Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

CVR MLS implements new MarketView360 from RBI

press_release_distribution_0399634_86030_1Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing Service Provides “Killer App” to Real Estate Brokerages with Real Time Business Analytics

“Market View 360 offers up reports on agent and office performance, including productivity numbers on both the buy and sell sides; agent rankings to quickly identify potential recruits; and agent- and office-level details such as average days on market, average days to settlement, average list price, price ratios and a “fell through” metric counting the number of listings that were in contract or contingent status and changed back to active status.”

I love this. I’m not clear whether this was something RBI was always offering as part of their platform or something new. But if implemented correctly I think they have a hit on their hands. Broker’s love this kind of data, but I was aware of anyone else doing this but Terradatum.

press_release_distribution_0399634_86029_1Equally as cool was the hiring of Dr. Elliott Eisenberg as their Chief Economist. I’ve seen Elliot speaks at numerous events. He’s got that rare gift of breaking down complicated issues and making them understandable while being entertaining at the same time. Congrats Dr. Eisenberg and RBI!

Dr. Elliot Eisenberg to be RBI Chief Economist

“”With Dr. Eisenberg’s help, we are turning RBI’s current and MLS-direct data into actionable information that every real estate professional needs to better understand their markets at hyper-local levels. Subscribers to RBI’s SmartCharts Pro service tell us they enjoy a tangible competitive advantage,” said Jon Coile, RBI board chairman and CEO of Champion Real Estate.”

“Active” users

I recently read a great post by Ev Wiliams, one of the co-founders of Twitter. Ev’s post is titled, “A mile side, an inch deep”. He makes some solid points about his frustration with user metrics. The post stems from a recent report that Instagram has surpassed Twiiter in total number of users. To which Ev responded… “I frankly don’t give a shit if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pictures”. Hubris? Not really.

“Ask any junior high student which rectangle is bigger, one that is three inches wide or one that is two-and-a-half inches wide, and they’ll tell you it’s a nonsensical question unless they have more information — specifically, the height.

And yet, we literally say one company or service is “bigger” based on a single number — specifically, number of people who have “used” it in the last 30 days. Even without even getting into how “use” is defined, this is dumb.”

This got me thinking about the debate of usage and “adoption” rate of third party software programs in MLS markets. Questions like, what metric should products be measured upon? Is it one metric? Is it several?

To make matters worse some vendors call an “active user” someone who logs in to the service one every 90 days, some say 60 days or 30 days. It varies, so its always hard to compare different services apples to apples.

This discrepancy also shows up when vendors report how many customers they have. Some vendors report that anyone under a site license (which are technically paying customers) are active customers. Even though many of those MLS members have never used their software.

When my company (W&R Studios) launched Cloud CMA we wanted to “open the kimono” on usage rates. We think this a key best practice for any Enterprise SAAS vendor. So in every MLS market we launch Cloud CMA we include a real time MLS Dashboard. The MLS Dashboard contains a ton of information including:

Have many users signed up/created an account?:

this week
last week
this month
last month

How many reports were created?:
past week
past month

What types of reports were created?:
Buyer Tours
Property Reports

Some MLS providers have also asked us to include:

Unique visitors in the last 30 days

I tend to focus on how many reports are being created. But, we also track all kinds of other metrics too. One of my favorites is the number of seconds it take a new customer to create their first report after signing up, our fastest is just over 2 minutes (156 seconds). Which we think is a good measure of how intuitive the software might be.

The point I’m trying to make, and Ev does a much better job, is that there is no “God Metric”.

“Numbers are important. Number of users is important. So are lots of other things. Different services create value in different ways.”

Good food for thought.

As a side note I’m going to be a panelist at Inman Connect NYC later this month. The topic is:

“Does Building Business Around Big Data Make us Stupid?”
Thursday, January 29 2:35pm to 3:00pm

The panel will be moderated by David Charron. My other panelists will include John Heithaus from RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI) and Matt Shadbolt from the New York Times.

It should be fun so please join us!

RBI Launches SmartCharts

smartcharts_logoMy thanks to RBI for sponsoring Vendor Alley. Their product MARKETrends Premium is available in over 130 MLS providers. You can find out more by clicking their ad on the right of the main page of VendorAlley.com, or just visit, http://marketrendspremium.com.

RBI also recently announced its launch of their next generation of housing analytics called SmartCharts (I love the logo)
. You can find out more information at new SmartCharts site, http://www.getsmartcharts.com/. I saw an early preview of this and its pretty cool.

If you would like to speak directly to someone from MRIS or RBI regarding additional information on the rebrand and new market information available OR to set-up a walk-through of the new platform either in-person or through an online demo, please contact Amanda at amanda at abelcommunications dot com.

Full Press Release Below:

Next Generation of Housing Analytics Launched with SmartCharts from RBI

Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Professionals Now Access Enhanced Market Information with the New SmartCharts Platform

ROCKVILLE, MD (June 25, 2014)—MRIS, the industry-leading Mid-Atlantic Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that facilitates nearly $125 million a day in real estate transactions, announced today that its subsidiary, RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), has launched its new market information platform, SmartCharts, and expanded its rbiEXPERT premium version as SmartCharts Pro.

SmartCharts are created from the most accurate housing data available – MLS data, and are delivered in simple, easy-to-understand charts and reports. In addition to the slick new look and feel, RBI has added many new features to help Mid-Atlantic region real estate professionals understand their market inside out, including:

· Over three times the market statistics: The expansion of statistics from 10 to 37 will further help consumers and professionals understand how long it may take to buy or sell, current price trends, success rates and more.

· More ways to compare: The explore feature is revamped to offer more metrics to compare locations, including subdivisions, and market trends over time.

· Historical data: Customers can view back 10 years to get more context of before, during and after the housing bubble in a particular area.

SmartCharts makes it easy for real estate professionals to show their clients and prospects exactly what’s happening with pricing, sales, time on market and other points of interest. These charts and graphs can be embedded on websites, posted on social media or shared with prospective clients.

“The number one thing that homebuyers and sellers want to know is ‘How’s the market in our local area?’ and at RBI we are dedicated to providing agents with the most comprehensive tools to answer that question,” said Jonathan Hill, President at RBI. “With the launch of the revamped SmartCharts, we dramatically improved our application by adding a multitude of new market information and features that allow our customers to position themselves as the market authority for their area.”

As of today, RBI statistics will be moving from www.rbintel.com/statistics to www.getsmartcharts.com/statistics. If you are not a current rbiEXPERT customer, you will be prompted to register in order to access free stats. If you are an existing rbiEXPERT customer, your current username and password will be valid on the new site.

In addition to SmartCharts Pro, rbiBROKER is now SmartCharts for Brokers and provides powerful insights into agent productivity and competitive market reports. To learn more about SmartCharts, SmartCharts Pro or SmartCharts for Brokers and to get all of the housing stats for the Mid-Atlantic, please visit http://www.getsmartcharts.com.

About RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC
RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI) is a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region. Monthly reports for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with interactive charts and graphics, can be found at http://www.getsmartcharts.com/statistics. RBI is the only company in the Mid-Atlantic region that provides timely, online access to statistical information directly from the MRIS Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Early last year, RBI partnered up with CoreLogic to launch MARKETrends Premium, an application delivering statistics from both MLS and public records data for Real Estate professionals. MARKETrends Premium is available in over 130 different markets nationwide. Visit marketrendspremium.com to learn more.

About MRIS
MRIS is Real Estate in Real Time™. We’re a leading provider of real estate information technology and services, and are frequently ranked among the most productive Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in the nation, facilitating over $45 billion in system wide sales in 2013. In its core market, MRIS supports over 45,000 real estate professionals spanning the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. MRIS provides a portfolio of technology solutions and proprietary databases for real estate professionals, as well as broker and agent software products and an industry-leading consumer portal, MRIShomes.com (formerly HomesDatabase). In addition, the CURE Solutions Group, a subsidiary of MRIS, provides proprietary back-end technology to other MLS systems, serving nearly 180,000 customers each day. Visit MRIS at MRIS.com and our web based TV station, mrisTV.com. “Like” us on Facebook/MRISonFB, follow us on Twitter, @MRIS_REal_News and be sure to visit MRISblog.com for real-time news and company updates.

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