoot the messenger.

Oct 23 17

Give and you shall receive…

by Greg Robertson

Concierge Auctions Announces Auction With Giveback Homes To Raise Funds For Hurricane Relief

“As a company with strong Texas ties and an office in Austin, we wanted to make sure that we did everything we can to help,” said Laura Brady, President of Concierge Auctions. “When the storm hit, members of our team volunteered with immediate needs and donations. However, there are still many people in deep and profound need and this auction will raise money to help those who are struggling.”

The auction pulls together a wide variety of experiences and services that will be of interest to consumers and real estate professionals. “We are so grateful to everyone who has donated their time, their property and their services,” added Brady. “Many of these experiences would not be available otherwise.”

You can find out more here.

Oct 16 17

Lone Wolf buys Instanet Solutions

by Greg Robertson

Man, Victor has the scoop with this one…

Lone Wolf acquires Instanet Solutions

“Today, Lone Wolf, one of the leading providers of broker accounting and management solutions, announced its acquisition of fellow Canadian company, Instanet Solutions. This is the second transaction management software acquisition in the past two weeks. Fidelity National Financial, Inc. recently acquired a majority interest in Skyslope, another highly regarded transaction management solution.”

The Private Equity firm, Vista, owns Lone Wolf. They made a minority investment in Lone Wolf in 2015, then took control with another investment in 2016.

In 2016 Vista inserted a new CEO and Executive chairman (and fired about 40 Lone Wolf employees.) Nobody is talking about price but this has huge implications for associations and MLS providers.

Oct 13 17

Pro Tip: How not to be a Harvey

by Greg Robertson

The Rock Test: A Hack for Men Who Don’t Want To Be Accused of Sexual Harassment

“Are you a man confused on how to treat the women you work with? Do you feel like if you can’t say or do *anything* you don’t know what to say or do at all? Well stress no more! This life hack will have you treating women like people in no time.

You’re welcome.

Oct 13 17

‘If we are going to do this, we don’t stop till we are done’…

by Greg Robertson

Loved this article from Dionna Hall, CEO of REALTORS of the Palm Beaches (now REALTORS of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale). In an article written for MLS Roundtable she goes in to detail the backstory of how they put together the latest merger.

Consolidation is a Powerful Word

At the beginning of the year RAPB President, John Slivon and I discussed the possibility of a merger. We decided that being comfortable was likely short term (at best temporary); we knew the industry was changing. We wanted to address our brokers and agents pain points and felt that merging was a step toward accomplishing that goal. Fortunately, GFLR President Ron Lennen was of the same mindset. Both Presidents approached conversations with tremendous focus and intensity, a commitment of ‘If we are going to do this, we don’t stop till we are done’…and that is what we did.

Just a few years ago the MLS situation in South Florida was a mess. Great to see when you put the right people in place, with the right mindset, things can get done.

Oct 13 17

See you at RESO next week

by Greg Robertson

Looking forward to joining everyone in San Diego next week. Katie and I will be there along with…wait for it…Dan Woolley!

I’ll be hosting a panel on Wednesday morning (10/18/2017 10:05AM), named “RESO in the REAL World – Advantages and Benefits Being Realized”

I’ll be joined by

Colette Stevenson, CEO, MLS of Hilton Head Island, Inc.
Troy McCasland, CEO of AgentSquared
Tom Weiss-Lehman, Product Manager, Redfin Corporation
Chris Freeman, CTO, WolfNet

Should be fun. See you there!

Oct 3 17

VHT Studios Unveils Virtual Twilight and Decluttering

by Greg Robertson

VHT Studios Unveils Virtual Twilight for Real Estate Professionals to Further Captivate Buyers and Boost a Listing’s Appeal

“Virtual Twilight is another convenient alternative to VHT’s traditional twilight photography sessions. VHT uses our professional photographers’ daylight exterior photographs and our image specialists digitally transform them into twilight photographs. It saves time for the seller and real estate professional, since it requires no additional or extended late-day photography sessions.

I would qualify this as a AR (Augmented Reality) type of feature, although it’s not done on the fly. But, their slide demo is pretty impressive, make sure you look at all the photos, the decluttering and staging examples are just as impressive as the twilight photos. I wish I could use the decluttering feature in real life for my boy’s rooms.

Oct 3 17

RESO DataComp

by Greg Robertson

Calling all innovative thinkers that want to change the course of real estate history!

“RESO will be hosting a data competition, with the chance to win up to 25k in cash!
We are connecting the best entrepreneurial developers with RESO compliant APIs. Software technologies change very rapidly and RESO is challenging the developer community to push the innovation envelope. Unlike traditional developer “hackathons” that only last hours, this event is comprised of a month-long development process.
DataComp participant registration is separate from the 2017 conference registration and is open to anyone who believes the use of RESO compliant APIs can benefit the industry. It doesn’t matter if you are the home hacker or the corporate coder, if you have been incubating the next “big idea” be sure to be seen at this event. This competition is certain to be one of the best reasons for real estate technologists to join us in San Diego.

I’ve got a killer idea for this, I just wish Dan wasn’t so damn busy. $25K would buy a lot of Tanqueray.