Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Listing Bits Podcast: Elevating Women in Real Estate – with Lauren Martin of RentSpree

Lauren Martin began her career in the fashion industry to be among powerful women.

But when she transitioned to proptech, she realized that real estate is the true pinnacle of girl power. And yet, women are not always represented in leadership.

So, when she landed her current role as Senior Account Director of Partnerships at RentSpree, Lauren approached her CEO about creating RENEW, the Real Estate Network for Empowered Women, an initiative that seeks to connect and champion female professionals across all sectors of the industry nationwide.

On this episode of Listing Bits, Lauren shares her journey from the fashion industry to proptech, describing how what she learned in fashion translates to real estate.

Lauren discusses her role at RentSpree, explaining how the platform partners with MLSs and other proptech companies to streamline the rental process—in a way that serves real estate agents and renters.

Listen in for insight on what inspired Lauren to build RENEW and learn how you can get involved in her initiative to elevate women in real estate!

What’s Discussed:  

How Lauren was poached from a catering company to work in sales at Remine

What Lauren learned in the fashion industry that translates to real estate and proptech

Lauren’s insight on approaching uncomfortable conversations with humor

Lauren’s experiences working with MLS professionals who champion each other

How RentSpree partners with MLSs and proptech companies to streamline the rental process

The revenue sharing model at RentSpree and how MLSs benefit from it

How REALTORS benefit from building relationships with renters early in their housing journey

Lauren’s role handling both MLS and proptech partnerships at RentSpree

Lauren’s best travel hacks for real estate professionals

What inspired Lauren to start the RENEW initiative to elevate women in real estate

Connect with Lauren:

RentSpree

Lauren on LinkedIn

Email laurenm@rentspree.com

RENEW Initiative

The RENEW Podcast by RentSpree

Resources:

Remine

Project Runway

Vendor Alley

SentriLock

Rent the Runway

Teresa King Kinney & Liz Sturrock on The RENEW Podcast EP001

Betsy Hanson of Markt on Listing Bits EP078

Our Sponsor:Cloud CMA for Brokers

Listing Bits Podcast: Pooling Resources & Expertise Among MLSs – with Betsy Hanson of Markt

From a vendor’s perspective, small MLSs are the most challenging to work with. And that’s no surprise, seeing as how they have fewer resources than the big players in the space.

So, how do we support MLSs with fewer than 400 members in keeping up with NAR rules, for example? Is there a way MLSs might share marketing, support, and compliance services in a way that makes the market work better for all involved?

Betsy Hanson is General Manager and General Counsel at Markt, a multi-MLS service organization focused on pooling resources and expertise to serve MLSs, brokers, and agents. 

On this episode of Listing Bits, Betsy shares her journey from an executive assistant at a small association to her current role at Markt, describing how she avoids the attorney’s reputation as the Department of No.

Betsy offers her take on what organized real estate is missing about the life and times of an ordinary REALTOR, why the average agent doesn’t understand the lawsuits facing the industry, and how those lawsuits might change the way we do things moving forward.

Listen in to understand how Markt works as an MLS back-office provider and learn how Betsy and her team are uniquely positioned to help MLSs of all sizes with local market delivery.

What’s Discussed:  

Betsy’s journey from an executive assistant at a small association to General Counsel at Markt

What differentiates the role of executive assistant from that of the chief of staff

How Betsy avoids the attorney’s reputation as the Department of No

Betsy’s experience teaching English in China between undergrad and law school

What organized real estate is missing about the life and times of an ordinary REALTOR

Why the average REALTOR-on-the-street doesn’t know about the lawsuits facing the industry

How public perception of REALTORS remains positive despite lawsuits around compensation

Betsy’s predictions re: how the lawsuits facing organized real estate might play out

How Markt began as a way for MLSs to pool support resources and create efficiencies

Markt’s potential to solve the challenge small MLSs face in keeping up with NAR rules

Connect with Betsy:

Markt

Email betsy@themarkt.com

Resources:

Notorious ROB

Industry Relations Podcast

Turn On by 1000watt

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Listing Bits Episode 77: Using Showing Data to Guide Decision-Making with Wes Hartman of Showingly

Most showing management software aggregates data. But how useful is it to get a report at the end of the month? 

What if the data was presented in a way that helped agents answer seller questions in real time and make informed choices based on the numbers? 

Wes Hartman is CEO of Showingly, a showing management solution that uses data and analytics to guide better decision-making. 

On this episode of Listing Bits, Wes walks us through the key metrics Showingly looks at to drive pricing decisions and marketing strategy for a property.

Wes explains how Showingly is aggregating showing, offer, and closed data to determine the best day and time to list a home and explores what simple things a seller can adjust to secure more showings.

Listen in to understand how the desire for choice might impact the future of showing management software and find out if Showingly’s approach is right for your brokerage or MLS.

What’s Discussed:  

Wes’ background as an aspiring fighter pilot, professional cyclist, real estate agent and tech vendor

How Showingly’s use of data to guide decision-making differentiates it from other showing management solutions

The key metrics Showingly looks at to drive pricing decisions and marketing strategy for a property

What Wes’ team is doing to get honest feedback on a property (and why that’s such a challenge)

How Showingly uses showing, offer, and closed data to determine the best day and time to list a home

How sellers might adjust pricing and Open House hours to get more showings

Wes’ take on the future of showing management software

Showing Hub’s solution to the demand for choice in showing management software

Why Wes is focused on building relationships with brokerages, MLSs and other showing management providers

How Wes thinks about MLSs building their own showing solutions and why competition drives innovation

Connect with Wes:

Showingly

Email wes@showingly.com

Resources:

ShowingTime

Showing Hub

TourZazz

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Listing Bits Episode 76: Turn Your Clients into Lifelong Fans – with Rivers Pearce of Milestones

A solid fan base is what makes a rock band successful, and it’s no different for real estate professionals.

But most of us focus on the individual transaction and miss an opportunity to build long-term relationships with our existing clients and turn them into raving fans.

And that means missed opportunities for referrals and repeat business.

Rivers Pearce is CMO of Milestones, a homeowner management platform that helps agents and lenders turn single transactions into forever clients.

On this episode of Listing Bits, Rivers shares his background as a touring musician and transition to proptech, discussing how he built the lead generation department at BoomTown.

Rivers explains why agents should market themselves as a trusted advisor for all things home and explores how real estate professionals benefit from referring business to home service professionals and other local businesses.

Listen in for Rivers’ insight on nurturing relationships with your existing database and learn how Milestones can help you provide the kind of value that turns one-off clients into lifelong fans!

What’s Discussed:  

Rivers’ background as a touring musician and how he transitioned to proptech

How the skills Rivers developed as a performer translate to real estate and proptech

Rivers’ experience in building the lead gen department at BoomTown

How the way proptech supports real estate agents with lead gen has evolved over time

How Rivers thinks about using sphere of influence vs. portal aggregation to generate business

The opportunity to build relationships with homeowners that most REALTORS miss

Why agents should market themselves as a trusted advisor for all things home 

The benefit of referring business to home service professionals and other local businesses

How Milestones functions as a homeowner management platform for agents

How Milestones creates a custom maintenance plan for homeowners

How Milestones helps REALTORS nurture relationships with their existing database

Connect with Rivers:

Milestones

Rivers on LinkedIn

Rivers on Twitter

Rivers on Instagram

Email rivers@milestones.ai or ashley@milestones.ai for a 3-month free trial

Resources:

BoomTown

Mark Davison on Listing Bits EP042

Curaytor

CallAction

Agent Legend

Drew Meyers of Geek Estate

Tom Ferry

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Listing Bits Episode 75: Get Your Time Back with Automated Webinars – with Melissa Kwan of eWebinar

Listing Bits is back!

If your role in real estate involves sales demos or any kind of training, you’re likely familiar with the frustration of delivering the same webinar over and over again. 

Or worse, preparing a webinar that is either poorly attended or no one shows up.

But what if you could do 100 or even 1,000 webinars a month—without getting in front of a camera?

Melissa Kwan is Cofounder and CEO of eWebinar, a platform that saves people from repeatedly delivering the same webinar by turning videos into automated, interactive webinars. 

Prior to eWebinar, Melissa founded and successfully exited the real estate tech startup Spacio, a check-in app for open houses.

On this episode of Listing Bits, Melissa shares her journey as a proptech entrepreneur, describing how she developed her mad sales skills and why she was ready for a new challenge after Spacio.

Melissa discusses how her experience with onboarding and training for Spacio inspired the creation of eWebinar and explains what differentiates the platform from Zoom, YouTube videos and webinar replays.

Listen in for insight around Melissa’s intentional approach to life and learn how your real estate business might leverage eWebinar to get your time back and spend it on things you enjoy!

What’s Discussed:  

The initial idea for Spacio and how it evolved into a check-in app for open houses

How Melissa developed her hustle and sales ability out of necessity

Melissa’s successful exit from Spacio after 4 years of running the business

The real estate leadership dinner that launched Melissa’s career as an entrepreneur

What differentiates eWebinar from YouTube, Zoom and webinar replays

How Melissa’s experience with training for Spacio inspired the creation of eWebinar

How brokerages and real estate teams are using eWebinar to qualify leads

The benefit of using eWebinar in terms of video quality and availability of content

eWebinar’s use cases for sales demos, onboarding and training

How Melissa runs eWebinar to reflect her work less, enjoy more philosophy of life

Connect with Melissa:

eWebinar

Melissa on LinkedIn

ProfitLed Podcast

Resources: 

Spacio

Inman Connect

Greg’s Post on Melissa in Vendor Alley

Pocket

SAP

HomeSpotter

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Listing Bits Episode 74: Zillow’s One Data Source Solution for MLSs – with Katie Smithson of Bridge Interactive

NAR’s MLS Policy Statement 8.6 goes into effect on September 1, 2022.

So, what tools are available to make the implementation of the new One Data Source Policy easier for MLSs?

Katie Smithson is Director of MLS Relations at Zillow Group, where she leads the team building their MLS data licensing and distribution platform, Bridge Interactive. Prior to joining Zillow, she spent eight years with W+R Studios as Director of Enterprise Sales and Director of MLS Services.

On this episode of Listing Bits, Katie walks us through Policy Statement 8.6, explaining what problems the mandate does solve and why it’s a problem to provide vendors and brokers with data in a single feed.

Katie discusses the Bridge platform’s current functionality and describes the new feature her team is developing to help MLSs implement 8.6, the One Data Source Solution.

Listen in to understand how MLSs can use Bridge to auto-approve certain vendor agreements and find out if the One Data Source Solution is right for you.

What’s Discussed:  

How MLS Policy Statement 8.6 requires that MLSs offer participants data in a single feed

The security issue with leaving it up to brokers and vendors to know what data can be used in a VOW, IDX or back-office feed

What problems the new One Data Source Policy does solve

How the Bridge platform alleviates pain points around data distribution for MLSs

What differentiates the Bridge platform from CoreLogic’s Trestle

How Katie thinks about asking MLS boards to give Zillow their data (and pay for the service)

How Bridge gives MLSs a simple way to combine existing data feeds for members

The benefit of adding field-specific tags to MLS metadata via the Bridge One Data Source Solution

How MLSs can use Bridge to auto-approve certain vendors or certain types of data access agreements

Connect with Katie:

Bridge Interactive

Katie on Twitter

Katie on LinkedIn

Email: katiesm [at] zillowgrou [dot] com

Resources:

MLS Policy Statement 8.6

CMLS Implementation Guide—One Data Source Policy 8.6

Lone Wolf Technologies

Trestle by CoreLogic

Marilyn Wilson’s TSA Pre-Check Concept

Inman Connect Las Vegas 2022

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Listing Bits Podcast Episode 73: A New Business Model for the MLS – with Colette Stevenson of REsides

What if it was easy for an MLS to raise money to develop the data services it needs and run the software its customers use?

Colette Stevenson is CEO of REsides, the premier MLS in South Carolina. Formerly known as Hilton Head MLS, REsides serves REALTORS who represent properties in both South Carolina and Georgia, maintaining the most dependable and powerful data in the marketplace. 

On this episode of Listing Bits, Colette shares the story of the rebrand from Hilton Head MLS to REsides, explaining what differentiates her team’s vision from that of the average MLS.

Colette describes how REsides is developing a new business model to address the challenge of raising capital for software development and discusses why she’s open to collaborating with MLSs anywhere in the US.

Listen in to understand Colette’s disciplined way of thinking about potential changes to cooperation and compensation—and learn how REsides is empowering agents and brokers with data in a way that keeps the industry at the center of the real estate transaction.

What’s Discussed:  

How Colette’s background in the ticketing industry informs her work at REsides

What REsides is doing to keep the industry at the center of the real estate transaction

The story of the rebrand from Hilton Head MLS to REsides

What differentiates REsides’ vision from that of the average MLS (and how being small benefits Colette’s team)

Where buyers in the Hilton Head market come from and why Colette is open to collaborating with MLSs anywhere in the US

How REsides is developing a new business model to address the challenge of raising capital for software development

Colette’s take on what keeps MLSs from making bold moves (and how REsides is overcoming it)

Colette’s disciplined way of thinking about potential changes to cooperation and compensation

REsides’ mission to empower agents and brokers with data

Connect with Colette:

REsides

Colette on LinkedIn

Resources: 

‘Atlanta’s No. 1 Broker Bought Homes for Big Investors From 600 Miles Away’ in The Wall Street Journal

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Listing Bits Episode 72: Floor Plan Tech for Desktop Appraisals – with Jeff Allen of CubiCasa

Approximately 8 million appraisals were conducted in the US last year. By contrast, there are only 40,000 active real estate appraisers. So, it’s no surprise that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are exploring appraisal modernization initiatives like the desktop appraisal option.

But to make these alternatives to the traditional appraisal work, we need data in the form of an accurate floor plan. And we need it at scale.

Jeff Allen is EVP of Innovation Labs Clear Capital, a leading property valuation tech company, and President of CubiCasa, an easy-to-use app for automating the creation of real estate floor plans. On this episode of Listing Bits, Jeff explains how the barrier to entry to become an appraiser has sparked a total transformation of the industry.

He discusses his work helping GSEs test alternatives to the traditional appraisal, describing why floor plans are an essential part of ‘bringing the house to the appraiser’ and how he discovered the CubiCasa technology that automates the process. Listen in for Jeff’s insight on the copyright dispute over real estate floor plans and learn how to support the creative partnerships necessary for CubiCasa to scale.

What’s Discussed:  

How Clear Capital serves large financial institutions in the realm of property valuation

How the barrier to entry to become an appraiser has sparked a total transformation of the industry

Jeff’s work helping GSEs test alternatives to the full traditional appraisal

Why floor plans are essential in ‘bringing the house to the appraiser’

How Jeff discovered the CubiCasa tech for automating floor plans and how it works

The creative partnerships necessary for CubiCasa to achieve scale (e.g.: real estate photographers)

How the desktop appraisal option supports CubiCasa’s efforts to scale

The other major appraisal modernization initiatives coming from Fannie and Freddie

Jeff’s take on the current copyright dispute over real estate floor plans 

Connect with Jeff:

CubiCasa  

Email jeff [at] cubicasa [dot] com

Jeff on LinkedIn

Clear Capital

Resources:

10K Research and Marketing

Appraisal Subcommittee

Dodd-Frank

Desktop Appraisals

Vendor Alley

FloPlan App

Greg’s Post on FloPlan

Copyright Dispute Over Real Estate Floor Plans

Designworks Homes v. Columbia House of Brokers Realty

CMLS’s Amicus Brief on the Floor Plan Copyright Dispute

NAR’s Amicus Brief on the Floor Plan Copyright Dispute

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Listing Bits Episode: Competing in the Showing Solutions Space – with William Schoeffler

When Zillow announced its intention to acquire ShowingTime in February of 2021, a slew of companies jumped into the showing solutions space. But Instashowing had already been in business for two years, and despite the fierce competition, its young founder believes that his startup has an edge.

William Schoeffler is the Founder of Instashowing, a software company out of Bend, Oregon, that offers the premiere showing solution for forward-thinking real estate professionals. On this episode of Listing Bits, William shares the experience with an agent that inspired him to build Instashowing and describes the suite of listing agent tools his team is developing.

William explains how he raised $4M on the heels of Zillow’s acquisition of ShowingTime, discussing the expectation to grow that comes with that kind of an investment and the advantages Instashowing has over its many competitors. Listen in to understand the challenge of supporting several showing solutions in a single market and learn how William is forming a syndicate to allow MLSs to invest in Instashowing.


What’s Discussed:  

The experience with a real estate agent that inspired William to build Instashowing

How William raised $4M from industry giants Pete Flint and Greg Schwartz

The wave of competitors in the showing solutions space after Zillow’s acquisition of ShowingTime

Why Instashowing started selling to agents and brokers (not MLSs) when it launched in 2019

The advantages Instashowing has over its competitors

How Instashowing’s success in a given market hinges on full integration with its MLS

Why William believes the industry will return to a single showing solution product in each market

The suite of listing agent tools Instashowing is developing

The expanding vision and expectation to grow that comes with a $4M investment 

Why William is not planning on adding a call center to the Instashowing offerings

How William is forming a syndicate to allow MLSs to invest in Instashowing


Connect with William:

Instashowing

William on LinkedIn


Resources:

Instashowing’s $4M Raise

Zillow’s Acquisition of ShowingTime

Tomo

Offerpad

BrokerBay

Homesnap Showings

MLS Aligned

SentriLock

CRMLS Glide


Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Listing Bits Episode 68: A New Player in Showing Services – with Scott Fisher and Devin Beck

Prior to 2003, Supra had a monopoly on the lockbox market. But NAR membership wanted choice, so the trade association invested in its first outside tech company, SentriLock. Today, a similar market dominance exists in showing service solutions, and SentriLock is stepping in once again to compete with the dominant player in the space.

Scott Fisher and Devin Beck are the CEO and Director of Revenue of SentriLock, the first and only combined lockbox, showing service and experience management solution for real estate. On this episode of Listing Bits, Scott and Devin explain why SentriLock is expanding into the showing service space and how proptech consolidation accelerated industry interest their new offering.

Scott and Devin share SentriLock’s approach to entering a new market with a dominant player, describing how their partnership with NAR and commitment to customer service differentiate them from the competition. Listen in for insight around the unique features of the SentriKey Showing Service and learn how you can benefit from their lockbox offering, showing service or combination thereof.

What’s Discussed:  

How Scott’s telecom background led him to the lockbox space

Devin’s efforts to diversify SentriLock’s portfolio of offerings

What inspired the partnership between NAR and Scott’s team

Why SentriLock is expanding into the showing service space

SentriLock’s approach to entering a market with a dominant player

How Zillow’s acquisition of ShowingTime accelerated interest in SentriLock’s new offering

How SentriLock’s lockbox and showing solutions are designed to stand alone yet work together

Why consolidation causes uncertainty in the MLS community

Why NAR is unlikely to sell SentriLock

How Scott sees their commitment to take care of the member first as SentriLock’s secret weapon

The features that differentiate SentriLock’s showing solution 

How competition among vendors brings value to the industry

Connect with Scott & Devin:

SentriLock

Scott on LinkedIn

Devin on LinkedIn

Resources:

The Story Behind SentriKey Showing Service

Supra

CoStar’s Acquisition of Homes.com

REALTORS Relief Foundation

REALTORS Political Action Committee

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Sponsored By REcore