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Jun 25 15

MREDpaloza part deux

by Greg Robertson

MRED 2015

I just wanted to say thanks to Rebecca Jensen and the staff at MRED for putting on a great show this week. They had some big shoes to fill based on the last time they did the event and I have to say, MREDpaloza was off the hook fantastic!!

It was a “who’s who” of industry peeps. We had a ton of REALTORS visit our booth and attend our sessions. Sales were great and MRED members are some of the biggest fans of Cloud CMA in the industry! Thanks again!

Jun 18 15

I pity the fool who doesn’t use ShowingTime

by Greg Robertson

Lane and Mr T

Guess who was on ShowingTime’s president Michael Lane’s flight today?

Jun 18 15

Audie Chamberlain launches real estate PR agency

by Greg Robertson

IMG_6694In Brad Inman’ssmall talk BIG TALK” post today he revealed that Audie Chamberlain, former social media director of Realtor.com and recently at Partner’s Trust has decided to start his own PR agency. Dubbed “Lion and the Orb” (I’ll let him explain the name). He’s keeping Partners Trust as a client and already has a slew of others including…

Caimejiu
Dizzle
Keep
Hawaii Life
and Give Back Homes

If you are looking for a guy that is going hustle for you, you can’t get more legit than Audie. You can reach him at Lion & Orb

Jun 18 15

Did someone say party?

by Greg Robertson

CoreLogic held their User Group Summit in Huntington Beach this year. So we hosted a party for user group summmit attendees at the W&R Studios World Headquarters on Main Street, just a few blocks from their conference hotel. The theme of the party was “Handcrafted Cocktails”. We had two hipster bartenders, great food and a DJ playing nothing but vinyl all night. It was a HUGE success. My thanks to Frances Brittle, W&R Studios’ Director of Marketing, and her team for making this such a special night. Also a big thanks to Kim McLean, Rich Paulson, and Chris Bennett for their generosity.

Also checkout the photo gallery here:

Jun 15 15

Placester now reaches over 95% of available IDX feeds.

by Greg Robertson

Placester Websites Now Has 95 Percent of Agent IDX Coverage in United States
Real Estate Marketing Platform Includes More Than 561 MLSs and 1,100 Associations

This is super impressive. The only other company I can think of that might have more IDX feeds is Homes.com (via their relationship with RE/MAX)

These guys made a big splash at the NAR Annual Meetings in New Orleans with the announcement of $5.00 agent websites via a partnership with NAR.

(BTW: I asked Placester how many of these site they had sold and was told they wouldn’t release any of those numbers.)

I have to say their content marketing is the best in the business. Their Real Estate Marketing Academy is top notch. So well done and useful. I’d also recommend following Placester’s VP of Marketing Seth Price on Twitter. Seth is a smart guy and good at sharing some great tips from Placester and others.

But…

“”Because Placester places such emphasis on value to real estate professionals, about 90 percent of the MLSs it covers come with no surcharge…”

But their MLS directory has a bit more information. For instance when I click on the MRIS link I get this weird message.

“Placester believes that agents and brokers should not be charged to access their own data, and over time will work to lower costs for its customers.”

Well la-de-da. Pretty patronizing statement if you ask me. I’m not sure what they are trying to acomplish with this sort of attitude, some sort of public “shaming” an MLS provider for keeping costs under control?

Pretty lame considering Placester has received a over 23 Million dollars in funding, $15 million coming in just this past April in a series B round.

This attitude is something I see in a lot of new vendors in the real estate space. Especially those that are VC funded. They have sense of entitlement that they should be able to get any data they want, at any time, for no cost.

Some of the leadership in these new companies can’t seem to grapple the concept that just because they could download any song they wanted in college for free, doesn’t mean it was the right thing to do.

Jun 12 15

MetroList Services adds Cloud Streams and Cloud CMA as a free member benefit

by Greg Robertson

METROLIST SERVICES, INC. SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH W&R STUDIOS
One of California’s largest MLS providers signs deal to offer Cloud Streams and Cloud CMA as a free MLS member benefit.

Love this quote:

“Cloud Streams was the most well recommended and reviewed software application our MLS Committee has ever considered,” said Tom Beede, president and CEO, MetroList Services, Inc. “Offering Cloud Streams along with Cloud CMA will give our MLS Subscribers best of class industry software to help them compete.”

Many thanks to Tom, Bill and Dave at MetroList Services.

Jun 9 15

Planes, trains, and Xomes

by Greg Robertson

Interesting article in the New York Times (Seeking More Bookings, Airlines Limit Sites That Show Their Fares) about how some airlines are limiting the amount of data sent to Online Travel Agencies like Expedia, Trip Advisor, Etc.

Yes, I know that buying a house is not like buying an airline ticket but there are some crazy parallels here in regard to online real estate.

“A loyal Delta flier, he went to TripAdvisor, which lists flights from many airlines, to compare Delta’s price against those of its rivals. He hit a wall. “The fare wasn’t even there,” he said.

Indeed, Delta pulled that information from TripAdvisor last year. It did the same for a number of European online travel agencies this year, saying that they did not have permission to use its data.

Are there any Brokers/MLS taking out the price field in their feeds to any national listing portals?

“The more that the airlines can get the fliers to book on their own sites, the more opportunity the airlines have to engage with those travelers,” Mr. Quinby said.

In the industry, that is called the upsell. “Where a significant portion of Delta’s profits come from is ancillaries after you buy the basic transportation,” said Max Rayner, a partner at Hudson Crossing, a travel industry consulting company. “That’s one big reason for Delta to be hellbent on denying access.” Last quarter, for example, Delta’s extra revenue from everything from baggage fees to merchandising rose 27 percent — an extra $50 million.

Sounds a bit like XOME’s strategy.

It’s long been said that real estate broker’s don’t make any profits on commission but on the ancillary services it can offer pre and post sale (mortgage, title, etc.). So it’s only logical these new online brokerages (paper or not) got in to the game. While testing out XOME Mike Sparr made this observation.

Very smart. It’s all about the upsell baby!

Jun 9 15

Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Specchio go to Washington.

by Greg Robertson

cmls ceo and presMissed this last week but CMLS CEO Denee Evans and CMLS President Shelley Specchio took part in U.S. Department of Energy’s roll out of the Better Buildings Accelerator program.

Denee described the experience here. Shelley was even quoted in a Washington Post story about the new program. Nice!

Jun 8 15

XOME is what you were afraid Zillow would become

by Greg Robertson

I had a short time to poke around the new XOME website before it started to force me to register. Here’a few short thoughts I had about the site, I might have more if and when and can get back on the site (apparently its still in beta).

1. This seems to be exactly what people feared Zillow would become. Or as Brad Inman calls it:


“… largest “paper brokerage” site ever.”

Good thing? Bad thing? I dunno.

2. Speaking of Zillow it looks like XOME took a lot of…how should I say..”inspirado” from Zillow. Check out the screen shots below of the listing results pages of both Zillow and XOME.

Zillow and Xome  550

3. XOME is just a terrible name. Think about it…

YOU: Have you looked at homes on XOME.com yet?
YOUR BUDDY: Zome? No. Z-O-M-E?
YOU: No, X-O-M-E. Like home but with an X instead of of an H.
YOUR BUDDY: What were we talking about?

4. Will the dogs eat it?

Do people want to search for home and are they ready to complete the buy/sell process entirely online? That’s the big bet Nationstar is making. My feeling is that they might get some traction in the investor community but (for now) real estate is still a “people business”. A room full of Realtors and the line of vendors standing in the back of the room will be tough to break.

Jun 5 15

Rapattoni Drama Scholarship Fund

by Greg Robertson

The meaningful expressions of support with the loss of our lion, Andy Rapattoni, have been greatly appreciated by my family and all of us at Rapattoni Corporation. We are very pleased to announce that our corporate website has been updated with a new section providing information on the Rapattoni Drama Scholarship Fund that so very many have contributed to. Click here to view the new pages that went live today, Thursday the 4th of June 2015, at: http://www.rapattoni.com/scholarship/index.html.

The Rapattoni Drama Scholarship is awarded annually for Outstanding Performance in the Chaffey High School Drama department in Ontario, California, where Andy and I attended high school back in the ’50s. The donations in Andy’s memory have extended this story and the results will be many scholarships for years to come. If you’d like to learn more, the above link provides additional information on the scholarship and its recipients, as well as the story of how it came about.

Thank you again from my family, team Rapattoni, and especially from me.

Niki Rapattoni
Chief Executive Officer
Rapattoni Corporation