Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Industry Relations Episode 41: 10 Defining Moments & Trends in the Last Decade of Real Estate

On January 1, 2010, organized real estate was still reeling from the recession. Dale Stinton was steering the ship at NAR. Zillow was seen as the enemy of the MLS. Real estate software was meh. Agent teams were rare. Nearly all brokerages took a split. Selling your house online seemed outrageous. And we still signed documents in pen.

On this episode of Industry Relations, Rob and Greg are looking back at the last 10 years in real estate. They discuss the passing NAR’s MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy, debating the significance of the office exclusives loophole and how it might lead to government involvement. Our hosts also express their disappointment around the Newsday investigation in Long Island, Testing the Divide, challenging brokerage leadership to make a strong statement against the egregious racism it uncovered. 

Greg and Rob go on to share their top 10 defining moments and trends with the biggest impact on the industry over the last decade, describing how the rise of agent teams, 100% commission brokerages, the iBuyer model and consolidation have transformed organized real estate. Listen in for insight into how NAR’s decision to fund RPR and Upstream changed the way the MLS saw Zillow and explore how the space has evolved from 2010 through the end of 2019.

Editor’s Note: We did record an Episode 40 that was never aired. It was about Policy 8.0 but wasn’t ready before the vote. After the vote passed we decided it didn’t add to anything to the issue.

What’s Discussed: 

NAR’s passing of the MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy

Rob & Greg’s take on the Newsday investigation in Long Island

How the loophole in 8.0 could lead to government involvement

The 10 defining trends/events in the last decade of real estate

  1. The end of poorly designed software
  2. The rise and domination of agent teams
  3. The transition in leadership at NAR
  4. Opendoor pioneering the iBuyer model
  5. Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia
  6. 100% commission brokerages
  7. Consolidation and the influx of capital
  8. The practice of buying agents/agent teams
  9. The mainstreaming of digital signatures
  10. NAR’s decision to fund RPR + Upstream

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Resources:

MLS Clear Cooperation Policy

Compass Pre-Litigation Letter to Bright MLS

Bright’s Response to Compass

Newsday Documentary: Testing the Divide

Rob’s Blog on the Newsday Piece

1000watt Article on Real Estate Software

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller with Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan

Ben Thompson Interview with Rich Barton

Our Sponsors:

Cloud MLX

The Red Dot

GLVAR reverses decision, now will continue to syndicate to Zillow and other third parties.


GLVAR to continue syndicating its MLS data to third parties

“After what GLVAR President Chris Bishop called months of “careful consideration and discussion,” board members of GLVAR and its MLS voted recently to end agreements with all such portals, effective at the conclusion of each contractual term, with Zillow ending in January 2019 and ListHub in June 2019.

But after hearing concerns this month from many of its members, Bishop said GLVAR has reconsidered and will now continue to share its MLS data as it has been while it explores other options.

I hate being right all the time.

GLVAR to stop syndicating listings to Zillow and other portals

Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS notification email:

“The Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) and its MLS knows that protection of MLS data is a priority for its members. While it has always been the individual brokerage’s decision as to syndicate its listing data and to which third party portals, GLVAR and the MLS played a role in facilitating syndication with a series of agreements with several third-party portals. After careful consideration and discussion, GLVAR and its MLS have decided to end that facilitation to all such portals. These agreements will end at the conclusion of each contractual term, with Zillow ending in January 2019 and ListHub in June 2019.

The idea behind this decision was that individual brokers here in Southern Nevada will now be able to decide where they send their individual listing data, and to what websites. Each individual brokerage will be free to negotiate agreements with the various third-party portals on their own or choose not to syndicate at all.”

There is also a video talking about how they came to the decision. I think the brokers should be careful what they wish for. I wonder if “syndication” is becoming a thing again……uggh!

A Few Good MLS Execs

Some fun for the Zillow meetings in Las Vegas this week….

MLS EXEC

You want answers?

Industry Consultant 1
INDUSTRY CONSULTANT
I think I’m entitled to them.

MLS EXEC
You want answers?!

INDUSTRY CONSULTANT
I want the truth.

MLS EXEC
You can’t handle the truth!

And nobody moves.

MLS EXEC 1

MLS EXEC

(continuing)

Son, we live in a country that has an MLS. And that MLS is more than just managing a database. Who’s gonna do it? The Seller? You, Mr. Big Broker? You, Mr. Industry Consultant? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep that listings are now everywhere and curse the MLS. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: The genie is out of the bottle. Your old gatekeeper days aren’t coming back. Upstream and BPP are DOA. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, helps you do more business.

(beat)

You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at Inman Connect, Realty Alliance or Gathering of Eagles, you want the MLS. You need the MLS!

(boasting)

We use words like cooperation, compensation, accuracy… we use these words as the backbone to a life spent building something. You use ’em as a punchline.

(beat)

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very piece of mind I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you move to Australia. I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.

INDUSTRY CONSULTANT
(quietly)

Did you do a deal with Zillow?

MLS EXEC
(beat)

I did the job my members sent me to do.

INDUSTRY CONSULTANT

Industry Consultant 2

Did you do a deal with Zillow?!!

MLS EXEC

(pause)

MLS EXEC 2

You’re goddamn right I did!!

Errol Samuelson is out of the penalty box

errol comeback
Looks like Move, Inc.’s “power play” time is over (Errol is Canadian, so I can’t stop with the hockey references).

Look for an exclusive interview with Brad Inman. It’s posted now.

Also looking forward to see Stefan’s live interview with Errol at the T3 Conference in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks.

Just don’t call it a comeback.

Z2K

Well I just got back from AEI 2015, held in Vancouver B.C. Beautiful city and those Canadians are a pleasant bunch. The meetings are still going on and I had a great time catching up with everyone. And of course the main topic on everyone’s mind was the Zillow-Trulia-ListHub listings kerfuffle. Lots of activity and discussion happening in this area especially since the court bitch-slapped Trulia. In a ruling that Move commented they were “extremely pleased and delighted with the court’s ruling” and had agreed to the new cutoff date.” I’ll say.

April 7th is the new date for both Trulia and Zillow. I was kibitzing with a few other vendors who commented that it kind of felt like the hysteria back in 2000, dubbed “Y2K”. Of course in this scenario its more like “Z2K“. : )

But Zillow isn’t satisfied with just the listing data. They appear to want to win the hearts and minds of MLS providers. And that appears to be the aim of its next “invite only” event being held in Las Vegas. Zillow is footing the bill for travel and airfare of some of the most influential MLS executives in the industry. “Vegas Baby!”

Speaking of MLS providers, Zillow Group just announced a list of 18 new MLS providers that have signed direct feed agreements. And there are a few biggies.

“New partners include:

Alaska MLS – Anchorage, Alaska
California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. – Los Angeles, Calif.
Golden Isles Association of REALTORS® – Brunswick, Ga.
Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS – Greater Lansing, Mich.
Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS – Las Vegas, Nev.
Gulf Coast MLS – Mobile, Ala.
MIBOR Service Corporation – Indianapolis, Ind.
Middle Georgia MLS – Macon, Ga.
North Central Mississippi Realtors – Oxford, Miss.
North Carolina Mountains MLS – Fletcher, NC
Northern New England Real Estate Network– Concord, NH
Northwest Mississippi Association of REALTORS – Nesbit, Miss.
Russellville BOR – Russellville, Ark.
Santa Fe Association of REALTORS Inc. – Santa Fe, NM
South Central Board of REALTORS – Rolla, Mo.
Tillamook County MLS – Tillamook, Ore.
Western Arizona Realtors Data Exchange – Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
West Central Association of Realtors MN – Willmar, Minn.”

This is a much better list that the previously announced on March 4th, which was kind of a joke.

Who else is tired of all this drama?? The feeling I get from other vendors is they can’t wait till April 8th (but I have the feeling we are only getting started). All this Zillow Group stuff is clogging up THEIR deal pipeline. Amen to that.

Mike and Mitch’s plan out of this mess, at least for now…

Change the game

“The goal of Stopgap Agreement is to give MLSs a reasonable amount of time to make reasoned decisions on their timeline; not Zillow Group’s or Move’s timeline. The agreement would be between the MLS and Zillow Group to keep data flowing in an interim period. Each MLS in consultation with their attorney can decide whether it makes sense for them. It’s still an individual choice”

I love this idea. Does anyone have any update on the progress of this?

Zillow’s Obi-Wan Kenobi moment

obiwan zillow

Something I started to think about over the weekend in regard to this move by Zillow (or so it seems) of deciding not to re-sign with ListHub. I guess because I’m a geek I tend to think of things as scenes in Star Wars. To me this move by Zillow reminded me when Obi-Wan and Vader dueled towards the end of Episode 4, “A New Hope” -The original Star Wars movie. In that scene Obi-Wan warned Vader, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” When Obi-Wan saw that Luke and the rest were safe he closed his eyes and let Vader “strike him down”.

Obi had a plan. In Zillow’s case, they were prepared. The very same day they announced they were not re-signing with ListHub they also announced their Zillow Data Dashboard.

But what’s not clear is what’s MOVE’s plan? To me the scenario could play out that for a set period of time realtor.com will have a crapload of more listings than Zillow. This of course depends on if and when you think Zillow will be able to make up the delta of listings on their site by signing direct data agreements with MLS providers. Even if you assume they will make up the difference of listings, it still will take some time.

That time period is a HUGE opportunity for MOVE.

If I were MOVE (realtor.com) I would be getting ready to launch a huge marketing push, the day the ListHub agreement expires, to take advantage of a weak Zillow. The goal of this campaign would be to get in to consumers heads that Zillow does not have all the listings, but realtor.com does. Kind of a “Inventory Matters” campaign, rather than a “Accuracy Matters” campaign.

Maybe this is all underway, maybe not. Maybe they have another plan. But Zillow seems very confident, and that should be worrisome.

ListHub buys Point2’s syndication service

Pipeline-valve
Word on the street is that ListHub (MOVE) has acquired Point2. If so, Holy shit! What you gotta wonder is, if this is a Hail Mary Pass to “Save Listhub”, or is MOVE, Inc. trying to cinch up the all the syndicated MLS data feeds for some other batshit crazy idea.

Plus if Point2 was up for sale, why do you think Zillow didn’t buy it?

Related: Saul Klein and John Reilly and left Yardi as of September 1st. Yardi was the previous owner of Point2. In a Facebook post Saul wrote:

“John Reilly and I want to let you know that we are no longer involved with Point2 and will be leaving Yardi. We completed our last responsibilities on September 1.”

UPDATE: Looks like the rumor was true: Move, Inc. Acquires Point2’s U.S. Listing Syndication Service

But it looks like only the syndication piece was sold, so Point2 still lives.

“Point2 will continue to provide its signature real estate solutions including Point2 Agent, Point2 Homes, agent and MLS public websites, IDX tools, mobile applications, and additional tools to help real estate professionals be more productive and competitive.”

ListHub launches an online “Reference Guide”

bill stack

This ought to clear things up: ListHub Reference Guide

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