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Dec 15 15

Transcript says Crocker had “no information” to believe Samuelson used MOVE confidential data.

by Greg Robertson

Last week Andrea at Inman News wrote an article titled, “NAR dodges 3 Zillow claims in Crocker letter countersuit, but defamation sticks“. I still think both parties should just drop each other lawsuits against each other but these two answers jumped out at me in the transcript.

Keep in mind this is Zillow’s attorney interviewing Chris Crocker:

“Q. Do you recall telling me that you had no information that would lead you to believe that Mr. Samuelson had ever used Move’s confidential while at Zillow?

A. That is accurate.”

and

“Q. As you sit here today, are you aware of any information that indicate that Mr. Samuelson used or disclosed confidential Move information?

A. I am not.”

Dec 15 15

1000watt starts a podcast

by Greg Robertson

Introducing the Turn On Podcast

“So, we thought we’d share the talking with you once in awhile by doing a podcast. We’re calling it Turn On. Sometimes it will be just Marc and I talking about stuff we’d be talking about anyway, then maybe we’ll invite some guests.

Go listen now.

Dec 15 15

CRMLS and MLSListings walk the walk.

by Greg Robertson

It’s been a crazy few weeks, so I haven’t been posting too much lately. Top of my list was to talk about the announcement that CRMLS and MLSListings will begin sharing listings. This “barrier-free” agreement means both MLS providers will show listings via each others Matrix MLS system.

This shows real progress in Art Carter’s “ItsMyBusiness” campaign.

And also is counter to the narrative that larger brokers are putting out (a la Upstream) that MLS executives are standing still and deaf to their concerns. MRIS and TREND MLS’ MLS Evolved initiative is another good example of MLS executives putting their own interest behind in favor of exploring alternative solutions.

Kudos to Art and Jim.

Dec 7 15

Was dotloop forced to issue new privacy “guarantee”?

by Greg Robertson

From Inman News

Dotloop unveils new data privacy guarantee

“Since our acquisition by Zillow Group, there have been some questions from dotloop customers about how their data would now be used,” said Austin Allison, founder and general manager of dotloop, in a statement.

“Data privacy has always been a top priority for us; that has not changed. We are introducing the Dotloop Data Privacy Guarantee to provide increased transparency on this topic, making it very clear that dotloop customers own their data and that their data will not be used for Zillow Group products or services without their permission.”

From what I’m hearing this is a bunch of hooey. Dotloop never wanted to amend or add to their existing privacy policy but was forced to do so if they wanted to keep licensing forms in certain state.

Dec 1 15

Kal Raman, CEO of XOME, resigns.

by Greg Robertson

Kal Raman resigns as CEO of Nationstar’s Xome

“Since joining Solutionstar last year, Raman oversaw the transformation of Solutionstar into Xome, through its launch in June. But now, just over one year after he took over Solutionstar, Raman is resigning.

Nationstar announced Raman’s resignation in a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the SEC filing, Nationstar said that Raman resigned as president and CEO of Xome as of Nov. 23. No reason for Raman’s resignation is given,..”

That was Xuick.

Dec 1 15

A land war in Asia

by Greg Robertson

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.13.55 PMKudos to Andrea Brambila at Inman News on a great article, MLSs anxious about their role in Upstream, about the MLS communities concerns regarding Upstream. It’s a great article and you should go read it now.

I think David summed it up best.

“MLSs are the default information exchange that facilitates tens of millions of dollars of residential real estate every minute. So it stands to reason we have questions,” David Charron, CEO of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. (MRIS), told Inman in an email. [W]e surely support the aspirational intentions of Upstream. But we will not sit quietly when the proposed solution places so much of the broker and agent business at risk.”

But, to me, it’s a bit more complicated. Who do MLSs want answers from? RPR? Upstream (the organization)? To me RPR is simply the vendor in this equation. Upstream is the client. And it turns out that Upstream (the client) doesn’t even know what they want. Here’s Cary Sylvester, from KW, one of Upstream’s Board members.

“Upstream is new and different and we don’t have all the answers yet; and this keeps us agile to create the best solution to meet those goals. What we do have is a structured discovery process we’ll work through with each MLS.”

W—T—F?

We don’t have a plan, but that’s great, because it means we are wide open to having a plan?

If Upstream is going to happen it is going to be about making the right choices. Any vendor, including RPR, might have the right partners, tech, and experience to pull this off, but they are going to have to help their clients understand what’s possible and what’s not.

I’m hoping that the people behind Upstream begin to realize that MLS providers provide a service that makes their most valuable asset, listings, even more valuable. And that they can start to think more inclusively about MLS providers being part of the over all solution, instead of just an arrow pointing out to a box on a diagram.

Nov 30 15

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Front End Designer and Developer
W&R Studios

“W&R Studios is seeking a Front End Designer and Developer who will play a key role on a growing, agile product development team. This person will work with designers and developers on existing and new web and mobile apps for one of the real estate industry’s beloved software companies. This position will be based out of either our Boulder, Colorado office or Huntington Beach, California headquarters.”

Find out more at the Vendor Alley Job Board!

Nov 25 15

UtahRealEstate.com adds Moab REALTORS(r)

by Greg Robertson

UtahRealEstate.com Welcomes Moab REALTORS®The Latest MLS Consolidation in Utah Helps Bring Local REALTORS® Together

“The REALTORS® in Grand/San Juan are such a great group of dedicated professionals. They are already a strong chapter in the Utah Central Board of REALTORS®,” said Peter Christiansen, CEO of the Utah Central Board of REALTORS®, “we couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds as we work together and create a strong relationship with the support our local MLS.”
Brad Bjelke, CEO of UtahRealEstate.com, said “Our organization is very excited to welcome the Moab region into our MLS. Our focus at UtahRealEstate.com is to be broker-centric as we develop the best technology for our members, provide abundant training and support, and listen to the needs of our real estate professionals.”

Nice win for everyone involved. Congrats to Brad and his team.

Nov 24 15

Placester, $27 million dollars, and the changing vendor landscape

by Greg Robertson

moneyPlacester Raises $27M Series C Round For Its Real Estate Marketing Platform

“Ravi Viswanathan, a general partner at NEA, told me his firm likes to invest in companies that play in massive markets where the spend is in the billions of dollars and the industry still often uses arcane methods. Real estate is an obvious example for this and the power of the local listing services means there is also a substantial barrier of entry — one which Placester managed to overcome early on.

The big money entering the market has been changing the landscape of vendors in real estate. It all really started with The Borrell Report, which pegged a somewhere between a $9 billion to $27 billon opportunity up for grabs in the online real estate space. That got the V.C.’s attention, whether you agreed with the numbers or not.

First Zillow, then Trulia and others. When Zillow bought Trulia things only heated up (Dotloop, Reesio, etc).

These new breed of vendors are young, smart and have piles of cash (via Venture Capital). Here’s a list of what I would qualify as New Breed Vendors and who’s lunch they want to eat.

Zillow Group
Lunchtime: Zillow saying they don’t want to be an MLS/Broker/Franchisor is just like Uber saying they don’t want to be a taxi company. Lately they want to focus on “Super Agents” or “teams” that have systems in place to consume and convert leads (so they buy more).

Placester
Lunchtime: Placester is going after agents via partnerships with N.A.R., KW, RE/MAX Integra. Come one come all. With their reasonable (cheap?) pricing models they can bring agents in their eco-system and upsell them on other services. Any small/medium sized IDX/agent website/CRM vendors (Top Producer, too many to name, etc.) should be on alert.

BoomTown
Lunchtime: I see these guys competing in about the same space as Zillow. High end agents and teams. They are just going at it differently by pitching themselves as a full service marketing firm to agents (copywriting, ad management, reporting, websites, IDX, etc.)

Boston Logic
Lunchtime: Boston Logic is going after enterprise broker deals. Companies like Real Estate Digital (Now owned by Nationstar aka Solutionstar aka XOME), IDC, might be (will be), feeling some pain in this space.

SmartZip
Lunchtime: These guys are going after more tech savvy agents and teams. But they also integrate their tech into other agent software solutions.

These are players that will drive consolidation, make big moves, and push forward change in the industry. It easy to see, you just need to follow the money.

…and if you don’t know, now you know.

Nov 23 15

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

My company, W&R Studios, is looking to hire. It’s more of a trainer type position than sales.

Senior Account Manager/Trainer

“We have a great team of smart, fun, creative and talented people. Currently we are looking to grow our team. As a Senior Account Manager you will be responsible to help develop, market, train and sell the growing line of W&R Studios software products.

You will give live demos, train, hold webinars, exhibit at trade shows, and much more. You should give good phone and high energy. We are looking for someone in the Midwest, East Coast, and West Coast (Southern California).

Find out more at the Vendor Alley Job Board!