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Oct 27 15

Property Panorama releases new broker solution.

by Greg Robertson

Here are some numbers to chew on.

5.3 Million Tours published
753,000 agents
74 MLS providers
21 Million photos
The number one publisher of “non gaming” videos on You Tube.

Can you guess the company? I couldn’t. It’s Property Panorama.

When Mike Barnett took over as CEO of Property Panorama the company was facing some serious issues. Close to shutting down. Now 5 years later with the help of a super smart team, the company is releasing their new “Instaview Enterprise Broker Solution”. And with numbers like those it seems Mike and his team have been busy.

The product Is basically a marketing automation tool that ties in to MLS data. Once an agent lists a property a virtual tour is automatically created and published.

I spoke to Mike today and he said this is truly the only “set it and forget solution, the agent has to do nothing”. Brokers are saying the same thing:

Top Brokerages Launch Property Panorama’s Instaview Enterprise Broker SolutionNew Service Integrates MLS Data and Boosts SEO

“Northwood, the fastest-growing real estate firm in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio with 1604 active agents, has 2795 current listings spanning two MLSs.
“With the full program, our agents don’t have to do anything to receive these products for their sellers. Everything synchronizes automatically. They only need to add their listing to the mls and in about an hour the full program is up and running, and branded to both Northwood and the listing agent. Even updates or changes to the listing are automatic and quick,” said Tom Hosack, CEO/President/Broker at Northwood Realty Services.”

Although services like Matterport are the new hotness, they require $4,500 for the camera alone, plus hosting and other equipment costs InstaView is $1.99 and requires nothing to set up. No wonder brokers like it. : )

Congrats to Mike and his team on their latest release.

Oct 22 15

WAV Group publishes secret decoder ring for Project Upstream

by Greg Robertson

82DnkVaGjrLVictor Lund of the WAV Group has published a document entitled “Upstream Revealed“. Basically he has taken Craig Cheatham’s recent statements and clarified them. In the example below Victor’s comments are in parens.

Upstream also is designed to serve as a platform for controlling access to and distribution of the data, along with the establishment of the terms for any use. Participating brokers would designate within Upstream which specific data would be accessed and manage the conditions for use. (Brokers control their data on a dashboard like they do for listings syndication today. The difference is that other data sets like agent records, firm records, consumer records, and vendor rosters are all in the same place.)

Re-reading Craig’s statements with Victor’s comments made the whole thing easier to read. Victor decodes the pretencious “corporate speak” of the original language. I like it a lot. One quibble, I would have preferred they numbered each section.

Having said that, I have a question about how data will be handled with vendors (this is Vendor Alley after all). Here’s what the statement says (with Victor’s clarifications)

Application providers, from those assisting with external display/use to those powering systems used inside of brokerages, are set to benefit from the single set of “clean” data directly from Upstream with the broker’s permission. Brokers are hopeful this will allow real estate companies and their representatives to deploy data sets to vendors directly and efficiently, eliminating the need for MLSs to deal with data integration issues and giving vendors one format nationwide instead of hundreds of databases and data layouts. (Micro case study – a broker with 360 listings wants to switch virtual tour vendors. It requires data license agreements with five MLSs and data mapping that takes weeks to implement. The listings that come back are watermarked and low resolution. The only way to improve this is to manually duplicate the data).

I admit that I might not totally understand everything here. And I have to say I really love this concept in theory. But how would Upstream handle different listing statuses? Say a vendor has a product that sends out “Just Sold” postcards, or “Under Contract” flyers. Or a CMA that needs Expired listings? Are those in Upstream on just the MLS? Do they sync? How often?

You can download the PDF here: Upstream Revealed

Oct 20 15

Reading the tea leaves…

by Greg Robertson

“Greg, what’s going to happen!!?? What’s it all mean??” Is a question I get a lot lately. Everyone is nervous.

Remember when all we ever talked about was “syndication”? Good times…

Seems like Upstream, AMP and the BPP have taken up the vacuum left over from those days.

It’s a big quandary to me, and I’m sure others in the MLS industry. What DOES the future hold? If we are to believe the folks behind Upstream the future will be one where the brokers control all the data. AMP promises a new type of model, “front end of choice”, which can be good for some vendors and bad for others. Huge MLS Providers are evolving. RESO is getting closer and closer. Consolidation is happening everywhere.

Should I get better at selling directly to agents? Should I focus efforts on broker relationships? What products/services will be needed that aren’t available now? Should I sell my company? Should I buy that company?

It’s all a big head scratcher to me. As I’m putting together the budget for next year I find myself asking different questions than I have in the past.

These mental hoops that we all jump through can lead to all sorts of ideas. Some of those driven by fear, some by other motivations.

But here’s what I know. It’s a quote by one of my favorite artists.

“Be so good, they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin.

Instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing, worry about what you can control. Make your company and products so great, that no matter what happens, they can’t ignore you.

Get back to work.

Oct 19 15

NRT hearts Estately

by Greg Robertson

From GeekWire:

Exclusive: Real estate giant Realogy makes strategic investment in Seattle startup Estately

“As one of the largest residential real estate companies in the U.S., Realogy has thousands of agents which could benefit from receiving targeted leads from Estately.

Ward said they already provide leads to some Realogy agents, but very little would change as part of the investment. He said he kept the investment quiet because raising more money “is not that interesting” but also because he didn’t want the company’s agent network to think that things would change due to the involvement of Realogy.

In today’s interview, Ward said that “we love our business model and love our clients,” and he added that Estately is “doing a good job” of competing against large real estate incumbents as well as tech-heavy brands like Zillow and Trulia.

“We are excited about our growth,” he said. “And we see potential in our business model and agent model.”

First off you gotta give it up to Galen Ward, Estately’s CEO, the guy has been crushing it. As many readers know I’ve big a big fan of their site and mobile app (which is my “go to” at the moment). Galen is super smart, humble and I always enjoy catching up with him and talking business.

On another level you gotta be curious what’s up Realogy/NRT sleeve? ZipRealty, now Estately? I’ve got a few ideas what might be playing out here but will hold off on any speculation. Congrats to Galen and his team!

Oct 12 15

Craig Cheatham interview from CMLS 2015 now posted

by Greg Robertson

Oct 6 15

Paul Hagey leaves Inman News

by Greg Robertson


After nearly four years as a reporter at Inman, I’m moving on to work as a content writer, editor and strategist for real estate firms, brokers and agents. My last day is today, Friday, October 2.

Working for such a top-notch organization with a dogged focus on quality and intelligence has been a gift. I’ve learned a lot from my bright, hard-working colleagues Amber Taufen, Andrea Brambila and Teke Wiggin and my two former editors Matt Carter and Glenn Roberts, Jr.

I’ve gleaned tons from Inman Publisher Brad Inman, including where to get an excellent steak in New York City, that adventurous love is possible in marriage (from he and his wife Yaz’s glorious Facebook feeds) and how to cut a sentence to the bone. I’m extremely grateful to have worked for a company with such a passionate, smart owner. Thank you for the opportunity, Brad.

When I first started writing for Inman in November 2011, I didn’t know the difference between a brokerage and a franchisor, whether IDX was a policy or a disease (found out it’s both), that a real estate portal wasn’t a rip in the universe that would transport you to your childhood home or who the readers are that depend on Inman for fast, accurate, insightful real estate news.

I came to know what was what, and the latter — you — well. The desire to provide you with thorough, intelligent, accurate information drove my reporting. You’ve inhabited my brain for years, and now I’m one of you: I sign up for Select on Saturday.

Good luck Paul. I’m sure we’ll be reading you again soon!

Oct 5 15

Back in the day

by Greg Robertson

Just in time for CMLS I found this gem on Facebook. How many can you recognize? Click the photo for a hires image.

RSI Spring Workshop 1993 Photo-HIRES

Here’s a cheat sheet

via: Stan Cowen

Oct 1 15

ShowingTime acquires 10K Research

by Greg Robertson

More consolidation news, ShowingTime just acquired 10K Research.

10K Research and Marketing Joins ShowingTime

““Adding 10K’s wide array of research and marketing tools to ShowingTime’s offering will give customers an even greater ability to offer exceptional service and market knowledge to clients,” said ShowingTime President Michael Lane. “We look forward to providing additional capabilities to customers over time.”

Congrats to Scott and Mike. I know Greg and the team at 10K have to be super excited!

Oct 1 15

Move, Inc acquires Reesio

by Greg Robertson

reesio® Operator, Move, Inc., Acquires Reesio, Allowing Real Estate Professionals to Simplify Home Buying and Selling Process

“Reesio provides brokers and agents with a platform to collaborate and communicate with home buyers and sellers, mortgage professionals, title and escrow companies, inspectors and other service providers, making the transaction process transparent and speeding communication to relevant parties. Reesio’s secure online platform allows collaborators to share, edit, sign and store transaction documents such as offer letters, inspection reports, and loan information in one place, and helps brokers and agents to reduce transaction errors and risk by allowing workflow templates to guide the steps and requirements for closing.”

The industry consolidation continues…

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. I don’t think Reesio was generating much cash, so this deal was an obvious strategic deal to counter Zillow Group’s acquisition of dotloop.

I’ve written about Reesio and their CEO Mark Thomas before. They hustle and Move needs that kind of spirt to compete.

So, congrats to Mark and his team on an successful “exit”.

Oct 1 15

1000watt partners with Lion & Orb

by Greg Robertson

Lion & Orb | 1000watt Partnership Logo 2Some of my favorite people in the industry are getting together to help real estate related business in the PR game.

Audie Chamberlain (former Director of Social Media Marketing at recently started, Lion & Orb, a public relations agency with a lot of big clients in the luxury real estate space. Brian, Joel, Marc and the rest of the team at 1000watt are great storytellers. They help brokerages and other real estate industry companies get their message out, above the noise.

1000watt partners with Lion & Orb to bring savvy public relations services to the residential real estate and mortgage industries

“1000watt has developed brand messaging for many companies, but has never offered public and media relations to its clients. The alliance with Lion & Orb enables 1000watt to extend its services in this area with a trusted partner. Lion & Orb will continue to maintain its own client roster, but will work closely with 1000watt.”