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Aug 2 22

Opendoor settles with FTC for $62M over claims of “false advertising”

by Greg Robertson

FTC Takes Action to Stop Online Home Buying Firm Opendoor Labs, Inc. from Cheating Potential Sellers with Misleading Claims about its Home-Buying Service

“Opendoor’s marketing materials included charts comparing their consumers’ net proceeds from selling to Opendoor versus on the market. Those charts almost always showed that consumers would make thousands of dollars more by selling to Opendoor. In fact, the complaint states, the vast majority of consumers who sold to Opendoor actually lost thousands of dollars compared with selling on the traditional market, because the company’s offers have been below market value on average and its costs have been higher than what consumers typically pay when using a traditional realtor”

So wait, the FTC now wants everyone to use a REALTOR? #PlotTwist

Opendoor responds

“While we strongly disagree with the FTC’s allegations, our decision to settle with the Commission will allow us to resolve the matter and focus on helping consumers buy, sell and move with simplicity, certainty and speed.

Importantly, the allegations raised by the FTC are related to activity that occurred between 2017 and 2019 and target marketing messages the company modified years ago. We are pleased to put this matter behind us and look forward to continuing to provide consumers with a modern real estate experience.”

Not a good look for Opendoor and the timing is terrible, being the week of Inman Connect in Las Vegas. And the fine? Settling a case like this is not unusual, remember when Zillow settled with Move for $130M? There are some hills you don’t want to die on, sometimes it’s just a math exercise.

But, the whole thing is a bit of a head-scratcher to me.

First, Opendoor’s value proposition has always been all about “certainty and convenience”, not you get more money if you sell to Opendoor. In fact, the whole industry narrative around Opendoor (especially in the 2017-2019 time frame) was that iBuyers (including Opendoor) had “low-ball” offers. I mean take a look at Opendoor’s homepage in mid-2017, there is absolutely nothing about how you’ll “make more money” selling to them. Just words like “simple” and “smooth”.

Meanwhile Wall Street has always classified iBuyers as “flippers”. The very definition of a “flipper” is to buy low and sell high, right?

Joe Rand had a funny take on Twitter on all this

My takeaway is that maybe some aggressive sales tactics got out of control. While this will be fodder for the lobby bar crowd (including me) at ICLV I think Opendoor will take the hit and move on.

iBuying and Opendoor are here to stay.

Aug 2 22

Redfin hires new Industry Relations rep, Joe Rath

by Greg Robertson

Meet Redfin’s Head of Industry Relations

“Joe comes from a real estate family and understands the day-to-day challenges that brokers and agents face and the complicated dynamics of this industry,” said Jason Aleem, Redfin’s senior vice president of real estate sales. “He’s a clear communicator, effective relationship builder and strategic leader who will be a strong advocate for policies that improve the agent experience and help us all better serve our clients.”

Welcome to the jungle Joe!

Aug 1 22

New “homeowner portal”, Milestones, gets $10.3M in Series A funding.

by Greg Robertson

3 years in hibernation, Milestones emerges with $10M in funding

From Inman News…

“Updater, itself enriched after pocketing $60 million in financing at the end of 2021, was the primary source of funds for Milestones.

Other groups participated in the fundraising namely Second Century Ventures(the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors), Peerage Capital, McLaughlin Ventures, WAV Group Ventures, T3 Partners and Sellers Shield.”

Cap tables are getting super interesting.

Jul 28 22

See you next week at Inman Connect Vegas

by Greg Robertson

Looking forward to seeing a lot of you next week at Inman Connect Las Vegas. Super honored to be asked to participate in a number of sessions.

I’m excited to be having a discussion with Guy Gal, CEO and Co-Founder of Side. We will be talking about critical factors that are shaping real estate. Guy is a smart guy (no pun intended and I bet he never heard that before) and I’m looking forward to our conversation and sharing it with the Inman attendees. This is happening on Thursday, 10:30AM to 10:45AM (Pinyon 4, Main Stage)

Also, as you may know, Katie Smithson and I are co-moderating the Tech & Data Track on Thursday from 2:00PM to 4:00PM (Pinyon 4, Main Stage). If haven’t listened to my recent podcast with Katie, you should, click here.

And remember, never go ……..aaaaaahhhh you know the rest.

Jul 27 22

Industry Relations Podcast: Macro, Housing, and Authenticity with Keith Robinson

by Greg Robertson

Greg was out on vacation so Rob brings in guest host Keith Robinson, Chief Strategic Officer for NextHome.

How much does the economy affect the housing market? Or do we buy and sell homes based on what’s happening in our individual lives more than what’s happening on Wall Street? In this episode, Rob Hahn and guest host Keith Robinson talk about the rollercoaster that is real estate if there ever was a stable housing market, and how authenticity can be the deciding factor in whether or not an agent has long-term success. 

Industry Relations welcomes our new sponsor, NoteRouter

Listen to the Industry Relations Podcast, available on all podcast platforms:

Listen to the podcast on Apple

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/industry-relations/id1204450450

Listen to the podcast on Stitcher

https://www.stitcher.com/show/industry-relations

Connect with Rob and Greg: 

Rob’s Website

https://notorious-rob.com/

Greg’s Website

https://www.vendoralley.com/

Our Sponsors: 

NoteRouter

https://www.noterouter.com/

Cloud MLX

https://cloudagentsuite.com/tools/mlx

Notorious VIP

https://notoriousrob.com/notoriious-vip

Jul 26 22

Listing Bits Episode 74: Zillow’s One Data Source Solution for MLSs – with Katie Smithson of Bridge Interactive

by Greg Robertson

NAR’s MLS Policy Statement 8.6 goes into effect on September 1, 2022.

So, what tools are available to make the implementation of the new One Data Source Policy easier for MLSs?

Katie Smithson is Director of MLS Relations at Zillow Group, where she leads the team building their MLS data licensing and distribution platform, Bridge Interactive. Prior to joining Zillow, she spent eight years with W+R Studios as Director of Enterprise Sales and Director of MLS Services.

On this episode of Listing Bits, Katie walks us through Policy Statement 8.6, explaining what problems the mandate does solve and why it’s a problem to provide vendors and brokers with data in a single feed.

Katie discusses the Bridge platform’s current functionality and describes the new feature her team is developing to help MLSs implement 8.6, the One Data Source Solution.

Listen in to understand how MLSs can use Bridge to auto-approve certain vendor agreements and find out if the One Data Source Solution is right for you.

What’s Discussed:  

How MLS Policy Statement 8.6 requires that MLSs offer participants data in a single feed

The security issue with leaving it up to brokers and vendors to know what data can be used in a VOW, IDX or back-office feed

What problems the new One Data Source Policy does solve

How the Bridge platform alleviates pain points around data distribution for MLSs

What differentiates the Bridge platform from CoreLogic’s Trestle

How Katie thinks about asking MLS boards to give Zillow their data (and pay for the service)

How Bridge gives MLSs a simple way to combine existing data feeds for members

The benefit of adding field-specific tags to MLS metadata via the Bridge One Data Source Solution

How MLSs can use Bridge to auto-approve certain vendors or certain types of data access agreements

Connect with Katie:

Bridge Interactive

Katie on Twitter

Katie on LinkedIn

Email: katiesm [at] zillowgrou [dot] com

Resources:

MLS Policy Statement 8.6

CMLS Implementation Guide—One Data Source Policy 8.6

Lone Wolf Technologies

Trestle by CoreLogic

Marilyn Wilson’s TSA Pre-Check Concept

Inman Connect Las Vegas 2022

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Jul 18 22

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Vice President – Multiple Listing Service- MLS of Southern Arizona

“maintenance of all Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and supporting products, including technology and compliance service centers.

Expected outcomes: Achieve measurable improvements in member satisfaction, employee productivity and member service revenues. All performance measures as determined.

The find out about this job or post a job, please visit the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Jul 18 22

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

Development Support Manager – FBS

“In this role you’ll manage a hybrid support and engineering team on the cutting edge of the real estate industry’s transition from legacy architecture to modern, API powered products. Our focus is to make the API solutions that FBS offers both effective and simple to use. A crucial piece of that experience is providing stellar, near concierge, developer and administrator facing support to all integrating partners as they begin working with these technologies. Additionally, as the voice of our customers, your team will be relied on to provide a direct line of feedback and strategic insight to our Product team, helping shape the future of the industry.”

The find out about this job or post a job, please visit the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Jul 14 22

Industry Relations Podcast: Beating a Dead Horse That Might Not Be Dead

by Greg Robertson

Sometimes that dead horse you’re beating turns out not to be that dead. In this episode of Industry Relations, Rob and Greg break down the recent lawsuits that are popping up in the Midwest and how they’re going to affect real estate. Could buyers be forced to pay their agent’s commission? If you sold a house in the last nine years, could you be subject to compensation? Is the sky really falling or are Rob and Greg’s predictions coming to fruition? 

Industry Relations welcomes our new sponsor, NoteRouter at https://www.noterouter.com/

Listen to the Industry Relations Podcast, available on all podcast platforms:

Listen to the podcast on Apple

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/industry-relations/id1204450450

Listen to the podcast on Stitcher

https://www.stitcher.com/show/industry-relations

Connect with Rob and Greg: 

Rob’s Website

https://notorious-rob.com/

Greg’s Website

https://www.vendoralley.com/

Our Sponsors: 

NoteRouter

Cloud MLX

Notorious VIP

Jul 12 22

Looking for a new gig?

by Greg Robertson

MLS Solutions Supervisor – Austin Board of REALTORS

“Analyze, develop, organize, lead and implement new technology solutions and enhancements that support the organization’s products and services. Manages and directs the activities and operations of MLS product support team. Position can be on site or remote depending on candidate’s experience.”

The find out about this job or post a job, please visit the Vendor Alley Job Board.