Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

T3 Sixty’s Annual MLS Study

I have to say that the Real Estate Almanac is one of the most used tools I have. I was asked to pass along this announcement and hope everyone will consider supporting T3 Sixty’s efforts.

“Each year since 2018, T3 Sixty in collaboration with RESO have produced the Organized Real Estate rankings section on RealEstateAlmanac.com. The ranking include the MLS subscriber counts and organizational types for each of the 521 MLSs across the United States along with REALTOR® association membership counts. To ensure they have the most accurate information possible, T3 is again asking MLS Executives to share their current MLS subscriber counts for publication of the 2024 version of the list which will be published electronically and shared with the industry in February of 2024.

Building on their success with last year’s intial research, MLS executives will also be given the option to take part in T3’s confidential MLS Executive compensation and benefits study. This year, based on feedback, the independent research firm has added the option to complete an MLS COO and CTO study. It is important to note that the individual results of these studies will not be made public, but each MLS survey participant will be provided with a complimentary synopsis report of the research results. 

T3 Sixty 2024 MLS Count and C-Level Compensation Study

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Clint Skutchan, T3 Sixty’s SVP of Organized Real Estate directly at clint@t360.com.”

Clint Skutchan, T3 Sixty

Lundy, and the best product I didn’t see at CMLS 2022

I had been contacted by Shelley Fowler (yes, that Shelley Fowler) a few months back about some new tech I had to see. But “seeing” the tech wasn’t quite right. It was something different. The company is Lundy and they were working on an app aimed at “bringing data accessibility to your MLS”. Shelley arranged an introduction with Lundy’s founder Justin Lundy.

Basically, the app which they are now calling “Finding Homes” works with Alexa to help people who are blind or visually impaired access real estate data. Apparently, 12 million people over 40 years old in the US have vision impairment. 1 million are legally blind

Now there have been other products using Alexa for real estate, Voiceter Pro comes to mind. The difference with Lundy’s product is there are focusing on helping the blind and visually impaired, not a supplemental search tool.

Flash forward to CMLS 2022. Shelley once again greeted me to come to their booth and asked me to put on an eye mask and some noise-canceling headphones. Kinky!

With the mask and headphones on, they demonstrated on an iPad how blind people use “screen readers” on websites. It was terrible! The computer voice says stuff like “upper navigation”, “side bar-side bar”, and “vertical navigation bar”. Basically what I called “HTML out loud”. Just awful.

When that demo was over I was then asked to give Alexa a simple command, something like (I can’t remember exactly what I said) “Alexa, property details of 123 Main Street….” And voila! The device gave me an overview of the property without all the “HTML out loud” junk. I could ask it other simple questions, like “what is the lot size?”, “how many square feet”. Sweet!

I have to say, the way they demonstrated the app was really cool. It gave you an excellent way of understanding the problem they are trying to solve.

I will also say that while their focus may be targeting the blind and the visually impaired the experience they created is super well done. So well done they might have a bigger market than they think.

I believe they launched or are about to launch with Stellar MLS, MetroList, and a few others. You should visit their site to find out more.

Lion & Orb launch +AdStudio

Real estate PR firm Lion & Orb roars into paid digital marketing with +AdStudio

“We realized early on that when we would secure media placements for clients, we needed a tool to promote those articles that featured their products and services quickly, for an extended period of time as a sales tool,” said Audie Chamberlain, founder of Lion & Orb, in a statement. “With +AdStudio, we have really connected those dots, making digital advertising easy, cost-effective, and efficient to execute.”

Super smart. I think a lot of companies don’t know what to do once they get some publicity. Sure you can share on your personal and company social media but this takes it to a new level. And that’s just one of many use cases. I know that Audie has been working on this for a while. I’m super happy to see this launch. Congrats to Audio and the team at Lion & Orb.

BHHS Florida chooses Imprev for marketing automation solution


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Delivers Marketing Game Changer

“The new platform is powered by Imprev, real estate’s leading provider of automated marketing technology, and includes a complete Marketing Center for BHHS Florida Network Realty agents. “It’s the future of real estate marketing,” says the firm’s Creative Services Marketing Manager, Marisa Mariano. “The team at Imprev is very collaborative and understands our desire to provide highly customized materials that suit the individual needs of our agents in addition to providing a cadre of choices for the whole team. We love the flexibility!” Agents have access to a full menu of digital and print marketing services that are fully integrated with social media, including automated virtual tours, single property websites, newsletters, flyers, postcards, YouTube videos and much more.”

Hard not to be impressed with Imprev. Great solution and just flat out simple for any agent to use. Also it looks like Imprev recently updated their website and a cool new logo. Very well done. Congrats to Renwick and his team.

Spacio Pro – The Paperless Open House

11539559_1592807660974141_6043279572055338391_nLast year Dan and I were introduced to Melissa Kwan. Her company was developing an app called Spac.io. Spac.io’s slogan touted, “Bookmark Your Real Estate”. This was familiar to us because of an app we developed back in 2008 called Dwellicious. The premise of both apps leveraged the fact that people search multiple real estate sites, so why not make it easier for home shoppers to put all their favorite listings under one site, no matter where they saw it originally. You did this by bookmarking listings as you were searching on the web.

Due to various reasons Melissa has pivoted away from Spac.io’s bookmarking model and changed the focus to leverage “beacons”, but this seemed to me to be a bit too bleeding edge for right now.

But along the way she also saw an opportunity. Her new app is called Spacio Pro which is described as “the paperless Open House”. This might also sound familiar because of another app called Open Home Pro, developed by Andrew Machado, now owned by HomeFinder.

Both are similar in function, they help you capture buyer leads by having a iPad sign in form at an Open House. While Open Home Pro is a native app on iOS and Android, Melissa decided to build Spacio Pro as a responsive web app first. Which I think is very smart. They plan on releasing an iOS version soon.

The app is gorgeous and very well done. She has kept it really simple and it works fantastic on an iPad or any browser. Go check it out at SpacioPro.com. I believe its free for a limited time.

Good luck to Melissa and her team, and congrats on a great new product.

Zillow Agent Finder is awesome.

facepalm realtor

I’ve been playing around with Zillow’s new Agent Finder. It’s crazy good! Matt Carter of Inman News summed it up in a post article entitled; “Zillow just gave consumers something more than a cow pie.”

Realtor.com couldn’t do it. Redfin couldn’t do it. Even the Houston Association of Realtors tried and failed.

Now Zillow’s done what the industry establishment couldn’t: It’s helping consumers find agents in their area who have the greatest number of sales, the most listings or the best reviews.”

I’ll say. And of course I sure many REALTORS will lose their shit about this. You can already see this in the article’s comments.

Few things that strike me about this announcement.

1. Timing. Matt mentions this in his article too. With Zillow trying to get as many direct feeds why launch something so controversial?

2. Will the industry play catch up? Now that the cat is out of the bag. Will Realtor.com, Redfin, HAR finally get their agents and members to get off their ass and compete?

3. Consumers are going to love Agent Finder. One thing I noticed when I was searching through the list of agents is when I came across agents with no reviews, I was wondering…”what are they hiding?” Agents with no photo, or listings (currently or previously) seemed not worth my time.

Of course their are other services out there. Just yesterday Cloud CMA announced integration with RealSatisfied. In a nutshell you can add any ratings and reviews you get on RealSatisfied right as part of your Cloud CMA report pages.

RealSatisfied sample page-blog

Cloud CMA clients can also easily add Zillow Agent ratings too.

Zillow and RealSatisfied sample pages-blog

Agent ratings and reviews are here to stay. The industry needs to get out of their own way and embrace this new world, not fight it.

Google Ventures launches HomeLight

HomeLight aims to change the real estate business with Google funding.

Jolie O’Dell at Via VentureBeat:

Google Ventures’ latest portfolio company to launch is HomeLight, a startup that’s all about buying and selling real estate.
More specifically, it helps you find the real estate agent — the best one for your price point and neighborhood and experience level — and agents only pay for the service if they end up with a new client out of the process.

“Finding the Right Agent” sites have been around forever, but I like the simple way HomeLight walks you through defining your needs. Showing the history of each agents number of transactions is also very helpful.

It isn’t clear how they are making money. When I came to this agents profile it has a button to “Contact Jody”. So I’m guessing some sort of lead selling is happening now, or in the future.

Worth checking out.

Nudge 2.0

The post goes out to all my MLS peeps-

Earlier this year my company partnered with the guys from 1000watt Consulting and launched a new web app we called Nudge. It’s a simple little app that helps real estate professionals answer the age old question, “How’s The Market?” As part of Nudge we came up with a number of cool “indicators”. These indicators were animated graphics that were a visual way of displaying market conditions. Here’s a sample of and indicator showing whether its a buyers or a sellers market.

Agents set the indicators, and send these as a short “Nudges” via email, Twitter, or post them on their Facebook page or blog. The secret to these is they all include the magic ingredients to any successful digital marketing campaign.

1. A bold Headline.
2. A compelling Image.
3. A few short lines of text.
4. A strong call to action.

With Nudge 2.0 we went a step further and also added the ability to upload their own images or link to photo from their Instagram account. So far the response of Nudge 2.0 has been fantastic. Our first webinar for Nudge, hosted by Chris Smith, sold out 100 slots in less than 30 minutes. The ability to add their own images has really been the killer feature we were looking for. Here’s a few samples.

Name That Barista!

Are Home Prices Static?

Open House

So enough of the shameless plug. Here’s where you come in. We would like to get the word out to agents about Nudge and need your help. So we set up a program, a quick way to make some of that “non-dues revenue” goodness. Here’s how it works:

1. We set you up with special link/promo code.
2. You send at least 2 dedicated emails to your membership promoting Nudge before the end of the year. (We’ll even write the email for you)
3. We pay you $10.00 for each Nudge account that goes to billing (Nudge comes with a 30-day money back guarantee)
4. You’ll be able to track your progress via a special Nudge Revenue Dashboard. (Maybe we’ll post a “leader board” on Vendor Alley)

The offer to your membership will be discounted from the normal yearly price of $149. We will also provide support and host a weekly webinar every Wednesday to help agents get started. Nudge doesn’t require any MLS integration so it will be simple to get started.

Maybe you’ll earn enough money to help fund your Holiday Party. Or take the staff out to a nice lunch. Or buy your favorite Vendor a steak dinner or take them to the ballet.

If you’re interested just email me. If you want to play around with Nudge 2.0 just email me and I’ll set you up with a free Nudge promo account.

But wait there’s more….

I’ve already been approached by some MLS Providers who would like to use Nudge as a tool for communicating with their own members. Here’s what I mean;

Maybe you want to tell them about the trade show you are hosting.

Or maybe about that Lockbox buyback program

Nudge is simple and fun way to send out short messages that your members will read. If you are interested in a Nudge licensing plan for your MLS just, you guessed it, email me.

For more information on Nudge you can visit www.GetNudgeApp.com.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


P.S. Here’s a short video I put together about Nudge 2.0

Vendor Alley adds 1000watt Index

I’ve always wanted to put together a comprehensive list of all the software solutions available for real estate. Well thanks to 1000watt Consulting‘s new Index, I don’t have to! There are so many things I love about this site, its comprehensive, its design, and the simplicity, it’s just great. One quibble I’ve had in the past was there was no way for me to advertise or highlight my apps on the site. Well a few weeks ago 1000watt added the ability to do just that.

I’ll let you go to the site and find out the details for yourself, but needless to says it’s an easy, low cost way to get your app noticed. And I’ll be helping out that exposure by adding a new Page to Vendor Alley, called Real Estate Apps, that will link to the 1000watt Index directly.

Zillow gets in to the agent website game.

If I were a agent website vendor I might have pooped a little in my pants after reading the press release Zillow issued this morning. The gist of it is this, a WordPress based full IDX website with a CRM for only $10.00 bucks a month. $10.00 bucks! That will cause some pricing pressure out there where typically these sites run from $29.95 to $49.95 per month.

Some thoughts:

First off the landing page is great. -They do a quick video using animation to drive home their value proposition. And surprise, it’s done very well.

There’s also a quick link to see example sites (Spoiler: They look better than most agent websites I’ve seen)

When you are ordering they have a Facebook Connect link. I don’t think I would ever use this but I know a lot of people will. Smart.

The whole process of ordering an agent website is great. Contrast this to something like Homes Connect, where I’m faced with a confusing product matrix and must speak to a sales person to order product. And I have no idea how much Homes Connect is going to charge me. Zillow process makes it transparent and simple.

Homes Connect Landing Page

Zillow Landing Page

Instant satisfaction. In less than 2 minutes I’m on my site customizing. 2 minutes!

Admin of Zillow Premier Agent Website

Plus the agent gets a domain registration and their integrated CRM included with the site. And you get Diverse Solutions IDX solution, which is top notch. Did I say $10 bucks a month?

Of course there will be challenges. I still don’t think Zillow have a full understanding of how difficult it will be to support agents (hot mess). And there is still a lot of animosity towards Zillow from the agent community.

I’m very interested to see how this plays in the market place, but my initial thoughts is that they have a hit on their hands.

Full Press Release Below:
Zillow Launches Premier Agent Websites

Customized, easy-to-build IDX-powered personal websites for real estate agents at $10 a month

SEATTLE, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z), the leading real estate information marketplace, today announced the launch of Premier Agent Websites, which allow real estate agents to quickly and affordably create a custom WordPress®-powered website for their personal brand and business. Premier Agent Websites include the option of an internet data exchange, or IDX, feed of local MLS listings and cost just $10 a month for agents not currently subscribed to Zillow’s Premier Agent advertising program. Subscribing Zillow® Premier Agents get a website for free.

“It’s incredibly important for real estate agents to have a Web presence, but building and maintaining a custom website with local IDX feeds is often time consuming and complex,” said Jay Thompson, director of industry outreach and social media at Zillow. “We created this product for the tens of thousands of agents in our Premier Agent program, as well as any agent who wants an easy and affordable website for only $10 a month.”

Premier Agent Websites are designed for agents who do not have their own website, wish to improve on their current website, or are looking for a more affordable custom website solution. Built on the WordPress platform, Premier Agent Websites can be created quickly without the need for Web expertise, and content can be updated easily at any time. Key features include:

Local, map-based IDX property search of multiple listing service-listed homes. An additional MLS fee may apply.
A personalized domain name of the agent’s choosing, at no additional cost.
A variety of templates, themes and colors.
The ability to add custom, local content such as a personal blog, video, real estate data and mortgage widgets, photo slideshows, and school information.
Integration with Zillow’s free customer relationship management platform to manage leads and customer contacts coming from the website.
Search engine optimization.
This announcement continues Zillow’s expansion of the Zillow Premier Agent program to include a wide variety of marketing and business services for real estate agents. The company’s fall 2011 acquisition of Diverse Solutions, a provider of MLS listings feeds for agent websites, allowed Zillow to accelerate this important initiative to help real estate agents better market their business online.

For more information, visit http://www.zillow.com/agent-websites. To learn about the Zillow Premier Agent program, visit http://www.zillow.com/advertising/agent-advertising.

About Zillow, Inc.
Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) is the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through its mobile applications and websites, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs. More than 32 million unique users visited Zillow’s websites and mobile applications in April 2012. Zillow, Inc. operates Zillow.com®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Mobile, Postlets® and Diverse Solutions™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

The Zillow logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10012

Zillow.com, Zillow and Postlets are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Diverse Solutions is a trademark of Zillow, Inc.

WordPress is a registered trademark of WordPress Foundation Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation.


SOURCE Zillow, Inc.

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