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Aug 1 14

You are not late

by Greg Robertson

Kevin Kelly- You Are Not Late

“So, the truth: Right now, today, in 2014 is the best time to start something on the internet. There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside, than now. Right now, this minute. This is the time that folks in the future will look back at and say, “Oh to have been alive and well back then!”

Zillow and Trulia are old news. Go out there and make something new!

via @danwoolley

Aug 1 14

Thanks to everyone who made this happen!

by Greg Robertson

We reached an important milestone at W&R Studios last month, over 100,000 subscribers to Cloud CMA.

I wanted to personally thank all of you have helped make this happen for Dan and I. Our marketing team put together this great video in celebration. If you are an MLS provider please feel free to share this with your membership. Thank you again!

Jul 28 14

Row Sami Row!!

by Greg Robertson

Sami

Arms don’t fail me now!

Jul 28 14

Zillow acquires Trulia

by Greg Robertson

Zillow Announces Acquisition of Trulia for $3.5 Billion in Stock:

“The combined company will maintain both the Zillow and Trulia consumer brands, offering buyers, sellers, homeowners and renters access to vital information about homes and real estate for free, and providing advertising and software solutions that help real estate professionals grow their business. At closing, Trulia CEO Pete Flint will remain as CEO of Trulia reporting to Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff, and will join the Board of Directors of the combined company. In addition, at closing, a second member of Trulia’s Board of Directors will join the board of the combined company. Further operational and organizational details will be announced at closing.”

Holy shit.

Jul 25 14

How to survive air travel

by Greg Robertson

Craig Mod-Let’s Fly – How to survive air travel.

“Arrive early and move through the airport like the Dalai Lama. You are in no rush. All obstacles are taken in stride, patiently, with a smile. Approach the nearly empty check-in counter. Walk up and say, I’m a bit early but I’m here to check in to … Marvel at their surprise and then their generosity. Suddenly you are always able to get an exit row or bulkhead seat. Suddenly, sure, they can slip you into Business. Suddenly tickets that are supposedly unchangeable, cannot be modified, are, after a few calls, some frowns, upbeat goodbyes, specially modifiable for you. This is what happens when there is no one behind you in line to check in.

Great read. I prefer to arrive a bit early, usually about an hour to an hour and a half before flights. Gives time for the unexpected and to get some work done.

via Kottke

Jul 25 14

Regarding the rumor of Zillow acquiring Trulia

by Greg Robertson

A few thoughts on this.

“Blue horseshoe loves….”

This could all be just Wall Street trickery. Remember how much MOVE stock bounced when it was rumored they were going to be bought by Trulia? It was significant. So maybe someone got the idea to make a bigger play by spreading a Zillow buying Trulia rumor.

Seattle vs. San Francisco

Executive leadership at both companies couldn’t be more different. Think Frank Underwood and Mr. Chips (you make a guess of which CEO fits the part) It’s really hard for me to imagine both teams being on the same page of anything, besides all money they will be making.

A deal could be a good for MOVE.
A Zillow and Trulia merger could be a good thing for MOVE, Inc. Such a large acquisition would be a huge distraction for Zillow, something MOVE could act upon. Plus they immediately bump from the #3 listing site to the #2 listing site. : )

LinkedIn ripple
If you start getting LinkedIn requests from anyone at Trulia then you know the deal is real.

Is it a good or bad thing?
Personally I think it would be bad for the industry. Competition is a good, and with less of it the industry will suffer.

The biggest loser.
Another thought occurred to me. Dominion Enterprises (a privately held company) owns Homes.com. Zillow and Trulia’s market cap is about 8 Billion. Hindsight is 20/20 but you gotta wonder if back in the day Dominion spun off Homes.com and did an IPO what that asset would be worth. Is it too late? Or is the Batten Family too fat and happy? There is big money in this space, without proper investment it will be harder and harder to take them seriously.

28 Billion Dollars?
In an article yesterday the CFO of Trulia was quoted:

““Long-term, we see this as a two-player market and evolving much like e-commerce” with EBay Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., Sean Aggarwal, chief financial officer at Trulia, said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference in June.

He also described online real estate as a “very large category,” with real estate professionals spending about $28 billion a year on marketing. Trulia and Zillow collectively are doing about $500 million to $600 million a year in revenue, he said, leaving $27 billion plus of “potential money” that could come into that realm over the next several years.

Does anyone else think that number is crazy?

Will a deal happen?
No comment from either side. Typically where there’s smoke there’s fire, but I say no.

UPDATE: 7/28/2014 Looks like I got this wrong. Zillow is acquiring Trulia for 3.5 Billion in an all stock deal.

Jul 25 14

5 MLS Providers select Goomzee for multi-year agreements

by Greg Robertson

Goomzee:

“When technology committees and executives compared Goomzee’s solution to other alternatives, Goomzee was selected, and a record five MLS markets signed multi-year site license agreements with the company last quarter alone.”

Impressive. It will be interesting to see how much traction these mobile MLS apps gain. The apps I’ve seen each have a different perspective. Congrats to Mike Sparr and his team.

Full Press Release Below:
—————————————————————————————-
MLSs Flock To Goomzee’s Mobile App; Reports Record Quarter Growth

Missoula, MT – July 23, 2014 – Multiple Listing Services (MLS) nationwide continue to answer the call to empower their agent customers with better mobile technology tools. Goomzee, a longtime provider of mobile technology solutions to agents, brokers, and MLSs announced today sales of their latest innovation, Mobile MLS Apps, have exceeded early expectations. When technology committees and executives compared Goomzee’s solution to other alternatives, Goomzee was selected, and a record five MLS markets signed multi-year site license agreements with the company last quarter alone.

“I’m flattered that so many real estate professionals and MLS markets are recognizing the increased value our products offer their customers, and clients. We first provided web-based Mobile MLS solutions for over 60,000 agents in 2009, and then completely redesigned our infrastructure before we publicly offered our native Mobile MLS Apps. MLS staff cite the reasons they select Goomzee is because we ‘get it’, our solution is ‘insanely fast’, and our commitment to data accuracy and rules compliance is second to none,” shares Mike Sparr, Goomzee’s founder and CEO. “Last quarter was very exciting and we quadrupled our profits from first quarter, increased our agent users over thirty percent, and our Mobile MLS App contract monthly revenue just surpassed our lead capture product revenue for the first time. We continue to reinvest in better solving our customers’ problems and making them shine, and that trend will continue now even faster than expected.”

The Goomzee Mobile MLS App solution currently supports iPhone, iPad and Android devices and is available in the respective app stores. It enables users to research real estate properties, share and collaborate with others, and even manage transactions and listings from mobile devices. The service can be configured on a per-market basis to offer public access or agent access or even invite-only public access. To easily begin using the apps, agents log in to authenticate against their own MLS system or security vendor without any complex approval or registration process. The apps also include a “Demo Mode” so users or perspective MLSs can try it out. Goomzee’s apps are compatible and/or integrate with leading industry technology and data providers to offer the most comprehensive Mobile MLS App solution available. Popular features include:

– Map, nearby, criteria, address, MLS#, school, MLS area searches
– Search criteria matches local market MLS system criteria fields
– Display results on map, gallery, or list view
– Save searches and listings
– Share listings
– Add/remove/edit contacts
– Update/edit listings (depending on market/system availability)
– Configure custom search criteria
– View neighborhood, schools, businesses
– Public record and non-MLS property lookups
– Agent and office roster search and one-tap access to agent or office listings
– Integration with third party tools like RPR, Clareity Security, Instanet Transactions, CloudCMA, ShowingTime, and more
– Comprehensive real-time analytics for MLS staff on app installs, usage, and data feed syncronization

“Our product team and I have worked hand-in-hand for nearly four years with our MLS customers, agents, and brokers to bring forth the features they need, and make sure it’s blazing fast and doesn’t embarrass the agents when trying to access information over mobile devices,” explains Sparr. “When we introduced our mobile apps we cheekily advertised ‘real estate pros can once again have better tools and data than consumers’. Our continued sales and market growth is evident that our customers have confirmed we solved an unmet need in the industry. We’ve been receiving referrals from other MLSs, and even some that aren’t customers yet, are turning their peers towards Goomzee’s mobile technology. I’m grateful and fully committed to continue to invest in advancing our technology and serving the needs of real estate professionals.”

Recent MLS markets that have selected Goomzee’s Mobile MLS Apps includes San Francisco, CA, Tucson, AZ, Peoria, IL, Grand Rapids, MI, and York, PA just these past few months. Goomzee’s Mobile MLS Apps already serve markets in California, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona and continues to expand. Goomzee’s Mobile MLS apps already serves markets using Paragon, flexmls, Matrix, Rapattoni, and even custom solutions so no matter what system the MLS uses, they can add Goomzee’s Mobile MLS Apps to extend their capabilities.

ABOUT GOOMZEE
Goomzee celebrated its 11th year in business in 2014. The company began as an e-commerce application service provider, powering and hosting small business’ e-commerce websites, but shifted to real estate technology just as the industry fell into turmoil to solve recognized gaps in mobile technology. The company has been serving the real estate industry since 2007, and multiple listing services since 2008. It’s initial real estate product called Goomzee Connect allows agents to capture leads at the property via text message codes on sign riders and a lead capture system. After working closely with MLSs and providing it’s service as a member benefit in nearly 30 MLS markets, representing over 296,000 agents, MLSs approached Goomzee to co-design a mobile solution that would best serve the needs of their members. Their current solution represents a culmination of their first-generation web solution, and two years of research and development to offer a platform that rivals the large portals. For more information, request a quote, or to schedule a personal demo, please contact Goomzee via http://www.goomzee.com.

###

Jul 14 14

Realtor.com (and NAR’s) new ad

by Greg Robertson

I like it. They are starting to dial in their new messaging.

I see two issues facing Realtor.com

Issue #1

Most consumers like to going to third party sites, like Expedia, Kayak, and such. They really don’t care about “accuracy” (neither of those sites have Southwest flight information as an example.) That’s why I’ve never thought Realtor.com beating the drum of “we have the most accurate data” ever resonated with consumers. But they keep double downing on it every year, and based on the rising traffic of Zillow and Trulia it hasn’t worked.

Consumers don’t want to go the Airline’s site because of a perception they can get a better deal elsewhere. And granted sometimes the experience is a lot better (UI and comparing other airlines fares for instance).

I know real estate isn’t like the travel industry, I’m not saying it is, I’m just saying consumers like to go to third party sites. It should be no surprise Zilow and Trulia are doing well.

Issue #2

I heard a story. One of the portals had done a few consumer surveys. And one of the reasons respondents didn’t want to go to Realtor.com was they didn’t want to be contacted by “REALTORS”. Ouch. This shows how naive consumers really are when it comes to real estate portals. But poses a big problem with your brand is “REALTOR” dot com. But the facts are, according to NAR surveys, close to 90% of buyers would use the same REALTOR again. So there’s a huge disconnect.

While I don’t think on its own “accuracy matters” is going to get the job done, marrying it with a positive spin on REALTORS is heading in the right direction.

Jul 14 14

ZipRealty agents now powered with Cloud CMA

by Greg Robertson

ZipRealty sure are smart people…

: )

Full Press Release below:

——————————————————————————————-

W&R Studios expands Cloud CMA Broker Edition footprint with nationwide ZipRealty agreement


ZipRealty now provides a customized version of Cloud CMA to all their real estate agents.

Huntington Beach, CA (July 9th, 2014) – W&R Studios, a software company, announced today the implementation of a nationwide agreement to provide all its real estate agents a customized version of Cloud CMA.

Cloud CMA is an online report generator for real estate professionals. Real estate agents using Cloud CMA have the ability to create custom comparative market analysis (CMA) reports, buyer tours, property reports and flyers.

“We have been working with ZipRealty for several months, implementing a customized version of Cloud CMA for all their agents, and the response has been great. We are very proud to work with a such a talented team of professionals,” stated Greg Robertson, co-founder of W&R Studios.

“Cloud CMA is the best CMA and Buyer Tour software out there. That’s why we provide it to all ZipRealty agents. The presentations are powerful, mobile-friendly, fully customizable, and ready in minutes. Cloud CMA has been a real difference-maker to help our agents convert more leads into clients and closed transactions!” added Van Davis, Broker Operation, Zip Realty, Inc.

“Zip Realty’s customized edition of Cloud CMA is one of the best we have ever implemented. And we look forward to working with them in the future to help their agents find more success,” concluded Mr. Robertson.

Dan Woolley and Greg Robertson are co-founders of W&R Studios and will be attending and speaking at the Inman Real Estate Conference in San Francisco July 16th to 18th. They will be featured on the session of “How to Create, Build and Launch Things People Want”.

For more information on the Cloud CMA Broker Edition please visit http://CloudCMA.com/real-estate-brokers.

About W&R Studios:
Founded in 2008, W&R Studios (http://wrstudios.com) is a privately held software company co-founded by Dan Woolley and Greg Robertson. W&R Studios focuses on creating simple yet focused web applications for the real estate industry. By providing a “less is more” approach to software design, elegant user interfaces, and using the latest in agile programming, W&R Studiosʼ software applications are at the same time powerful, yet accessible to everyone. W&R Studiosʼ products include Cloud CMA (http://CloudCMA.com) and Nudge (http://getnudgeapp.com), an easy way to share real estate knowledge and stand out.

For more information please contact:
Greg Robertson

greg at wrstudios dot com

(855) 977-8834 ext. 702

Jul 11 14

Mike Audet joins Real Estate Webmasters (REW)

by Greg Robertson

Screen Shot 2012-11-10 at 10.52.37 AMWAV Group founding partner Mike Audet joins company

Paul Hagey for Inman News:

“Audet says he’s excited to work in the broker-agent technology space because it’s still so wide open.

The MLS tech space is more mature, Audet said, but the broker and agent arena has shades of Wild West-like opportunity.

“There’s a huge amount of innovation in the space,” Audet said. He clicked off a number of niches: lead generation, transaction management, Web services, lead management.

Audet says he wants to help REW become a leader in end-to-end tech tools for brokers and agents.

Audet’s fellow WAV Group founding partner Victor Lund says he’s excited for Audet and expects WAV Group to keep on chugging without missing a beat as each partner had a hand in all aspects of the business. WAV Group will continue on led by Wilson and himself and two assistants, he said.”

Won’t be missing a beat. That’s good to hear.

Full Press Release Below:

——————————————————————————————————-
Founding Partner of the WAV Group Brings Over 30 Years of Industry Experience to Real Estate Webmasters

Nanaimo, B.C. July 10, 2014 – Real Estate Webmasters, an industry leading provider of real estate broker and agent technology, is pleased to announce Mike Audet is joining Real Estate Webmasters.

Mike Audet joins Real Estate Webmasters as the Vice President of Business Development. For the last 11 years, as a founding partner of the WAV Group consulting firm, Mike has provided executive level services to MLSs, associations, technology vendors and real estate companies and franchises in the US, Canada, Europe and South America with a focus on planning, technology evaluation, selection and improvement, sales and marketing development.

Prior to WAV Group, Mike served in executive positions with leading real estate technology companies PRC, Interealty, Moore Data and also Microsoft as part of the HomeAdvisor team.

According to Morgan Carey, Chief Executive Officer of Real Estate Webmasters, “It was clear to me, from our first consulting project with Mike the value he brought to our company. Mike has outstanding industry, management and technology experience, but as important, there is a natural fit with our organization. We worked well together from day one and our company saw immediate benefit from his involvement. A number of months ago I approached Mike with the idea of joining our team full time and I’m happy to announce he has joined our company as Vice President of Business Development.”

At Real Estate Webmasters, Mike will be focusing on enterprise level accounts and business as well as assisting with planning, research and overall product strategy.

About Real Estate Webmasters, LLC

Real Estate Webmasters, based in beautiful Nanaimo, B.C., on Vancouver Island, has over 100 employees and is a leading provider of real estate broker and agent web services. Offering a range of products from entry level to fully customized solutions Real Estate Webmasters is a full-service company, offering brokers and agents everything they need in web services from design and programming to SEO management. Their comprehensive web based suite of products is used by over 30,000 real estate professionals in North America.
Continued →
For more information visit: http://www.realestatewebmasters.com

–end—
If you would like more information about this topic please contact Stephanie Brown at stephanie@realestatewebmasters.com or call at 250-816-7364 to schedule an interview with either Morgan Carey or Mike Audet.