Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

RIP Bob Offut

Scott Quinn let me know that an industry innovator recently passed, and I asked me if he wrote something, would I post it on Vendor Alley. It’s my honor Scott.

Bob Offut

The MLS industry lost one of its early pioneers this week.  Bob Offutt was an advertising sales rep who moved from Louisville KY to Greensboro, NC in 1969. Bob was amazed there was no homes magazine in Greensboro for the public to look at houses for sale.  He quickly decided he would start a company to solve that problem and in 1971, he started Offutt Publishing.  In short order, Bob was doing homes magazines in many east coast cities then started printing MLS books.  His homes magazine and MLS book publishing company was growing rapidly and the company employed lots of folks working 3 shifts per day.
 
In 1979, the company delivered its first “on-line” MLS system which was based on IBM Series 1 computers.  The company was very successful selling their new “on-line” MLS system which delivered the blazing speed of 300 baud on the famous TI 745 paper terminals.
 
In 1999 the company delivered one of the first internet-based MLS systems and had great success selling that system for many years.  In 2006, Mr. Offutt sold his company to First American and enjoyed many great years of travel and retirement with his wife Lois and his family.
 
Bob was a fun-loving guy so as made famous by the old Budweiser commercial, let’s just say, Bob, we salute you, you were a “Real man of Genius”  
 
To Bob Offutt, thanks for all your contributions to the MLS industry and may you RIP.

Scott Quinn
  1. Thanks to Mr. O for everything you contributed to the industry and I’m personally thankful for the many opportunities you granted me when I first entered the working world as without that I wouldn’t be where I am today! Cheers to all the fun memories we made.

  2. Mr Offutt (and the whole InnoVia crew really), had a major impact on my career and life goals. He had a great blend of old and new school and taught us all the value of hard work and determination. He wasn’t shy about having a bit of fun and created a generation of industry vets.

  3. Bob’s dedication and hard work created a company that provided opportunities for hundreds of people, many of whom are still significantly contributing to the industry today. His legacy lives on in the products, services, and innovation of those who “learned the ropes” in his organization. May he rest in peace.

  4. Bob Offutt took a leap of faith in hiring me in Oct 1981 to sell MLS Books. I was stoked to get the opportunity to rep for Offutt Publishing, Inc. with assigned accounts and later the next year, getting the op to sell the On-Line system Bob developed in 1979. Traveling to SF in 1982, LAS in 1983 and HNL in 1984 for NAR were landmark travel events with the Bob Offutt team. Met 40-yr friend Yvette Acuff during this time when OPI introduced photos via Laser Disc as part of the MLS system in Hilton Head that made the Wall Street Journal – he was truly an early innovator!

    May I extend my sincerest condolences to Lois Offutt and daughters Lisa and Kim.

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