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Feb 25 19

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Heartland MLS
Dynamics CRM Administrator-Developer

3+ years of related work experience either in a business analyst or project manager type of role
Equivalent combination of education and work experience, Bachelor’s degree or equivalent trade training preferred.
3+ years of experience with Dynamics CRM or Salesforce 

To find out about this job and more please visit the Vendor Alley Job Board!

Feb 21 19

Spencer Rascoff out as CEO of Zillow.

by Greg Robertson

Looks like Spencer is joining the Zillow board. Rich Barton back as CEO. DEVELOPING.

Feb 19 19

RIP Cathy Holefelder

by Greg Robertson

This is pretty tough to write this but Cathy passed away last night.

I’ve been friends with Cathy for over 20 years. She was a straight shooter, had a great sense of humor and one of the most effective MLS execs I knew.

But what I’ll remember most is that she was always my dance partner, and I hers. We could always count on each other when a good song came on.

Fuck Cancer.


Feb 18 19

Gary, put down the bong.

by Greg Robertson

Back In Black: Gary Keller declares victory in tech platform race

Keller compared the launch of Keller Williams’ consumer app to Amazon, Facebook and Netflix getting customers. Once they’ve hooked those customers, those customers don’t leave. They may add something new, but they don’t abandon their old platforms.
“As a consumer uses a particular site or app it starts morphing into their personal experience and all their stuff gets in there, just like mobile banking,” Keller said.

Inman News

Does anyone in this industry even understand the concept of “under promise, over deliver” any longer? How do manage your agents expectations when you are making statements like…

You will become “the Netflix of Real Estate”

“it’s like Facebook and Slack had a baby and sent it to real estate school.”

“This is not, are they going to catch up to me, this is, they cannot catch up to me.”

“just like mobile banking,”

” so you can answer any question on demand,”

“You get to watch the entire journey from your remote control,”

“reinventing how people experience real estate “

Give me a fucking break.

Feb 15 19

Remine, escaping the golden handcuffs and the upcoming Hunger Games

by Greg Robertson

Remine raises $30M Series A, tees up to launch ‘MLS 2.0’

Remine, a real estate data and analytics company known for its ability to predict which homes are “likely to sell,” has raised $30 million for ambitions that go way beyond lead prospecting.
The firm plans to launch a brand-new multiple listing service system in the third quarter of this year to compete with entrenched vendors such as CoreLogic, Black Knight and FBS as well as a suite of broker tools.

There’s a lot to unpack here. You should go read the entire Inman article. You have to admire the confidence these guys have.  Mark Schacknies, Remine’s co-founder and CFO really does a great job outlining Remine’s mission and how it will be different from traditional MLS vendors. I’ve met and hung out with other Remine co-founders, Leo and Jonathan, and I wish I had 1/10 of the confidence these guys had when I was starting out.

With this latest round of funding it brings Remine’s total funding to $48.8 million dollars. Remine doesn’t say who the previous investors might be, but that’s a lot of money.

From the article and past conversations I’ve had it sounds like the business model is this: become the primary MLS Vendor by touting a “superior” MLS System and service than existing MLS solutions and at a very low price. The catch is that they get marketing rights to the MLS provider’s agent roster to allow them to upsell other Remine’s products and services.

This seems to be a pivot from their previous business model which didn’t have them being the primary MLS Vendor. I gotta wonder why? How does it help Remine by becoming the primary MLS system? Or is being the primary system even their goal? This quote makes them sound very AMPish.

Remine’s upcoming “MLS 2.0” platform will offer both a front end (the part that agents see and enter listings into) and a back end (database) like current vendors do, but unlike them, will also allow any front end MLSs choose to connect to its back end, including a tool like broker data management platform Upstream.
On top of that, Remine’s platform will be “open” in the sense that it will allow integration with any number of third-party vendors and allow MLSs to share specific back-end functionality — such as saved searches — with third-party vendors.

Aside from Michael Wurzer’s point about that some of that functionally has already been available through FBS’ Spark platform, this pivot sounds like something else entirely. My guess is that Remine as a third party software solution isn’t getting as many eyeballs on their product as they want and think that being the primary MLS system will give them more eyeballs and therefore a lot more chances to upsell. But, I’m not sure they realize the amount of work being a primary MLS system is, and if it’s worth those extra eyeballs.

Here’s the rub.

In the past vendors were controlled by the MLS Providers with what I call the “golden handcuffs”, we could license the MLS data, and could sell our products in the market. But if we were to get too aggressive in our marketing and sales tactics, we would be slapped on the wrist, or worse, shut down. Full disclosure, this has happen at my company.

It seems that MLS Providers are now giving up that role. I think Homesnap was really the first to break the chains, touting their “we are your partners” BPP bullshit, and thus convincing MLS providers to give them more access to the MLS membership for upsells. Now other venture funded companies like Remine who need to get big fast also need to be super aggressive to hit their numbers.

The best thing about this announcement is Remine is going to force everyone to get better, and that’s a good thing. So far we haven’t seen their MLS 2.0 product or listing input module. It could be great, it could be a colossal dud. The market will decide. One thing I know for sure, the existing MLS Vendors are not going away without a fight, and it’s been a long time since a new MLS System has hit the market. And MLS conversions are tough. So they have their work cut out for them.

I can be excited about this new world where not just one monolithic vendor controls everything and decides who it integrates with and who it doesn’t. This would lead me to believe that the best products will win; cream will rise to the top. But I also believe MLS Providers may need to have some rules on membership marketing, whether you are the primary MLS system or not. The alternative? Let the Hunger Games begin.


Feb 14 19

Happy Valentine’s Day

by Greg Robertson

From the team at W+R Studios

And don’t forget to subscribe to their new YouTube Channel.

Feb 14 19

FBS announces pre MLS conversion marketing services

by Greg Robertson


FBS Makes MLS System Conversions Much Less Painful

FBS Vice President of Marketing, Kim Prior, states, “As a technology and software company responsible for successfully administering products to more than 150 MLS organizations and 240,000+ customers, marketing communication is absolutely critical. We have a dedicated team of in-house experts responsible for creating, designing, and delivering various marketing communication campaigns via all media channels. We’re extending that team’s effort outward, providing MLS clients with our marketing expertise during the brief but important window prior to their technology transition to the Flexmls Platform.”

Very smart.

Feb 14 19

NAR concerned about Zillow patent applications

by Greg Robertson

Zillow patent apps claim they invented AVMs, uploading home data via mobile

It appears that online real estate search giant, Zillow, is applying for some pretty interesting utility patents. They currently have in four applications with the U.S. Patent Office, including automatically determining the current value for a home, the capture and use of a building interior data from mobile devices, and connecting and using building interior data acquired from mobile devices. 

Sarah Young

In a letter to a NAR advisory group Sarah Young, Director fo Real Estate Services and Policy Oversight, expressed concerns…

NAR is reviewing these patent applications to determine if they put our members or the real estate technology companies they use at risk. We would like to set up a conference call with interested RES members to further discuss. 

I’m not sure if this such a big deal or not. NAR has looked it to patents before and has helped the industry by fighting and sometimes reaching settlements with patent trolls (RE:CIVIX). It remains to be seen if indeed Zillow is granted these patents, and if so, how they will use them.

Feb 14 19

CRMLS partners with LionDesk to add CRM platform

by Greg Robertson

CRMLS and LionDesk Partner to Provide 96,000 California Real Estate Professionals with Easy-to-Use CRM PlatformCRMLS and LionDesk Partner to Provide 96,000 California Real Estate Professionals with Easy-to-Use CRM Platform

California Regional MLS (CRMLS), the nation’s largest and most recognized multiple listing service, and LionDesk, a leading real estate customer relationship management (CRM) platform, announced today that they have partnered to provide 96,000 California real estate professionals with LionDesk’s CRM platform as a user benefit. This deal marks the first ever agreement between an MLS of CRMLS’s size and a CRM.
All 96,000 CRMLS users now have access to LionDesk’s integrated sales and marketing platform that directly impacts production, time management, and overall business growth for sales professionals and business stakeholders.

This was announced a few weeks ago so I’m a bit late in commenting. I believe this is the first time a CRM has been offered through an MLS provider. And CRM tools have been getting a lot of attention lately. The team at LionDesk , led by David Anderson, have built a very feature rich solution.

What I like about this is that lately I keep hearing about the stark differences between producing agents and non-producing agents. We already know that real estate is such an aspirational business. We need to figure out how to move more people from one or two deals a year to five to ten. Knowing that most business comes from people you know, it’s crucial for agents to grow and understand their SOI (sphere of influence), and that is what a good CRM does.

Feb 11 19

UpstreamRE’s new vendor is Corelogic

by Greg Robertson

CORELOGIC SELECTED AS UPSTREAM VENDOR

“More than any other technology firm in the real estate industry, CoreLogic is well positioned to deliver an industry-wide platform at a speed of implementation necessary to secure significant adoption during the coming year,” said UpstreamRE CEO Alex Lange. “Under the terms of the agreement, real estate brokers participating in Upstream will continue to pay the same rates but have access to a wider array of features on the Upstream platform.”

““We anticipate brokers will choose to push listing data into Upstream from their multiple listing platform and distribute data using Trestle as they do today,” said Chris Bennett, executive leader of Real Estate Solutions for CoreLogic. “In the future, brokers will have access to add/edit capabilities and additional features that enhance their data and photos.”

The announcement seems to be a week late. The two above quotes seem to be speaking to two audiences. The former to brokers (cost) and the later (MLS providers/organizations). One big question, if a broker’s MLS vendor isn’t CoreLogic (with Trestle), or if they are in an area with multiple MLS vendors, then what?

Also, if “brokers will choose to push listing data into Upstream from their multiple listing platform”, then how is this “Upstream”?

I’m not sure if the fox is in the henhouse, if there is a henhouse, or who the hens are anymore. I hope CoreLogic got their money upfront. They might want to check UpstreamRE’s references.

Someone call Neil deGrasse Tyson and explain this all to me.