Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

C.A.R. Business Meetings this week. Let the spin cycle begin!!

If you look up Fiasco in Wikipedia you get this result:

“In English the word fiasco means an absolute, abject or utterly humiliating failure”

Anyway you slice it calREDD was a true fiasco.  But you just know that the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) is going to spin this whole mess in to “this was our plan all along.”  So put on your tin foil hats to protect yourselves from the C.A.R. reality distortion field.

Here’s some questions I’d like answered.

1.  Where’s the 3 million dollars?  I bet you its almost all been spent.  And how many agents did they get to sign up?  Maybe 1,000.  Do the math.

2.  Which begs another question.  How much more money are they going to ask for?   Remember the saying “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”  Shame on you C.A.R. board of directors if you give these clowns any more money.

3.  Who responsible for this mess?  Is somebody going to get fired? They should. Or are they gonna to throw their vendor under the bus? My guess is these C.A.R. douche bags are so chicken-shit that their MLS vendor will get the blame and everyone else gets to keep their job.

4.  Who is going to control this new calREDD/MRMLS entity?  I’m curious how many seats does the 1,000 calREDD users equate to?  Waaaaaaay too many is my guess.

The man who would be king.

Art Carter aka "King Arthur"

In the King Arthur legend a young boy pulled a sword out of a stone and the village knew that he was the true king.  In our story Art Carter aka, “King Arthur” is going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to make this new combined entity (calREDD/MRMLS) a success.

I’ve seen Art do some magic before. He just has to make sure this time that the rabbit doesn’t eat all his “CARETS“.  If you get my meaning.


A good friend once told me that the only reason California is one state (instead of Northern Callifornia and Southern California) is water rights.  So here’s my prediction.

The “merger” will go down as expected, C.A.R. will spin some story to save face.  King Arthur will go after SoCalMLS, and possibly a few others in Southern California and have some success.  But the state-wide MLS train will stop there.  Beyond any existing contracts, no significant Northern California MLS providers will sign up for this new entity (maybe a few tiny associations looking for a subsidy).  One off-shoot is that CARETS may expand, which would be good for C.A.R. members. That’s it. Fin.

Now, if I close my eyes and don’t make a sound, I can hear Russ laughing all the way from Chicago.  : )

So good luck King Arthur.  And stay classy C.A.R., stay classy.


Check out this FAQ.  It confirms calREDD has blown through 2.5M and wants 750K more.  Classic!

  1. Frequently Asked Questions about the calREDD® and Multi-Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc. (MRMLS) Proposal for the Statewide MLS
    1. Why are MRMLS and calREDD® joining efforts? calREDD® and MRMLS share a common vision of one REALTOR® association-controlled statewide multiple listing service (MLS) to serve California real estate professionals. Combining their respective strengths and resources will significantly accelerate this shared vision and position the new entity to deliver even more expanded and efficient MLS services for members.
    2. What are the next steps to move this initiative forward? The respective boards of calREDD® and MRMLS have agreed to a governance framework for a new entity to operate as the statewide MLS and have tentatively reached agreement on the business terms for the transaction. The C.A.R. board of directors will be asked to approve the proposed governance and terms of the transaction for the new entity at their meeting in June, 2010. As part of the request to approve this transaction, additional approvals for modification to the current CALMLS articles of incorporation and bylaws and related motions will be presented for C.A.R. board approval. Of course, full details will be provided as part of the packet for approval.
    3. How many members would be served by the proposed entity? The new entity would serve more than 33,000 real estate professionals and 22 REALTOR® associations.
    4. How will the proposed change impact services to calREDD® and MRMLS members? Members are not anticipated to see any immediate change in services. The new entity will benefit from the combined strengths of calREDD® and MRMLS, and members should expect to see even more choices and increased services over time. Once the calREDD® and MRMLS databases are merged, members will have expanded access to MLS information and greater exposure for their listings.
    5. Will the current calREDD® and MRMLS software systems continue to be offered? Members can expect to continue to use their current software system. In the future, members are expected to be able to choose from multiple MLS software systems, including the current system used by calREDD®, the Tarasoft Matrix platform used by MRMLS, and possibly other systems. The vision of the statewide MLS consistently has been to offer members choice of systems and the proposed initiative would help to achieve this vision.
    6. Will C.A.R. continue to be a member of the proposed new entity? The proposed governance structure for the new entity includes a membership role for C.A.R. and participating associations of REALTORS®. C.A.R. will continue to have the right to approve actions such as merger, dissolution or sale of assets, changes in the purpose of the new entity, and changes in the board composition.
    7. What will be the composition of the board of directors of the new entity? The proposed governance of the initial board of directors will consist of MRMLS’ 12 board members and nine board members selected by calREDD® (two of the 10 largest brokers; two brokers with 100 or more agents, but not the 10 largest firms; two broker owners with less than 100 agents;two practicing salespersons/broker associates; one open REALTOR®). The C.A.R. executive vice-president and one C.A.R. officer would continue on the initial board in a non-voting capacity.
    After January 1, 2013, the board would be reduced in size to 17 directors and the C.A.R. EVP and C.A.R. Officer non-voting positions would be eliminated.
    8. How will the voting rights of current calREDD® participating associations differ in the new entity? Under both the current calREDD® structure and the proposed entity structure, participating associations have significant voting rights. Participating association are proposed to become members of the new entity with substantially similar rights, including the right to approve bylaws changes to the rights of Class A members, the board composition, and the purpose of the entity. In addition, Class A members would have voting rights to remove directors and approve any merger, dissolution, or sale of the assets of the new entity.
    9. Where can I find further details on the proposed governance structure? An outline comparing the current calREDD® (CALMLS) governance and proposed new entity (New CALMLS) structure is available at: http://www.car.org/meetings/carmeetings/currentmeetingmaterials/cardir0610/.
    10. Will the proposed transaction delay implementation for associations on schedule to join calREDD®? No delay is anticipated for associations already on schedule to join calREDD®. It is anticipated that the new entity will continue to work closely with each association to identify a cutover date that will meet the needs of the association and its members.
    11. Will current calREDD® contract pricing terms be honored by the proposed entity? Yes. Under the proposed structure, participating AORs would be asked to join the new entity as Class A members. Although the pricing terms of their agreements would be honored, some of the non-pricing terms would be modified to reflect that association’s change from being a calREDD® distributor to a Class A member of the new entity.
    12. Will the calREDD® MLS rules be changed? It is anticipated that the proposed entity will adopt the CARETS MLS Rules and Regulations. calREDD® previously announced its intent to participate in the CARETS initiative and participation in CARETS requires adoption of CARETS MLS Rules and Regulations. Both the calREDD® and CARETS MLS Rules and Regulations are very similar and largely follow the C.A.R. Model MLS Rules and Regulations.
    13. What will be the name of the proposed entity? That has not yet been determined.
    14. What is the status of the calREDD® MLS software system? The calREDD® software system was initially developed by Concentric Software LLC. calREDD® has acquired exclusive rights in California to the software system and has assumed its operation and development. The software is now actively deployed in eight associations.
    15. Will C.A.R. be asked to provide additional funding for this initiative? Although approximately $500,000 remains on the $3 million line of credit that was granted to calREDD® by the C.A.R. board of directors in 2008, it is anticipated that calREDD® will be asking for an extension in the amount of $750,000 as part of the motions to approve the overall transaction. These funds will be used for integration of the calREDD® databases into the CARETS database, further committed software development, and other transition related expenses.

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  3. What an incredible waste of members money. CAR should instead be rebating some of the $20+ million it has in its reserves. I challenge the Directors to hold CAR accountable for this disaster.

    It’s an insult to provide the Directors with this incredible amount of information just days before the CAR meetings start. How can any of them provide a reasonably informed vote?? It’s all setup to be a rubber stamp. This additional funding sounds like MRIS (the CARETS vendor, and large regional MLS in the lower northeast run by David Charron) is making out like a bandit on the fees they are going to be charging that is part of the additional funding CAR is requesting.

    WOW! $3.75 million of members money to be flushed down the toilet.

  4. Looks like sunshine got the spin ball rolling…go girl go!!

    So, 1.4 million for calredd cohorts to meander around the countryside selling their wares and almost a million for their buddies to develop software that we all know is kaput.

    Desperate people do desperate things especially when the money is running out…just wonder who will be around to pay it all back when calredd finally admits defeat?

  5. The directors have been kept well informed of the negotiations all along, they have been given much more time to review the documents than our state and federal senators and representatives take to pass laws. The folks at CAR and calREDD have been open, transparent and willing to answer any of the hard questions, there is nothing secret or underhanded going on. It looks like the spin is being done by those who feel threatened by the new kid on the block.

    It takes an incredible amount of money to do research and development, this is a bargain considering the major programming that had to be written. The investment will be returned to CAR, besides competition is good. The MLS industry has been sitting on its assets sucking up our dollars giving us mediocre service till calREDD came along and shook everyone up. Virtually nothing was spent on research and development till now. calREDD is not perfect yet but it definitely is shaking things up. Thank you calREDD!

  6. @Sunshine I’m not sure I understand how calREDD “shook everyone up”. Unless you are talking about the agents in Fresno and Lake Country who were given a half-baked MLS solution. They were shook up alright. Also what “research and development” do you speak of? calREDD was supposed to be a ready for market, state of the art MLS solution. Why use their own members as guinea pigs for “research and development”?

  7. The MLS venders are definitely shook up and are now starting to get into the 21st century with newer technology because of calREDD. Paragon is about a year away from a new platform, Rapattoni is also in the R and D mode. I do understand that calREDD did approach each of them originally but they were not interested in working with them so they had to start from scratch. That takes money, lots of it and I’m sure that it can all be accounted for. The MLS vendors have now taken notice and are talking to calREDD because thy can see that they will have to deal with them in the future.

    Fresno is back on the waiting list, the majority of the agents in Lake County as well as Madera Association of REALTORS® (Live as of August, 2009), Chico Association of REALTORS® (January 25, 2010), Oroville Association of REALTORS® (January 25, 2010), Paradise Association of REALTORS® (January 25, 2010), Mariposa County Board of REALTORS (April 26, 2010) are not having the exaggerated problems that Susie Q has alluded to. Most everyone else is busy trying to make a living and can care less about the politics. This is also shown by the underwhelming response to this thread.

    Was there going to be growing pains? Sure. Did the smaller MLS’s have to go through them? Unfortunately yes, they were on the bleeding edge of this technology. Were they rewarded for their efforts? Of course, with lower costs and customized features. Soon with the integration of MRMLS we will all be able to enjoy other operating systems as well.

    Much of the hype in Lake County is coming from broker owners of BAREIS in Sonoma County who are threatened by calREDD being so close. They are holding their listing data hostage from their own agents keeping them from moving to another service and have made an agreement with their service provider Rapattoni not to allow Lake County to even use Rappatoni as their service provider. BAREIS was a member of the MLS Alliance which allowed data share with Lake County but pulled out of it the day Lake County went to calREDD. They are forcing Lake County agents to join BAREIS if they want to display their listings in BAREIS, another reason for a state wide MLS. There has been a consistent effort by BAREIS to sabotage calREDD’s efforts in Lake County and understandably so. If calREDD were successful that means that the hand full of brokers who own BAREIS would loose money and possibly control of the data.

    It is highly doubtful that the calREDD program itself has caused anyone to loose business though some have claimed so such as Susie Q. Everyone else is on the same playing field. Most of the problems are from agent error or equipment that needed to be upgraded or tuned up. For example, when using Paragon agents had to “dummy down” their systems so that Paragon could work. It only worked on Windows Explorer and that couldn’t be upgraded. Now with calREDD agents can operate on Macs as well as PCs, Firefox, Chrome as well as Explorer.

    You may try to ignore it, belittle it, say it’s no good, its junk, its a bad idea, it won’t work, that it’s a beta site or what every else you want, one things for sure, the idea is catching on and it is here to stay.

  8. One this is for sure, MRMLS is here to stay. As Greg Larson has said, MLSs should be left to those who know how to manage MLSs, and here we are.

  9. The comments regarding the Paragon MLS System in Sunshine’s post are in error. Paragon 5 (P5), which includes cross browser compatibility, browser independence, along with many more enhancements is NOT a year away. To ensure the best user experience, we are releasing Paragon 5 in a phased approach and allowing our MLS Customers’ Staff and Leadership to preview all phases of P5 prior to delivery to their members.

    Paragon 5 Phase 1 was delivered to MLS Staff in February 2010 and the first part of three segments of Phase 2 was delivered in May 2010. We anticipate all of Phase 2, which includes the bulk of agent (end user) functionality, to be completed by July 2010 and Phase 3 by August 2010. Once all phases have been fully released and previewed by MLS Staff and Leadership, we will work with them to determine best options for releasing Paragon 5 to their members. Since P5 was designed to maximize the value of the enhancements and minimize the cost and effort to migrate from P4 to P5, there are no database changes required. As such, once all functionality is delivered, our clients can manage their transitions at their own pace.

  10. welllllllllll…with calREDD you can do multiple searches, it will spoon feed your baby, fry up the bacon, spit out dollar bills and tuck you in at night. Right? At least that’s what we’ve been told!!! AND…it will save us alllllll this time and effort while using it!! It’s magical!!
    Now…let’s talk turkey…I got some land down in FLA … wanna talk?

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