Skip to content

Remine CEO Mark Schacknies out as company goes through customer buy out.

by Greg Robertson on October 19th, 2021

4 multiple listing services unite to acquire Remine, replace CEO

It worked!

Four of the nation’s largest multiple listing services are acquiring real estate software company Remine and replacing its CEO, Mark Schacknies, the MLSs announced Friday.

The four MLSs — the Austin Board of Realtors’ ACTRIS MLS, First MLS in Atlanta, Heartland MLS in Kansas City and Miami Realtors’ MLS — formed a joint venture incorporated on Oct. 4 called MLS Technology Holdings LLC in an effort to acquire Remine and for potential future investments, Austin Board of Realtors CEO Emily Chenevert told Inman.

Lots to unpack here, but the article on Inman News is a must-read. Here are a few takeaways…

In the hottest real estate market ever, and where “proptech” is all the rage, with weekly deals being announced of companies fetching 100s of millions of dollars from VC/PE firms, Remine couldn’t raise another dime? Instead, they are sold at what I’m sure were basement prices (their value was already cut in half last year according to the article) to a consortium of their own customers? Yikes!

Super smart to put Emily Chenevert and Liz Sturrlock in charge and remove Mark Schacknies as CEO. And speaking of Mr. Schacknies, I love this little exchange in the Inman News story regarding Remine’s alleged “Bro Culture”

“For his part, Schacknies said that by the time Inman’s article [Bro culture run amok: Remine’s ‘unprofessional’ work environment] was published, “it was somewhat ‘old news’ internally. We had addressed it already and done significant work with internal and external partners to strengthen our team.

The Slack screenshots were from 2019 and had been circulating for several months among Remine’s employees before Inman published its story. Schacknies declined to comment on why the executive team did not commit to and undergo sensitivity training before Inman published its story.”

Sick burn. Andrea Brambila does not suffer fools lightly. Also, why all the secrets?

“Chenevert declined to discuss who Remine’s previous investors were or their ownership stakes, whether the deal involves any earnouts whereby the sellers would earn additional compensation if the business achieves certain financial goals, the implied valuation of the company, and whether investors lost or netted money in the deal.”

While I think they are a lot of smart people that I respect as part of this consortium there is very little (none?) transparency of what were the reasons why, who got what, or what happens next. Lots of “declined to comment”. Hopefully, that will change and their respective members will have a better idea of how their money was spent.

And what about the rank and file employees? I doubt any of them received a nickel from this deal. And that might cause a problem. Remine WAS a start-up, you attract talent at a startup by offering employees the potential of huge upside in the form of ownership via options or equity. Every vendor I know is having trouble attracting talent, the 40 + engineers working at Remine know there are better deals out there and might not want to a work for a consortium run by their own customers. That’s not sexy.

It will also be interesting to see who their pick for the CEO might be. My guess would be Tim Dain, but who knows.

Finally, nobody knows what this means industry-wide. Do these 4 MLS providers get better/additional service/pricing than the other MLS providers? Do Remine’s other MLS customers become some sort of second-class citizens? How will MLS vendors and other industry tech providers look at this move? It might put them in direct competition with their very own customers. Is that a good thing?

I would chalk up this move as a response to the “acquisition anxiety” many MLS organizations are feeling. But making decisions based on fear is never a good thing. My guess is that real soon these 4 organizations are going to have some tough decisions coming up.

I can tell you from experience, that running a successful real estate software business isn’t easy. It’s hard.

The struggle is real.

From → News

One Comment
  1. David Anderson permalink

    “I can tell you from experience, that running a successful real estate software business isn’t easy. It’s hard.”

    Ain’t that the truth.

Comments are closed.