September 2010

NEWS RELEASE Point2 Technologies Announces Eleven New MLS and Association Listing Syndication Program Implementations Saskatoon, SK and Vancouver, BC September 27, 2010 Point2 Technologies (”Point2“) today announced eleven additional real estate MLSs (Multiple Listing Service) and Associations in the United States have recently selected and completed the implementation of the companys benchmark setting property listing aggregation and syndication solution.   Todays announcement follows a September 22, 2010 release by Point2 that the REALTOR®Association Of Greater Fort Lauderdale, Inc., one of the largest REALTOR® Associations in the State of Florida, with 8,600 members and 20,000 listings, had also completed the Point2 program roll out. Under the program, the following organizations will now also enable their members, at no added cost to them, to automate the distribution of listings, selectively on a listing by listing basis, across Point2s industry leading national network of 55 syndication partner websites and search engines including Google, Yahoo!, Cyberhomes/AOL, Trulia, Zillow, Homefinder, Oodle, Vast, eBay and Craigslist. Ann Arbor Area Board Of REALTORS® (Michigan) Burbank Association Of REALTORS® (California) California Desert Area Association of REALTORS®  (California) Hamptons North Fork REALTORS® Association MLS (New York) Iowa City Area Association Of REALTORS® Inc. (Iowa) Northwest Mississippi Association of REALTORS® (Mississippi) Osceola County Association of REALTORS® (Florida) Sedona Verde Valley Association Of REALTORS® (Arizona) Tuolumne County Association of REALTORS® MLS (California) Upper Peninsula Association Of REALTORS® (Michigan) Warren County MLS (New York) “We welcome our new MLS and Association partners, and their members to the Point2 community, and we look forward to seeing them leverage Point2s advanced online exposure and lead conversion technology to help them compete more effectively and grow their business,” said Saul Klein, Chief Executive Officer, Point2 Technologies. “Our solutions are developed for the MLS and its members, and constantly evolve to meet and exceed their requirements. We are pleased to see our focus on our customers rewarded with consistent market adoption and growth.” Leads generated on all approved Point2 syndication partner websites are delivered to the listing brokers and agents, at no cost. In addition to free listing syndication, the Point2 solution gives all MLS members, brokers and agents, free access to online traffic reports generated on key syndication partner websites, to enable more informed online marketing and advertising decisions. To increase revenue, brokers and agents can now also activate a subscription-based Point2 Agent (www.Point2Agent.com) account, seamlessly through their MLS dashboard, to efficiently manage leads and increase sales […]

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Prudential California Realty

In a news release today, Ed Krafchow, CEO of Prudential California Realty and Prudential Nevada Realty placed his confidence in David Gardner and Pat Shea as co-Presidents of his company. Together, they will assume the role of continuing to guide this great brokerage down the path of success that Krafchow began so many years ago. It is really a great story about two REALTORS, Agents, like so many others that join the ranks each day. These two passionate individuals grew up in the industry, and like Krafchow – share a vision for managing a brokerage with highly trained agents, leveraging education and technologies in the best possible way to provide world class services to home buyers and sellers. The press release shines a light into their business strategies:   During the past six months alone, under Shea and Gardners direction, the company has implemented a slew of new tools and technologies for its agents. Most notable are the Short Sale Toolkit, TransactionPoint with DocuSign with the duos related Transaction Management Department, in addition to the KWKLY mobile texting solution. Shea and Gardner are very committed to further growing the companys online presence and lead generation opportunities for our agents. Continue to read the full press release   David Gardner and Pat Shea Named Co-Presidents of Prudential California/Nevada Realty Pleasanton, Calif. (PRWEB) September 25, 2010 Prudential California Realty has named David Gardner and Pat Shea as Co-presidents, according to CEO Ed Krafchow. With more than 1,900 real estate agents, the company has 36 offices throughout northern California and northern Nevada. Both Shea and Gardner have extensive backgrounds in the real estate industry, each starting their careers as Realtors, listing and selling properties in the 1980s before moving into management. Company CEO Ed Krafchow commented, “My job is to ensure the legacy of this company, which to me is a family; and by conferring the presidency on Pat Shea and David Gardner, this has been accomplished. I cant think of two better qualified individuals who are more passionate about the welfare of the agents and offices than these two than Pat Shea and David Gardner, and I want to congratulate them on all the great work theyve done and will do in the future.” Pat Shea holds a twenty year history of high unit volume in residential real estate sales. Early in 2002, he accepted the Branch Manager position at the Elk Grove office of Mason […]

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MRED Launches new brand image How strong is YOUR brand image?

by THE WAV GROUP on September 25, 2010

MRED Logo

It’s very exciting to see MRED, the second largest MLS in the United States launch a new brand image for their company.  Their tagline “reinventing MLS” may give all of us a clue about where Russ Bergeron, their new CEO and the rest of his staff are going.  It looks like they are going to “shake things up” a bit. I am heartened by a leader in the MLS industry that is taking their brand seriously. They have launched a whole new marketing campaign to help build awareness of their brand to their subscribers.   By using such an inspirational mark, it suggests that the company is “shooting for the stars” and helping its members to do the same. In these days of MLS of Choice and ever increasing competition from third parties trying to negate the value of a REALTORÒ,  brand is more important than ever.  In member satisfaction surveys we often see significant brand confusion between the MLS provider and their partner real estate associations.  Many times MLS customers do not even know the MLS is a separate organization. Satisfaction trends are inextricably linked to the reputations and service levels of local partnering associations.     similar plot. While most offer a similar suite of products, they need to find unique methods for convincing their customers they have the best answer for their real estate technology needs. Unlike a mission statement, a positioning statement is designed to help define the unique business proposition of a company. It may morph over time as the needs of its clientele change. Not a Tagline Importantly a positioning statement is NOT a tagline. It is a statement (and sometimes a clumsy one) that will help you think through the four key elements needed to describe your unique value proposition. It can be used as a basis to think about what your tagline should be ultimately, but it is NOT a tagline all by itself.  Do not worry about how “pretty” the sentence is. Just get the words down that describe your value proposition. Here’s an exercise you can try to answer the unique “reason for being” of your MLS. Complete this seemingly simple positioning statement: To (Target audience), XYZ MLS (company name) is the only (competitive set) that (key benefit being delivered to your customers). Reasons to believe this: (list 3 to 4 tangible actions you deliver that pay off the key benefit […]

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Time for Change - Ornate Clock

Today’s real estate consumer communicates very differently with their agent than in past times.  Unlike boomers who like to get to know their agent and work with them in person, Gen Y’s prefer to do most things electronically.  They ask for you to send them an update to a contract via text.   They want you to set them up on auto email from your MLS system to look for listings that match their search criteria. Bottomline, they want to just “get it done”. They don’t have the time or interest to really get to know and the true skills you provide as an agent.  Gone are the days of riding around in the car for weeks looking for just the right home. They’re narrowing their choices on line long before they get to you. While his can be easier in some respects, it can also be dangerous.  If they don’t really know what an agent does, why would they value the commission they pay for the services? How do you prove your worth without building a strong personal relationship? Here’s one idea to consider: Clients need to know all of the steps you go through and all of the balls you juggle to close a sale. They don’t know how many times you interface with your title agent or how you went to the house three times before the home inspector actually showed up. They aren’t aware of the number of follow-up calls you have made to your escrow officer or how you reviewed the special issues on their disclosure with your in-house attorney. They don’t know that you stayed on your State Association’s legal hotline to be sure that all of the parties involved in their REO were legitimate and actually licensed.  They simply don’t know all of the hours it takes to create a successful real estate closing these days. So what you do about it?   Have you thought about Transaction Management Software? Transaction Management software has been touted for years as a way to become more “efficient” in your business.  While that sounds nice, studies WAV Group conducted aboutTransaction Management in 2005 and even as recently as 2009 suggest REALTORS are not driven by their need to be more efficient. They’re driven by the need to be more successful selling real estate!  So let’s look at transation management through a new lens. What if you thought about […]

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What Happened to Notice of Participants

by THE WAV GROUP on September 23, 2010

I came across this post today from an excellent blog by 2 consultant/Attorneys, Tim Jacobson and John Reese – check out thier blog at http://www.strategicmls.com In this post, they remind us of some basics – republished here There may be some confusion about the rights of MLS in connection with new opportunities to license listing content to third parties, such as  Realtors Property Resource™ (RPR), CoreLogic®, and Move®.  For years, National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has appropriately taken the position that listings are the property of the participant who generated them.  Policy Statement 7.85 adopted by NAR in May, 2005 states that the participant owns the listing agreement, or in other words, the intangible property called a listing.  This is distinguished from the copyrightable listing content that may be owned by the participant if he or she takes appropriate steps for such ownership.  However, and consistent with the concept that the participant owns the listings, the policy statement also prohibits the use of listings and listing information by MLSs for other than the “defined purposes of MLS”, without first obtaining the participants consent, meaning all of the participants.  The “defined purposes of MLS” means use by participants through the MLS system for providing real estate brokerage services.  One interpretation went so far as to include IDX as being outside of the defined purposes of MLS.  Further, the consent cannot be required as a condition of obtaining or maintaining MLS participatory rights, which addressed the red herring issue of who owned the listings.  The policy statement allows MLS to presume such consent provided that listing brokers are given adequate prior notice of any intended use unrelated to the defined purpose of MLS, and given the opportunity to affirmatively withhold consent for that use.  Any notice must be real, however, and not a sham.  Participants need to be aware that the MLS is licensing listings to third parties, and let the participants know they have a right to opt-out of any such license.  MLS need to take notice of this policy statement and remember to obtain the consent of its participants before licensing any listing content to any third parties, including Realtors Property Resource™ (RPR), CoreLogic®, and Move®.  Failure to do so could put an MLS in a position of non-compliance with the NAR MLS model rules, and it could give a claim to a participant who does not want his/her listings being […]

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MOVE, operators of Realtor.com, Acquires Threewide Listhub

by THE WAV GROUP on September 21, 2010

Listhub Logo

In a MOVE that is sure to improve listing syndication to third party websites, MOVE, Inc has aquired Threewide, the operators of the popular ListHub product which syndicates listings to their party websites like Trulia and Zillow for customers like MLSs, Brokers, Franchises, etc. If you saw the MOVE announcement last week whereby their contract with NAR regarding Listing Syndication needed to be amended, you can appreciate just how tight the relationship is between MOVE and NAR. There is very little that MOVE can do without NAR’s blessing and approval. Everyone should be proud that NAR takes Broker Listing Content so seriously, and give some Koodos to Move from time to time for their support of that agreement. It is easy to hate the big kids, but from time to time, you must respect what they are doing. ListHub has been great at distributing data, but due to their impressive growth – they have been unable to keep up with demand to open new channels and new MLS markets. With the MOVE data integration team behind them (frankly the data has been mapped for almost every MLS on the planet), Listbub will serve the REALTOR community better than ever. Here is the full press release.Move, Inc. Announces Acquisition of Threewide Corp., Operator of ListHub ListHub Enables Move to Provide National Syndication and Unified Market Intelligence Solutions CAMPBELL, Calif., Sept 21, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ – Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE), the leader in online real estate, today announced the acquisition of Threewide Corp., operator of ListHub, the nation’s largest online real estate listing syndicator and provider of advanced performance reporting solutions for brokers, real estate franchises, multiple listing services (MLSs) and real estate web sites. ListHub products and services include syndication of 2.4 million property listings from 270+ MLSs and 38,000 brokers to more than 70 real estate marketing web sites, as well as streamlined data management and reporting analysis used to monitor online listing performance. With the addition of the ListHub brand, Move will deliver even greater value to MLSs, brokers and real estate web sites as a single trusted source for national online listing syndication and reporting services empowering real estate professionals to reach more consumers while efficiently managing their online marketing strategy from one standardized dashboard. “Online real estate today can be a fragmented experience for consumers and real estate professionals, and the related content is often inaccurate,” said […]

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The RPR – Data Seeker Update

by THE WAV GROUP on September 21, 2010

The RPR Data Seeker Update It has been almost twelve months since the San Diego NAR conference when RPR had their coming out party and began the data wars our industry finds itself in.  Maybe it didn’t actually start the whole issue of using MLS data for non-traditional purposes, but it certainly put it in our mainstream discussions.  It also made the whole concept of using MLS data for purposes other than selling properties a concept that the industry was willing to consider.  This was a big shift and one that hadn’t had much energy since REGIB (Real Estate Business Investment Group) tried the same thing several years earlier. So what has happened in the last year or so?  How many MLSs have stepped up and joined RPR?  What about the other players looking for data? This is just a quick update on what has happened over the last year.  If you would like to check out a paper we wrote for CMLS on the subject you can find it through this link, http://waves.wavgroup.com/new-ways-to-leverage-mls-data.   RPR Over the last year or so we have seen and heard a lot from RPR as they have moved aggressively to sell their vision on data use and sign up MLSs, Associations and individual real estate companies.  They have made progress but, in truth, the way they rolled the whole project out didn’t help the process.  The product was introduced at the NAR conference with great fanfare but at the time there were no terms and conditions and many details were yet to come.  To make it worse, over the next few months, RPR changed their position on a number of points which made the whole proposition seem a little unsettling.  There were questions about taking over the MLS and profit sharing and numerous other issues that eventually were addressed in some way but it appeared to those watching that things were being made up on the fly.  This, of course, created questions as well as confusion and probably didn’t help the “sign-up” cause.  All that being said, they have made progress and the terms and conditions are now clear.  At present, according to information provide to us by RPR they have commitments as follows: 96 total agreements 26 MLSs 69 Board/Associations 1 Real Estate Company 260,000 agents (approximate) If you look through their list of MLS partners, which they publish at http://blog.narrpr.com/, you will notice […]

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RE Technology, Inc is Hiring!

by THE WAV GROUP on September 20, 2010

ReTechnology logo

RE Technology, Inc. is growing by leaps and bounds! We need to hire another sales peson to help spread the word about the great opportunity to connect technolog companies and services to over 250,000 agents across the United States.  RE Technology’s flagship product RETEchnology.com is the real estate industry’s first ever web portal that aggregates information about a variety of technologies and services used by the real estate industry.  It is a thriving online portal featuring the industry’s most comprehensive resource for products, companies, user ratings and product reviews.  RETechnololgy.com allows real estate agents and brokers to better leverage the power of technology in their businesses by gaining access to information, reviews and product ratings of real estate technology products available in their market.  The website is similar in concept to popular consumer websites like ConsumerReports.com, CNet.com and Amazon.com.  The company was founded by partners of the WAV Group, after seeing a need to help find a more efficient way to connect agents, brokers and MLSs to technology companies and service providers. The company is seeking an experienced sales professional with proven experience selling to real estate technology companies and service providers.  The ideal candidate will have demonstrable success selling to  Fortune 500 companies, established companies as well as technology start-ups.   The successful candidate will have a demonstrated knowledge of the real estate industry combined with an in-depth knowledge and passion for the technologies used by real estate professionals.  Experience selling online advertising and sponsorships is a plus.   The successful candidate will be responsible for selling online advertising and sponsorship programs to help technology companies gain exposure to agents and brokers throughout North America.  The company has existing relationships with leading real estate technology companies and service providers.  The position will be responsible for converting these prospects into long-term promotional relationships.   The Online Advertising and Sponsorship Sales person will be responsible primarily for daily prospecting calls to provide online demonstrations, outlining proposals and closing business.  The position will also require travel to leading trade shows throughout the year and occasional travel for customer meetings.   The position will be supported by a highly skilled full time Sales and Marketing Coordinator fulfilling all closed sales freeing up the sales professional to focus on closing new accounts.     Desired Skills Proven experience selling real estate technology and/or advertising in the real estate industry 3 to 5 years sales experience Bachelors […]

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Cover for Property Search Delta

Professional real estate websites are losing the battle for consumers online. Todays real estate consumer has a dizzying array of websites that provide them with access to real estate listings.  There are numerous third party websites like Zillow and Trulia as well as national real estate Franchise sites and local real estate company websites.  Consumers likely assume that all of these sites offer the same quality of information. Unfortunately this isnt the case. This white paper from the WAV Group chronicles research findings on the consumer search experience.  WAV Group has calculated the differences between third party websites, franchise websites, and broker websites to measure “Property Search Delta.”  Consumers experience this delta when they click through to from third party sites to broker or franchise sites. By offering a better search experience with rich amounts of listing data, neighborhood data, market trends, tax data, sold data, school information third party websites have taken a significant lead over most brokers and franchises in the eyes of the consumer experience.   Do all sites present the same property data?  Is the search experience fairly uniform?  Not at all!  There are huge differences, or Deltas, in the type and quality of information found on property websites. The online landscape for property search is constantly evolving. In order for brokers, agents and franchises to compete for consumer interest, they need to keep their heads up and look carefully at their strategy for remaining relevant online. The biggest threat to broker and franchise websites today is their failure to keep pace with the online marketplace. Third party websites are winning by offering consumers the most engaging consumer experience around a depth of property information. As a result, these sites have become destination sites for consumers. Consumers use them as a launch pad for property search and keep returning because of the great tools and depth of information that consistently outshines even the best broker and franchise websites. WAV Group has been consistently concerned about data quality on third party websites. They have great sites, but generally poor data quality. Our dilemma is that the consumer believes the quality is the same as a broker site; after all, the listings have the brokers name on them. Poor data quality misrepresents the seller and reflects poorly on the broker. Moreover, it begins a virus that diminishes the reputation of real estate professionals. Consider the effect when a consumer contacts an agent […]

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move logo

In a press release published today, the National Association of REALTORS and MOVE, INC (operators of REALTOR.com) announced that they have completed the renewal of the agreement between these two parties to continue their relationship. In an unexpected twist, realtor.com may now act as a syndication resource to agents and brokers who which to have their listings appear on other third party websites like Zillow, Trulia, MSN, Yahoo, Google and a long list of other third party websites. This is great news for agents and brokers who are challenged to keep their listing content current and accurate at third party websites. Today, realtor.com updates listing content from the most comprehensive list of MLSs in the country – more than doubling the number of MLSs who are using Point2 or Listhub syndication services. With this new agreement, smaller MLSs will be able to provide syndication services to their subscribers quickly and effectively without the need to make any changes to the current process of sending listings to realtor.com. Here is the full press release NAR and Move Pave Way for Innovation With Updated Operating Agreement   CAMPBELL, Calif., Sept 16, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ – The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE), the leader in online real estate, today announced recent discussions related to their 14-year operating agreement have resulted in an updated agreement intended to drive more competitive and rapid innovations to their flagship site, Realtor.com®. The discussions between the two organizations revolved around bringing clarity and alignment to key issues surrounding site innovations, content modifications, and approvals so Move and NAR can drive faster and more competitive improvements on Realtor.com. “NAR is pleased to continue and strengthen our agreement with Move. Updating the operating agreement underlines both NAR’s and Move’s commitment to ensure that real estate professionals remain as the first point of contact in the real estate transaction,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Association, Tucson, Ariz. “We’re very pleased with the outcome of these discussions with our partner NAR. We’re looking forward to a stronger and more collaborative relationship guided by an updated agreement enabling Move to drive more competitive innovations on Realtor.com that will enhance consumer’s search experience while empowering Realtors® with a greater range of valuable marketing services,” said Move, Inc. Chief Executive Officer, Steve Berkowitz. “We entered the discussions seeking clarity and […]

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Listing Syndication leads going to other agents

by THE WAV GROUP on September 16, 2010

Trulia Contact Agent

As a follow up to my post yesterday, Trulia posted a new listing a few hours after Zillow. In truth, I suspect that if you look at the speed that listings get updated at Zillow and Trulia, there are likely to be times when Trulia updates listings faster than Zillow – but there is always a lag between Updates in the MLS and updates to listing syndication feeds to third party websites. What is most concering to me is the way in which other agents are promoted above the listing agent as a contact point for information on the listing. If you view this listing on Trulia, you will notice a big button just below the listing details that says “Contact Agent.” Naturally, you would presume that you would be contacting the listing agent who provided the listing to Trulia. This is not the case. They promote a number of competing agents in additon to the listing agent. The image to the left illustrates this. Does anyone think that another agent should be promoted on your listing?

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Since the introduction of Virtual Office Websites, I have picked up the habit of scheduling listing alerts. My interest is not only in keeping up with listings of comparable homes that would influence my homes’ value, but also to see how data moves to third party listing websites. Today’s new listing is 755 Via Laguna Vista, San Luis Obispo CA 93405 Copy and paste it into Zillow and Trulia and see what you get. Right now, you will see that the listing is not for sale on Trulia, but they have built a lovely landing page with deep information. Zillow has the home listed. The price is accurate and all of the listing information is there. However, there are three Zagents representing the property rather than the listing Agent. A Zagent is my name for another agent who advertises on someone else’s listing. Zillow calls it advertising. I am shocked that listing agents and brokers do not pull their listings from Zillow for this practice. Here are the screen shots that illustrate my findings. You should try the test yourself – especially if you are an MLS, Agent, or Broker. Trulia has done a nice job of showing information about the neighborhood, they have even used public record data to provide a property description. There is a record of the previous sale and deep information about other comparable sales.  That is a lot of data for a listing that does not show for sale yet. Here is a link to the page containing the listing details on Trulia.         Zillow is way out in front of Trulia on the timeliness of posting this listing information. Kodos to them. I often complain about the timeliness of third party websites in updating active listing content. In this case, Zillow is on top of their game – and they have updated the content as quickly as IDX. However, where is the listing agent? Follow this link to the Zillow listing detail page and try to find Gavin Payne, The Real Estate Group of SLO  

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Trouble for Zillow

by THE WAV GROUP on September 9, 2010

Property Tax

Our old friend LendingTree stopped showing up to conferences after agents and brokers clarified that they did not enjoy paying referral fees on their listing content. Now LendingTree has gone on the offensive to block Zillow from continuing their progress on building out their mortgage product. From CNBC.com   LendingTree has sued Zillow and three other rivals, accusing them of infringing two patents for methods to help people obtain mortgage loans over the Internet.   Adchemy, NexTag and QuinStreet were also named as defendants in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in the federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina. LendingTree, a unit of Tree.com, accused its rivals of depriving it of profits by infringing its 2002 and 2003 patents, both titled “Method and Computer Network for Co-Ordinating a Loan over the Internet.” It said these patents allow a prospective borrower to submit a single loan application to multiple lenders, which then compete to win that borrower’s business. LendingTree obtains fees by matching borrowers with lenders, and that rival websites including Zillow Mortgage Marketplace and QuinStreet’s “guidetolenders” and “hsh” sites, are improperly depriving it of such opportunities. “The LendingTree invention has proved successful in the lending market” and resulted in “billions of dollars in loans for millions of borrowers,” the complaint said. LendingTree is seeking to recover lost profits, “but in no event less than a reasonable royalty,” and other damages. It seeks a jury trial. Zillow spokeswoman Jill Simmons declined to comment, saying the company had yet to be served with the complaint. An outside spokeswoman for QuinStreet declined to comment. Adchemy and NexTag did not immediately return requests for comment. According to their websites, LendingTree is based in Charlotte; Zillow in Seattle; Adchemy and QuinStreet in Foster City, California; and NexTag in San Mateo, California. Zillow also operates Zillow.com, which tracks home price changes, homeowner confidence and mortgage rates. The case is LendingTree LLC v. Zillow Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, No. 10-00439.  

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The Starfish and the Spider

by THE WAV GROUP on September 9, 2010

The starfish and the spider

I just read a great book that I would suggest others read called The Starfish and The Spider, The unstoppable power of leaderless organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom (available everywhere including the ipad). The book starts out by providing a chronicle of how science thinks the brain works. We have learned over the years that memories are not stored in one spot, but all over the brain – much like information indexed by Google is located all over the internet. As much as scientists wanted to hind heirarchy in the brain, it was not there – which makes the brain much more resilient. Move this concept over to the online information industry and you have Napster, or Craigslist, or Skype – perhaps this is also true of real estate listings, which experts argue are “every where” today. Here is what else I picked up from the book that may encourage your reading interests. The book provides a dozen or more examples of how the decentralization of leadership and information built stronger organizations. It seems counterintuitive that decentralized leadership would make organizations stronger, but the argument is compelling. The crux of the book boils down to this With a spider, what you see is what you get. A body, a head, 8 legs, etc. By contrast, a starfish is very different. It doesn’t have a head (metaphor for leader). Its central body isn’t even in charge. In fact, the major organs are replicated troughout each and every arm. If you cut the starfish in half, you’ll be in for a surprise: the animal won’t die, and pretty soon you’ll have two starfish to deal with. I wonder if the same thing is not happening with listing syndication to third party websites. Everytime one gets cut off, 2 more appear in their place. We see this happen all over the world in powerful organizations. Consider the modern dilemma of terrorist cells. They are leaderless, driven by ideology. Every time a cell is eliminated, two more pop up in their place. The same thing happened with Napster – after it was shut down by courts, many more peer to peer sharing networks poped up to replace it that were even more decentralized (no servers at all, only client side). As I turned the pages of the book, I could not help to draw parallels between the real estate industry (a well organized, […]

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Oops!

We can learn from Mike Wise’s mistake As we engage in Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and blogging, we have all become journalists.  Most of us have never been trained in the “rules” of journalism. We haven’t been trained on the code of ethics for journalism. When we get in to Twitter, it sometimes feel like we’re all by ourselves and nobody really ties our posts back to our “real” lives. NOT TRUE – just ask Mike Wise, sports reports from the Washington Post.  He created afalse post about an athlete in his Twitter Account as an “experiment”.  He deliberately posted a false story just to see what major news sources would pick it up. His plan was to post the false story, then quickly create another post that would dispel the myth and make the first post a joke. The only problem was Twitter was over capacity and thus the second post never made it to print. The result was disastrous for Mike Wise.   He was suspended for a month from the Washington Post and nearly lost the prestigious position completely.  He has created a major credibility loss for his own career in the process. He said on CNN’s Reliable Sources program this morning, “it took me 10 seconds to write the post and it destroyed 20 years worth of credibility”.  He is very sorry for the mistake he made, but he recognizes no apology is going to undo the damage. In the real estate industry, we need to be really careful of what we say too.   It is important for us to stop and think before we post a “rant” when we’re having a bad day.  It is critical to try to consider both sides of a story before we talk about it publically. If there’s anything that can be considered defamatory simply don’t post it.  Here’s another dangerous behavior. If you are attending a meeting where confidential information is being shared, be sure to ask for permission before publishing it.  You can destroy relationships forever if you share something that was intended for your ears only.  If you are hosting a confidential meeting be sure to  say you are a “Facebook/Twitter-free” zone – make it clear this information is not to be shared.  You will have a more defensible position if someone does breach confidentiality. Some posts are not obviously defamatory, but they may be unsubstantiated and damaging.  Do […]

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Bret Wiener, one of the former founders of Concentric MLS, announced today in the following press release that the software originally built for the CAR/CALREDD initiative is now being offered on a national basis through his new company, Discover MLS.  Discover MLS has already made a significant impact on the MLS industry with its introduction of a Web 2.0 solution, designed on Adobe Flash®.  Other major vendors obviously took notice as they are in the process of developing new MLS versions that allow them to offer similar features such as the multi-tasking session features offered by Discover MLS. Read full Press Release Press Release Discover Software, Inc Changing the way you think about MLS!© Valencia, Calif., September 1, 2010 Discover Software, Inc. (Discover) announced today that its flagship product, Discover MLS, is now available nationwide.  Nearly three years in the making, this state-of-the-art multiple listing service software is the industrys first and only Web 2.0 solution, designed from the ground up to harness the power of Adobe Flash®.  Leveraging this powerful platform, the application includes ground-breaking features such as seamless multi-tasking, real-time search count, an active search results grid, and exclusive performance-boosting cache technology.  Discover also boasts full support on all operating systems and web browsers, a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee (with no daily maintenance windows), and zero-downtime upgrades.  With a business plan as innovative as the software, Discover is proud to offer traditional full-service and turn-key options, plus another industry first: an open-source licensing option! Discover was recently incorporated by a small group of partners with more than 40 years of combined real-estate industry experience.  As the technology team behind the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) subsidiary California MLS, Inc (calREDD®) MLS software, these long-time industry colleagues have assumed full operation of the software.  In addition, Discover has  signed a multi-year contract with Multi-Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (MRMLS) as part of MRMLS merger with calREDD® to operate as the statewide MLS, which now serves more than 35,000 REALTORS® in California. Bret Wiener, president of Discover, said, “This is an incredibly exciting time for us.  Over the past two years, our team has proven itself capable of delivering software at a blistering pace, with exceptional quality and support, and our head start in the Web 2.0 and SOA paradigm shifts positions us perfectly to compete and win accounts both today and well into the future.” “We have a lot of faith in Bret […]

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