September 2008

Marilyn Wilson Voted one of the top 50 women in real estate

by THE WAV GROUP on September 29, 2008

I would like to congratulate WAV Group partner Marilyn Wilson for being selected as one of the top 50 women in real estate.  Her thought leadership and work ethic make for an enormous contribution to the WAV Group and thier clients.   Thanks to the ActiveRain and Steven Swanepoel for producting the list of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in leadership roles in the Real Estate Industry. Congratulations to all of the winners – click more to see the list! Adorna Carroll Amy Chorew Andy Capelluto Ann Bailey Ann Defries Anne Randolph Avis Wukasch Barb Schwarz Barbara Corcoran Bernice Ross Blanche Evans Bonnie Mays Carla Cross Cathy Whatley Danielle Kennedy Darity Wesley Dianna Kokoszka Dorcas Helfant-Browning Dottie Herman Ebby Halliday Frances Flynn Thorsen Gail Liniger Helen Hanna-Casey Joeann Fossland Judy Ladeur Kaira Sturdivant Rouda Kelli Todd Kim Ades Laurie Janick Laurie Moore-Moore Lenn Harley Leslie Appleton-Young Margaret Kelly Marilyn Wilson Mary Frances Burleson Mary Tennant Michael Saunders Mo Anderson Niki Rapattoni Pam O’Connor Pat Vredevoogd Combs Patti Kouri Rita Santamaria Shari Chase Sharon Millett Sherry Chris Susie Hale Terry Murphy Vicki Cox Virginia Cook  

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Rapattoni launches MLS access security without Tokens!

by THE WAV GROUP on September 26, 2008

SIMI VALLEY, Calif., September 26, 2008 – Rapattoni Corporation announced today that it will implement advanced technology from RSA to enhance the fraud detection capabilities of Rapattoni Secure Logon and to make the security experience more convenient for its users. Based on PassMark device identification technology, which provides the “know your customer” rule used in online banking, this technology offers customers even more security assurance than traditional hardware tokens. RSA® Adaptive Authentication is an intelligent system that authenticates users by monitoring a series of risk indicators in real-time. This transparent authentication provides a superior user experience as agents are only challenged in higher risk cases. Embedded in the Rapattoni Single Sign-on Identity Portal, Rapattoni’s customers will now be able to fine tune the system’s fraud detection models. “If you are using your bank’s online services, you most likely are using this technology today,” said Nick Rapattoni, president of Rapattoni Corporation. “Eliminating the need for agents to carry a physical token removes all of the resistance to adopting higher security. Rapattoni will include this new security system as part of each new MLS installation at no additional charge, and existing customers will be eligible to implement this technology when their contracts are renewed.” Adaptive Authentication is currently deployed in over 8,000 organizations worldwide, protects more than 150 million online users, and the technology has processed over 20 billion transactions to date. Key Benefits No Token Required With RSA® Adaptive Authentication, the agent is no longer required to present a number from a hardware token and simply enters his/her regular ID and password. At the customer’s discretion, certain high risk users may be challenged to present a tokencode, and the system will be compatible so that customers who already have hardware tokens can seamlessly transition to the new technology. Fraud Detection RSA® Adaptive Authentication identifies fraud by collating fraud indicators, user profiles, transaction behavioral patterns, RSA eFraudNetwork feeds, and other fraud intelligence learned about the user’s personal behavior. Supports Existing Authentication Technologies RSA® Adaptive Authentication can intelligently challenge risky users with a variety of authentication technologies already deployed in the real estate industry: Challenge questions Device identification of PCs Hardware tokens Software and toolbar tokens PDA and smartphones with e-mail/paging  

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Pieces of GMAC real estate arm have been sold

by THE WAV GROUP on September 24, 2008

Although no information is being reported on Pacific Union, Koneng and Strey and other company owned offices – much of the empire has been sold. NEW YORK (Associated Press) – A unit of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. said Tuesday it is buying the real estate arm of GMAC Financial Services for undisclosed terms. The Toronto-based asset manager’s Brookfield Residential Property Services will buy GMAC Home Services LLC from GMAC Residential Holding Company LLC and Residential Capital LLC. The deal includes GMAC Real Estate, which has about 80 company-owned real estate offices and about 1,000 franchised offices nationwide, and GMAC Home Services Mortgage, the mortgage origination service within some of those offices, said GMAC Financial Services spokeswoman Gina Proia. In addition, the sale includes GMAC Global Relocation Services. In early September, GMAC Financial Services said it was exploring “strategic alternatives,” often used to hint at a business sale, for the Home Services unit as part of a restructuring of its mortgage business, which was hit hard by the housing market downturn. Residential Capital LLC, or ResCap, GMAC’s Richfield, Minn.-based mortgage lending division, will continue to lend through brands such as Ditech and GMAC Mortgage Direct, Proia said. The purchase expands Brookfield’s Residential Property Services into the U.S. market, said Chairman George Myhal. In Canada, Brookfield operates under the Royal LePage, La Capitale, Johnston & Daniel and Centract brand names. New York-based GMAC is controlled by Cerberus Capital Management, but automaker General Motors Corp. still holds a 49 percent stake in the business. Brookfield Asset Management shares gained 7 cents to $27.07 in midday trading  

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fingerfood

For years FNRES has maintained one of the largest data aggregation operations in the real estate industry – Internally code named DAGG.  DAGG is believed to be among the top three MLS feed management teams, joined by Wolfnet andeNeighborhoods. Although it is unclear exactly how many listings are being processed by these firms, our sources indicate that they have eclipsed 5 Million listings representing nearly 98% of all listings in the United States distributed over 900 MLS feeds. For the first time, DAGG is offering their data management services to companies outside of the Fidelity family of businesses.  With this offering, IDX service providers or real estate brokers who are managing multiple data feeds can outsource this effort to Fidelity.  In an announcement made today on RIS Media, Freedom Communications and FNRES disclosed that DAGG will be processing listings on behalf of most of Freedom’s newspaper and television websites. Managing data feeds on a daily basis is a difficult challenge requiring a unique skill and a dedicated database workforce.  “In outsourcing this effort to FNRES, Freedom Communications reduced costs and improved quality of data served,” says John Hensley, of FNRES. The DAGG department of FNRES is led by industry veteran Larry Ross.  

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Real Estate Advertising leads declines at Gannett

by THE WAV GROUP on September 16, 2008

newspapers

Business has been going badly for for publishers throughout the real estate industry. Perhaps the hardest hit have been newspapers. Overall, Gannett reported that Real Estate advertising was down 40% over 2007. By comparison, employment was down 33% and Automotive down 21%. Perhaps more telling is that circulation revenue is also down in line with declines in advertising. What is not clear from the Gannett August release is the cause. Are newspapers seeing the predicted decline in readership caused by the internet, or is the soft economy the source? Furthermore, the release did not offer any guidance on future growth or declines. Historically Real Estate has always led America out of a recesion. This is the first time in history that real estate has led the economy into one. The pain is beginning to be felt around the world as the global economy braces for the America effect.

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Blip.fm inspires thoughts of buyer and seller networks

by THE WAV GROUP on September 13, 2008

Social Networking is entering the real estate market place casually.  It seems that for many agents and brokers, participating in these networks is “nice to have” not “have to have.”  It is understandable.  Aside from a few dozen isolated examples, social networking has not generated much new business for real estate practitioners. Today I learned about a new social network titled blip.fm.  It allows people to become DJs, sharing music favorites online.  To get started you simply create a user name and enter in your email address.  Pick a few bands or songs that you like, and blip.fm will instantly connect you to people with the same musical tastes.  You can easily add people to your favorites and follow the new music that they share.  You can also invite your own friends to join you on blip, and share music with them simply by entering the title or artist – even add messages to go along with the song.  If you are a musician, you can even add your own music to blip.fm  An activity pane called “stats” allows you to see previous songs you have listened to, comments from others, favorite DJs and current listeners. Lets now turn to real estate.  Does this concept resonate for buyers and sellers? With Property.RE, people who are buying or selling homes share their property favorites online.  To get started, you simply create a username and enter an email address.  Pick a few homes that you like and Property.RE will instantly connect you with people who are shopping for, or selling homes with your same tastes.  You can easily add people to your favorite buyer or seller list, and follow the new listings that they share.  You can also invite your own friends or co-buyers/seller to join you on property.re, and share listings with them simply by entering the address or MLS id – even add messages to the listings to share your personal likes and dislikes.  If you are a home seller, you can even add your own listing to property.re.  An activity pane called “stats” aloows you to see previous listings you have viewed, comments from others, and favorite buyers and seller friend activity. From a practical perspective, deployment would require a large real estate association or MLS to build a large enough community to make it viable. Right now, consumers are writing about real estate listings on blogs, posting to […]

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New online tool is a huge success so far with Connecticut agents and their buyers and sellers. Listingbook™ announced today that it has launched its system in Connecticut, with the Greater Fairfield County Consolidated MLS (GFC CMLS), expanding the ever growing footprint of Listingbook deployed across the nation’s leading MLSs.  Listingbook is a freeimum service – free to the MLS and members for baseline VOW services, and a small fee is charged to agents who upgrade to the premium service product (includes branding, preimum website, enhanced CMA and reporting). The addition brings more than 8,000 REALTORS® to the companys agent base. Every GFC CMLS real estate agent now has access to Listingbook. Training began in July. More than 2,400 agents already have logged into their account, getting the MLS off to a great start. “We presented Listingbook to our members in our Town Hall Meetings earlier this year and it was received overwhelmingly,” said Don Hull, president and CEO of GFC CMLS. “Listingbook is now creating a community of communication between thousands of buyer and seller prospects within our system. Our members that are providing this collaboration tool to their customers are getting great responses.” Listingbooks client-servicing product complements any local REALTOR® MLS systems, allowing secure access to MLS data. An agent authorizes a client account for a buyer or seller. The agent is then able to supply reliable, personalized and current market information to clients. “By constantly merging information back and forth regarding the likes and dislikes of buyers on specific properties, Listingbook becomes an extremely powerful marketing tool for agents,” Hull continued. “This will prove to be a great business arrangement between our agents and their clients.” James Barry, president of Listingbook, agrees that GFC CMLS agents are quickly realizing the positive effects the system has by providing constant communication with clients regarding day-to-day changes in the market. “We are extremely excited that Greater Fairfield County has decided to provide Listingbook to their agents,” Barry said. “Listingbook magnifies the value of agents, placing them at the center of the entire buy-sell process. It empowers clients to be educated, and an informed client accelerates the buying/selling process. It strengthens the long-term bond with their agent.”  

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MLSPIN pumps up data center to improve system performance

by THE WAV GROUP on September 8, 2008

Hyper-V and Melio clustered file system enable real time infrastructure for the largest Multiple Listing Service in New England. Sanbolic announced that MLS Property Information Network, Inc.(MLSPIN) has deployed Melio clustered file system in conjunction with Microsoft Hyper-V for their new data center. By allowing virtual servers running as file and web servers to concurrently access shared data on SAN storage, Melio FS enables the data center to dynamically respond to changes in web traffic. MLSPIN is the largest MLS in New England and one of the top ten in the nation. It provides service to more than 30,000 real estate professionals throughout New England with a comprehensive database of more than 60,000 active listings. The new infrastructure uses Hyper-V to allow multiple virtual servers to run on each HP server, which utilize Quad-core AMD Opteron processors. The virtual machines are running Microsoft Windows 2008 file services and IIS services. “Melio file system provides two key advantages for us,” said Matt Lavallee, Director of Technology, MLSPIN. “By providing a single storage LUN for Hyper-V virtual machine files, we greatly simplify the storage configuration required to enable Hyper-V quick migration. More importantly, Melio allows us to provide shared access to application data on a SAN from multiple virtual servers – this dramatically improves the manageability of production releases and allows us to quickly provision new virtual servers in response to traffic. This gives us the real-time infrastructure capabilities that we believe are the cornerstone of the next generation data center.” Sanbolic’s Melio clustered file system and LaScala volume manager are designed to support Windows applications that benefit from central administration of a large virtual storage pool, which can be accessed simultaneously by multiple physical or virtual servers. Melio FS uses 64-bit architecture, allowing very large volume and file system sizes. These products install easily on physical or virtual servers, and can leverage virtually any fibre channel or iSCSI storage infrastructure. Windows Active Directory and clustering features are fully supported. Reporting on storage I/O and transaction performance facilitates optimization of storage-intensive workloads. The file system also incorporates quality of service assignment to allow prioritization of defined workloads in bandwidth-constrained environments. When used with Hyper-V, Sanbolic’s Melio FS provides functionality similar to VMWare’s VMFS, allowing all virtual machines file to be stored on the same SAN storage volume while being simultaneously available to all hosts. This simplifies storage management and enables simplified migration […]

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