Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

RE/MAX Settles…2 down 3 to go?

RE/MAX settles buyer broker commission lawsuits for $55 million

“The Settlement resolves all claims in the Lawsuits and similar claims on a nationwide basis against RE/MAX … and releases RE/MAX and the Company, their subsidiaries and affiliates, and RE/MAX sub-franchisors, franchisees and their sales associates in the United States from the Claims,” the SEC filing reads.

“By the terms of the Settlement, RE/MAX agreed to pay a total settlement amount of $55.0 million … into a qualified settlement fund. In addition, RE/MAX agreed to make certain changes to its business practices.”

Brooklee Han for Housing Wire

Once again, if I’m proven right about the lawsuits being settled, I’m going to be unbearable. 😈

Industry Relations Episode 60: Unpacking the Panic Around Zillow’s Acquisition of ShowingTime – with Nick Bailey, Chief Customer Officer at RE/MAX

Nick Bailey

As the real estate industry has evolved, we’ve been trained to focus on who owns the data. And Zillow’s acquisition of ShowingTime has many concerned about sharing their data with the proptech giant. But what if hoarding your data is not the only way to compete with a company like Zillow? What if it’s not really about access to the data but what you do with it? 

Nick Bailey is the Chief Customer Officer at RE/MAX. With nearly 25 years of industry experience, Nick served as an agent, broker and proptech vendor before becoming the head of a major real estate franchise. On this episode of Industry Relations, Nick joins Rob and Greg to share his take on Zillow’s acquisition of ShowingTime and what’s behind the industry’s emotionally-charged reaction.

Nick offers insight on how the data Zillow acquired was already publicly available, explaining why that information doesn’t necessarily give the tech company a competitive advantage and reminding us that it’s not unusual for companies at scale to offer various products and services to the industry at large. Listen in for Nick’s perspective on what we can do to improve the process of buying or selling a home for consumers and find out why you shouldn’t panic about Zillow’s acquisition of ShowingTime.

What’s Discussed:  

Nick’s background as an agent, broker, tech vendor and head of a major real estate franchise

Why Nick sees Zillow’s acquisition of ShowingTime as one tech company acquiring another to make the process of buying and selling homes easier for consumers

How ShowingTime’s market share influenced the industry’s emotionally-charged reaction to its acquisition 

Nick’s argument that the data Zillow has acquired was already publicly available

How Nick addresses the objection that the ShowingTime acquisition forces agents and brokers to provide Zillow with a competitive advantage

How it’s not unusual for companies at scale to offer various products and services (e.g.: RE/MAX’s acquisition of Motto Mortgage)

What Nick is doing to educate agents around the spirit of cooperation in the industry

How Nick thinks about whether Zillow is a RE/MAX competitor 

What the real estate industry can do to improve the fragmented process of buying or selling a home

Nick’s insight on what differentiates RE/MAX in competitive industry that includes a growing number of iBuyers

The trend toward a greater concentration of power among fewer agents and how that might contribute to the panic around Zillow

Nick’s advice for MLS, franchisor and large brokerage CEOs on using data to identify trends and create contingency plans accordingly

Connect with Nick:

Nick at RE/MAX

Nick on LinkedIn

Connect with Rob and Greg: 

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Resources:

ShowingTime’s Press Release on Its Acquisition by Zillow

Nick’s Video on Zillow’s Acquisition of ShowingTime

Market Leader

Rob’s Post on Zillow, ShowingTime & Paranoid Realtors

First App

Steve Murray at REAL Trends

Motto Mortgage

NAR Code of Ethics

We Are RE/MAX on Facebook

Brad Inman’s Piece on Zillow & ShowingTime

Gary Keller’s 2021 Family Reunion Vision Speech Recap

The Art of the CMA: Win Hearts, Minds, and Loyalty by Mastering Real Estate’s Most Versatile Tool by Greg Robertson with Charles Warnock

Dave Liniger at RE/MAX

Our Sponsors: 

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RE/MAX starts displaying buyer’s commission rate next to listings on their website

Nick Bailey, chief customer officer at RE/MAX in an interview from an Inman News story:

Nick Bailey

“And while other MLSs have followed suit in displaying the data publicly, RE/MAX publishing the data in its consumer-facing website and app in 65 markets is perhaps the largest single move to display the data yet.

Bailey was clear in conversation that displaying it or not was never RE/MAX’s decision. The international real estate franchisor just wanted to ensure when it inevitably becomes a requirement, the company was prepared, Bailey explained.”

Great leadership from Nick and RE/MAX on this issue.

One quibble, I would add an “i” information icon next to the rate, linking to some copy giving further context. But it’s a good start.

Also, from the story…


“Bailey, who is also a broker himself in addition to being a RE/MAX exec, believes displaying the buyers’ broker commission isn’t an overly monumental move, rather an evolution that has been happening for a number of years.”

He’s right, but more change is coming and RE/MAX is smart to start now so that everyone is prepared for the questions and challenges ahead.

RE/MIX

RE/MAX officially launches long-awaited ‘end-to-end’ booj platform

“The introduction of the booj platform is arguably the single greatest increase to our value proposition in our history,” Contos added.

While I respect Adam, I’ll argue that when remax.com first launched a “network of broker IDX websites” back in 2006 that was truly a game changer. I was there. See below:

RE/MAX To Open National IDX Website – August 2005

“Liniger and Kristi Graning, RE/MAX vice president, information technology, explained that RE/MAX is increasing staff by 50 people, and that all the regions will have more sophisticated websites. REMAX.com will be the portal, and then consumers will be directed to the region city to have access to all the listings. 

“The national network of IDX websites will be seamless to the consumer and we will be compliant with IDX in each MLS,” says Graning. RE/MAX will license technology from Florida-based Siegent, Inc. (eNeighborhoods, Wyldfyre and ReChannel) to aggregate the IDX listings.”

Kristi Graning VP of RE/MAX, Stu Siegel CEO of eNeighborhoods, and Bruce Benham SVP of RE/MAX. Photo Credit: Greg Robertson (circa 2005)

eNeighborhoods was subsequently acquired by Dominion Enterprises, which operates Homes.com. So, effectively remax.com has been “Powered by Homes.com” for about 14 years. All that time, ably lead by Andy Woolley.

In those 14 years, Remax.com is now the top national broker website and the platform, by my calculations, has generated close to 50 million referral free leads to RE/MAX agents.

Dave Liniger showing Stu and Andy his car collection. Photo Credit: Greg Robertson (circa 2005)

Execution is everything. RE/MAX’s booj team has some big shoes to fill. It will be interesting to check out how things are going in the next few years.

No pressure.

RE/MAX acquires booj

RE/MAX Takes Bold Step to Provide Best-in-Class TechnologyGlobal Franchisor Acquires Leading Technology Firm booj

The acquisition exemplifies a new approach for RE/MAX that goes beyond adapting third-party vendor products to fit broker and agent needs. Moving forward, RE/MAX will leverage the capabilities of booj and other strategic partners to deliver core technology solutions designed for and with RE/MAX affiliates. The objective: technology platforms that create a distinct competitive edge for RE/MAX brokerages and agents and complement other tech products they choose to use.

So its apparent the this “tech enabled brokerage” is a thing now. It’s now going to be a bunch of chest beating to show who has the best tech. RE/MAX appears to be taking a more open approach by still working with “strategic partners”, rather than the more closed approach of KW.

In a letter to agents, new RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos stated,

“It will mean an upgrade for the RE/MAX technology suite – a complement to other Approved Supplier products you choose to use.”

A far cry from the paranoid rant of Gary Keller,CEO of Keller Williams last week.

booj is an interesting company. Their pitch has been they only had a few “select” clients and a waiting list. Plus they would never work with any firm that was acquired by a Franchisor. Well it seems that philosophy has changed big time. It will be interesting to see how their current clients react. An opportunity for some, I’m sure. I hope Ido and John got a nice payout.

I’m also curious if this will effect RE/MAX’s relationship with Homes.com, which now powers the remax.com website. RE/MAX started that relationship with eNeighborhoods back in 2004, and have kept it going after eNeighborhoods was acquired by Homes.com parent, Dominion Enterprises.

Dave Liniger’s letter about RE/MAX IPO

Here’s the special announcement Dave Liniger (RE/MAX Chairman and Co-Founder) sent out today about RE/MAX’s impending IPO.

CLICK TO ENLARGE
CLICK TO ENLARGE

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