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Apr 16 15

Zillow to provide free public record data to MLS providers via an API

by Greg Robertson

News is slowly leaking out from the Zillow MLS Summit in Vegas…

Not sure of all the details but it appears Zillow has found RPR’s old playbook.

UPDATE: Now it’s official

Zillow Group to Give MLS Partners Free Public Record Data

“Organizations like multiple listing services can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to buy or license public record data, and only receive updates to this data periodically. MLSs use this data to help members create listings, and they share the data with members who use it to research their market, speed up listing input and help with prospecting and business development.

Looks like I was reading the tea leaves correctly…

Apr 15 15

A Few Good MLS Execs

by Greg Robertson

Some fun for the Zillow meetings in Las Vegas this week….


You want answers?

Industry Consultant 1
I think I’m entitled to them.

You want answers?!

I want the truth.

You can’t handle the truth!

And nobody moves.




Son, we live in a country that has an MLS. And that MLS is more than just managing a database. Who’s gonna do it? The Seller? You, Mr. Big Broker? You, Mr. Industry Consultant? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep that listings are now everywhere and curse the MLS. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: The genie is out of the bottle. Your old gatekeeper days aren’t coming back. Upstream and BPP are DOA. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, helps you do more business.


You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at Inman Connect, Realty Alliance or Gathering of Eagles, you want the MLS. You need the MLS!


We use words like cooperation, compensation, accuracy… we use these words as the backbone to a life spent building something. You use ‘em as a punchline.


I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very piece of mind I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you move to Australia. I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.


Did you do a deal with Zillow?


I did the job my members sent me to do.


Industry Consultant 2

Did you do a deal with Zillow?!!




You’re goddamn right I did!!

Apr 15 15

Jeremy Crawford to lead RESO

by Greg Robertson


Real Estate Standards Organization Announces Executive Director

“Mark Lesswing, RESO Board Chair stated: “Speaking on behalf of the RESO Board of Directors, we are thrilled that Mr. Crawford has agreed to join RESO as our new Executive Director. Jeremy has both the required skills and knowledge for the position as has been an active leader in the standards communities for many years. The next era of RESO is upon us.”

I gotta say this was a surprise. It’s gonna be great to see someone of Jeremy’s caliber taking over. Congrats to Jeremy, RESO, and the industry owes a big thank you to Bob Gottesman for paving the way and building RESO’s strong momentum.

Apr 14 15

Pro Tip: Hustle

by Greg Robertson


Apr 13 15

“Whistleblower” stirs things up between Move, NAR and Zillow.

by Greg Robertson

Whistleblower alleges Zillow is stealing listing data from agent websites

Andrea Brambila from Inman News:

“In court filings today, Move said it received the letter yesterday, April 9. The company, along with fellow plaintiff the National Association of Realtors, is calling for the court to grant third-party discovery in the case, saying “The defendants simply cannot be trusted to be the sole source of evidence in this case regarding their conduct.”

Move declined to comment on which third parties would be involved.

“The plaintiffs have complained for months that the defendants are systematically hiding evidence in secret non-Zillow email accounts and file-sharing services,” attorneys for Move and NAR said in the court filing.

“The defendants have denied the claims, deriding them as ‘silly’ conspiracy theories and claim they have produced everything. The whistleblower’s letter appears to confirm, however, the plaintiffs’ worst fears.”

This is getting very ugly. The letter itself is pretty detailed. It doesn’t just focus on Errol and Curt but Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, and Greg Schwartz, Zillow’s Chief Revenue Officer, and a bunch of other Zillow employees.

I think the letter was written by someone who had an executive position in the company (Zillow). I’m betting it’s a former employee, with an axe to grind, and I bet Zillow knows exactly who he is.

But its hard to believe any of the stuff the letter suggests. Its either blown out of proportion, not relevant, or taken out of context. Is having a rolodex a crime? Zillow has been kicking’s ass without any sort of help, why risk it?

Apr 9 15

The Lion rests…

by Greg Robertson


My heart goes out to Niki and the rest of the Rapattoni family. Andy was a true legend in this industry. In my post “42” I talked about how long Andy and Niki have kept the company going (since 1975!). As an entrepreneur you can’t get any better inspiration than what Andy and Niki have created.

And his legacy will continue. I think Tom Beede in the recent press release said it best…

” In recent years I have worked closely with the new generation of leadership at Rapattoni, and it is evident they will carry on his proud tradition. His wife, Niki, says that she has lost her lion. I say that we have lost the industry’s Statue of Liberty and guiding light. No one can replace him; we can only hope to treat one another as kindly as Andy treated all of us.”

We’ve all lost a lion. RIP Andy.

Apr 8 15

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Senior Customer & Community Marketing Manager
Move, Inc.

“Our Customer and Community Marketing Manager, reporting to the Business to Business Marketing VP, will extend our market leadership by working with our customer base to leverage their success stories to build our company. In this position, you should be ready to roll up your sleeves in a highly leveraged, powerful individual contributor role that will have high impact on the company’s strategy and market presence while making a direct impact on our growth.”

To see this job posting and more check out the Vendor Alley Job Board!

Apr 8 15

Brad Bjelke named CEO of

by Greg Robertson

Brad is a good choice for this gig. is a software company. Brad’s time working at Rapattoni should serve him well as he makes the transition.

Congratulations to Brad and! names Brad Bjelke as President and CEO
Utah’s largest MLS taps well known industry veteran as its new leader
Full Press Release Below:

SANDY, UT (April 7, 2015) – – the largest Multiple Listing Service in Utah that serves over 11,000 subscribers – has named Brad Bjelke as its new president and chief executive officer.

With over 10 years in the industry, Bjelke comes to from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (CRMLS), the largest MLS in the nation with over 75,000 subscribers where he served as vice president and general counsel.

Bjelke is nationally recognized as an expert in matters relating to MLS rules, public policy, MLS and Association regionalization, compliance, data licensing, and governance. He has been an integral part of regionalization efforts for MLSs, and he has been involved in helping shape many of the MLS policies at both the local and national levels.

With a reputation as one of the top MLSs in the country,’s CEO search brought in close to 100 well qualified candidates.

“We saw some of the top talent in the industry apply to be our next CEO. We needed to be certain that person not only had the proper experience, but would also have the best interest of our subscribers in mind. We took the time to carefully examine each resume, conduct exhaustive interviews, and narrow the candidates down to a few finalists. It became clear that Brad’s expertise and vast experience would take to an even higher level than where we are now. We are thrilled to have someone as qualified as Brad lead our team,” said Ryan Kirkham, chair of the board of directors.

All of’s multiple listing software is developed by an in house team. This includes software for its separate property rental listing service, Kirkham noted that, “the ideal candidate would not only understand the real estate industry, but the software development industry as well.” Prior to CRMLS, Bjelke served as an executive for one of the largest MLS software companies in the United States, where he gained extensive experience with software development, quality assurance testing, and project management.

“I’m excited to be a part of as we continue to implement cutting edge technologies and services. I look forward to working closely with’s shareholder associations and brokers to ensure that their needs are met, while also working hard to increase the visibility of both and,” Bjelke said.

Bjelke will be taking over from Joseph Szurgyi, who has served as interim CEO of since the departure of Rebecca Jensen at the beginning of the year. “The board of directors would like to extend our appreciation to Joseph for his outstanding leadership during this transition and for his diligent service to us as the Director of Operations at”


Founded in 1994, is the leading provider of real estate technology in Utah. is the top-ranked real estate website in Utah and serves over 11,000 REALTORS®, more than 1,500 Brokers, and over 12 million consumers every year.’s mission is to connect real estate professionals and add value to its members through information. is operated on behalf of Utah’s Professional REALTORS®, providing the most complete and current property information for the Utah market. Over 92% of REALTORS® in Utah subscribe to its services in order to help their clients list their properties for sale or to help their clients find their new home.

Apr 3 15

See you at the T3 Summit next week!

by Greg Robertson

I know many of you are going to be at Swanepoel’s T3 Summit next week. Agenda looks great. You can see it here.
See you there!

Apr 3 15

Bob Bemis – Zillow, MLS and what the future holds

by Greg Robertson

The Evolving MLS – Part I – From Deconstruction to Resurrection

Bob Bemis, on his blog Procuring Cause, about a call he received while still working at Zillow:

“Into this contentious environment, one MLS CEO made an unusual phone call in early spring of 2013. He said his MLS was about to begin the dreaded vendor selection process and he wondered if Zillow would be interested in being considered as the system provider for their MLS. He was working from the common perception that “Zillow is just one field away from being a national MLS.” Would Zillow like to add that field?

“No!” The answer was swift and resolute. Zillow had no interest in getting into the MLS business or even the technology business on behalf of an MLS. They held to their mantra they were a media company, not a broker, not an MLS, not a title company, nothing but an advertising vehicle for brokers and agents (and others) to reach a potential audience through pay per impression display ads.

That should have been the end of it. But ten days later I received a second call from another association executive asking the same question. I had no reason to believe these two people had talked to each other or compared notes. And I gave the same emphatic negative reply when asked the second time.”

MLS Executives calling for Zillow to become an MLS vendor?! Holy shit!

And this….

“Agents and brokers expressed more frustration with the lack of innovation in MLS technology and pointed to the upstart portals as examples of what an MLS should look like. MLSs were seemingly talking to the wall if they asked for major improvements in their MLS system from their vendor. The MLSs had dug their own deep hole by playing vendors off against each other during contract renewal time, thus demanding and receiving the lowest possible price for service, sometimes near the break-even point for vendors. Without profits, vendors were at a loss how to finance innovation, research, and new development, while the MLSs who had selected them felt the backlash from their subscribers who demanded more.”

The whole post is worth a read. It will be very interesting to see where this goes….