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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?


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!


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



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

Apr 27 18

Industry Relations: T3, iBuyers and the Zillow Flip

by Greg Robertson

Is Zillow getting into the house flipping business to make a profit buying and selling real estate? Of the users who submit an Instant Offer request, one-third sell their home within 90 days—and 10% of that third take an investor’s offer. Zillow’s main play here may just be seller lead generation.

Today, Rob and Greg talk T3, iBuyers and Zillow. Greg shares his takeaways from the T3 conference, including praise for Stefan’s keynote address and an eye-roll over the ‘no corporate sponsors’ sentiment. Our hosts discuss the recent bombshells around Dale’s departure from RPR and Zillow’s expansion of Instant Offers. Rob walks us through the details of Zillow’s announcement, explaining how sellers will now get an offer from Zillow itself when they use the Instant Offers platform. Rob and Greg share surprise at the lack of backlash around the announcement, examining the benefits for an agent representing Zillow as well as the drop in stock price in light of the news.


Greg offers insight on potential abuses of the iBuyer model, considering how predatory lenders might target seniors, the uneducated, or the poor, and they cover the impact of Zillow’s shift on other players in the iBuyer space. Listen in as Rob and Greg address the windfall Zillow is likely to earn in the form of seller leads and learn how the company could solve the affordable housing crisis—and gain invaluable PR in the process!


What’s Discussed:


Greg’s takeaways from T3

The rumors around RPR and Zillow

Zillow’s announcement of the expansion of Instant Offers

The surprising response to Zillow’s plans to flip houses

Greg’s concerns about the iBuyer model

The recent drop in Zillow’s stock price

Why flipping is not a change in Zillow’s business model

The prospect of Zillow making a fortune on seller leads

Greg’s casino analogy for Zillow’s home-flipping venture

Rob’s take on how Zillow could solve affordable housing

Zillow’s impact on other players in the iBuyer space




Rob’s Zillow Blog Post

Ben Thompson’s Zillow Post

‘Opendoor Founders Subtweet Zillow’s New Home Buying Service’ in Inman


Connect with Rob and Greg:


Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Apr 24 18

“Sandicor” adieu

by Greg Robertson

The Litigation Between Sandicor Shareholders Has Ended

The settlement was drafted and reviewed by attorneys representing each respective Association Of REALTORS®, Sandicor® and CRMLS. All parties involved support the details of the settlement. With this resolution, NSDCAR and PSAR will join California Regional MLS (CRMLS), and GSDAR will obtain its MLS through an entity separate but owned by GSDAR, named San Diego Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (SDMLS). The name Sandicor®, as a distinct brand in the San Diego marketplace, will cease to exist. Each Association has acted with the intention of providing its membership with the most valuable MLS products and customer service.

To ensure all members receive open access to as much information as possible, all three Associations have agreed to share data across both MLSs, maintaining the same county wide coverage there is currently. MLS Subscribers will continue accessing MLS data and have the same level of access and user experience through Paragon, the software platform San Diego-area MLS users have been using for over three years. All members will continue to have the same look and feel that Sandicor® members have grown accustomed to, with no disruption of service.

It unfortunate this took as long as it did. Anyway you look at it it’s a huge win for CRMLS. Having the name Sandicor still around would have been problematic. And with the addition of the members of NSDCAR and PSAR, if my math is correct, CRMLS membership is just shy of 100,000. Impressive.

Apr 23 18

10 Million CMAs

by Greg Robertson

W+R Studios just published their 10 millionth Cloud CMA. To celebrate they made this short video.

Apr 23 18

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Vice President, MLS & Member Services -The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS & State-Wide Multiple Listing Service

The Vice President, MLS & Member Services, will oversee a staff of seven and is responsible for all aspects of the MLS and CIE operation, as well as all technology and MLS programs, products and services. The Vice President is responsible for providing vision, direction and oversight that enables the organization to achieve its service-based strategic objectives through use of business information and analysis, best practices and progressive technology.

Find out more at the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Apr 18 18

Listing Bits: The Century 21 Rebrand with CEO Nick Bailey

by Greg Robertson

‘Defy mediocrity and deliver extraordinary experiences.’

Century 21 has been in business for the past 47 years, and in that time, the branding has remained virtually unchanged. When Nick Bailey took the reins, however, he moved quickly to rebrand the company in a way that reflects the consumer-driven movement in the industry, engenders multi-generational appeal, and inspires his global team to deliver extraordinary experiences.

Nick took on the role of CEO and President of Century 21 in August 2017, and he is responsible for the organization’s 8K offices and 118K independent contractors in 80 countries around the world. He has 21 years of experience in the industry, earning his real estate license at the age of 21. Nick served as the VP of Growth and Development at RE/MAX World Headquarters for 12 years and VP of Broker Relations for Zillow Group for five years. He is a leader in franchising, brokerage management and technology, and Nick is known for increasing margins while mitigating the impact of economic change.

Today Nick explains how his diverse background allows him to see issues through different lenses, including that of the consumer. He walks us through the Century 21 rebrand, discussing the company’s new motto around delivering extraordinary experiences and the positive response to its new brand identity. Nick speaks to Century 21’s reputation for training, his take on new models like iBuyers, and the consumer-driven movement in real estate. Listen in for Nick’s insight on the necessity for open network, mobile-first technology and the healthy competition between Century 21 and Realogy.

What’s Discussed:

How Nick’s diverse real estate background helps create clarity

The consumer-driven movement in the real estate industry

Nick’s insight on the core of Century 21’s business

-Help affiliates grow companies

-Help agents get closings

Century 21’s new motto around delivering extraordinary experiences

The positive response to Century 21’s new brand identity

-Cross-functional (mid-priced AND high-end)

-Multi-generational appeal

How a brand’s design impacts consumer trust

Century 21’s reputation for training and education

Nick’s take on new models like Redfin and iBuyers

How the process of finding buyers and sellers has evolved

The difference between home search and home shopper

How agents remain essential to consumers despite industry disruption

Nick’s preference for integrated, open network technology

The healthy competition between Realogy and Century 21

Century 21’s international presence

Connect with Nick Bailey:

 Century 21

Century 21 on YouTube

Century 21 on Twitter

Nick on LinkedIn

Apr 18 18

Industry Relations: Solving for Professionalism in Real Estate with the W-2

by Greg Robertson

Would the woes of the real estate industry be resolved if agents were employees rather than independent contractors? At Inman Disconnect, Rob posited that shifting from the 1099 to a W-2 model would give brokers more control and allow them to address several of the fundamental issues in the space, raising the standards of professionalism by eliminating incompetent or toxic agents—without risking their livelihood.

Today, Rob, Greg and Sunny debate Rob’s proposal, discussing the challenges brokers face in mandating trainings and mentoring for new agents who are independent contractors. Greg argues that leadership is at issue rather than employment status, contending that employees and independent contractors alike are only motivated by leaders who inspire buy-in. Rob, Greg and Sunny address the broker’s responsibilities around professionalism in the industry and weigh in on whether or not brokers can afford to fire top producers who are toxic to the business.

Rob breaks down the revenue structure in a brokerage, explaining how the shift to a W-2 model would give brokers more autonomy and abate the head-count-driven model that fuels a lack of professionalism. Listen in as Rob and Greg come to an unprecedented agreement on the role of leadership in raising industry standards and learn how the law firm model—with its division of employee-associates and partners—might be adapted for real estate.


What’s Discussed:


Rob’s proposal that the 1099 is the cause of many industry woes

The history behind the shift to agents as independent contractors

Sonny’s take on the broker’s challenge in mandating trainings

Greg’s argument that the issue is leadership vs. control

The broker’s responsibility around agent professionalism

How great leaders attract great talent

Why it’s difficult for agents to move brokerages

Why brokers are hesitant to fire toxic agents

The breakdown of revenue in a brokerage

-Don’t make money on top producers

-Earn on 60/40 agents (five deals/year)

How the W-2 structure would give brokers more control

What triggers the head-count-driven model

-Companies compensate for recruiting numbers

-No cost to keep agent who does two deals/year

-Brokers make LESS from superstar top producers

How the law firm model might be adapted for real estate



 Inman Disconnect


Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


Our Sponsor:

Cloud Agent Suite