April 2010

New Ways to Leverage MLS Data

by THE WAV GROUP on April 30, 2010

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It is an exciting time for Multiple Listing Services.  The announcement of REALTOR® Property Resource by NAR has spawned many debates and several new programs allowing MLSs to leverage local property information in many new ways.  The programs are exciting, but are evolving quickly and thus can be a bit confusing and even overwhelming at times. In an effort to help every MLS understand the unique values of each of the programs now available, the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS), commissioned WAV Group to complete the attached evaluation.  Ideally, the paper will assist each MLS and their governing boards in understanding the key facets of each program so that they can make an informed choice based on their unique local circumstances. Download the paper This paper does not recommend one program over another but is intended to:   1.    Review the general services being offered 2.    Share sample financial projections for different sized MLSs for each option 3.    Summarize the terms and conditions of each program 4.    Discuss the potential short and long-term implications of each program 5.    Provide recommendations on steps to help you identify each program Four programs have been reviewed in the document: ·    NAR’s REALTOR® Property Resource (RPR™) ·    Move, Inc’s FIND product ·    First American CoreLogic Revenue Sharing Program ·    IMAPP Product/Program Overview It is our sincere hope that this paper from CMLS can make the process of evaluating each of these exciting programs a bit easier and more manageable so that each MLS can make a thoughtful, informed decision on behalf of their subscribers. Click HERE to see the CMLS White Paper on the topic. Look for the “New Ways to Leverage MLS Data New” link located on the right side under the News heading. If you would like to distribute the paper to your board of directors or brokers, feel free to.  Please just include proper attribution to the Council of MLS for the works provided to be in full compliance with copyright law.

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Rapattoni becomes Mac compatible

by THE WAV GROUP on April 29, 2010

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WAV Group performs dozens of strategic planning sessions for MLSs each year.  As part of our strategic planning sessions, we survey members on satisfaction with the MLS system.  One of the chief complaints among MLS Participants and Subscibers across all surveys is the desire to have Apple computers supported my MLS systems. LPS, Marketlinx, FBS, and now Rapattoni have all been focused on achieving this functionality.  Rapattoni issued a press release confirming their support of Mac based browsers this morning.  This is great news for MLSs who are delivering data services on the Rapattoni platform – a move that is sure to enhance participant and subscriber satisfaction with the product.  The upcoming NAR Midyear conference in Washington D.C. will offer a wonderful opportunity for MLSs to view the interface. Press Release SIMI VALLEY, Calif., April 29, 2010 Rapattoni Corporation (Rapattoni) announced today that the newest version of the Rapattoni MLS is fully compatible with the Mozilla Firefox® browser, which will allow the software to operate natively on Apple® Mac® computers. Rapattoni released the new version to its customers on April 28, giving their users the ability to access the Rapattoni MLS from the Firefox® web browser on PCs and Macs®. Rapattoni’s initiative to become cross-browser and cross-platform compatible began in 2009 andwill continue throughout 2010, as additional browsers are added. Nick Rapattoni, president of Rapattoni, said, “Over the past two years, the popularity of the Mac® has increased significantly among real estate professionals. As the numbers increased, Rapattoni recognized the importance of cross-platform compatibility and invested in making its robust Rapattoni MLS software work natively on both PCs and Apple® computers. Our new version provides our customers with a faster end product capable of running on Internet Explorer® and Firefox®.”    

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The HP Palm

by THE WAV GROUP on April 28, 2010

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Contrary to rumors about Levono buying Palm, it was announced today that HP will purchase the struggling cell phone provider.   HP and Palm, Inc. (NASDAQ: PALM) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase Palm, a provider of smartphones powered by the Palm webOS mobile operating system, at a price of $5.70 per share of Palm common stock in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion. The transaction has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors. The combination of HPs global scale and financial strength with Palms unparalleled webOS platform will enhance HPs ability to participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets. Palms unique webOS will allow HP to take advantage of features such as true multitasking and always up-to-date information sharing across applications. “Palms innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HPs mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. “And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market.” “Were thrilled by HPs vote of confidence in Palms technological leadership, which delivered Palm webOS and iconic products such as the Palm Pre. HPs longstanding culture of innovation, scale and global operating resources make it the perfect partner to rapidly accelerate the growth of webOS,” said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and chief executive officer, Palm. “We look forward to working with HP to continue to deliver industry-leading mobile experiences to our customers and business partners.” Under the terms of the merger agreement, Palm stockholders will receive $5.70 in cash for each share of Palm common stock that they hold at the closing of the merger. The merger consideration takes into account the updated guidance and other financial information being released by Palm this afternoon. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of domestic and foreign regulatory approvals and the approval of Palms stockholders. The transaction is expected to close during HPs third fiscal quarter ending July 31, 2010. Palms current chairman and CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is expected to […]

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Want Raving Fans? Try Picking up the Phone!

by THE WAV GROUP on April 28, 2010

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I was inspired to write a post today after being placed on hold for what seemed like FOREVER with my bank.  Why is it that “modern” customer service standards call for requiring customers to go through a series of qualifying steps and button pushes before even being able to wait in line to get our questions answered or our problems solved? Once I reached the bank, I was then transferred to yet another queue and placed on hold again!   All in all my experience with them lasted for over 2 hours!  What a nightmare. While generally I have a good relationship with my financial institution, the endless hold times I experience drained a lot of the goodwill they have created with me over the years. Many of the largest and most successful MLS organizations in real estate also follow commonly accepted customer service/help desk protocols.  When their customer calls them, they ask what they are calling about and then transfer them to the appropriate person or department via an automated system.  Some of these calls are answered by a live person, but only after several minutes of hold time first. There is one MLS that has a different approach and it is really paying off for them. They believe a human connection with their customers will do more for customer loyalty than anything else. That MLS is MLS/CLAW in the Beverly Hills/Malibu, California area. They have a very different philosophy.  Instead of forcing their customers into a phone queue – they do a miraculous thing – they pick up the phone! They cordially answer your question or qualify the type of question you have and transfer you quickly to the appropriate person.  Better yet, the person they transfer to usually picks up the phone as well! While others have eliminated their front desk staff, MLS/CLAW actually has three people picking up the phone.  When you call there you get a live person. They sometimes pick up so quickly, you might even think it’s actually an automated system!  And it doesn’t stop there. If the first three employees on the “front line” are busy, the lines transfer to others in the office who also pick up the phone with the same cordial and friendly tone. This front line group is also backed up by a help desk staff of 8 on call to answer technology questions quickly so that agents can […]

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Real Estate and Microsoft Docs for Facebook

by THE WAV GROUP on April 28, 2010

Microsoft Docs by Fuse

Real Estate has a love hate affair with documents. According to research performed by the WAV Group, The real estate industry has consumes about 1 Million trees per year in real estate transactions. There are a pile of companies offering transaction management and storage solutions adapted to the needs of real estate agents and brokers.  They are all fine products that can save hundreds of dollars a month in document storage fees while creating a better experience for the consumer in their transaction. In a move that smacks Google Docs in the face, Microsoft entered the fray of online document sharing with their announced partnership between their docs.com product and Facebook.  Here are some of the details.   Microsoft is calling it Beta so you can only get on a list and wait to try it out.  In the interim, you can view some sample documents that were shared. Docs.com plays nicely with all browsers (even Chrome for Mac as I experienced) but does not play nicely with Microsoft Word for Apple.   Here are some quotes from the announcement to fill you in on the details: “Im so excited to announce today the launch of a new beta Facebook app from FUSE Labs called “Docs”, also available at our docs.com website. Built on Microsoft Office 2010, the Docs app enables Facebook users for the first time to create and share Microsoft Office documents directly with their Facebook friends, using the Office tools they already know.” “This exploration exposes yet another facet of Ray Ozzies broad and long-held vision of social productivity. Although quite simple (and fun!), docs.com and its Facebook app bring together the best of ’software with the best of ’services. Documents can be created directly within the app, or can be uploaded from your PC. After starting work on a document alone, you might then choose a few others with whom to share it. Or you might instead share it with all your friends, or you might share it with the world. Documents can be viewed and edited directly within a web browser or, with a single click, you can edit them more richly and powerfully through the Microsoft Office software on your PC or Mac.” ….Well Kind of.  I tried to download a document to my mac and got the following error   “Welcome to Docs for Facebook, a new beta service from Microsoft FUSE Labs. With Docs you can discover, […]

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And the Hits keep Coming – REALTOR.com tops the Hitwise charts again! When I reviewed the latest Hitwise results it reminded me again of a phenomenon that continues to  amaze me – Realtor.com. According to Compete.com REALTOR.com had over 6.4 million unique visitors last month and in the peak season will likely repeat last year’s performance with over 9 million unique visitors. That is an amazing amount of traffic – enviable by every major brand in America. Just for perspective, Ford.com receives only 1.3 million unique visitors. Coca-Cola.com receives less than 500,000 unique visitors per month according to compete.com and Fisher-Price, one of the top ten most trusted brands in the world receives just 3.1 million unique visitors – at Christmastime! As the former VP of Marketing for Fisher-Price, I marvel at this success.  I wrote the first Internet strategy for Fisher-Price and launched their first website back in 1998. We worked REALLY hard and poured a lot of money into our online effort before we achieved that level of online dominance for the toy sector.  It is nearly impossible to capture that much market share in any Internet category, never mind real estate, one of the most highly trafficked and most competitive industries on the Internet today. REALTOR.com has maintained a SIGNIFICANT leadership position in the search engine rankings despite a host of formidable competitors with deep pockets coming after them.  They have nearly twice as much traffic as their next closest competitor, Zillow.com with 6.51% of all real estate traffic on the Internet. How have they done it?  I asked Curt Beardsley, VP Business Development of Move, Inc. at a recent MLS Advisory Group I was lucky enough to attend.  He attributes their success to a few things.   Best, most frequently Updated Data First, the site has the most comprehensive and highest quality repository of listing data available anywhere on the Internet due in large part to the site’s deep and rich partnership with MLSs around the country.  The MLSs feed Realtor.com as often as every 15 minutes keeping the data fresh and up to date. Consumers recognize good quality property data when they see it.  They know REALTOR’s have the inside edge on property information and they respond by going to the site fueled by REALTORS first.   Consistency Second, the site has been fairly consistent in its functionality and look and feel. While the content […]

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Marketing 101 for Real Estate Companies

by THE WAV GROUP on April 26, 2010

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Do you have a marketing and advertising department?  For most MLS, Associations and Brokerages today, the answer is NO.  For the largest companies, the answer is Yes.  Marketing and Advertising is typically the first “Cut Back” made by an organization facing uncertain economic times – but is also the most fundamentally destructive place to try and reduce costs in your business, especially for real estate Brokers. Studies show this is the reason why large companies gain more market share durring cyclical economic recessions and small companies fade or disappear. If you are of the ilk to appreciate and agree with this position, here are a couple of solutions for you to consider to bulk up on marketing.   Consider cutting back in the finance department.  Most business owners and managers will hang on to their accounts payable and receivable staff in a recession.  The driver of this choice is laziness.  The task of paying bills, balancing checking accounts, payroll and other customary accounting functions require a lot of time, but not deep levels of experience.  Divide the task up among the executive staff or just do it yourself.  After all, the daily routine of managing your financials day to day will serve to heighten everyone’s intimacy with the financial details and gain a clear understanding of company’s expenses and profits. Become a student of Marketing and Advertising – Marketing and Advertising are strategic and artful competencies.  They begin with a Marketing Plan.  The Marketing Plan requires research.  There are thousands of websites and blogs that can help you begin to develop your marketing plan.  One such place to start is at Small Business University.  Take a look at Marketing 101 here.  If you need help, consider contracting with a company like the WAV Group or other consulting firm that specializes in research and plan development.  WAV Group founding partner Marilyn Wilson was formerly the EVP of marketing for Fisher-Price – Mattel, overseeing global marketing of all company brands and products, and managing a $40 Million advertising budget.  She has 10 years of experience working with MLSs and Associations to develop Marketing Plans. Hire or Outsource for execution.  Do not presume that just because you have a plan, you have the skills to execute the plan.  There are abundant opportunities to work with Marketing firms and Advertising Agencies to execute your plan.  To be clear, if you do not have a good marketing plan in place – these efforts will be ineffective.  Marketing and […]

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Where HAR Goes, Zillow may soon follow

by THE WAV GROUP on April 23, 2010

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  This is pure speculation.  Nothing verified.  Just idle thinking….. Typically when a leader in the MLS industry like the Houston Association of REALTORS sets out a new business strategy, if it works – many follow.  As you may have heard, HAR is taking their Agent Ratings program to the next level.  They started with QSC, and are now they are developing a solution that allows consumers to see which REALTORS have represented the most number of buyers and sellers in a given area (powered by transaction information from MLS data).  The idea is that consumers will be able to see who the real expert is in an area…. So I started doing research on companies like QSC and others who are likely to benefit from expansion in the MLS industry.  QSC is likely to be an early mover because they already have the proven application developed for the real estate industry.  To find new companies that might enter the marketplace, I researched companies that rate Lawyers and other professionals – then I came across one that has Rich Barton of Zillow on the board.  AVVO I do not have any reason to believe that Zillow is launching any Agent Rating solution anytime soon…. but I do not think that it would take a major leap for Rich to look at AVVO and think…..I wonder if this would work for Real Estate.  Here is some more info on AVVO About AVVO   Avvo rates and profiles every attorney, so that people can choose the right attorney. Lawyer profiles contain helpful information including a lawyers experience, areas of practice, disciplinary history, and ratings from clients. Profile data comes from many sources, including state courts and bar associations, lawyer websites, and information provided by lawyers. Information meets guidance in the Avvo Rating–our effort to evaluate a lawyer’s background using a mathematical model that considers the information we know about a lawyer. This information is shown in the lawyer’s profile, including a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements, and industry recognition–all factors that, in our opinion, are relevant to assessing a lawyer’s qualifications. Avvo co-founder Mark Britton, an attorney for 16 years and formerly the top lawyer at Expedia.com, knows firsthand the challenges people face in finding the right attorney. Not only has he hired hundreds of attorneys throughout his career, but he noticed something peculiar while he was spending a year […]

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MLSs – Celebrate Earth Day by Going Green

by THE WAV GROUP on April 22, 2010

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The topic of going green is everywhere. We are getting bombarded with “greenness” by everyone from our bank to our grocery store. Why is everyone talking about it? Why should MLSs and Associations care? While it may not be the “sexiest” topic for some, the numbers speak for themselves. Green organizations benefit from reduced costs, more loyal staffs and more satisfied customers. With ever-increasing competition from fellow real estate organizations and third parties, going green provides a whole new competitive advantage. Smart green strategies help a company save money and eliminate waste while attracting new customers and creating a competitive advantage. Going green is a win-win for all involved.  Check out our free white paper on the Top Ten Ways to Go Green with your MLS. Real Estates Contribution to Our Environmental Crisis There is another very simple reason why real MLSs and Associations need to go green: because it is the right thing to do. We all hear the shocking statistics about how quickly we are consuming the worlds resources while destroying our forests, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. The real estate industry is contributing to theproblem. In fact, it only takes about 12 sales to consumer a tree. More Than 2,000,000 Trees Consumed Since 2005 the real estate industry has killed more than 2 million trees just with the paperwork needed to process residential real estate transactions! More Than 1.5 Billion Gallons of Gasoline Travel to clients, properties, open houses, home tours and conferences accounts for usage of approximately 1.5 billion gallons of gasoline a year. More Than 1.8 Billion Gallons of Waste Water Created The production of just one piece of paper produces 13 ounces of wastewater. To produce 26 million real estate transactions, our industry has created more than 1.8 billion gallons of waste water. Real Estate Consumers Value Green The BBMG Consumer Conscious Report finds that seventy-seven (77) percent of Americans agree that they “can make a positive difference by purchasing products from socially or environmentally responsible companies.” Nearly seven in ten (67%) Americans agree that “even in tough economic times, it is important to purchase products with social and environmental benefits,” and half (51%) say they are “willing to pay more” for them. MLSs and Associations can help their subscribers by offering green services they can leverage to attract consumers committed to green companies. Employees are Loyal to Green Companies Going […]

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WAV Group partner, Marilyn Wilson was awarded the Blue Crown award last night at the AFIRE conference for her ForeverLazy.com pajamas! About AFIRE – Awesome Females In Real Estate – Group of executive women who meet annually to share ideas, get inspired and have fun. About Forever Lazy – start up who makes super cozy pajamas! Unfortunately there are no photos allowed at the pajama party, but we are sure that everyone looked fabulous!

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Steve Hundley of 1 Park Place offered the following concepts about Personal Branding in Real Estate.  This was a good session for Agents and Brokers who are not new to online strategy, but looking to get more sophisticated.  I jumped on the call to get to know Steve and his company better in advance of joining him as a speaker at RIS Media. 5 Myths are :  Personal Branding will build my business; Internet leads are junk; Facebook and Twitter help build business; A website is better than a blog; Consumers want map search Myth – Personal Branding will build my business – it is not about you it is about thought leadership, not sales leadership Positive information – what is in it for them?  The customer? Hobbs Herder personal branding at $29,000 (discounted from $45,000) is a waste because it is designed to talk about the agent, not about the service or the product that the agent offers Top 5, Twitter, email marketing, informative print farming, facebook, and blogging are good Listing Syndication is Good Craigslist marking is good Myth – most internet leads are junk leads a lead is an opportunity, not a likely sale – you need to work it. incubate with information that is specific to the interest of the customer requires long term incubation, with regular contact measure your success at conversion be patient 7.3% of a successful agents business come from the web Myth – Facebook and Twitter will help my business Truth – you are on your own with Real Estate Social Marketing Focus on the 4 P’s of Social Marketing : Purpose, Parts, Priority Build your profile Brand yourself property Hire out to have your facebook and twitter pages done correctly Monitor your online reputation Myth – A website is better than a blog site Truth – websites are old fashioned, at least to google Blogs have better rank, faster rank, better consumer engagement (start conversations) more flexible – check out http://lasvegasfinehomes.com Myth – customers want to search by map Consumers prefer neighborhood search Consumers prefer school search Maps with boundaries are the answer – Mapping solutions that do not define these boundaries generate fewer leads. Thanks to Steve and his team for the informative presentation.  Cool stuff.  

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Trade Show Marketing for Real Estate

by THE WAV GROUP on April 21, 2010

Last Year, WAV Group partners averaged an attendance rate of of 2-3 trade shows or industry meetings each month.  This year does not appear to be slowing down.  Perhaps we have trade show fatigue or the industry is economically sleepy, but there seems to be a missing component of excitement in our industry.  Here is an example of a team of entrepreneurs from Montreal based startup – Tungle – a meeting scheduling utility that we love at WAV Group – its free, works on a mac, is available as a mobile app, and syncs with google calendar.  LOOK HOW MUCH FUN THEY ARE HAVING BUILDING THEIR BRAND!  If you are interested in learning more about tungle, visit http://tungle.com If you want to schedule a meeting with me at an upcoming show or anytime, visit http://tungle.me/victorlund  

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NARs HOUSELOGIC uses Facebook to reach REALTORS

by THE WAV GROUP on April 20, 2010

Houselogic Facebook ad

The National Association of REALTORS has moved headlong into finding new ways to communicate with REALTORS. Among those strategies are Facebook pages and now, Facebook Ads! Imagine my surprise today when this ad poped up on a Facebook page I was visiting.  The call to action was “Are you a REALTOR? and the link takes you to the Houselogic Content Resource page. I thumbed it up.  I like the ad and I like the strategy.  Advertising on Facebook is easy and very inexpensive relative to other online advertising strategies.  Choosing Keywords like Real Estate, REALTOR, etc will insure that your ad only appears when there is content on the page that matches your core audience.  Fancier methods allow you to only advertise in particular areas. If you are an Association of REALTORS looking to spread your education and advocacy efforts to your members, try doing it on Facebook.  If a fan page does not work, try advertising.  You can set a reasonable budget like $25 per week and watch the impact it has.  MLSs have begun to widely communicate with subscribers and participants using Facebook – WAV Group has coached MLSs on this strategy.  Next up will be Brokers recruiting for agents on Facebook – I am surprised not to see any of that yet. Here is another article we wrote about MLSs using Facebook  

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Dynamic Page Solutions releases indexable IDX solution

by THE WAV GROUP on April 20, 2010

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The National Association of REALTORS yielded to requests to allow agent and broker IDX listings to be “spidered” or “indexed” by search engines last year.  Prior to this ruling, the suggested NAR rules and regulations for IDX was to not allow this activity.  This change plays a significant role in search engine optimization whereby a search engine will ‘index’ every listing in an MLS along with all of the content associated with each listing and attribute that to the website. Most agent websites were previously only being indexed for 20 or so pages of content by search engines – examples would include the home page, about us page, buyer and seller resources pages, and contact pages.  Now, with an indexable property search solution, the search engines will look at every page of every listing presented on the site – so in some cases, that could lift the number of pages on an agent site from 20 to 20,000 or more.  This is a big lift for agents, and we have begun to see more vendors offer these solutions into the marketplace. Below you will find a press release from Dynamic Page Solutions, a vendor who is offering an indexable property search solution.  WAV Group suggests that the feature of INDEXABLE listing data is a key criteria in selecting a property search solution for MLS public facing websites, Broker Websites, and Agent websites.  This is the advantage that REALTOR.com, Trulia, Zillow and others have had for years, which has enhanced the SEO of those websites over sites that could not be indexed.  This should level the playing field and allow practitioners to gain the same SEO foothold as these other sites and become more competitive for search engine relevance. The question remaining has to do with Content Spamming.  When publishers reprint the same thing on their website as other websites, the search engine spiders do not know who was the original author of the content.  Typically, the first site to publish the data gets the SEO credit.  Since there can only be one “first” publisher, it will be interesting to see what happens.  It may well have the effect of unwinding the benefit that NAR was seeking to offer to in their ruling to allow indexing. Anyway – check out the press release.  I will be curious to see if they are successful at obtaining a patent. Dynamic Page Solutions announces its newest patent-pending MLS Enhancerproduct. […]

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Russ Bergeron to Join MRED as Executive Officer

by THE WAV GROUP on April 16, 2010

Midwest Real Estate Data Lands New CEO   Lisle, IL (April 16) – Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED), the Chicagoland Multiple Listing Service serving nearly 40,000 real estate professionals, announced today that Russ Bergeron will be assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer at the end of May. Mr. Bergeron comes to MRED from Southern California Multiple Listing Service where he has been CEO since its formation in 1993. As head of the largest MLS in the state of California and second largest in the nation, he is known throughout the world for his leadership in bringing technological advances to the multiple listing industry. In recognition of his leadership and innovation, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate for 2009 by Inman News. MRED, formed by the merger of two powerful MLSs in the Chicago area, is looking to create an MLS that serves the needs of their customers today and well into the future by enhancing its products and services to meet the ever-changing demands of today’s real estate practitioner. “One of our goals at MRED is to become the source for real estate data throughout the Chicagoland and beyond.” said Dean Rouso, Broker/Owner of Prime Property Partners in La Grange, IL and MRED President.  “With Mr. Bergeron on board, MRED will be in experienced and talented hands. We look forward to working with him to bring the highest level of service and technology to our members.” Mr. Bergeron brings to MRED over forty years experience in technical management and leadership in high growth, high technology, computer-based services. He is recognized as a pioneer in the movement to place real estate listings on the Internet for which he won the Inman Innovator Award in 1998. Many years ago, he began promoting his idea of one large database for all to access thereby eliminating the need for members to join multiple MLSs. His vision became the groundwork for California Real Estate Technology Services, or CARETS, the largest MLS data aggregation of its kind in the country.  Currently CARETS is made up of seven MLSs in Southern California providing real time access to nearly 4 million listings for over 100,000 real estate practitioners, and CARETS shows no signs of slowing down. Prior to the formation of SoCalMLS, Mr. Bergeron was deeply involved in all aspects of real estate data and the MLS industry including directing […]

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Be careful when blogging

by THE WAV GROUP on April 16, 2010

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Pardon my rant. WAV Group has been blogging for a long time.  We believe that it is an excellent way to stay connected to our clients or potential clients, and to showcase the type of (hopefully) thoughtful approach we have to our consulting business.  We also are endeavoring to keep clients informed about new ideas in the real estate technology industry – some good, some not so good.  We also like to celebrate the success that companies have and publish press releases. Recently we watched some situations of blogging gone bad.  This happens innocently as people make disparaging comments on blogs.  Indeed, it seems to happen frequently whenever an MLS makes a system change.  Change by its very nature challenges everyone to judge if the change is good or bad.  But consider this. In many cases, there are people attached to the companies and products that are being disparaged.  These people have careers and families.  Sometimes blog comments go too far and become personal attacks, which we believe are inappropriate.  As such, WAV Group takes great care to review every comment made to our blog and from time to time we request that comments get edited so that the constructional part of the comment comes through and the destructional component of the comment is removed.  We also do not allow anonymous comments. So here are a few things to consider in blogging. Don’t blog rumors Don’t blog news before it is released – it is awful for people to find out about their company before any announcement is made Avoid allowing anonymous comments on your blog. Consider approving comments before they are published. Avoid saying things on your blog that personally attack people.  

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Clarus Resource Goes International

by THE WAV GROUP on April 16, 2010

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Clarus MarketMetrics® enters Canadian market; offered as member benefit to Centris® LOS ANGELES (April 16) – Real Estate Business Services Inc.® (REBS®) today announced that Centris®, a division of the Greater Montreal Real Estate board and technology arm of the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB), has signed a 3-year agreement to provide Clarus MarketMetrics® as a member benefit to QFREB’s approximately 15,000 members. Centris® is the first entry into the Canadian market by Clarus MarketMetrics®.   “We’re very excited to be the first MLS in Canada to offer our members access to ClarusMarketMetrics®,” said GMREB and QFREB CEO Michel Beauséjour. “The Québec real estate market is unique, making it essential to have localized and timely market analysis information for our real estate professionals to use with consumers. Our three-year agreement demonstrates our ongoing level of commitment to providing relevant benefits to our members.”   “In order to better serve our Canadian clientele, we’ll be translating Clarus MarketMetrics®into French,” said REBS® Chairman Robert Bailey. “Centris® members will be able to search and filter MLS data in either language, paving the way for future bilingual development within the program.”   Clarus MarketMetrics® generates market and price-point analysis charts that can be an invaluable prospecting tool, an aid to setting seller expectations, or a companion set of data to justify a buyer’s offer. With Clarus MarketMetrics®, real estate professionals now have access to the most current, relevant local market data that even the savviest client will value.   Clarus MarketMetrics® is powered by Terradatum Inc., a provider of real estate technology products based in Glen Ellen, Calif. All agreements regarding the MLS data are between Terradatum and the participating MLS. Terradatum has been generating real estate technology solutions since 1994. In addition to Clarus MarketMetrics®, Terradatum has several other bold and exciting real estate technology products: BrokerMetrics® and BrokerMetrics® Web Tools.   The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards is a non-profit organization composed of Québec’s 12 real estate boards as associate members and the 15,000 real estate agents and brokers as affiliated members. Its mission is to promote and protect the interests of Québec’s real estate industry so that the boards and their members can successfully meet their business objectives.   REBS® is a subsidiary of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and is the leading provider of real estate products and services to practitioners in California. For more information on providing Clarus MarketMetrics® as a member benefit call […]

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First American launches new brand for Tech Products

by THE WAV GROUP on April 16, 2010

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Ben Graboske of First American Core Logic Marketlinx shared the announcement at HAR REIS meetings about the division of First American into two separate companies – roughly dividing the title business from the technology and data business.  We saw Fidelity do this a few years ago which resulted in the creation of LPS. Graboske was “hush hush” about the new name of the new company.  Many rumors have been circulating. Yesterday, First American announced the new company name to the employees – all 10,000 of them.  Believe it or not, the new name was leaked out. Drum Roll please……. Core Logic – Marketlinx.  Yup, thats right.  The new name is the old name sans the First American lead in.  Looking forward to the Initial Public Offering.  Should be in June, so prepare your investment dollars.  

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MRIS Launches XactSite

by THE WAV GROUP on April 14, 2010

MRISLOGO

MRIS has long offered premium products and services to their participants and subscribers.  Below you will see the announcement of a new service of offering agent and broker website and IDX offerings.  It looks to be a very complete solution that will cover the needs of the majority of their customers.  You will also notice that they are rolling it out as they would any other MLS service – complete with localized information and training classes through collaboration with shareholder Associations of REALTORS. Press Release MRIS will soon launch the XactSite agent and broker web site and IDX packages. The XactSite product line includes six different packages to choose from, each offering a number of features to enhance your internet-based marketing. The XactSite web site packages seamlessly integrate virtually all MRIS listings with a powerful IDX search with highly configurable, sophisticated templates. The various packages allow you to custom tailor the content and look of your site for your specific online marketing campaigns, attracting clients with fresh material and automatic regular updates. For agents, choose from XactSite Select, Premium, and Total each offering several templates and features such as map search using Microsoft® Bing maps, custom one-click searches, and a contact management system.   The Agent and Broker IDX Search packages can be customized to complement your existing web sites, and includes a Contact Manager.   And for brokers, XactSite Office provides several templates, Microsoft® Bing maps and a contact management system.   The XactSite product line is another way that MRIS offers you more options to create the professional, high-quality website presence that you need. The XactSite product line features various packages, catering to your needs as well as your budget, to deliver exactly the right image of you and your business!     Interested in learning more about the XactSite Line of Products?   No problem! Join us at our in-person product demonstrations. For one week, we will hold in-person presentations of the XactSite product line at local associations as follows –     Monday, May 3rd 10:00 am – 11:30 am Northern Virginia Assoc. of Realtors (Blue room) 520 Huntmar Park Drive Herndon, VA 20170   Monday, May 3rd 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Dulles Area Assoc. of Realtors (Large conference room) 803 Sycolin Road Suite #222 Leesburg, VA 20175   Tuesday, May 4th 10:00 am – 11:30 am Blue Ridge Assoc. of Realtors (Large conference room) […]

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Clareity Security advances MLS security options

by THE WAV GROUP on April 14, 2010

ClareitySecurity

    This is great news for the data sharing among MLSs in Northern California.  Unlike the data share in Southern California called CARETS, which pulls all regional listings into your home MLS system – Northern California data share uses reciprocal linking – so any participant may click into another MLS system and have full access….and now, without logging in again! CLAREITY SECURITY LAUNCHES SCOUT FOR SAFEMLS AND SINGLE SIGN ON SOLUTION FOR cooperative MLS of Contra Costa, East Bay Region Data, Inc. and the Bay East Association of REALTORS Scottsdale, Arizona — April 14, 2010 — Clareity Security is pleased to announce its Single Sign On (SSO) & Scout for SAFEMLS solution release for the Cooperative MLSs the of Contra Costa Association of REALTORS®, East Bay Regional Data, Inc. and the Bay East Association of REALTORS. Clareity Securitys SSO will serve as the Identity Provider (IDP) for the Co-Ops participation as Multiple Organization Reciprocal Ex change (MORE) in a reciprocal access data share.   The MLSs involved include the three organizations that comprise MORE (Multiple Organiza tion Reciprocal Exchange): Bay East Association of REALTORS® (Bay East), Contra Costa Association of REALTORS® (CCAR), and East Bay Regional Data, Inc. (EBRDI); who have joined the existing data share between MLSListings, Inc., and the Quattro Group, com prised of Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc. (BAREIS MLS®), MetroList Ser vices, Inc. (MetroList®), and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® (SFAOR). MORE provides the Co ops MLS service participants and subscribers broad access to search for and list properties throughout Northern California.

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