Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

N.A.R. should steal this idea

Charles “Chuck” Williams, CEO & Founder Buyside

America’s Top Real Estate Firms Come Together to Launch the First-Ever National Home Valuation Week in Partnership with Buyside

“After a rapid growth in the network of firms on the Buyside platform adding $54 billion in listing opportunities, the company pushed even harder for more listings and worked with its broker clients to launch the first ever National Home Valuation Week (#NHVW), which begins Monday, September 21st, 2020. Top real estate firms located in the United States will be participating in the event, joining together to promote consumers to check the value of their home though their local broker.”

You know how you are always hearing about “National Puppy Day”, or “National Margarita Day”, well this idea takes a different spin on that and I think it’s genius.

National Home Valuation Week (#NHVM) promotes homeowners to check the value of their home through a local broker/agent. Boom!

With a nationwide housing shortage, this could be a great way to encourage homeowners to consider selling their homes. The best way to make this successful is to increase the coverage.

I’m sure Charles Williams, founder, and CEO of Buyside has trademarked the shit out of this but that doesn’t preclude N.A.R., Zillow, Opendoor, whoever from working towards something that would benefit the entire industry. Chuck’s contact information is listed at the bottom of their press release. Call him. Let’s do this!

Plus, once they get a quick valuation from Buyside and the agent needs a present a full CMA, I know a guy.

Deal to acquire CoreLogic gets sweeter

CoreLogic Target Of Takeover Effort, Gets New, Bigger Offer

???? Developing…

Denee Evans: 2020 Housing Wire Woman of Influence

CMLS CEO, Denee Evans

Denee Evans hit the ground running after joining the Council of Multiple Listing Services in 2014.

“As CEO, Evans emerged as a leader and impassioned champion for her collaborative approach in a highly competitive industry. Evans consistently proved her dedication to clients after she highlighted Multiple Listing Services’ desire to better serve brokers and agents by considering the needs of consumers. Evans deemed the strategic evolution of MLS governance and leadership as essential and led to MLS policy advancement. She made a lasting impact in Nevada by developing a low interest, revolving loan fund for energy efficiency retrofits.”

Pretty cool Denee! Congrats!

Industry Relations Episode 48: Networking in a Virtual World & the 2020 MLS Proptech Symposium

Long-distance relationships are never easy. And if you’re part of the traveling circus that is the real estate conference circuit, you may be struggling to keep your professional relationships going in a virtual environment. Would being an orc help?

In this episode of Industry Relations, Rob and Greg are discussing the current pause in the real estate conference and trade show circuit and mourning the loss of chance meetings that don’t happen in a virtual environment. They explore why massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft work to create community and how real estate might replicate that always-on culture until the conference circuit comes back. 

Rob and Greg go on to cover the challenge of sustaining long-distance relationships in an online world, explaining why we just can’t duplicate face-to-face interaction at virtual events. Listen in for insight on how going virtual is impacting MLSs, associations, and vendors and learn about the possibility for a 2020 MLS Proptech Symposium (which Rob wants to rename to the “2020 MLS Herd Symposium”) that would help sponsors make decisions about the feasibility of their own fiscal events. 

What’s Discussed: 

The current halt to the real estate conference/trade show circuit

What Greg covers in his forthcoming book, The Art of the CMA

The chance meetings that don’t happen in a virtual environment

Why we can’t duplicate face-to-face interaction through virtual events

The challenge of sustaining long-distance business/personal relationships

Why MMO games work to create community + how real estate might replicate that always-on culture

When the real estate conference circuit will come back

The impact of going virtual for MLS and association communities

–Increased engagement and attendance

–Eliminates serendipity of networking

How new vendors might build trust in the absence of in-person interaction

What we can do to gauge circuit response to physical events

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


CMLS 2020

RESO 2020 Fall Conference

Inman Connect 2020

2020 NAR Realtors Conference and Expo

Cover Art Choices for Greg’s Book

Charles Warnock


Second Life


Asheron’s Call


World of Warcraft




Dungeons and Dragons Online



Greg’s Draft Agenda for the 2020 MLS Proptech Symposium ( With Rob Hahn’s suggestions)

Our Sponsors:

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The Art of the CMA

So I wrote a book.  I’m self-publishing it. I’m getting some final feedback on the copy/content and finishing up the images, but in the next few weeks, we will be sending it to the printer.  So, I’m looking for some feedback.

But first, let me tell you a story.  I began writing the book almost two years ago.  One of my favorite artists is John Coltrane.  My son’s name is Cole, which was a compromise I made with my wife. Which should give you an idea of how much of a geek I am.

John Coltrane used to live in Long Island, NY.   MLS of Long Island (MLSLI) holds a tech fair every year in October and his house isn’t far from the hotel I stay in.  So each year I’ve driven by it.  There’s a plaque outside the house that memorializes it. It’s not Graceland or Paisley Park. It’s was just the humble home of a great artist.

For inspiration, I wrote the first words of my book outside that house.  Since then I’ve struggled, started, and stopped multiple times.  Then, last year I was attending a trade show on content marketing in Cleveland and ran into an old colleague/friend of mine, Charles Warnock.  I hired Charles years ago to run marketing at eNeighborhoods and now had a consulting business called Content Marketing Factory. We have been keeping in touch but had a chance to catch up with a couple of drinks at the conference.  Charles mentioned he was co-authoring a book on enterprise innovation and digital transformation. Immediately I told him I was working on a book too, and was having trouble completing it and staying focused.  He was excited by the idea of the book.  So I struck a deal with Charles and he has been invaluable in helping me get the book completed.

So I’ve been working with the graphic designers on my team to create the cover of the book. I’ve decided on a layout and now I’ve narrowed it down to 3 different versions of that layout. So I’m looking for feedback on these three final designs. That’s where you come in.

The name of my book is “The Art of the CMA”. I’ll write more about the concept and content of the book in a later blog post.

Design #1


This the basic layout.  I’m using Neutra (pronounced noy-tra) as the main font.  It’s named for a famous Architect, Richard Neutra. Neutra is used in a lot of signage. It’s the same font I used for our building signage at W+R Studios building and the original W&R Studios buttery soft t-shirts.  I like the fact that the font is tied to dwellings.  The public library in Huntington Beach was designed by him, right before he died and his son took over the project.

The green I use is the same green as Cloud CMA.  But I only mention Cloud CMA once in the book.

The sub-headline “Winning Listings by Mastering Real Estate’s Best Marketing Tool” isn’t final, but I haven’t come up with anything better.

And of course, the illustration is of a house, with a dollar sign symbolizing the value.

Design #2


In this version, we have added multiple colors to the line color of the illustration.  Like an artist’s palette.  The feedback I’ve heard so far is that it looks too close to a company logo during “Pride” month. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Design #3


Here the artist’s palette vibe and color are more prominent and we changed the color of some of the copy.

So there you have it.  I’ve created a quick poll that you can fill out below. Or write something in the comments or just send me an email. I’m beyond excited about this project and happy to have all of you share in its creation.

Elm Street Technology Secures Strategic Investment

Elm Street Technology Secures Strategic Investment By Aquiline Capital Partners

“Elm Street Technology offers a simplified platform called Elevate, for real estate technology and marketing services, that aims to provide a single vendor and point of contact to maximize business leads. The Elevate platform is currently used by tens of thousands of real estate agents, teams and brokerages across the United States. It offers a variety of seamlessly integrated tools including IDX websites, lead generation services, CRM, email, social, text and blog marketing automation, recruiting and retention campaigns, and more, all backed by zealous support and education teams.

“Aquiline is the perfect partner to help Elm Street Technology accelerate its growth strategy,” said Prem Luthra, President and CEO of Elm Street Technology. “With Aquiline, we will be able to broaden and accelerate our sales and marketing capabilities, enhance product development and increase our focus on strategic acquisitions that will allow us to better service the increasing demand for technology to automate and streamline the day-to-day activities of the busy real estate professional.”

Still a lot of appetite for real estate technology companies out there. Congrats to Prem and his team as they continue to grow.

Industry Relations Episode 41: 10 Defining Moments & Trends in the Last Decade of Real Estate

On January 1, 2010, organized real estate was still reeling from the recession. Dale Stinton was steering the ship at NAR. Zillow was seen as the enemy of the MLS. Real estate software was meh. Agent teams were rare. Nearly all brokerages took a split. Selling your house online seemed outrageous. And we still signed documents in pen.

On this episode of Industry Relations, Rob and Greg are looking back at the last 10 years in real estate. They discuss the passing NAR’s MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy, debating the significance of the office exclusives loophole and how it might lead to government involvement. Our hosts also express their disappointment around the Newsday investigation in Long Island, Testing the Divide, challenging brokerage leadership to make a strong statement against the egregious racism it uncovered. 

Greg and Rob go on to share their top 10 defining moments and trends with the biggest impact on the industry over the last decade, describing how the rise of agent teams, 100% commission brokerages, the iBuyer model and consolidation have transformed organized real estate. Listen in for insight into how NAR’s decision to fund RPR and Upstream changed the way the MLS saw Zillow and explore how the space has evolved from 2010 through the end of 2019.

Editor’s Note: We did record an Episode 40 that was never aired. It was about Policy 8.0 but wasn’t ready before the vote. After the vote passed we decided it didn’t add to anything to the issue.

What’s Discussed: 

NAR’s passing of the MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy

Rob & Greg’s take on the Newsday investigation in Long Island

How the loophole in 8.0 could lead to government involvement

The 10 defining trends/events in the last decade of real estate

  1. The end of poorly designed software
  2. The rise and domination of agent teams
  3. The transition in leadership at NAR
  4. Opendoor pioneering the iBuyer model
  5. Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia
  6. 100% commission brokerages
  7. Consolidation and the influx of capital
  8. The practice of buying agents/agent teams
  9. The mainstreaming of digital signatures
  10. NAR’s decision to fund RPR + Upstream

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


MLS Clear Cooperation Policy

Compass Pre-Litigation Letter to Bright MLS

Bright’s Response to Compass

Newsday Documentary: Testing the Divide

Rob’s Blog on the Newsday Piece

1000watt Article on Real Estate Software

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller with Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan

Ben Thompson Interview with Rich Barton

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Vendor Spotlight: Zvi Band’s (CEO of Contactually) new book, “SUCCESS is in your SPHERE” is now available

Writing a book is something I’ve always aspired to and it’s great inspiration to see someone you know accomplish this incredible feat.

As I previously posted Zvi Band, CEO of Contactually, which was just recently acquired by COMPASS, wrote a book, “SUCCESS is in your SPHERE”. That book is now available to order today.

Zvi spent the last 8 years building a CRM company, and before that built a successful consulting career by focusing on relationships. I interviewed him on my podcast Listing Bits early last year. So I can’t think of a better person to put down in words how cultivating relationships can help you achieve success.

I’m anxious to read this book, as I think any vendor or person who values relationships in their business. Congrats to Zvi, I hope you sell a million of them!

See you tomorrow at Inman Connect SF

Dan and I will be attending Inman Connect SF starting tomorrow, until Friday. I will be on stage at 4:40PM Tuesday on the “New Kids On The Block” panel (don’t ask) making a special announcement about Cloud CMA. We are super pumped about this announcement and think its one of the most innovative things we’ve done….ever. So stay tuned, and see you is SF!

CoreLogic is playing chess

Lots of activity in the industry but I’m still thinking about CoreLogic’s acquisition of Clareity. Why? Because I think it was one of the shrewdest deals in a long while. Here’s why.

1. Talent. The talent at Clareity is both wide and deep in industry experience and contacts. In one fell swoop CoreLogic scooped up some of the most talented and well connected people in the industry.

2. That pesky “MLS Customer Satisfaction Survey”. You know the one, where Black Knight and flexMLS were beating them every year? Well its gone baby gone.

3. Speaking of the “MLS Customer Satisfaction Survey”. All that data on their competitors that was aggregated for the survey is now in the hands of Chris Bennett. I’m sure the other MLS vendors will downplay this, but I’m equally sure they would loved it if that data was in their hands.

4. The Clareity Dashboard. Notice that last on my list is the actual product of the company! It’s almost like a bonus. And having a product that is a gateway to all other products in the industry is a nice place to sit.

Other things I’m hearing…

Troy Rech is now head of MLS sales. And Lucie Fortier, is returning back to CoreLogic after a short stint at Remine. Nice moves.

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