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The Upstream Shift: Pivot or Reveal?

by Greg Robertson on May 26th, 2017

Many thanks to our very first sponsor, Centralized Showing Services (CSS)!

Just when you thought the Upstream shift might foster a new spirit of collaboration in the real estate industry, the guns were drawn again with NAR CEO Dale Stinton’s combative rhetoric, as NAR approved an additional $9 million in funding for the scaled back version of Upstream at the Realtors Legislative Meetings in D.C.

Today Rob and Greg talk about the fallout from the Upstream announcement and subsequent doubling down by Stinton at the board meeting that followed. As always, our illustrious hosts each have a unique take on the motives of NAR and how Upstream’s CEO might approach his role moving forward.

Listen in as they discuss the ambiguity around the project now that Upstream will allow brokers to enter their listings into their MLSs and how the change in tactics will affect particular industry players. Click to learn how the antagonistic framing of the big announcement further divided the vendors and MLSs from the brokerages, when it might have been an opportunity to mend fences.

What’s Discussed: 

The three-part Upstream bombshell (dropped at NAR’s Midyear)
– The so-called pivot
– Blaming the vendors
– ‘Live demo’ controversy
Rob’s theory re: the motivation for Upstream
– Planned syndication from the start
– Working to regain control of lead gen
NAR and Upstream’s missed opportunity to generate a spirit of collaboration
The purchase of ListHub as an alternative to Upstream
How eliminating a single point of entry makes Upstream a simple listing syndication dashboard
The industry skepticism around Upstream’s transparency and NAR’s motives
Why Upstream is a top priority for brokerages
How Upstream’s messaging has evolved over time
– Syndication
– Multiple inputs
– Blending data
– Cyber terrorism
Why Zillow is feared by brokerages, MLSs and associations
Zillow’s capability to provide a data management solution
The inflammatory language used by the NAR CEO Dale Stinton (e.g.: vendors and MLSs as ‘cartel’)
The ambiguity of Upstream moving forward
– Still building listing module?
– Just another option?
The Upstream pivot as a win for Zillow
Why Zillow may have purchased Bridge Interactive
How Upstream drove MLSs into the arms of Zillow
The likelihood of a continued alliance between Zillow and MLSs to fight NAR
How Upstream CEO Alex Lange might approach his role moving forward
Post-pivot licensing issues for Upstream


Centralized Showing Service (CSS)
NAR Bets on Upstream with Additional $9M in Funding’ by Andrea Brambila

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website
Greg’s Website

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