Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Black Knight partners with…Zillow?

Bridge Interactive and Black Knight Financial Services Announce New Alliance to Provide Advanced Data Management Services to Paragon MLS Users
Paragon MLS users now have access to RESO-compliant listing input data management tools and services

“Paragon users looking for advanced functionality can now leverage Bridge Interactive’s set of management tools, including Contact, Cheque, as well as Compose, Bridge’s solution for listing input. Both Paragon and Compose fully support the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) RETS Update standard, and together they can provide a standards-based listing input alternative.

In addition, Black Knight has leveraged Bridge Interactive’s Contact product as part of its Property Information Central (PIC) solution. PIC is an aggregated, standardized database of listings from Black Knight MLS users and provides RESO Data Dictionary-certified data sets. It provides data distribution capabilities using RETS 1.8 and the new RESO WebAPI. Black Knight MLS users leveraging PIC have been certified by RESO for Data Dictionary and WebAPI compliance.”

Did anyone else find it kind of odd that they buried the Zillow name a bit? I gotta admit this whole press release was a bit of head scratcher for me at first. But I’m starting to put some of the pieces together, but that I’ll save for another post.


13ef3cdAfter 8 years at Black Knight (formerly LPS) Rich Lull has left the building. I’m not sure the management at Black Knight knows what that means, but I’m pretty certain they will look back at that day as deflection point.

The first deflection point is when Rich walked in to the building. That was some 8 years ago. The previous year they lost about 10 accounts and their Paragon MLS system was widely regulated to smaller MLS markets.

Enter Rich. He and the team went to work. And over the next few years they added about 85,000 customers to Paragon and some of the largest MLS markets in the industry; GAMLS, Sandicor, Vancouver BC to name a few. (And some are yet to be announced.)

His legacy includes 4 straight years on the top of Clareity Consulting’s Satisfaction Survey. Not bad. And its hard to find anyone that’s not more respected in the industry.

What I don’t think many companies understand is while any person may be replaceable, that’s not so for a true leader.

And now Rich is a free agent. And just when the MLS industry is starting to shake up. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

NEREN chooses Black Knight

New England Real Estate Network Selects Black Knight’s Paragon MLS System

Black Knight Financial Services (NYSE: BKFS) announced today that the New England Real Estate Network (NEREN), serving approximately 8,300 real estate professionals in New Hampshire and Vermont, signed a multi-year agreement to implement Black Knight’s Paragon MLS system.

NEREN conducted an in-depth product analysis of Paragon MLS and selected the system because of its flexibility, ease of use, customizable features, continual enhancements and integration with public records information. Paragon has received the top ranking in the annual Clareity Consulting MLS Customer Satisfaction Survey for the past three years, and recently was installed in numerous MLS organizations that selected Paragon MLS as their system of choice.

8,300 agents. Nice win. Congrats!

Rapattoni confirms separate front end system in the works.

Rapattoni confirmed was I reported a couple weeks ago.

Rapattoni Corporation Announces Next Generation MLS Software

“Rapattoni’s new MLS will separate the front end user interface from the back end database, offering unparalleled flexibility in meeting the evolving needs of real estate associations and their members. This versatile architecture will allow MLSs to pull listing data from multiple sources and present it in a single interface, enabling the new Rapattoni MLS to integrate seamlessly with Project Upstream, AMP, and other emerging technologies while leveraging industry standards such as the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) Data Dictionary.”

A few things I’ve been thinking since learning about this.

1. Upstream/AMP is really causing a lot of consternation in the MLS community.

2. “Front End” is now a thing. While Black Knight’s announcement is more of a parallel MLS system, SFAR is working on a front end solution (more about that in a later post) and you could even argue that MRIS/TREND initiative is a direct response to Upstream (or at least to brokers) plus I haven’t been shy talking about our upcoming new product, Cloud MLX.

3. Its still early, but I think there is going to be a lot of innovation in this space.

CRMLS adds Paragon MLS to give broker and agents two MLS systems to choose from.

From Black Knight Financial Services:
California Regional MLS Adds Black Knight’s Paragon Platform Allowing Brokers and Agents Front-End MLS System of Choice.

““It is time to break through the barrier of being limited to one MLS platform,” said CRMLS CEO Art Carter. “We have wanted to do this for some time, and we are pleased to form this partnership with the Black Knight Paragon team. Our industry is constantly evolving, and we need to be more responsive to agents, brokers and consumers who are redefining the way they work. The result of this project will give our members better choices as the vendors vie for user selection.”

Very interesting news from CRMLS. A few initial thoughts…

1. There’s a bit of wordplay in the headline. This isn’t a “front end” per se, but a full blown MLS system. So effectively CRMLS will have two MLS systems running in parallel, Paragon and Matrix. In a previous post Rapattoni announced they were working towards separating the front end from the back end. Black Knight isn’t saying that here.

2. What Art Carter, CRMLS CEO, is doing by this move is effectively taking the “MLS conversion” question off the table. Keep in mind CRMLS’ mission is a statewide MLS.

“Are you on Matrix? No problem!” or “Are you on Paragon? No problem!”

To his south is San Diego (SANDICOR MLS) which is on Paragon. Check. To the north is Silicon Valley, MLS Listings which is on Matrix. Check. 3 other large associations in the Bay Area (CCAOR, Bay East, EBRDI) are on Paragon. Check. That’s the vast a majority of the agents in California. Checkmate? It’s still too early to say, but a super smart move by CRMLS.

3. Don’t forget about San Francisco AOR and MetroList Services (Sacramento, CA). Both are on Rapattoni’s MLS platform. MetroList Services is the largest MLS by geography in California (Sacramento and Central Valley). SFAR is rumored to be working on their own alternative MLS system as well.

4. You gotta give it up for Rich Lull and the team at Black Knight, super big win for them.

As an MLS geek I’m just super excited to see how all these moves play out. Some exciting times ahead!

Clareity MLS Executive Workshop highlights 2015

A few things I wanted to highlight about last week’s Clareity MLS Executive Workshop in Scottsdale, AZ last week. First off Gregg and his entire team did an amazing job. The content was fantastic and they managed to keep the conversation above the salacious syndication war between MOVE and Zillow Group narrative that has been floating around.

But, one of my takeaways about the Zillow Vs MOVE thing was how it effects other players, notably Homes.com. Seems like an opportunity for these guys. When I asked Andy Woolley, now Industry Relations at Homes.com. Andy was quick to point out that while they don’t, and won’t possibly ever have as much traffic as ZTR, they were focusing a lot on “quality”. Meaning the “quality” of leads coming through Homes.com. I was sent a screen shot of a ListHub report (from the Houston market) that seemed to prove that out.

Homes.com lead ratio

Yes, I know their total detail views is much smaller, but their lead ratio is crazy good.

HAR .08%
Zillow .06%
realtor.com .03%
Trulia .019%
Homes.com .97%

The other thing was the direct feed count. Check out this slide.

Direct Feed Count

Homes.com has 400 direct feeds from MLS providers. 400 freaking hundred. Zillow Group isn’t even close. Great lead ratio, huge direct feed count, you gotta wonder what that is worth to someone.

On another topic, was the release of the MLS Satisfaction survey. Here’s the results of the “End User Satisfaction.”

MLS Satisfaction Survey

Looking at MLS Vendors with more than 2 customers it appears that Black Knight and FBS still dominate the top two spots above their competition. Kudos to both of them.

Thanks again to Gregg, Matt and the rest of the Clareity team. We are always thrilled to participate. And I hope you enjoyed the Cloud Streams t-shirts. They look great!

Chip McAvoy Joins Black Knight’s MLS Division

I tweeted about this awhile back.

But now its official!

Chip McAvoy Joins Black Knight’s MLS Division as Vice President of Emerging Products and Technology

“During his career, McAvoy has held positions in both development and management for real estate software firms, where he has been instrumental in delivering solutions for agents, brokers and other real estate professionals. He has product experience with MLS Platforms, agent and broker websites, customer relationship management (CRM) applications, data sharing, document and transaction management, and more.”

Nice get for Black Knight. You have to wonder whether Ben Graboske has his eyes on anyone else?

I had also heard that John Koch, who did a lot of CoreLogic’s RETS and data work has left the company. Not to a competitor, but to open a Brewery in Montana. Sounds like it was a tough decision. ; )

Congrats to Chip on his new gig!

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