October 2010

LPS Logo

Lender Processing Services announced a new valuation model for Lenders that brings listing and pending-sale data into the AVM equation.  The mortgage and real estate services provider has struck an agreement with the National Association of REALTORS to productize MLS data derrived from the REALTOR Property Resource (RPR) to create derivitive products for Lenders. In this case, LPS is offering a product called the LPS REALTOR Valuation Model or (RVM) According to the release, LPS plans to leverage this information to expand the reach of traditional automated valuations. In a quote, Rober Walker, managing director, valuations for LPS Applied Analytics told media sources that “By factoring listings and pending sales (from the mls) in the report, it becomes easier to better understand the external factors impacting the value of a specific property.” LPS said the model correctly predicted the selling price of a property 72% of the time in sa sampling of sales in Maricopa County, AZ. By combining MLS data with tax data, the accuracy of valuations improves greatly. By comparison, Zillow is only predicting home values within 5% of the actual selling price 20% of the time, according to their website. This is great news for RPR, who has staked a significant interest in the notion that MLS data has significant value in guiding the financial industry with better data that will allow Mortgage Banks the opportunity to make better, and faster decisions in operating their business to the benefit of consumers and the banks alike. If banks can make faster decisions, agents will be able to sell properties more quickly – solving a major problem that exists in todays transactions. WAV Group released a paper in February of this year that compared and contrasted the offerings of RPR, First American, and MOVE – all three companies who have constructs for licensing MLS data. You can download it here. But as you will recall, the paper points out that RPR licenses the data in exchange for a business tool that allows REALTORS to extend detaled analytics and reports to their customers. First American licenses the data for cash per listing. MOVE licenses the data in excange for the ability to use it on REALTOR.com. To be clear, RPR and others to not share the listing data with the mortgage companies or even LPS – this is a marketing relationship whereby LPS offers the RVM as a reseller to the […]

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CoreLogic Announces Organizational Changes

by THE WAV GROUP on October 26, 2010

CoreLogic recently announced two key changes in their organization.  Chris Bennett has been promoted to from his position as Vice President of Sales for CoreLogic MLS Solutions to General Manager of CoreLogic MLS Solutions where he will oversee both the MLS and Realist product lines.  Dennis Brzezicki has also been promoted to take over Chris’s former position as Vice President of Sales for CoreLogic MLS Solutions. Official Announcement Organizational Changes at CoreLogic MarketLinx Since the successful launch of CoreLogic this past June, we have spent considerable time reorganizing our MLS product groups to improve our efficiency and better serve our customers.  We began this process in July by combining our Realist and MarketLinx account management teams under the leadership of Chris Bennett, a change that has paved the way for further enhancements to our company operations. We are pleased to announce that Chris Bennett has been named General Manager of CoreLogic MLS Solutions, which is comprised of our MLS system products and related services, as well as our Realist product line.  Many of you already know Chris Bennett well–he joined the team in 2002 and has been instrumental in fostering many client relationships and achieving CoreLogics #1 market share in the highly competitive MLS system business. With a career in MLS sales and account management spanning more than 30 years, Dennis Brzezicki will use his tremendous experience to fill Chris shoes as Vice President of Sales for CoreLogic MLS Solutions.  Dennis joined the company in 2003 and became the National Director of Sales for Realist in 2008. Rich Paulson and Chip McAvoy will also report to Chris in his new role.  Rich leads the MLS Product Management team, and Chip leads the development of our Document/Transaction Manager, MLS Data Co-op, and Partner InfoNet product lines. We are confident these organizational changes will yield significant benefits for CoreLogic and its customers, and are very enthusiastic about everything we have planned for 2011.  Please join us in welcoming Chris and Dennis in their new roles!

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LPS Logo

Lender Processing Services (LPS: 26.54 -0.23%) said it completed the first electronically signed and submitted loan modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program. LPS provides a suite of mortgage technology and real estate services, which includes the development of ClosingStream 2.0. The servicer, which was not identified by LPS, electronically created modification documents to a borrower through the Web-based tool. The borrower then reviewed, signed and returned the documents to the servicer in four hours. According to LPS, the manual process can take as long as two weeks, an estimation far below the experience at some servicing shops and the Treasury’s own report. According to the latest monthly HAMP report, nearly half of homeowners in active three-month trial modifications have been there for six months. The most common cause of cancellations is insufficient documentation. Fannie Mae, which administers HAMP, recently extended the modification timeline to give servicers and borrowers more time to turn in the documentation. Once the borrower is declined a modification or some other alternative, however, servicers will be fined for delaying foreclosures. “Not only does ClosingStream 2.0 enable an efficient, secure process for borrowers to review and sign their loan modification agreements, it also reduces the time and effort that is required since paper is eliminated from the process,” said Al Verkuylen, senior vice president of LPS’ title, closing and verification solutions department. According to LPS, ClosingStream 2.0 complies with theTreasury’s requirements for HAMP Electronic Signature Solutions, or eHAMP. It has been used over the last several years to complete refinancing and modifications through proprietary programs. LPS also released an updated version of its desktop tax management application to help servicers electronically load and match nonescrowed tax search results, track delinquency letter cycles and pay delinquent taxes. Write to Jon Prior.

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What’s the latest on Smartphones?

by THE WAV GROUP on October 17, 2010

Smartphone Collage

RETechnology.com, the most comprehensive collection of products, reviews, ratings and how to content about real estate technology on the planet wants to know how you use your smartphone.   Take the 2 minute survey and share your insights with all of us! The results will be published here and on RETechnology.com Happy Surveying!

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Who cares about the photo on your business card?

by THE WAV GROUP on October 7, 2010

brand graphic

There was an intriguing article on Agent Genius today about whether or not to include your photo in your real estate branding. The article generated a lot of good feedback from agents on both sides of the fence. Actually I think is fundamentally the wrong question to ask.  As the former VP Marketing for Fisher-Price, in my opinion, branding has NOTHING to do with whether you include a photo or not. Brands are built on a clear definition of your unique value proposition.  They are also built on DELIVERING against your value proposition consistently and better than anyone else.  Fisher-Price, for example has a strong brand because it delivers high quality, well-thought out, developmentally appropriate and FUN toys for young children.  If you provide an inconsistent delivery against your brand promise, your brand gets tarnishes. When Fisher-Price experienced a huge product recall a couple of years ago, for example, it tarnished their brand.  Consumers trust was violated. The brand they thought of as safe and high quality had let them down. Toyota is another good example.  This car manufacturer had ‘raving fans” and a sparkling reputation for providing reliable, fuel-efficient and safe cars.  The acceleration fiasco they went through last year damaged their brand, possibly even irreparably because the consumer trust was again violated. The same concept of brand holds true for real estate agents.  If agents want a strong brand, they also need to deliver a consistent, high quality product.  They need to set expectations with their clients and then exceed those expectations whenever they can. We just completed consumer focus groups this week and we learned a lot about what consumers are looking for.  They want REALTORSÒ to guide and counsel them through the very complicated short sale and REO transactions they are struggling through today. They want to be educated about what’s happening in the local neighborhood or market they are interested in.  They want REALTORSÒ to stay on top of the ever-changing regulations for loans from government agencies and banks. We have coined a phrase for this type of marketing we call Edutizing. Check out our paper on the subject to learn more about you can use “edutizing” to build your client base. In the focus groups, consumers also told us they are happy to conduct property research and narrow down the homes they are looking for, but they need REALTORSÒ to guide them through the rest of […]

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Clareity Study shows big MLS – Broker disconnect

by THE WAV GROUP on October 6, 2010

Clareity Consulting

Real Estate Technology consulting firm, Clareity along with REAL Trends conducted a 2010 MLS Initiatives Survey for brokers. They surveyed 500 of the nation’s top brokers and received 150 responses. What surprised me was the apparent disconnect between what MLSs are doing and how brokers feel about it. In my reading, I was not so surprised by the results, but surprised that brokers have a lack of understanding of the initiatives themselves. Listing Syndication – 36% of brokers oppose or strongly oppose it. If so, why are brokers syndicating listings at all. The MLS is not syndicating the listings, brokers opt into the free service in most markets. Brokers who do take advantage of the service like it. Key take aways are that brokers think that the MLS is making money on syndication, and are failing to communicate syndication features to them. MLS Consumer websites – Many brokers oppose MLS websites, but send their listings to competing websites like their franchise site, Trulia, Zillow and others. Furthermore, the MLS has long allowed agents to send listings from the MLS to their clients directly from the MLS system. Should the MLS turn the client portals off? The only difference between the MLS client portal is that the agent sets up the search for the customer. Surely it would be a better service if the client could make adjustments to their search criteria or set up additional searches for their clients within full view of the agent. Again, it seems like the effective strategy for broker participants in the MLS is to have a strong consumer facing website that is broker owned, and operated by the MLS in accordance with their wishes. Our Hitwise data reports show that brokers are loosing in online search. dotMLS Initiative – this really points to lack of communication and understanding among brokers. 80% are against the MLS joining .MLS. Perhaps they fail to understand that third party sites are monopolizing on that term to confuse consumers into thinking that they are searching the MLS. Furthermore, there is no way to enforce data policies and standards on .com sites. With dotMLS, the broker data would be protected like IDX data. Sold Listings – 87% of brokers do not want to display sold listings on their website – WHAT? Would they rather that the customer goes to third party websites to get that information. Seriously – displaying recently sold listings around a […]

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MRIS Goes Live With RETechnology.com

by THE WAV GROUP on October 5, 2010

MRIS recently announced they have gone live with RETechnology.com as a member benefit to help their brokers and agents make more informed technology decisions.  RETechnology.com is the largest portal of its kind dedicated to providing real estate professionals information on real estate technology and products on one easy to use site.  RETechnology.com is free when offered to real estate professionals through their MLS. John Heithaus, CMO of MRIS, explains that, “RETechnology is the first website of its kind in the industry and promises to make a positive impact in the purchasing decisions made by agents and brokers. Think of it as an ‘app store’ dedicated to real estate.  More than just providing our customers a starting point in their technology searches, RETechnology.com also provides valuable assistance to experienced real estate professionals looking to modernize technologies they use to source leads, as well as assist and advise clients.” Click here to read the complete press release.

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Move CEO Addresses ListHub Purchase and Other Topics

by THE WAV GROUP on October 4, 2010

In a recent industry letter, Steve Berkowitz, Chief Executive Officer of Move, Inc., talks recent Move events, including their entrance into the syndication arena. Update  from Berkowitz

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According to a press release from NJMLS on October 1st, 2010. Tina Griffin, the respected Executive Director of the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service, has announced that she will be retiring in January 2011 after 34 years at the helm of the REALTOR® owned organization. This marks the end of a long career, with many significant achievements marking the milestones of a company that has long been the benchmark to which other MLS systems aspire. Nelson Chen, Broker/Owner of The Chen Agency and President of the NJMLS Board of Directors, states, “I have had the privilege and honor of working with Tina Griffin as a board member of the NJMLS for the past fifteen years. Her vision and leadership have propelled our organization to heights that I would never have imagined back in 1995.  Tina has shared her leadership skills and imparted her knowledge to all those around her, including me.  I will forever be grateful to her for the lessons that she has taught me.  We will welcome our new Executive Director in 2011 with great enthusiasm, but no one will ever truly replace Tina.” The NJMLS was founded in 1977 and started with only 30 agents and 14 offices in a small space in Demarest, New Jersey.  Ms. Griffin, then a licensed real estate agent, was recruited to oversee a cooperative of these offices, a place where the members could visit and be kept up-to-date about new listings and transactions that had taken place among them.  The NJMLS has grown extensively under Ms. Griffins command since then.  Today the membership of this organization tops over 1000 offices and serves 8500 members. Even more impressively, Ms. Griffin leaves behind a devoted staff, several of whom have been working with her since the companys inception. Ms. Griffins philosophy has always been that the MLS must have a continued commitment to offering cost-effective quality products and services to its members while utilizing state of the art technology.  She has kept a watchful eye over the technological advances of the company, taking it from handwritten listing agreements to the current cutting-edge system of integrated databases.  She has made certain that these changes meet the ever-evolving needs of the membership.  Ms. Griffin has also been instrumental in working with the NJMLS Board of Directors to ensure equal and fair Rules and Regulations and Policies. “The very success of an MLS rests with the integrity of its content.  Until rules were formulated and enforced, there was no continuity or […]

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