Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Fat Chance Row Update – Day 9, 417 miles rowed, 2,224 and no pants.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 1.31.49 PMSami Inkinen (co-founder of Trulia) and his wife Meredith are on Day 9 of their “fight against the silent killer, sugar”, dubbed Fat Chance Row. They raised over $200,000 for their cause. With 2,224 miles to go their “divorce meter is still at zero”.

They are live blogging their world record attempt and the Fatchancerow.org website. You can also live track them on their journey. There is also a twitter account. https://twitter.com/fatchancerow

I gotta say that now they are underway I’m completely rooting for them. I can’t imagine what they must be facing. How crazy would it be if they pulled it off?! What do you think?



My thanks to Trulia for sponsoring Vendor Alley. If you are interested in learning more about Trulia’s MLS programs just click on their ad (green box) to the right.

Trulia consolidates

Trulia lays off 85 Market Leader employees
Ian Morris, 4 other top Market Leader executives transitioning to consulting roles

From Inman News:

“In an email to employees, Trulia CEO Pete Flint said the reorganization was not taken lightly.

“We’re taking this step because the growth opportunities we saw at the time of the acquisition are clearer than ever,” Flint said. “So today, we are aligning our teams to make that Trulia one, unified organization optimized to create one set of product offerings. Our more nimble team will bring new products and services to market even faster, delighting customers and boosting our growth in 2015 and beyond.””

Anyone who didn’t see this coming doesn’t understand how acquisitions work.

Interested to see Ian’s next chapter and kind of sad to see him go. He’s been in the game for so long its hard to imagine him not there.

“The Big Three”, What Now?

I’ve been asked to conduct 3 interviews next week at the MLS Executive Session at NAR Midyear. The session is called – “The Big Three”, What Now?

I will be speaking with Curt Beardsley of Zillow, John Whitney of Trulia and Steve Berkowitz,CEO of Move, Inc./realtor.com

If you have any questions you would like me to ask, drop me an email. The interviews will be conducted separately.

The MLS Executive Session is co-chaired by Wes Wiggins and Chris Carrillo. It will be held Wednesday, May 14th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel – Regency Ballroom, Lower Level from 3:00PM to 5:00PM.

Should be a lot of fun! See you there!

Trulia making moves….

Just last week Trulia announced a direct data license with MFRMLS and now today they announced a deal with the Austin Board of REALTORS…, yeah you read that right, Austin.

Publisher’s agreement to ABoR’s data integrity standards helps ensure accurate listing data for Austin-area homebuyers and sellers

“ABoR created the data integrity standards to ensure that brokers’ listing data is used and displayed in a responsible, ethical manner. The standards address many common data quality issues for homebuyers and sellers, such as the display of outdated, inaccurate, and off-market listings, and are consistent with MLS rules and the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Trulia is the first publisher to sign a data license agreement under ABoR’s new data integrity standards.”

Looks like Trulia moved pretty quickly and made some major commitments to make this deal happen. Interesting to see where Zillow shakes out on this. If this deal with Austin sets a precedent on what terms MLS providers will work with portals on direct MLS feeds, and Zillow doesn’t want to adhere to those new “data integrity standards”, it could be the beginning of a big shift.

Oh yeah, Trulia also announced a new tablet app (iOS and Android) for agents. I gotta say, more and more I find that the iPad is one of the best sales tool ever created.

Where in the world is Sami Inkinen?

Trulia Co-Founder Sami Inkinen, has found a way to spend his millions….fighting sugar.

File this under: You can’t make this shit up.


John Whitney joins Trulia

John Whitney
John Whitney

Smart move by Trulia. Trulia, and the other portals, are dead in the water without good data. Guys like John know that world and have solid relationships with MLS providers. It’s clear that Trulia is trying to set itself apart as being the more industry friendly portal.

Congrats John!

Here’s the announcement.

Trulia Welcomes Industry Veteran, Expands Effort to Ensure High Quality Data

Trulia has hired John Whitney as the company’s new Director of Business Development for the Industry Services group. With over 20 years of deep real estate industry experience, John will advance Trulia’s already broad effort to ensure consumers find the best available information on Trulia’s website and mobile apps.
John is widely respected and has deep connections in the real estate community. His integrity and passion for helping his customers makes him a perfect fit for Trulia as the company expands its partnership with the industry.

John Whitney, Director of Business Development, Trulia Inc.
Trulia continues to invest in providing the best listing data because accurate listings are not only fundamental to a good consumer experience, but generate the highest quality of leads for agents and brokers. As part of Trulia’s value exchange for listing information, real estate professionals can generate leads on their listings at no cost to them.
Trulia’s other efforts around data accuracy include an enhanced data processing framework that processes data and updates listings every ten minutes. The company has also added filters to ensure inactive listings are removed.
Behind this effort is a large team of dedicated engineers, customer support, and product managers already in place dedicated to accurate data.
John’s day-to-day focus will be working closely with Multiple Listing Services and expanding the relationships with organizations like ListHub and Point 2 to improve coverage and accuracy on Trulia and provide brokers with the most effective choices for marketing their listings.
“We’re excited to welcome John to the Trulia team,” said Alon Chaver, Trulia’s Vice President of Industry Services. “Improving the accuracy and timeliness of listings data helps agents and brokers generate both a higher volume and a higher quality of leads. John will play an instrumental role in furthering our data initiatives and deepening our relationships with key syndication partners like List Hub to make it easier for brokers and agents to market their listings for the benefit of their sellers.”
The Trulia team is confident that strengthening its relationships with these organizations will help the company and its partners deliver better service to homebuyers and home sellers alike.”

Earn up to $70K/year selling real estate in San Francisco with Zillow!

The thing about true disruption is that it hits you from the blind side. You think X is going to happen and Y slaps you in the face.

Take for instance the big fear out there that Zillow/Trulia‘s “master plan” is to become a real estate broker. Nope. Here’s why.

I’m sure you seen this ad below on billboards and online from Uber.
Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 8.46.38 AM

Uber famously states, “We are not a taxi service.”, they just connect people who need to get somewhere with drivers you can get them there.

Trulia is not a brokerage. Trulia just connects people who want to buy a home with real estate professionals who can help them complete a transaction.

See what I did there?

No? Let me paint a picture for you….

Zillow as uber

Why doesn’t MOVE just shut down ListHub?

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – Sun Tzu

I had many great side conversations at last week’s Inman Connect in New York City. One of them imagines the premise that MOVE shutdowns ListHub.

Think about the consequences. It would basically cut off the largest source of listing data for Trulia and Zillow. At the same time Realtor.com would immediately become the largest single source of all listing data in the United States.

It also puts brokers back in the driver’s seat. For Trulia and Zillow to compete they would now have to do a full court press to brokers for data. Think about it, who would have the leverage in those conversations?

Brillant or batshit crazy?

RESO gaining momentum

Rebecca Jensen
Rebecca Jensen
RESO, RESO, RESO, seems that’s all I’ve been hearing lately. And its a good thing. Rebecca Jensen (RESO Chair and CEO of UtahRealEstate.com) has done a fantastic job of getting RESO out of its slump and moving the organization forward.
Bob Gottesman
Bob Gottesman
Part of that was the hiring of Bob Gottesman as Executive Director back in May. Having someone focused on the effort has been key. If you want to get caught up on what RESO is up to I would check out Matt Cohen’s Real Estate Technology Blog Fall Meeting recap.

Craig Cheatham
Craig Cheatham
Recently the appointments of Craig Cheatham, CEO of The Realty Alliance, and now Alon Chaver, a VP at Trulia. has also served to keep this momentum going.

Alon Chaver
Alon Chaver
I also would recommend their Facebook page, it seems to be kept more up to date than their website at http://RESO.org

Incoming RESO Chair Art Carter certainly has some big shoes (Jessica Simpson?) to fill and keep this ball rolling. No pressure.

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