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Jun 25 14

RBI Launches SmartCharts

by Greg Robertson

smartcharts_logoMy thanks to RBI for sponsoring Vendor Alley. Their product MARKETrends Premium is available in over 130 MLS providers. You can find out more by clicking their ad on the right of the main page of VendorAlley.com, or just visit, http://marketrendspremium.com.

RBI also recently announced its launch of their next generation of housing analytics called SmartCharts (I love the logo)
. You can find out more information at new SmartCharts site, http://www.getsmartcharts.com/. I saw an early preview of this and its pretty cool.

If you would like to speak directly to someone from MRIS or RBI regarding additional information on the rebrand and new market information available OR to set-up a walk-through of the new platform either in-person or through an online demo, please contact Amanda at amanda at abelcommunications dot com.

Full Press Release Below:

Next Generation of Housing Analytics Launched with SmartCharts from RBI

Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Professionals Now Access Enhanced Market Information with the New SmartCharts Platform

ROCKVILLE, MD (June 25, 2014)—MRIS, the industry-leading Mid-Atlantic Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that facilitates nearly $125 million a day in real estate transactions, announced today that its subsidiary, RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), has launched its new market information platform, SmartCharts, and expanded its rbiEXPERT premium version as SmartCharts Pro.

SmartCharts are created from the most accurate housing data available – MLS data, and are delivered in simple, easy-to-understand charts and reports. In addition to the slick new look and feel, RBI has added many new features to help Mid-Atlantic region real estate professionals understand their market inside out, including:

· Over three times the market statistics: The expansion of statistics from 10 to 37 will further help consumers and professionals understand how long it may take to buy or sell, current price trends, success rates and more.

· More ways to compare: The explore feature is revamped to offer more metrics to compare locations, including subdivisions, and market trends over time.

· Historical data: Customers can view back 10 years to get more context of before, during and after the housing bubble in a particular area.

SmartCharts makes it easy for real estate professionals to show their clients and prospects exactly what’s happening with pricing, sales, time on market and other points of interest. These charts and graphs can be embedded on websites, posted on social media or shared with prospective clients.

“The number one thing that homebuyers and sellers want to know is ‘How’s the market in our local area?’ and at RBI we are dedicated to providing agents with the most comprehensive tools to answer that question,” said Jonathan Hill, President at RBI. “With the launch of the revamped SmartCharts, we dramatically improved our application by adding a multitude of new market information and features that allow our customers to position themselves as the market authority for their area.”

As of today, RBI statistics will be moving from www.rbintel.com/statistics to www.getsmartcharts.com/statistics. If you are not a current rbiEXPERT customer, you will be prompted to register in order to access free stats. If you are an existing rbiEXPERT customer, your current username and password will be valid on the new site.

In addition to SmartCharts Pro, rbiBROKER is now SmartCharts for Brokers and provides powerful insights into agent productivity and competitive market reports. To learn more about SmartCharts, SmartCharts Pro or SmartCharts for Brokers and to get all of the housing stats for the Mid-Atlantic, please visit http://www.getsmartcharts.com.

About RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC
RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI) is a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region. Monthly reports for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with interactive charts and graphics, can be found at http://www.getsmartcharts.com/statistics. RBI is the only company in the Mid-Atlantic region that provides timely, online access to statistical information directly from the MRIS Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Early last year, RBI partnered up with CoreLogic to launch MARKETrends Premium, an application delivering statistics from both MLS and public records data for Real Estate professionals. MARKETrends Premium is available in over 130 different markets nationwide. Visit marketrendspremium.com to learn more.

About MRIS
MRIS is Real Estate in Real Time™. We’re a leading provider of real estate information technology and services, and are frequently ranked among the most productive Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in the nation, facilitating over $45 billion in system wide sales in 2013. In its core market, MRIS supports over 45,000 real estate professionals spanning the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. MRIS provides a portfolio of technology solutions and proprietary databases for real estate professionals, as well as broker and agent software products and an industry-leading consumer portal, MRIShomes.com (formerly HomesDatabase). In addition, the CURE Solutions Group, a subsidiary of MRIS, provides proprietary back-end technology to other MLS systems, serving nearly 180,000 customers each day. Visit MRIS at MRIS.com and our web based TV station, mrisTV.com. “Like” us on Facebook/MRISonFB, follow us on Twitter, @MRIS_REal_News and be sure to visit MRISblog.com for real-time news and company updates.

Jun 23 14

W&R Studios gets a facelift

by Greg Robertson

You may have read about a project I’ve been working on to add signage to our offices in Huntington Beach. The signage was installed last week and came out beautiful! One of those rare projects that came out better than I imagined. Thought I would share some of the photos I took of the building. You can click on each photo for a larger image.

Signage - Up View

Signage from the West

Signage from the East

Jun 20 14

Trulia

by Greg Robertson

2014_Trulia_Logo_RGB_NoRegister

My thanks to Trulia for sponsoring Vendor Alley. If you are interested in learning more about Trulia’s MLS programs just click on their ad (green box) to the right.

Jun 19 14

Realtor.com hit with DDoS attack.

by Greg Robertson

Move, Inc. Reports a Distributed Denial of Service Attack

“The attack directs massive amounts of traffic to our websites and makes realtor.com®, Top Producer® Systems, and Move’s other Internet services inaccessible. Move operates realtor.com®, the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®.

This can happen to anyone. As a business owner that relies on the internet to generate revenue it’s something I worry about everyday. I can only imagine the stress their tech teams have been under. I hope they are able to resolve this soon.

Jun 17 14

Listing Precog

by Greg Robertson

(FYI: There is no sound to this video)

Jun 17 14

Bell Bottom Blue Jeans

by Greg Robertson

4936_vintage_california_lThere’s been a lot of talk on Zillow’s new Coming Soon feature. Hell, even Wurzer brushed off his blogging keyboard and had an opinion. Inman News characterized it as “pocket listings on steroids“.

“Agents can manually upload their coming soon homes to Zillow while brokerages and MLSs can opt in by adding a “Coming Soon” field to their current feeds or building out a separate, new feed dedicated to coming soon listings. Agents can renew a coming soon listing for up to 30 additional days.

The feature allows a listing to land on the MLS with a “ton of velocity” with buyers dreaming home-specific dreams and ready with preapproval letters from lenders, Zillow Chief Revenue Officer Greg Schwartz told Inman News.”

Meh.

While I think its a clever idea, and one that MLS providers should look at implementing, I don’t think its really going to matter in the long run. Pocket Listings are driven by low inventory. Once the market settles, and inventory comes back to normal inventory levels, pocket listings will go away like bell bottom jeans. That doesn’t mean they won’t be back again, but its hard for me to understand what all the excitement is about.

Jun 16 14

Points Baby! Points!

by Kevin Greene

I’m honored to have a special guest contributor to Vendor Alley, Kevin Greene. Kevin is a “road warrior” in more ways than one. I’ve asked him to share his thoughts on making the best use of “points” for travel expenses (a topic he would gladly bend your ear on over several drinks). Kevin is a master at this and I’m hoping other will contribute to the conversation….

So heeeeeeere’s Kevin!

——————————————–

We all spend a great deal of time (and our company’s dollars) on the road away from family and friends. If you are not taking advantage of the Hotel, Airline and Credit Card point’s deals, you are missing out on a big perk. As well as making you look like a rock star to your kids when you get that upgrade to the Presidential Suite on your all-expense paid (by points!) vacation to the Florida Keys. Here are a few tips:
Pick a Hotel Brand and try to stick with it. Double down and get a Credit Card with the hotel that will double your points when you use it. You will quickly gain status and points. Status will help you book or upgrade to that suite you need for the convention, at a price your company will be happy with. Points will make your family happy when it comes to vacation time. Hotels also treat Nights and Stays differently. So if you are doing that week trip, try to check-in and out each day. 4 Stays is awarded much more than 4 Nights. Plus Stays are what gets you to that Diamond/Platinum status much quicker.

The big thing with any points program – only use points for their products. You will get more bang for the buck staying in the Keys for 4 nights than that iPad or Ruth’s Chris gift certificate. Use your Credit Card points for these items.

Speaking of Credit Cards – I have 3. I have one low/no interest one I use only when necessary. I have a Hotel Visa and I have an American Express. I highly recommend an AMEX, charge everything on it – gas, groceries, electronics, Car Payments – EVERYTHING. AMEX gives extended warranties on everything you buy. Drop that 60” LED TV you just bought getting it out of the car? They will replace it! They also have a generous points program. If you get a Platinum it also gives you Airport/Airline Club Access for free (other AMEX’s you have to pay a fee each time). When you do have that layover or delay, the Clubs are a great place to work. I’ve done many a conference call from Airport Clubs around the country. I have a friend who owns a couple of restaurants. He charges all his company supplies, cars, etc. on his Black AMEX. He uses the points each year to take his managers on a weeklong trip. Last year was Europe – all on points!

We all know you need to stay at the Host Hotel (walking back from the lobby bar is much easier/safer), or it just isn’t feasible to take the one you usually use. It is okay. Sign-up for their loyalty program. It will take you a little longer, but you will get points as well!

-KG

Jun 10 14

Move adds new execs.

by Greg Robertson

Move, Inc. Expands Industry Leadership as Cofano, Damon and Pigman Assume Key Roles

Breadth of knowledge and experience spans agent, broker, MLS/Association and portal audiences

” Move, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE) announces the appointment of veteran industry executives Russ Cofano, Rhett Damon and Max Pigman to key leadership roles within the organization. The appointments further strengthen the company’s position as the premier provider of real estate information and services to the industry, and foster deeper connections with Move’s agent, broker and Association affiliates and their related organizations.”

Seems with Russ they have a association guy now working with brokers. And with Rhett they have a broker guy now working with MLS providers/associations. So crazy it just might work!

Jun 5 14

Zillow looking for Director of MLS & Industry Development

by Greg Robertson

Director, MLS & Industry Development

“The Director, MLS & Industry Development is a position within the Industry Development group at Zillow, reporting to the VP, Industry Development. This position is responsible for MLS and Association Customer/Partner engagement for the Yahoo!-Zillow Real Estate Network, which is the largest real estate network on the Web. Responsibilities includes actively engaging with MLSs to sign new MLSs up for the Zillow Partnership Platform and directing and overseeing the relationships with Zillows existing MLS partners.”

For a full description check out the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Jun 5 14

Trulia consolidates

by Greg Robertson

Trulia lays off 85 Market Leader employees
Ian Morris, 4 other top Market Leader executives transitioning to consulting roles

From Inman News:

“In an email to employees, Trulia CEO Pete Flint said the reorganization was not taken lightly.

“We’re taking this step because the growth opportunities we saw at the time of the acquisition are clearer than ever,” Flint said. “So today, we are aligning our teams to make that Trulia one, unified organization optimized to create one set of product offerings. Our more nimble team will bring new products and services to market even faster, delighting customers and boosting our growth in 2015 and beyond.””

Anyone who didn’t see this coming doesn’t understand how acquisitions work.

Interested to see Ian’s next chapter and kind of sad to see him go. He’s been in the game for so long its hard to imagine him not there.