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Apr 1 15

Zillow cancels Las Vegas MLS junket.

by Greg Robertson

Zillow has announced that it has cancelled it upcoming MLS summit in Las Vegas this month. It a written statement from the Zillow’s Blog, CEO Spencer Rascoff stated..

“The MLS providers are already doing exactly what we tell want them to do. Plus the accommodations that some of these MLS executives were requesting were simply beyond what we had budgeted.”

Mar 30 15

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

CRM Administrator (Infusionsoft)

“W&R Studios is looking for a CRM Administrator (Infusionsoft) to take our customer relations to the next level. This position will take the lead in organizing, automating, and maintaining our CRM platform, Infusionsoft. We are looking for a tech savvy individual with good interpersonal skills and a strong understanding of marketing practices. The ideal candidate will have an in-depth understanding of CRM software, sales, marketing, business processes, and how they relate to the CRM software.”

To find out more information on this gig and other please visit the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Mar 25 15

Vendor Alley Ad Spaces now available!

by Greg Robertson

It’s that time a year again.

Promote your existing product or service to Vendor Alley’s highly targeted audience of MLS providers, real estate associations, brokers, agents, vendors, and connoisseurs of fine satire.

Vendor Alley Ad Boxes- We have 4 spaces available (below the brass balls).
Pricing: $500 per Ad Box, per month. Size is 250 X 125.

To reserve your space or find out more please email me at: vendor.alley@gmail.com

These will go fast. And most advertisers buy 12 months.

Mar 25 15

Zillow Agent Finder is awesome.

by Greg Robertson

facepalm realtor

I’ve been playing around with Zillow’s new Agent Finder. It’s crazy good! Matt Carter of Inman News summed it up in a post article entitled; “Zillow just gave consumers something more than a cow pie.”

Realtor.com couldn’t do it. Redfin couldn’t do it. Even the Houston Association of Realtors tried and failed.

Now Zillow’s done what the industry establishment couldn’t: It’s helping consumers find agents in their area who have the greatest number of sales, the most listings or the best reviews.”

I’ll say. And of course I sure many REALTORS will lose their shit about this. You can already see this in the article’s comments.

Few things that strike me about this announcement.

1. Timing. Matt mentions this in his article too. With Zillow trying to get as many direct feeds why launch something so controversial?

2. Will the industry play catch up? Now that the cat is out of the bag. Will Realtor.com, Redfin, HAR finally get their agents and members to get off their ass and compete?

3. Consumers are going to love Agent Finder. One thing I noticed when I was searching through the list of agents is when I came across agents with no reviews, I was wondering…”what are they hiding?” Agents with no photo, or listings (currently or previously) seemed not worth my time.

Of course their are other services out there. Just yesterday Cloud CMA announced integration with RealSatisfied. In a nutshell you can add any ratings and reviews you get on RealSatisfied right as part of your Cloud CMA report pages.

RealSatisfied sample page-blog

Cloud CMA clients can also easily add Zillow Agent ratings too.

Zillow and RealSatisfied sample pages-blog

Agent ratings and reviews are here to stay. The industry needs to get out of their own way and embrace this new world, not fight it.

Mar 24 15

Errol Samuelson is out of the penalty box

by Greg Robertson

errol comeback
Looks like Move, Inc.’s “power play” time is over (Errol is Canadian, so I can’t stop with the hockey references).

Look for an exclusive interview with Brad Inman. It’s posted now.

Also looking forward to see Stefan’s live interview with Errol at the T3 Conference in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks.

Just don’t call it a comeback.

Mar 24 15

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson


Director of Application Development

MLS PIN (Shrewsbury, MA)

“The Application Development Director is responsible for leadership of a team producing a web-based real estate Multiple Listing Service system and web-accessible internal applications. The Director will work closely with other senior managers to help deliver the company’s technical vision and goals. Additionally, the Director will be responsible to develop work plans, establish technical objectives with input from both internal and external stakeholders, assign tasks, manage code standards, and ensure a consistent, high-quality release process.”

Find out more at the Vendor Alley Job Board!

Mar 24 15

Vendor ProTip: StandupMail

by Greg Robertson

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 8.44.09 AM If you work with developers, especially it an “agile” development environment, they have a practice of doing “standup meetings”. The purpose of this meeting is to update everyone what they are are working on, talk about any roadblocks, and see if anyone on the team that can help with those roadblocks. The reason they can them “standup” meetings is that they shouldn’t last too long. We have an open office so I sit in an area where I can listen and see the meetings being held, mostly at 10AM everyday, and they last about 20 mins, tops.

What I’ve noticed about these meetings is they really keep everyone accountable on the team, for instance if you keep working on the same project for 6 weeks, something is wrong.

I always thought about running a similar type of meeting for my sales group. But my Senior Account Managers are located all over the country. So its hard to run a standup. Sure I could have everyone login in GoTo Meeting. But honestly they travel, there are technical issues (always), and its just too much of a pain in the ass. I wanted something asynchronous too. Enter StandupMail.

StandupMail is great. It sends an email to your team everyday. Your team members reply to the email of what they are working on and any roadblocks or comments they might have. Then the next day a digest is sent out to everyone. The digest is super clean and easy to read. (I really love the fact that any progress reports sent on Friday, or during the weekend, are all summarized on the Monday digest.)

It’s a very simple. You don’t need to download a special app, since its all driven via email. Anyway, I freaking love it. As a manager I can see what everyone is working on , help them on any needs. Other sales reps can also offer assistance if maybe they have a relationship or experience that might help. Here’s an example of a recent digest.

StandupMail Sample Digest

You can try it 30 days free by clicking below:

Try StandupMail Free for 30 days

You’re welcome.

Mar 20 15

Broker Public Portal is in the money

by Greg Robertson

Broker Public Portal Reaches Funding Milestone
$250,000 raised for organizational expenses

“To launch the initiative, this group established a milestone of raising $250,000 to fund the project’s start-up expenses and gauge interest in the project. Among other expenses, funds will go to legal fees, administrative costs, and meeting expenses. The effort to raise the organization funds was launched in January of 2015 and the goal was met in 10 weeks, on March 10, 2015.”

Very impressive. Congratulations to Cameron Paine and the rest of their supporters.

Mar 19 15

Homes.com not sitting still

by Greg Robertson

With all the hub-bub going on with “Z2K” its been pretty easy to miss that Homes.com has a lot going on….

In a first, Homes.com powering MLS public-facing website

“Connecting consumers to Realtors on TulsaRealtors.com without displaying competing banner advertising was a top priority, ensuring the conversation stayed focused on helping Tulsa consumers find their next home,” said Mike Cotrill, CEO of GTAR, in a statement.”

Another tidbit about the article from above.

“Homes.com, the fourth most popular real estate portal in the nation, began powering the national websites for franchise powerhouses Re/Max in 2006 and ERA in 2012,…”

Back in 2006 eNeighborhoods originally signed the deal with RE/MAX. eNeighborhoods was then acquired by Dominion Enterprises (the parent company of Homes.com). Through that acquisition, other competition, changes in leadership at RE/MAX, the “Great Recession”, a lot of other shit I don’t know about, Andy Woolley and his team deserve a lot of credit for keeping that relationship (and revenue) going. 9 years is a helluva lot of time in this industry.

Homes.com also rolled out a new look, a more friendly version of the “3 headed monster”.

Homes.com retools ads for buyer’s agents

“Our new advertising product is the result of extensive discussions with agents, brokers, MLSs and industry partners to find the best way to connect engaged consumers with buyer’s agents as they search for their next home,” said Homes.com President David Mele in a statement. “Homes.com Local Connect clearly displays the listing agent at the top of every lead form and ensures that consumer leads are always routed back to the listing agent or broker, regardless of whether the listing is displayed for free or through paid advertising.”

And Homes.com signed up with Clareity’s Direct Connection tool.

‘Easy button’ could help brokers manage direct MLS feeds

“Implementing Clareity Direct Connections offers another resource to improve the accuracy and quality of listings on Homes.com, while providing MLSs and brokers a user-friendly way to opt in to display their listings on Homes.com and Homes.com marketing products,” said Andy Woolley, vice president of industry development, in a statement.

Mar 18 15

Cloud CMA Teams/Brokers Edition

by Greg Robertson

Cloud CMA badgeThe super duper talented group at W&R Studios just introduced a special edition of Cloud CMA for teams and brokerages with less than 50 agents. Lots of goodies for teams and smaller brokers to enjoy.

Introducing the Teams/Broker Edition of Cloud CMA!

“Well, after tons of feedback, W&R Studios is proud to announce that we have released an edition of Cloud CMA specifically designed for Teams of up to 5 agents, brokerages up to 25 agents, and brokerages of up to 50 agents. To read the full press release go HERE.

Each team or brokerage will have a designated administrator that will upload a branded cover page, logo, header, and footer for each agent that is part of the account. In addition, each agent will have full access to all of the features that Cloud CMA offers.”

Paul Hagey of Inman News also did a nice write up on it too:

Popular CMA now tailored to agent teams, small brokerages