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May 15 19

RE/MAX and Redfin end partnership

by Greg Robertson

“That program goes against every value RE/MAX has had for more than 45 years,” Contos said in the letter announcing the end of the partnership. “I feel very strongly and passionately about that, as does our Board of Directors and my leadership team.”

Redfin itself, however, said it would still employ buyers’ agents and had no plans to cut them out of deals.

“Redfin understands this concern, as we employ thousands of licensed professionals and believe the vast majority of homebuyers need professional advice, and will happily pay for it,” the company said in a statement, announcing the end of the partnership.

“But we also have a duty to get as many offers for our customers’ listings as we possibly can, and to give those listing customers the best value,” the statement continues. “We believe in consumer choices; our mission is to redefine real estate in consumers’ favor.”

It seemed improbable from the start. Adam Contos, an ex law enforcement officer now turned CEO (who, I am told, like many former law enforcement officers still carries a gun day to day) and Glenn Kelman, a University of California Berkeley grad who proudly flies his “freak flag”.

When I first heard about the partnership I thought it was incredible. In a increasingly divided world these two companies found a way to work together, to leverage each other strengths. In my recent interview with Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin his praise of RE/MAX agents came through loud and clear.

What a shame. There was so much potential in this partnership. Both companies took a chance. But, in the end both companies stood firm on their respective missions.


May 14 19

MetroList adds Remine

by Greg Robertson

MetroList®selects Remine for its Data Analytics and Front End of Choice for its 20,000 Subscribers

“We have been watching Remine’s evolution as a lead gen company to what has become a single platform combining consumer and property data intelligence, specifically for real estate professionals,” said Bill Miller, CEO of MetroList Services, Inc

Nice deal for Remine. MetroList is a great organization that does its homework. This deal follows MFRMLS and three other MLS organizations signing up for the “Pro” version of their products. Rollin’…rollin’…rollin’

May 13 19

Registration now open: Boost – The MLS Staff Summit

by Greg Robertson


W+R Studios is hosting another Boost -The MLS Staff Summit, August 14-16. Last year’s event was a huge success, so this year we are increasing the amount of people able to attend.

Join the crew at W+R Studios for 2 days of intensive Cloud Agent Suite learning, networking, and training on how to Boost your MLS career. We’ll take care of room and board so get your ticket and yourself to Huntington Beach and we’ll handle the rest!

Boost is hosted by W+R Studios, the creative team behind Cloud CMA and we believe in working hard and having fun. 

This event isn’t for CEO or leadership, but for those in the trenches working with agents in the training and support departments of MLS organizations.

We prioritized tickets for previous attendees so there are a limited amount left. Don’t delay, order your tickets today by visiting this website -> Boost: MLS Staff Summit

May 13 19

The second coming of Rich Barton

by Greg Robertson

Making Uncommon Knowledge Common

“His companies take power from the incumbents and give it to consumers. Instead of trying to hoard information, they are on the side of consumers and giving them more data transparency.

Glassdoor revealed how employees really felt about companies. Zillow shed light on what any house was worth. Expedia let people see the prices and availability of flights and hotels without talking to an agent. These were knowable things that people have always talked about with each other. There are few topics adults love gossiping about more than work, real estate, or travel. And few categories as core to their net worth.

Rich Barton took these whispered conversations and made them public for everyone to see. Afterwards, everyone wondered why they were ever private.”


Great post about what what makes Rich Barton career unique and why his return to Zillow as CEO is a bigger deal than anyone thinks. I recently got a chance to hear him speak live at the recent T3 Summit. I was a bit skeptical when he first came back to the CEO role but I now think this is exactly his moment. Think about it, although he has nothing to prove, he isn’t exactly a member of the “last name” club; think Gates (his old boss), Jobs, Bezos, and Zuckerberg.

If Zillow is successful at transforming the way we buy and sell real estate, we might all start just referring to him simply as “Barton”.

May 12 19

The birth of Stellar MLS

by Greg Robertson

A Stellar Idea: My Florida Regional MLS Reimagines the Multiple Listing Service

Merri Jo Cowen, CEO of Stellar MLS

“Becoming Stellar, says Cowen, starts with asking one question: “Is what we are doing Stellar?” she said. “Our customers tell us we provide excellent customer service. But our goal is to be Stellar in everything we do; Stellar isn’t just our name — it is our new culture.”
Stellar MLS will continue its leading customer service efforts, delivering regular Broker Summits, quarterly broker conference calls, and onsite training. In terms of its curated customer journey, Stellar will leverage information collected from its new Customer Profiles to help develop new initiatives, as well as new products and services.
“Our customers are Stellar,” said Cowen. “As we get to know more about them, we can create even better customer journeys, because Stellar is not just about us, it is about our brokers and their agents,” she said.”

There is a lot to unpack here. Their press release is chock full of ideas, initiatives, and lists of services. It’s clear Merri Jo and her team have something they want to say and change about the perception of what an MLS provider/organization can be. I think the thread that runs through it what they call a “Curated Customer Journey’. I’m hoping to learn more as they being rolling out some of their programs.

May 9 19

Listing Bits Episode 45: Mission-Driven to Make Real Estate Better for Consumers with Glenn Kelman of Redfin

by Greg Robertson

Recorded live at this week’s T3 Summit!

Glenn Kelman has always had the ambition to make real estate better for consumers. But it took him a while to realize that he wasn’t the only one who wanted to do that. He came into the game with an US vs. THEM mentality, assuming that all of Redfin’s competitors were villains and snake oil salesmen. To his relief, it turned out that his industry rivals were actually good people. And while that doesn’t make him any less driven, he does concede that this shift in perspective has made him ‘not quite so insufferable.’ 

Glenn Kelman is the President and CEO of Redfin, a technology-powered brokerage designed to redefine real estate in the customer’s favor. Prior to Redfin, Glenn cofounded the startup Plumtree Software and served as its VP of Marketing & Product Management until its acquisition in 2005. Glenn has been the CEO of Redfin for the past 13 years, and under his leadership, the company was twice named Innovator of the Year by Inman News. Redfin went public in July of 2017, and today, its market cap is $1.82B.

Today, Glenn explains why he still feels like an underdog, despite Redfin’s success. He weighs in on running a mission-driven company, discussing his aim to ‘do something good for real estate consumers’ whether Redfin makes money or not. Glenn also covers the civil nature of the relationship between Redfin and Zillow, Redfin’s new partnership with Re/Max, and the impetus behind Redfin’s ‘buy without an agent’ feature. Listen in for Glenn’s insight on cultivating agent professionalism and learn how his perception of the competition has changed over time.

What’s Discussed: 

Why Glenn still feels like an underdog despite Redfin’s success

Glenn’s aim to ‘do something good for real estate consumers’

Glenn’s take on the tribal nature of American politics

How becoming a father has made Glenn a better leader

The learning culture Glenn works to cultivate at Redfin

How Glenn’s perspective of his competitors has changed

Glenn’s solutions-based approach to candor with employees

How Glenn is driven by the desire to live up to his potential

The civil nature of the relationship between Redfin and Zillow

How Redfin addresses the idea of agent professionalism

The impetus behind Redfin’s new partnership with Re/Max

What inspired Redfin’s new ‘buy without an agent’ feature


T3 Summit

Glenn’s ‘Once and Future King’ Post

Vendor Alley

Andreesen Horowitz Real Estate Stats

Connect with Glenn:


Glenn on LinkedIn

May 9 19

Listing Bits Episode 43- Competing Against iBuyers & National Brands with Eric Stegemann of TRIBUS

by Greg Robertson


In a world where national brands like Zillow and dominate search results, how can individual brokerage websites compete? And how do real estate brokerages stay relevant as the iBuyer market continues to grow? Eric Stegemann believes the firms that adapt and take on alternative options for transacting will be well-placed for the future—and adopting the right real estate tech is a big part of that solution.

Eric is the founder and CEO of TRIBUS, a custom brokerage platform vendor tasked with providing medium and large real estate firms with made-to-order websites, intranet, email marketing, transaction management and CRM systems. Eric became a licensed agent at the age of 18 and started his own tech-oriented brokerage, River City Real Estate, at 21. In short order, River City became the largest independent brokerage in St. Louis due in large part to its real estate tech innovations, which became the framework for TRIBUS. Eric is often called upon to speak at industry events, including Inman Connect and the NAR Annual Conference.

Today, Eric explains why brokerage websites still matter in the age of Zillow and Trulia, discussing what differentiates a TRIBUS site from the national brands. He shares his conservative approach to growth for TRIBUS and offers advice for aspiring vendors in terms of building trust and fixing your mistakes. Listen in for Eric’s insight around the challenges facing brokerages today and get his industry predictions on MLS consolidation, the changing role of the agent, and potential winners in the iBuyer market.

What’s Discussed: 

How Eric started selling real estate to pay for college 

What inspired Eric’s shift from broker to software vendor

The meaning behind the company name, TRIBUS 

TRIBUS’ aspiration to be a zebra rather than a unicorn

Eric’s take on the challenges facing brokerages today

Eric’s insight on why brokerage websites still matter

How TRIBUS customer sites rank in Google search results

How local content differentiates a TRIBUS site from Zillow

TRIBUS’ pioneering collaborative search mechanism

How brokers can build their own iBuyer programs

Eric’s top advice for vendors on persistence and presence

Eric’s predictions on MLS consolidation + iBuyer success


RESO Conference

Doyle Real Estate Team



Connect with Eric:


TRIBUS on Facebook

TRIBUS on Twitter

TRIBUS on LinkedIn

Eric on LinkedIn

May 8 19

Redfin announces “Redfin Direct” – Will now take offers from unrepresented Buyers

by Greg Robertson

A real estate broker prompting to you “Buy without an agent”? What sorcery is this?? Redfin is shaking things up again by letting unrepresentative buyers make a “direct offer” on their listings on

I sat down with Glenn Kelman this week at the T3 Summit for an interview on my podcast Listing Bits (to be published later this week). Glenn told me Redfin Direct is a “new service for their Sellers” and launched in Boston area on March 28, 2019 and of their 150 listings 4 have sold to unrepresented buyers and small percentage of Redfin agents (not the same agent) representing both sides (those numbers obviously may have changed since our interview).

Is this some sort of genius lead play for double ending listings and/or acquiring more Sellers? Or just giving consumers what they want? Or both? You be the judge, click on this link to a listing in the Boston area to see how it works.

May 3 19

Happy Cinco de Mayo! [Video]

by Greg Robertson

You knew this was coming!

Art Carter had asked that Dan and I do this one, but I’m never in the office long enough. Enjoy!

May 3 19

See you at the T3 Summit

by Greg Robertson

Looking forward to driving down to San Diego and attending the T3 Summit. Stefan, Jack and crew always do a great job.

As always I’m hearing a lot of rumors about this and that and hoping to confirm a few things while I’m there (and maybe recording a few podcast episodes).

Give me a shout if you are going to be there. Or you can follow me on Twitter for live updates. See you there!