Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Industry Relations podcast: CoStar Buying Realtor.com Rumors

There’s been a lot of talk lately about CoStar buying Realtor.com. Will it happen or is it just a rumor? What advantages would CoStar have if they do acquire Realtor.com? With a history of bold predictions and Nostrodamus-like moments, Rob and Greg share their thoughts on what’s most likely to happen. Find out why Rob believes multi-brands aren’t a good thing and Greg shares how this could help with CoStar’s SEO. Lots of thought experiments in this episode as they unravel the rumors behind CoStar’s purchase of Realtor.com.

Watch us on YouTube!

Connect with Rob and Greg: 

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

This podcast is produced by Two Brothers Creative 2023.

Industry Relations Podcast: Making Better Agents and Listings

Ever wondered how to get the most out of your listings and become a better agent? In this episode, Rob & Greg touch on the different technologies and marketing strategies that agents can use to get an edge in sales. Tune in for why Rob believes great photography is the best way and why Greg thinks it’s just putting lipstick on a pig and pricing is the best strategy.

UPDATE 1-26-2023

A representative of Homes.com has reached out and said that the new version of their website has rolled out and has been live for the last couple of months.  Though there has been no industry-wide notification and they have still yet to launch any of their much-touted “listing enhancement” products.   The new site features include:

  • Completely new tech stack with noticed speed improvements
  • Historical AVM chart with three models + average
  • Deeper set of property characteristics from MLS, 
  • New design, 
  • IDX data via Ten-X in 460+ MLS markets (no more supplemental data via ListHub)
  • New agent search with updated agent profiles (includes transaction history)
  • New Homes Pro dashboard for agents on the back end (full integration with Homesnap Pro), and agent-client instant messaging for collaboration

Watch us on YouTube!

Connect with Rob and Greg: 

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

This podcast is produced by Two Brothers Creative 2023

Industry Relations: Rob & Greg’s 2018 Real Estate Industry Forecast

What’s in store for the real estate industry moving forward into 2018?

Some might consider this a supplement to Rob’s article on Inman News, 7 predictions 2018: Disco Fever.  But it was recorded before the article was published.  In this episode Rob and Greg try their hand at anticipating what’s ahead, offering predictions around the outlook for the MLS, Bob Goldberg and the NAR, the housing market, brokerages, technology and the culture of the industry. They begin with the ‘Blame the MLS’ debate caused by Bob’s response to the Inman Upstream article and Greg’s subsequent South Park blog post. Next, they offer an overview of leadership changes among major industry players and work through the big mystery surrounding RE/MAX’s failure to report Q3 earnings.

Rob and Greg speak to Facebook’s entry into real estate, discussing the differences between the social media powerhouse and Zillow as well as the potential for a syndication deal with Facebook in the coming year. They cover how MLS of Choice is likely to affect the industry, the continuing trend toward the tech-enabled brokerage model, and how NAR’s success in making changes to the tax plan might play out in the 2018 campaign season. Listen in for Rob and Greg’s insight on how the cultural phenomenon that is #MeToo might rock real estate and who will make the biggest splash in the technology space this year.


What’s Discussed:

The tendency among industry players to ‘blame the MLS’

The mystery around RE/MAX’s failure to report Q3 earnings

Facebook’s entry into real estate

– Match vs. search

The potential for a direct syndication deal with Facebook in 2018

Real estate as the ‘last frontier of disruption’

Greg’s insight around the rise of virtual MLSs

How MLS of Choice could trigger the first ‘hostile takeover’

The likelihood of non-contiguous consolidation activity among MLSs

Rob’s take on how HAR could leverage MLS of Choice

NAR’s big win on Capitol Hill regarding the tax plan

NAR’s increase in political spending in 2018

The trend of brokerages to adopt a tech-enabled model

–  Keller Williams culture of freedom
–  Agent adoption not a given

Mergers and acquisitions in the vendor space

The probability that #MeToo will rock real estate in 2018

Who is apt to make the biggest splash in real estate tech this year


Resources:

Andrea’s Upstream Article in Inman

Bob’s Email Response

‘Blame the MLS’ on Vendor Alley

Rob’s 7 Predictions for 2018

Everybody Wins: The Story and Lessons Behind RE/MAX by Phil Harkins and Keith Hollihan

Mike’s Breakdown of Facebook vs. Zillow

Inman Article on Using Facebook for Lead Gen

Brad’s NAR Article in Inman


Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Real Estate FinTech

This a16z podcast: Real Estate — Ownership, Asset, Economy kind of blew my mind.

“So, right now when you want to find a place to live you’ve got 2 choices. You can rent, which means you own 0% of your home, or you can buy which means you own 100%, usually from the help from a mortgage from a bank.

But why can’t you own 80%? Or 85%? Not only would this make owning a way more affordable, but, it would also mean you wouldn’t have 300% of your net worth tied up in this one asset which is completely against all standards of diversification.

Mind blown.

The Business of Design in Real Estate Tech – Listing Bits Episode 3

Damien Huze, CDO at W+R Studios, talks design

You can also download the Listing Bits podcast on iTunes

Damien Huze is the Chief Design Officer at W+R Studios. He was born in Paris and grew up in a creative environment, watching his parents design ads on the floor of their home office. When Huze was ready to apply his own talent, the internet was just taking off. He found his medium in building websites, first for his band and then his father.

Huze has known W+R co-founders Greg Robertson and Dan Woolley since the inception of the company in 2008 when they connected over a shared approach to software design. At the time, he was running a design shop called Wake Interactive where his small team did design work for tech-driven companies including Verizon, Target and even Jennifer Lopez. Huze consulted for W+R Studios, designing their corporate identity and contributing to the UI/UX of their flagship product, Cloud CMA.

Wake Interactive’s bread and butter was designing usable websites, but Huze eventually wanted to shift his focus to product design. When the opportunity came along to join the W+R team in 2015, he was ready to lead their rebranding effort and apply his talent to design from a product standpoint. On this episode of the podcast, Huze addresses the creative process, the benefits of creative thinking in business and how to view processes as a design task.

 

What’s Discussed:

-What the creative process entails

-Generating ideas can be frustrating and ugly

-The aha moment when you find a solution is addictive

-Why Boulder is a best case environment for software design

-The level of work happening in the field there is tremendously motivational

-The potential for transformation in the real estate industry

-How businesses benefit from creative thinking

-Design goes beyond simply shaping the way things look

-Processes are a design task, i.e.: hiring, support, etc.

-How Huze approached the rebranding effort at W+R

-A brand survey revealed that the name was the most valuable element of Cloud CMA’s identity

-The rebrand was based on the word “cloud” and employs a very simple mark

-Huze’s team developed Cloud Agent Suite with complementary products identified by color

-Why continuity is the key to a polished image

-An internal transformation was required for W+R to be well-managed from a brand guidelines standpoint

-The changing value proposition of real estate agents

-Agents continue to provide crucial representation as they assist buyers in navigating the process of putting in an offer

-Agents provide local knowledge for buyers who will be joining the community

-Why focusing on one aspect of an agent’s job that is underserved is the best approach to software design

-A product that tries to do too much for too many people is a product that is not great at any specific thing

-The best way to reign in a product manager who is adding too many features

-The goal is to build a product that fixes a problem

-The designer’s job is to figure out if the product manager’s assumptions are correct by asking a lot of questions (Why?)

Resources Mentioned:

Welcome to the W+R Studios Team Damien!

The New Face of Our Brand

W+R Studios hires chief design officer, prepares for launch of Cloud MLX

Connect with Damien Huze:

@huze

Instagram

Innovation and Growth in Software Tech – EP001

David Friedman and the Evolution of the Industry

You can also download the Listing Bits podcast on iTunes

Aloha and welcome to the inaugural episode of Listing Bits! Greg comes to you from Ko Olina, Hawaii, where he is attending Hawaii Life’s Worthshop 6, and chatting with real estate tech leader David Friedman.

Friedman describes himself as a Jewish kid from New York who went to engineering school during the dot-com boom. Interested in startups, he discovered that the real estate brokerage space lagged behind the curve in tech and set out to build a platform during the recession. That idea grew into the formation of

Boston Logic Technology Partners, Inc., an information technology firm whose mission is to help real estate brokerages grow faster by implementing their software and companion services.

As president of Boston Logic, Friedman leads the team in developing the company’s strategic vision. Working with investors, managers and clients, he is involved in the daily operations of the business including hiring, sales and fundraising. He is a metrics oriented sales manager, internet marketing strategist and coach with proven experience as an entrepreneur, growing a company from idea to profitability.

On this first episode of the podcast, Friedman talks about the rapid pace of innovation and growth in the real estate technology vertical, the future of Boston Logic and industry trends in big data and AI.

What’s Discussed:

Why chaos causes innovation

-The success of a business over time has no correlation to broader economic trends

-During a recession, many become entrepreneurs by necessity

Why the real estate industry has been behind the curve in technology

-When times are good (i.e.: during a boom), people don’t feel the need to innovate

The exponential growth of the real estate software realm

-From 2013-2014, funding for the formation of new companies went up 4X

How advancements in technology have dramatically increased the pace of innovation

-Hosting space on the cloud is cheap

-Building on top of open source architecture allows for the development of a working prototype in weeks (not months)

Why tech tools working together via data connectivity will be the next wave in the industry

The big investment Boston Logic secured from Providence Equity

How Boston Logic will employ the funds from Providence Equity’s backing

-Invest in the core business

-Look at acquisitions for growth

The traits of Boston Logic’s ideal client

-Small or large brokerages
-More tech forward than the average brokerage
-Current platform isn’t keeping up, isn’t integrated, or lacks a data sharing component

Trends in real estate tech

-Utilizing big data in a new way – making dormant data an asset
-AI – using bots to replace call center employees

 

Resources:

Worthshops.com

 

Connect with David Friedman:

BostonLogic.com

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook 

Introducing the Listing Bits podcast!

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I travel. I’ve thought about how we don’t really have any podcasts in the real estate technology space. So about a year ago I started thinking about doing one myself.

Well I’m happy to announce today that I’m not just going to launch a podcast, but two podcasts!

The first one is called Listing Bits. This will be me having conversations with various industry players. David Friedman of Boston Logic agreed to do my inaugural episode. More on that will be in the next post.

I already have 3 episodes done for Listing Bits, so expect them in the coming days.

In regards to the second podcast, we are still in production. It’s an interesting and fun format and I know you are going to love it.

I never done this type of format before so I hope you’ll stick with me while I figure out how to get any good at it.

Boca Real Estate Tech Mafia

realseekr1

Dan and I had lunch with Grant and Gia from RealSeekr.com today. Great people lots of energy, smart, and no pretensions. They have really grabbed attention in the online real estate space in a short amount of time. I’m not sure if I’m spoiling anything here but they plan to launch a new version of the site Christmas eve.

One of our discussions is how a lot of real estate tech companies are located here in South Florida, mostly in Boca Raton.

Here’s my short list:

Dwellicious.com
RealSeekr.com
eNeighborhoods

VisualTour.com
Forclosure.com (or is it Property.com now?)

Must be something in the bagels.

Landmark calls off sale of newspapers…

Landmark calls off the sale of The Virginian-Pilot Media Cos according to an article in the The Virginian-Pilot.

Landmark is the parent company of Dominion Enterprises which owns many of real estate’s top online brands, such as Homes.com, Advanced Access, Best Image Marketing (Number1Expert), and eNeighborhoods.

Back in January Landmark had announced that it was going to sell all its assets including Dominion Enterprises. It failed.

That leaves several thousand of employees in a state of limbo. While Dominion Enterprises maintains it will continue to run and grow its companies one can only speculate on what Dominion Enterprises will do to keep these companies running smoothly.

It will be interesting to see if Dominion Enterprises passes this test.

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