Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

SentriLock and NAR deal turns 20

SentriLock Celebrates 20Years as Official Lockbox Solution of the National Association of REALTORS®

“SentriLock began when Scott Fisher, founder and CEO of SentriLock, with his partners, was working on improving the existing lockbox solution used by real estate agents. As the first working prototypes were being assembled, NAR made the decision to respond to member dissatisfaction of having only one lockbox solution and purchased majority interest in SentriLock. SentriLock and its new lockbox made its debut at the NAR Leadership Summit in August 2003 and, with its return to the Summit this year, SentriLock celebrates 20 years as the NAR’s official lockbox solution allowing REALTORS® to “Unlock their potential”.

Scott’s contribution to the industry goes even farther back to PC Access, which was an earlier competitor of mine (Lightning -Easy MLS Access) in the pre-internet days. Many years later Scott and I had a chance to sit down at lunch and talk about the old days of VT-100n, Moore Data, PRC, and BORIS. Congrats.

MRED adds Paragon Connect

MRED adds Black Knight’s Paragon Connect as MLS platform; expands suite of options for brokers

“MRED’s nearly 50,000 subscribers can anticipate gaining access to Paragon Connect in early 2024. The front end will be offered in addition to connectMLS.  

“As the MRED marketplace expands, we want to provide additional choices to our subscribers,” said MRED President and CEO Rebecca Jensen. “Each of the brokerages we serve is unique. Providing multiple ways to access and enter data allows them the ability to better customize their MLS experience.”  

MRED offers over two dozen products and services to brokers located in Illinois and surrounding states. MRED chose Paragon Connect due to feedback from our marketplace.”

Big win for Black Knight. And turning the tables a bit by putting some pressure on dynaConnections.

I was intrigued by Black Knight’s press release titled, MIDWEST REAL ESTATE DATA (MRED) SELECTS PARAGON CONNECT MLS FROM BLACK KNIGHT AS A PLATFORM OF CHOICE.

“Platform of choice”? What’s “Platform of choice”? I really hadn’t heard that term before, and it certainly isn’t on my “Speaking MLS” post but I’m going to add it, here why.

In the parlance of MLS Vendors like Black Knight, “System of Choice” really only meant “search of choice”. The big difference is that with “Platform of Choice” the alternative MLS system (in this case Paragon Connect) also has its own add/edit functionality. Which for an alternative MLS system is great because otherwise agent/members could only enter listings in to the primary/incumbent MLS system. By also allowing add/edit in the alternative MLS system this essentially levels the playing field so that agent members can also input listings in the new MLS system.

Obviously one reason (biggest reason?) MRED is adding Paragon Connect is to make it easier for neighboring MLS organizations to join MRED without the burden of learning a new MLS system. I don’t believe we have seen a situation where an alternative MLS system comes in and then over time takes over as the primary MLS system in regard to usage. I also haven’t seen an MLS organization shut down alternative MLS Systems once they have merged with another MLS/Assn. but I think this would be easier to do.

Paragon Connect has been getting some good reviews, but it’s going to take more than a new UI/UX differentiation to lure existing MRED users to their platform. I have some ideas. But that’s for another post.

CRMLS partners with Local Logic

California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS) Announces Agreement with Local Logic

“By working with Local Logic, CRMLS continues to expand our mission to provide as much property-centric data to our users by offering the most innovative data solutions,” said CRMLS CEO Art Carter. “Local Logic’s industry-leading data will provide our users with a competitive edge and empower them with incredibly comprehensive information that goes far beyond basics of a property.”

“CRMLS is known for its innovation and providing its users with industry-leading technology solutions to power their work,” said Vincent-Charles Hodder, CEO and co-founder of Local Logic. “We’re so excited to bring the power of our data insights to CRMLS users and clients.”

Local Logic has been on a roll lately. They seemingly have everything related to a property including demographics, location scores, neighborhood profiles, points of interest along with school and climate data. From the press release, this data will be available from CRMLS multiple MLS systems.

MLSListings adds Prospects CRM as a new member benefit

MLSListings Delivers CoreLogic’s Prospects CRM as a New, Included Benefit to its ~17,000 Subscribers

“We are bolstering our agent tech stack by making a top-shelf CRM solution available to our subscribers that offers easy onboarding and time-saving integrations with other CoreLogic solutions, including MatrixTM and the MLS-Touch® mobile app, said Dave Wetzel, President and CEO of MLSListings. “Prospects CRM gives our members a powerful new tool that will help them manage clients in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

Adding a CRM as an MLS member benefit is a relatively new thing. Although C.A.R. recently added LionDesk at a state level. Integrating with MLS client portals seems to be a no-brainer. Interesting to see how far this trend goes.

CRS continues growth and adds 5 new customers

CRS Data’s Leading MLS Tax Suite Welcomes Five New Customers

“We are thrilled to welcome these five new customers to CRS Data’s MLS Tax Suite,” said Sara Cooper, executive vice president of the MLS Market. “In everything we do, we strive to give our customers the best in digital property data and robust, intuitive tools that will help them succeed. We are excited about this opportunity to build new relationships and discover fresh ways to elevate the experience for our users.”

5 new customers in the past 6 months is pretty impressive. Congrats CRS.

The MLS™/CLAW goes Plunk

The MLS™/CLAW Partners with Plunk to Power Agents with Real-time Home Analytics Platform

Plunk, the first real-time analytics platform for residential real estate, today announced a partnership with The MLS/CLAW, a leading multiple listing service in Southern California and next-generation software company, to provide its 20,000 members with access to real-time and dynamic home valuation tools.”

Rob Hahn and I interviewed David Bluhm (co-founder of Plunk) on our podcast Industry Relations. Plunk has some pretty big goals and while I think nothing beats the eyes, ears, and nose of a good real estate agent when it comes to home valuations Plunk tools may offer supplemental data points to help them in their jobs as real estate agents.

Redfin partners with Down Payment Resource

Redfin Launches Down Payment Assistance Feature to Help Make Homeownership More Attainable

“Nearly half of Americans who have never owned a home say that saving money for a down payment is a barrier to homeownership, and many young people in particular feel like they’ll never be able to own a home,” said Christian Taubman, Redfin’s chief growth officer. “Down payment assistance programs can make homeownership more attainable, but information about them is often fragmented and hard to understand. We saw a big opportunity in partnering with Down Payment Resource to raise awareness about these programs to help more people become homeowners.”

Love this! Congrats Rob.

RentSpree raises $17M in Series B round

Security deposit: $17M to bolster RentSpree’s leasing solutions

“Several funds contributed to the fast-growing technology company, but Green Visor Capital took the lead position.

Others adding to the round include Rally Ventures, the California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.), Venture MLS, ECG-Research, KEC Ventures and Gaingels, with participation from existing investors 645 Ventures and Vesta Ventures, the release stated.

Congrats to Michael and his team. Pretty tough environment and they made it happen. They also just announced a deal with the Miami Association of REALTORS.

GAMLS chooses connectMLS

Georgia MLS Partners with dynaConnections to Provide connectMLS™

“Real estate professionals across Georgia will soon benefit from dynaConnections’ top-rated MLS platform, connectMLS. Designed with the end user in mind, connectMLS’s intuitive, feature-rich, and mobile-friendly solution provides Georgia MLS members an additional suite of tools to efficiently collaborate with their buying and selling clients.”

Big win for dynaConnections. Not clear whether this is a “system of choice” play or full conversion. The stated launch date is March.

Huge congrats to Tim and the rest of the dynaConnections team!

CoStar set to acquire Homesnap for 250 million in cash

CoStar Group Agrees to Acquire Homesnap, a Digital Residential Real Estate Solutions Provider Used by 300,000 Agents Responsible for More Than Half of All US Residential Real Estate Sales

“Homesnap has great relationships, data, software, and tools for residential real estate professionals that are complementary to our existing offerings,” continued Florance. “The tools and functionality developed by Homesnap for residential property agents, such as lead generation, client collaboration, and digital advertising, have direct applicability to commercial brokers. Our goal is to make these enhanced capabilities available to all of our audiences. Combining forces with Homesnap is also expected to enable us to expand and deepen our collaboration with MLSs nationwide. A very large percentage of CoStar’s clients such as investors, banks, government agencies, appraisers, suppliers, and brokerage firms are active in both commercial and residential real estate, so we believe that they would welcome a more comprehensive solution for their needs across all real estate segments.”

The consolidation trend continues as larger players recognize the power of access to agent tools and partnerships. The deal is listed for $250 million in cash, Homesnap had received at least $32 million in venture capital funding.

No mention of the Broker Public Portal (BPP) by name in the press release. But a huge part of the stated “45%” growth, is due to the participation of MLS providers/brokers across the country, which also gave them access to a lot of top-line revenue via advertising.

The ownership structure of BPP has always been a bit murky to me, but hopefully, those MLS providers and brokers participating in the BPP will get some checks in the mail.

CoStar is essentially a private MLS and exerts massive control of the commercial real estate market. Not clear what CoStar’s play is here, other than diversification, as the commercial market starts to face major challenges due to COVID-19.

Big congrats to Guy Wolcott and John Mazur and the rest of the Homesnap team. From Sawbuck Realty to CoStar is quite a journey. This sale is a testament to their ability to execute on a vision. Well done.

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