Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Did Amazon just choose Lundy (not Zillow) to power the real estate voice search for Alexa?

I’m hearing YES! How cool is that!?

Previously you had to install Lundy’s real estate search as an “Alexa Skill”. From reports I’m getting markets where MLS organizations have partnerships with Lundy you can just ask Alexa straight up…

Alexa,

“Find me a house”
“Are there any homes for sale near me?”
“Help me buy a home.”

Current MLS partners for Lundy include:

Park City MLS, UT
Metrolist, CA
WARDEX, AZ
RMLS, CA
Valley MLS , AL
FMLS, FL
REcolorado, CO
Miami AOR, FL
Gulf Coast MLS, FL
Stellar MLS, FL
Greater Chattanooga, TN
Mid-Georgia MLS, FL

I wish this was set up in my market so I could test. (If your are in any of the markets above and have an Alexa device test it and tell me what you think.)

Amazon is doing some cool shit with AI and voice search, check out this video from their event last week.

I know Justin from Lundy will be at CMLS next week. I’m sure he will be happy to give demos.

Rumor Alert: More former Zillow execs bet against…wait for it… Zillow!

Talk about bad blood. I’m hearing a boatload of former Zillow execs is following Spencer Rascoff’s lead and are investing in another company that is directly competing with Zillow.

Ouch!

Developing…

Industry Relations 14: ‘MLS of Choice,’ Sam DeBord and Jeff Young of RPR

Hang around the hotel bar at CMLS2017 long enough (we’re looking at you, Greg), and you will overhear conspiracy theories about ‘MLS of Choice’ somehow leading to a national MLS. The MLS community has long feared that NAR is looking to get into the MLS business, and the rhetoric ‘of choice’ raises alarm bells in the industry. What is NAR’s intent in changing MLS Policy Statements 7.42 and 7.43? Could RPR eventually evolve into a national MLS?

Today Rob and Greg dig into the ‘MLS of Choice’ debate with Sam DeBord and Jeff Young. Sam is a member of the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board that revised 7.42 and 7.43, and he will serve as the Vice-Chairman of MLS Policy for NAR next year. He also serves as the managing broker for Seattle Homes Group and VP of Strategic Growth for Coldwell Banker Danforth. Sam writes for a number of real estate news outlets, and he was named to SP200’s Top 20 Social Influencers and Inman’s Top 101 in Real Estate.

Jeff Young is the Chief of Operations for Realtors Property Resource (RPR), an NAR resource providing comprehensive data, powerful analytics and client-friendly reports for each of NAR’s constituencies. Jeff has been a REALTOR since 1996, serving in various NAR leadership positions including President of the Michigan Association of Realtors in 2008. (In this live recording Jeff happen to walk by as the podcast was being recorded and coaxed in to participate.)

On this episode of Industry Relations, Greg, Rob, Sam and Jeff walk through the details of ‘MLS of Choice,’ discussing how the policy change will offer greater flexibility for brokers and agents in the MLS marketplace. They explore the MLS community’s skepticism around NAR’s intent, and whether there is any merit to the theory that this new policy might eventually lead to RPR becoming a national MLS. Listen in to understand the arguments for and against ‘MLS of Choice’–tin foil hat optional.

What’s Discussed: 

The broker pain points that led to changes in MLS Policy Statements 7.42 and 7.43
The role of the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board
The current jurisdictional rules around MLS dues
How ‘MLS of Choice’ provides greater flexibility for brokers/agents in MLS marketplaces
Why the previous policy was endorsed
The arguments for and against ‘MLS of Choice’
Sam’s response to industry fear of NAR establishing a national MLS
The rumors that RPR could become the national MLS
Jeff’s rebuttal concerning the rumors around RPR
– RPR contracts with MLSs prevent national MLS
– RPR depends on relationships with 661 of 694 current MLSs
The confusion around ‘MLS of Choice’ as a naming convention
The concept of which MLS not if MLS
How the policy change will adversely affect MLSs that don’t provide value
CMLS’s response to the ‘MLS of Choice’ policy change

Resources:

Sam at Coldwell Banker Danforth
Realtors Property Resource
‘MLS of Choice’ Article in Inman News

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website
Greg’s Website

Is Lucie Fortier heading to industry startup Remine?

My sources are saying yes. I first heard of Lucie leaving CoreLogic at Inman Connect NYC. At the time she was very vague about her plans. I thought the departure was significant, since she was part of the original Tarasoft Matrix team. Which makes me wonder if there is anyone left from that original team still working at CoreLogic. Brian de Schepper now works at Zillow Group.

Remine is getting a lot of buzz lately. Here’s what their website says…

“Remine is the next wave in real estate innovation
Remine’s intuitive interface visualizes public record, consumer data and transactional information to bring Big Data to life. By connecting this information exclusively through the MLS we provide one integrated platform that allows agents to turn new opportunities into revenue.”

Sounds a lot like TLCengine.

Developing….

Is XOME and Real Estate Digital (RED) being sold to FNF/Black Knight?

Rumor alert!

The Vendor Alley Tip Line is lighting up with rumors that FNF/Black Knight (unclear) might be acquiring XOME and RED, or even Nationstar as a whole.

Know anything? Share your wisdom in the comments.

REColorado makes multi-million dollar offer to purchase IRES MLS

Leaked document outlines plan….

“REcolorado has made a multi-million dollar offer to purchase all of the assets and liabilities of IRES. This will empower agents and brokers with the benefits that can only come from a real consolidation. MLS regionalization will remove boundaries and provide additional products and services to agents to help them better serve the consumer.”

Looks like Kirby doesn’t screw around. I haven’t heard of an MLS to straight up make an offer to acquire outright.

IRES has over 5,500 members and run their own homegrown MLS, REColorado (formerly Metrolist) has about 19,000 runs Matrix.

Developing…

N.A.R. CEO Search Committee revealed

I don’t think a recruiter has been announced but from what I understand here are the members of the search committee.

Chris Polychron – Chair, Hot Springs, AR
Cathy Whatley – Vice Chair, Jacksonville, FL

Jeff Barnett, Los Gatos, CA
Tray Bates, Corpus Christi, TX
Brian Copeland, Nashville, TN
Julie DeLorenzo, Boise, ID
Travis Kessler, Austin, TX
Mike McGrew, Lawrence, KS
Mike Pappas, Miami, FL
Beth L. Peerce, Los Angeles, CA
JoAnne Poole, Glen Burnie, MD
Diane Ruggiero, The Villages, FL
Joel Singer, Los Angeles, CA
Tom Stevens, Vienna, VA
Rebecca Thomson, Chicago, IL

The choice seems pretty clear to me.

Rumor Alert: Brian de Schepper set to join Zillow

im backWell, that didn’t take long.

Word on the street is former Tarasoft and Corelogic industry vet Brian de Schepper is set to join Zillow’s Industry Relations team. Brian had just left Corelogic back in June. No word on start date.

Rumor Alert! – Industry vet Steve Allen to join Zillow.

SteveAllenI’m pretty confident on this rumor that Steve Allen, director of business development at UtahRealEstate.com (or WFRMLS if you’re an O.G. like me) will be joining Zillow in an MLS relations role. If anyone can confirm in the comments we can make it official.

If true I think this is a good move for Zillow and the industry. Anything to help Zillow better understand the role of MLS providers, and the broker members they serve, will be a positive thing.

UPDATE: 8-27-2014

Rumor confirmed!
Curt Beardsley confirmed the addition of two hires to his team on Zillow For Pros blog:
Zillow Hires Two Industry Veterans => http://www.zillow.com/blog/pro/zillow-hires-two-industry-veterans-112835/

Congrats!

Regarding the rumor of Zillow acquiring Trulia

A few thoughts on this.

“Blue horseshoe loves….”

This could all be just Wall Street trickery. Remember how much MOVE stock bounced when it was rumored they were going to be bought by Trulia? It was significant. So maybe someone got the idea to make a bigger play by spreading a Zillow buying Trulia rumor.

Seattle vs. San Francisco

Executive leadership at both companies couldn’t be more different. Think Frank Underwood and Mr. Chips (you make a guess of which CEO fits the part) It’s really hard for me to imagine both teams being on the same page of anything, besides all money they will be making.

A deal could be a good for MOVE.
A Zillow and Trulia merger could be a good thing for MOVE, Inc. Such a large acquisition would be a huge distraction for Zillow, something MOVE could act upon. Plus they immediately bump from the #3 listing site to the #2 listing site. : )

LinkedIn ripple
If you start getting LinkedIn requests from anyone at Trulia then you know the deal is real.

Is it a good or bad thing?
Personally I think it would be bad for the industry. Competition is a good, and with less of it the industry will suffer.

The biggest loser.
Another thought occurred to me. Dominion Enterprises (a privately held company) owns Homes.com. Zillow and Trulia’s market cap is about 8 Billion. Hindsight is 20/20 but you gotta wonder if back in the day Dominion spun off Homes.com and did an IPO what that asset would be worth. Is it too late? Or is the Batten Family too fat and happy? There is big money in this space, without proper investment it will be harder and harder to take them seriously.

28 Billion Dollars?
In an article yesterday the CFO of Trulia was quoted:

““Long-term, we see this as a two-player market and evolving much like e-commerce” with EBay Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., Sean Aggarwal, chief financial officer at Trulia, said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference in June.

He also described online real estate as a “very large category,” with real estate professionals spending about $28 billion a year on marketing. Trulia and Zillow collectively are doing about $500 million to $600 million a year in revenue, he said, leaving $27 billion plus of “potential money” that could come into that realm over the next several years.

Does anyone else think that number is crazy?

Will a deal happen?
No comment from either side. Typically where there’s smoke there’s fire, but I say no.

UPDATE: 7/28/2014 Looks like I got this wrong. Zillow is acquiring Trulia for 3.5 Billion in an all stock deal.

Sponsored By Giant Steps Advisors