November 2010

One Broker’s Case Study- Taking Back Control Brokers, large and small, face significant challenges they did not face 20 years ago.  Profit margins have eroded and control over their independent contractors has been minimized.   The consumer has taken on a much more vocal role in the process and is forcing transparency and responsiveness never before experienced.   Some of these challenges are related to technology and the advance of the Internet while others are cultural challenges that have come about through the changing broker/agent relationship.  WAV Group’s new white paper explores the issues behind the broker’s challenge to gain better control and visibility into their companies while re-establishing a new value proposition for their agents! While part one of this five part series focused on understanding how brokers got into the technological mess they find themselves today.  The second part of this series discussed how to get through the maze of broker technology. The third part discussed the new technology solutions that provide light at the end of the tunnel. We have now come to part 4 of this 5 part series, to discuss a broker case study as a guide for brokerages. New Real Estate Products Offer Hope! Integration is improving throughout our industry. The MLS world today is an example of evolution in process. There isn’t “true” integration across all products but specialty solutions have gotten better and more sophisticated. Now vendors like Cure, and CARETS act as the data conduit between disparate systems. MLS vendors like CoreLogic, LPS and FBS offer options as a part of their standard menu of products that can tie together different MLSs pretty painlessly.   We have better conduits and connectors. But, they are still examples of interim solutions that are a result of our lack of standards and infrastructure in our industry. In the Broker world today there are improvements as well. Standards don’t exist but now there are vendors that are offering a broader product set that provide advanced levels of integration. We are seeing vendors now offering products that stretch from back office to the web, offering the first chance for Brokers to truly get a clear view of their businesses, and to use data more easily throughout the organization. Other companies have taken a similar approach to the data supply side of the Broker business offering product sets that manage the MLS data integration process while adding to it a full […]

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Happy Techsgiving!

by THE WAV GROUP on November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Turkey Chalk Drawing

Today is a great day for our family!  Back in 2002 we were blessed with the first of our child, Alexandra!  It will forever be a special day for us! Each of us have great things to be thankful for this year….. It hasn’t been an easy year for the real estate industry, but at the end of the day the industry is growing stronger – we’re getting more nimble, we’re doing more with less and we’re learning how to let go of some of our outdated traditions. While to some technology is not something to be celebrated, on this day I thought it might make sense to take a minute to thank the geniuses in Silicon Valley for the ways they have made our lives easier and making the world a more connected place. Let’s look at the every day tools we use….how about email…..we just hit send and thousands of people can hear the words we shout around the world. Could our phones get any smarter?  We have a super powerful computer at our fingertips!  We can share our experiences in real-time and stay connected no matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing. How about MLS systems?  We can manage most of our work life from one simple and affordable tool – what other business allows you to manage your key work processes for less than 1 dollar per day? I would like to say thanks to every technology visionary who has poured their heart and soul into making the lives of real estate professionals more successful with exciting new technologies.  Without you, our new site RETechnology.com could not exist and our industry would be in the dark ages! Happy Techsgiving to all who use technology seamlessly every day!  We hope you have a great holiday season and prepare yourself for an even better 2011!

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Move makes a move into Rentals

by THE WAV GROUP on November 23, 2010

It is no surprise to anyone in real estate that the rental market has caught fire. Many MLSs are scrambling to expanded offerings to meet the needs of brokers who have focused on growing their property management business to meet demand. “Nobody wants to own a vacant home,” says Amy Gallagher of Century 21 Hometown. “We represent investors in buying rental property, and attract them with our strong property management business – we capture a side or two of the sale, and an ongoing business relationship that lasts years.” One thing that you can always trust consumers to do is vote with their mouse. There are currently 6 companies in the Hitwise Top 20 Real Estate websites that focus purely on rentals. Recent studies show ApartmentFinder.com against the rest of the industry – a shift took place sometime in July of 2009. Property search took a dive, and traffic to ApartmentFinder.com and others jumped up. For companies like Move, who make a living on website traffic – capturing the attention of these consumers is the basic instrument of their succes. In a press release today, Move announced the following summary of their new rental portal. Move has always been a leader in online real estate search – with the relaunch of their rental search, they have elevated themselves as a leader of the rental search experience. The press release that follows provides very accurate product and feature description of the new site. Chief among the features is the focus on Lifestyle search.  WAV Group will be publishing a report on Lifestyle search in the next week or so.   REDESIGNED RENTAL PORTAL LEADS RENTERS TO THEIR NEXT APARTMENT FASTER CAMPBELL, CA (November 23, 2010) Move (NASDAQ: MOVE), the leader in online real estate, today launched a redesigned rentals search portal on Move.com sporting an updated look and feel supported by proprietary technology and new features designed to match todays renters with their ideal apartment in just three clicks. Redesigned to help renters make better and faster decisions, visitors can now search for their next apartment on a map or by list view simultaneously, select five desired community amenities from a list of 22 ‘Local Likes and instantly find apartments located close to those amenities, locate a pet friendly rental with a view, review city cost of living comparisons, instantly check availability of a unit with a desired floor plan, and download a leasing agreement before […]

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client relationnship

Part 3 of a 5 part series called Broker Technology, an Industry Missing Backbone By WAV Group Brokers, large and small, face significant challenges they did not face 20 years ago.  Profit margins have eroded and control over their independent contractors has been minimized.   The consumer has taken on a much more vocal role in the process and is forcing transparency and responsiveness never before experienced.   Some of these challenges are related to technology and the advance of the Internet while others are cultural challenges that have come about through the changing broker/agent relationship.  WAV Group’s new white paper explores the issues behind the broker’s challenge to gain better control and visibility into their companies while re-establishing a new value proposition for their agents! While part one of this five part series focused on understanding how brokers got into thetechnological mess they find themselves today.  The second part of this  series discussed how to get through the maze of broker technology. We have now come to part 3 of this 5 part series, to discuss the light at the end of this tunnel. Brokers are amazing people. They are leaders, motivators, trainers and counselors. The situation we are dealing with in the real estate broker’s world is really very similar to other examples we are all familiar with. If we look at some of those examples it points to a logical approach for broker’s to consider as they work to establish a more elegant end-to-end solution for their businesses. The benefits we are looking for with this improved infrastructure are very clear: Better ways to measure effectiveness of marketing efforts Reducing or eliminating redundant data entry Gaining control of data throughout the real estate operation Creating a clear picture of the company from beginning to end Establish an infrastructure to allow for informed business decisions Recently WAV Group conducted focus groups and in-depth interviews with brokers from around the country. One broker we interviewed put it very well. She sees the need for technology to help her in three key areas of her business. First she wants technology to help her generate, nurture, convert and maintain customers for her business. Second she wants to make the process of transacting business more efficient, with less risk and less cost. Third she wants to use technology to streamline her business operations. She believes that technology companies need to develop methods for seamlessly connecting all three of these business needs into one business suite that connects easily […]

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Listhub launches the ScoreCard Magazine

by THE WAV GROUP on November 21, 2010

Listhub Scorecard

Sundays are for surfing, and one of my favorite places to surf periodically is the ListHub Dashboard. Every real estate broker or MLS who is syndicating listings via Listhub should frequently check into the dash board to stay abreast of changes to Listing Syndication. Listhub does an excellent job of communicating where listings are going; what the terms of use are for each site; detailed information on re-syndication to other sites; data refresh frequency; support response times; and many other interesting facets of online data management. On November 14th, 2010, Listhub launched an online magazine that summarizes each syndication site. It is a 72 page diary, so please do not print it. Fortunately it can be viewed anytime on a web browser at http://www.listhub.net/scorecards/index.html

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Victor Lund, WAV Group Partner to Speak at REMS 2010

by THE WAV GROUP on November 19, 2010

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Victor Lund, partner at WAV Group, is slated to speak at two session for the upcoming REMS 2010 – Real Estate Marketing Summit 2010!  Located in San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado this year’s three day summit is packed with educational seminars and networking opportunities for real estate professionals. This year REMS is providing WAV Group Blog subscribers a significant discount to this event.  Get one day FREE if you register soon! The entire 3 day summit is a $499 program and now you can also get all 3 days for just $149! This is a no obligation program that puts the value proposition in your hands as a real estate professional or manager. It’s a perfect time to get your 2011 marketing strategy dialed in. RSVP Now! November 30, 2010 – schedule is as follows: 9:00 – 9:50 Deep Dives (Breakouts): “Perfect Buyer Agency” “Content, Content, Content” “20 Bad Ass Tips from a Top Producer” 10:00 – 10:50 Deep Dives: “New School Branding” “Making Facebook Convert” “Power Real Estate Teams” 11:00 – 11:50 Deep Dives: “QR Code Strategy” “Facebook Marketplace” “Secret Session” 12:00 – 12:50 Lunch 1:00 – 1:50 Deep Dives: “Social Marketing” “Single Property Website Equals SEO” “Secret Session” 2:00 – 3:30 GENERAL SESSION: “Mastering your Real Estate Universe!” 3:45 – 4:45 Deep Dives: “Hyperlocal – Hyper$$$” “Evolution of Real Estate Marketing” “It’s all about Lifestyle”   To secure your official one day pass to this event, please fill out their online form and a Real Estate Marketing Summit specialist will be contacting you shortly to confirm your information. To learn more please click here. To socialize this opportunity, visit REMS on Facebook:  http://facebook.com/REmktgSummitor visit their Twitter page: http://twitter.com/REmktgSummit.

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Corelogic Infonet Press Release

by THE WAV GROUP on November 18, 2010

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Corelogic Partner Infonet Reaches 120,000 Users – Secure Data Licensing and Revenue Sharing Program Expands to Oklahoma, Rhode Island- SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 18, 2010 – CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today announced that multiple listing services (MLSs) representing a total of 120,000 real estate professionals have joined the Partner InfoNet, with organizations representing another 290,000 real estate agents pending or currently in negotiations.  Several recently signed agreements give CoreLogic comprehensive coverage in both Rhode Island and Oklahoma. “We are very pleased to participate in the Partner InfoNet,” said Al Unser, chief executive officer of the Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS®.  “There is growing demand for our MLS data in the mortgage industry to better manage risk and make faster, more accurate decisions.  With their leading market position, established client relationships and track record licensing MLS data, CoreLogic is the best and most logical partner to safely unlock the value of our data.  We look forward to sharing the benefits with our members.” Launched just six months ago, the Partner InfoNet is an innovative new revenue sharing program in which MLSs license their listing data to CoreLogic for use in risk management products for mortgage lenders, servicers and the capital markets.  Central to the Partner InfoNet program is a comprehensive data protection system that uses sophisticated data seeding and active monitoring to guard against the misuse or abuse of data. As part of the service, CoreLogic consults with customers to identify and resolve potential security holes in their MLS system and policies. “We place great importance on securing our clients’ information,” said Ben Graboske, senior vice president, Product & Technology, Data and Analytics Group, for CoreLogic. “Our comprehensive data protection services give customers tremendous peace of mind, and this is reflected in the adoption rates we’re seeing for the Partner InfoNet.” The majority of Partner InfoNet signatories have chosen CoreLogic as their exclusive data licensing partner for risk management solutions.  Exclusive partners also receive free access to MLS-enhanced automated valuation models (AVMs) and the CoreLogic Data Co-op, an innovative new data sharing tool that makes it easy for MLSs to access listings from around the country while precisely controlling who can see their data.  For more information on the Partner InfoNet program, visit www.marketlinx.com or e-mail info@marketlinx.com. About CoreLogic CoreLogic is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services […]

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MLS Boards that Deliver

In many of our conversations with MLSs we hear frustrations expressed about how board meeting discussions dwindle down into minutiae on a regular basis. Instead of talking about how to position the company for the future, the dialog degrades into discussions rehashing a committee recommendation for a small change to the rules and regulations or a $349 line item on the budget. Does this sound familiar?  If so, then there are several changes you might want to consider, but let me focus on just one for this article. When you look around the room at your next MLS board meeting you likely will see only those involved in the real estate industry as practicing REALTORSÒ, affiliates or Association Executives. While these professions and perspectives are VERY important to an MLS organization, there are others that may need to be considered as well in our view. First, let’s talk about what a MLS organization is at its heart.  I believe it is a technology services organization built for a specific target audience – real estate professionals.  While MLSs definitely have to provide data quality oversight and sometimes arbitration, these organizations generally provide highly affordable and reliable services to their members – in essence, they are technology companies. If you examine the board make-up of just about any successful technology company,  they are led by highly skilled, senior level professionals skilled in a variety of areas  Generally the boards for technology companies have a marketing executive, finance executive, at least one fellow technology executive, human resource, customer service executive and sometimes a representative from an educational institution or the not-for-profit sector. I am not aware of any technology company board comprised exclusively of customers.   Look at Apple Corporation’s Board of Directors for example. Their board is comprised of senior executives from the retail sector, technology and financial services, not to mention the former Vice President of the United States!  How’s that for some diversity of thinking? When I ran Surveyor Corporation, a start-up web camera services company, I had the former CFO for Intuit Corporation, a serial entrepreneur, the first head of operations for Sun Microsystems and a marketing executive from Silicon Valley along with the founder of the company who wrote the first jpeg and mpeg software.   This is a fairly typical board make-up for small to medium size technology companies. While the MLS organization does have unique characteristics from other types […]

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Broker technology

An Industry Needing Backbone Brokers, large and small, face significant challenges they did not face 20 years ago.  Profit margins have eroded and control over their independent contractors has been minimized.   The consumer has taken on a much more vocal role in the process and is forcing transparency and responsiveness never before experienced.   Some of these challenges are related to technology and the advance of the Internet while others are cultural challenges that have come about through the changing broker/agent relationship.  WAV Group’s new white paper explores the issues behind the broker’s challenge to gain better control and visibility into their companies while re-establishing a new value proposition for their agents! While part one of this five part series focused on understanding how brokers got into the technological mess they find themselves today.  Part 2 of a 5 part series, opens the discussion for how brokers can sift through the maze of technology that currently exists in the industry. Brokers are amazing people. They are leaders, motivators, trainers and counselors. As part of their business they also need to be able to select and implement technology to serve their needs and the needs of their agents. As the Internet has unfolded and more and more processes have become automated, brokers have been required to develop totally new skill sets, or hire them, to address these technology needs. There are many areas within the Broker’s world that require automation. Here is just a partial list. Many companies, small to large, have implemented multiple products to address these areas. Implementation has taken place over time and as a result we find that companies have many different products, from many different vendors, addressing each issue individually. This fact, while it is totally understandable, has created a bit of a nightmare in terms of trying to get these products to work together. When you couple the fact that our industry does not really have data standards to help manage this process you realize the problem is quite formidable. Our Industry is Spineless The Broker technology industry does not have a “backbone” or infrastructure that allows for the unique products to work together seamlessly. While I can plug my Sony DVD into my Toshiba HDTV and have it work perfectly and I can even manage both with a single remote control, I can’t have my Broker accounting and membership system talk to my lead generation system […]

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Lani Rosales at Agent Genius.com wrote an interesting article about whether there are too many REALTORS in the market at this point. While I understand why many would suggest that the market may, in fact, be oversaturated, I would argue that NAR serves a valuable purpose as a political organization. The more members, the more influence.  There’s nothing wrong with its role as THE advocate for the real estate industry. Instead of trying to revamp NAR, I would love to see a new organization meant only for top producers and  highly trained professionals new to the industry. The entry stakes would be a lot higher for this new “higher form” of real estate professional. How about a four year degree or at least an INTENSIVE 18 month training program much like CFP (Certified Financial Planners) have to go through?  After all, agents advise consumers on their most important purchase and most important asset. Why shouldn’t agents be trained and prepared in understanding not only the elements of a transaction, but the financial ramifications of a transaction as well?    Why can’t members of this new organization be skilled in sharing market statistics and trends? To support this idea, maybe there could be a new brokerage model much like UBS or Merrill Lynch use, where the organization supports the professional until they get through the equivalent of their  “CFP” training? The cost of membership of this organization would be a lot higher than the price of entry for the REALTOR badge.   In exchange, this new organization would promote the RELEVANT differences between a “Certified Real Estate Professional” and regular real estate professionals.  Consumers would be trained to understand that members of this group have significantly more training and performance standards.   The organization’s effective“edutizing” campaign would be so successful that consumers would come to the table demanding this higher level professional. Each member would agree to abide by a set of quality service standards and to be evaluated against a ratings program like QSC (Quality Service Certified). Each would agree to be fully transparent about feedback from their past customers AND the amount of business they have done.  Instead of being driven by a political agenda, this group would be driven purely by a commitment to providing exemplary service with a deep understanding of the nuances of real estate. If this new concept worked, maybe members could dictate higher commission rates or possibly even work […]

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boardroomwithbluesky

On a recent business trip, I read a book called The No Asshole Rule:  Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving On that Isn’t by Robert Sutton, PHD and Stanford Professor. It is a delightful quick read that demonstrates that “a__holes” destroy companies and the people they mistreat.  Seems obvious enough, but often the “a__holes” are also power mongers who frequently succeed in life (Steve Jobs, for example, is rumored to be one of these!) After finishing the book, I opened the window and took a few pictures of the Grand Canyon, then considered the plight of the MLS CEO. As an MLS consultant, I care deeply about the success of the MLS industry.  I know there are a lot of smart and hard-working people dedicated to evolving the industry and constantly seeking to make their service more relevant and satisfying to their customers. When we conduct strategic planning sessions we have the privilege of looking inside of organizations. We have noticed something disheartening in the past couple of years. In many MLSs we work with we see an “a__hole” as the book defines, that is trying to destroy the MLS for personal gain. One of the largest advantages AND challenges MLSs face is the make-up of their governing boards.   In many of the regional MLSs around the country, boards are made up of agent and broker representatives placed there on behalf of their local real estate Associations.  Many board members bring a depth of knowledge of the local marketplace that can be a strong asset to a MLS organization.  However, in many places around the country, competition among Associations is finding its way into the MLS boardroom.  We have seen valuable programs designed to benefit subscribers get stonewalled because the shareholder associations do not want every association to have access to the program.  I have seen outright hostility in strategic planning meetings where Association representatives will not even speak to their fellow board member from an “opposing” Association. The National Association of REALTORS supports a concept called Board of Choice. Simply stated, REALTORS may be members of any Board of REALTORS they choose. This is a great program for REALTORS as competition among boards for members leads to value. If a local board charges high dues and provides poor services, members have the opportunity to migrate to neighboring boards that provide greater value and support to them.  While this is a […]

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Social netwroking and internet concept crossword

Whenever I need a little boost to remind me how important active participation in social media is, I refer back to the phenomenal video produced by the Socialnomics group. Their video entitled the Social Media Revolution(Refresh) graphically depicts the fundamental shift in the way the world communicates and creates relationships these days.  Those that choose to ignore social media are choosing to ignore a very interesting and important conversation happening with friends and colleagues you know and many you don’t.  The video will help you understand why we cannot ignore social media anymore – it has pervaded every element of our lives. I had a very interesting discussion with a colleague of mine the other day. We were discussing the reputation of one of the thought leaders in our industry. To protect the innocent, let’s call the thought leader we were discussing Jeff Smith (fictional character in case there’s a famous Jeff Smith in real estate I don’t know!).   While “Jeff” has built a very strong technology product and a highly successful company, he has also positioned himself as an expert in his space through a very active blog and social media presence. The person I was discussing Jeff’s social media activity with was not as active in social media as others I know. He was not aware of the “conversation” that had been led on-line by Jeff Smith.  My colleague believes Jeff’s reputation was simply driven by the great work Jeff has done with his company. While he’s right in large part, there’s a whole other dimension of influence Jeff has been able to exert by articulately discussing key issues and opportunities for the real estate industry online.  While he surely would have had a successful company without his social media presence, Jeff’s focus in this area has distinguished him from his competitors. He’s the “de facto” moderator at conferences in his space.  He is called upon for his opinion by editors. Bottomline, Jeff has garnered a LOT of free press and credibility because of his participation in social media. Now how does this apply to REALTORS?    Just like Jeff Smith, many REALTORS have distinguished themselves by their hard work, great customer service and intimate knowledge of the local marketplace. They have earned trust relationships with their clients over the years.  Many of these highly successful top producers have ignored social media to a large degree because they have such a strong […]

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Brokers large and small, face significant challenges they did not face 20 years ago. Profit margins have eroded and control over their independent contractors has been minimized. The consumer has taken on a much more vocal role in the process and is forcing transparency and responsiveness never before experienced. Some of these challenges are related to technology and the advance of the Internet while others are cultural challenges that have come about through the changing broker/agent relationship. Most Brokers really do not have a clear view of their operations from front to back today. With increased expenses and aggressive competition this is more important than ever. Broker systems have developed over time and are typically made up of multiple products from multiple vendors that were not developed to work in an integrated fashion. The result is numerous points of entering the same data over and over and not being able to share data easily between modules. Click to download the paper   Brokerages are experiencing cultural challenge as well. Consumer and industry pressures are forcing an evolution in the role of the Broker and the services they offer for today’s agents. The sense of community that used to be evident in every brick and mortar office is largely gone.Agents are mobile and more independent today. Smartphones, wireless Internet and even wirelessly enabled laptops, iPads and tablet PCs have changed the way agents do business. Many Brokers, however, still approach business the way they did before the Internet and this is a losing battle. Brokers today face numerous issues to make their business profitable. Technology is both part of the problem and the solution. Brokers that run their offices the way they did ten years ago are a dying breed. If there is one absolute in our business world today it is the fact that change is happening exponentially. To be successful, Brokers need to reinvent their businesses on a continual basis. Having the right infrastructure and view into their business is a key element to allow them to navigate these changes. This paper explores the issues Brokers face today in choosing technology and in recreating their value proposition. It examines how brokerages need to evolve from a pure brick and mortar approach to technology that will allow them a clear view of their business while creating a virtual community to meet the needs of today’s modern agents. How Did We […]

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My Florida Regional MLS expands its customer base in Florida

by THE WAV GROUP on November 11, 2010

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WAV Group is thrilled the great news coming from Florida!  The Pinellas REALTOR Organization (PRO) has has selected My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS) to be its exclusive provider of real estate listing and transaction data for its 5,200 members. The agreement, celebrated with a signing ceremony at the 2010 National Association of Realtors conference in New Orleans on November 4, 2010, will culminate with a complete merge of data in the Spring of 2011, transferring all listing data from PRO’s selfadministered multiple listing service to the larger regional MLS. Until recently REALTORS in Florida had to belong to two MLSs to post their listings in the contriguous cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida. We at WAV Group are thrilled to see how two neighboring organizations can join forces for the good of the REALTOR community. There are still many contiguous markets that have not been able to find a way to work together to the benefit of their subscribers. We hope this landmark partnership will inspire others around the country to do the same! In these tough economic times, we hope that every market can critically evaluate decisions like this that are best for the real estate professional trying to “ride out” a down market.  Organized real estate owes it to his subscribers to find ways to reduce costs and make it easier to do business.  This is a great step exhibited by two great organizations. Now that the merger is complete, My Florida Regional MLS, based in Orlando, is a consortium of 13 shareholder Realtor associations throughout central and southwest Florida. The addition of PRO’s members will set a milestone and increase MFRMLS’s enrollment by 23% to a total of 34,000. PRO, based in Clearwater, will participate in policy, operational and fiscal oversight of MFRMLS as the 14th shareholder. “The Pinellas Realtor Organization is a very well-respected and well-run association. We are honored to have them join us and assist us in our growth,” says MFRMLS president Aaron Chandler. “As our numbers grow, we are better able to provide our members the best available tools to help them excel in real estate.” The agreement will have a strategic advantage for PRO and MFRMLS, as both will enjoy a dramatic increase of listing inventory. Currently, PRO has a data share agreement with the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors-also an MFRMLS shareholder-which permits members from either association to see all […]

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Broker Technology

Brokerage Real Estate Technology An Industry Needing Backbone Brokers, large and small, face significant challenges they did not face 20 years ago.  Profit margins have eroded and control over their independent contractors has been minimized.   The consumer has taken on a much more vocal role in the process and is forcing transparency and responsiveness never before experienced.   Some of these challenges are related to technology and the advance of the Internet while others are cultural challenges that have come about through the changing broker/agent relationship.  Our new white paperexplores the issues behind the broker’s challenge to gain better control and visibility into their companies while re-establishing a new value proposition for their agents! Click to download Most Brokers really do not have a clear view of their operations from front to back today. With increased expenses and aggressive competition this is more important than ever.  Broker systems have developed over time and are typically made up of multiple products from multiple vendors that were not developed to work in an integrated fashion.  The result is numerous points of entering the same data over and over and not being able to share data easily between modules. Brokerages are experiencing cultural challenge as well.  Consumer and industry pressures are forcing an evolution in the role of the Broker and the services they offer for today’s agents.  The sense of community that used to be evident in every brick and mortar office is largely gone.  Agents are mobile and more independent today.  Smartphones, wireless Internet and even wirelessly enabled laptops, iPads and tablet PCs have changed the way agents do business.  Many Brokers, however, still approach business the way they did before the Internet and this is a losing battle. Brokers today face numerous issues to make their business profitable. Technology is both part of the problem and the solution.  Brokers that run their offices the way they did ten years ago are a dying breed.  If there is one absolute in our business world today it is the fact that change is happening exponentially.  To be successful, Brokers need to reinvent their businesses on a continual basis.  Having the right infrastructure and view into their business is a key element to allow them to navigate these changes. This paper explores the issues Brokers face today in choosing technology and in recreating their value proposition.  It examines how brokerages need to evolve from a […]

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Discover MLS logo

Valencia, Calif., Nov. 2, 2010 – Discover Software, Inc (Discover) announced today that it is raising the bar once again with several new innovations in its flagship product, Discover MLS. First, with its exclusive DiscoverCache technology, normal use of Discover MLS createsa re-usable cache of listing data. Beginning in November, users can harness the power of that local data with a one-time installation of Discover Desktop. This new application extends the capabilities of Discover MLS with true desktop functionality – including the use of offline data. For example, after selecting desired listings and/or comps, reports can now be generated on a user’s local computer (i.e.; without using the internet) for unparalleled performance, especially with a slow connection to the web. The reporting improvements described above are coupled with an all-new metadata- driven Report Designer that empowers implementation staff (and association/MLS staff, if desired) to create and maintain reports using familiar Microsoft Office tools, with no programming. This represents a new paradigm in reporting, with all of the robust flexibility demanded by an MLS system but without the usual, legacy coding requirements. As a result, tedious work that typically consumes hours of development time can now be completed with ease in minutes. Next, Discover’s enhanced Client Portal, to be released next month, will include a bold new layer of CRM and activity tracking, plus integration with Facebook, Twitter, Zillow, education.com, Walk Score, and more. At the same time, Discover will offer integration with AnnounceMyMove.com, the premier social marketing solution for real estate professionals. “Our track record for rapid development speaks for itself, but this recent onslaught of social networking integration is especially exciting,” said Warren Andrich, V.P. of Sales. And finally, development is underway on a mobile-enabled version of the MLS which will bring the power of Web 2.0 to the PDA’s and Smartphones of all Discover users by year-end. This will include revolutionary features found only in the original Discover MLS product, such as “smart” input controls, count-on-the-fly (for vastly more efficient searches), and more…supported on any mobile device with a web browser. “We remain very supportive of Discover Software,” said California Association of REALTORS® Executive Vice President Joel Singer. “The core team at Discover Software continues to innovate and raise the bar for the MLS software marketplace.” Bret Wiener, President of Discover, added “We have only begun to realize the potential of this next generation of apps. Discover Desktop […]

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REALTOR.com renews agreement with MSN

by THE WAV GROUP on November 2, 2010

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The leader in online property search is REALTOR.com, operated by their parent company Move, Inc. In an announcement today, Move renewed the agreement with MSN to power their property search. Move has been under considerable pressure from upstarts, Trulia and Zillow who have been skirmishing to secure relationships with newspapers and other portals to power their search. Recently Zillow announced a partnership with Yahoo! Beginning soon, all listings sent to Zillow will also appear on realestate.Yahoo.com. Move shores up their position of the aggregate leader with this renewal of MSN – targeting more than 18 Million consumers on a monthly basis. It demonstrates that the relationship between Microsoft and MOVE is important to both companies. Although unconfirmed, you can bet that Trulia and Zillow were trying hard to win the MSN account. MSN’s traffic took a rather large and seemingly unexplainable bounce in May of this year. It could be driven by Bing. I am not sure. But their traffic went up from 2.5 Million monthly visitors in April to 7.4 million visitors in August. That is more than just seasonal change. Here is the full press release CAMPBELL, CA (November 2, 2010) Move, Inc. (NASDAQ:  MOVE), the leader in online real estate, today announced it has renewed its content distribution agreement with online leader MSN, thereby continuing to deliver unmatched reach and value to advertisers interested in targeting the 18.6 million[1] consumers searching the first and fifth most visited real estate websites[2] each month. Moves Chief Executive Officer, Steve Berkowitz, said, “By increasing our online presence through distribution agreements with leaders like MSN, Move creates unparalleled opportunities for advertisers to reach beyond our network to an even greater audience searching for reliable and fresh real estate listings and homeownership information.” Berkowitz continues by explaining that Moves content distribution partners, including MSN, understand the value of displaying the largest and most accurate collection of property listing content available on their sites, and trust Move to ensure their visitors online property search experience includes the freshest and most accurate property details available on the Internet. “One of the reasons Move remains the leader in online real estate is because of our valued relationships with the 933+ Multiple Listing Services nationwide,” says Berkowitz.  “Because of these relationships, Move is in the unique position to update approximately 75 percent of the property listings on our network every 15 minutes. By delivering the largest […]

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