March 2011

www.workforce-resource

One of the key goals for the long-term survival of MLSs is to identify tools that can help create tangible results for their subscribers.  The best way to “move the needle” on customer satisfaction is to provide agents with something that DIRECTLY affects their ability to sell homes.  As MLSs review new services to consider they need to prioritize programs that will help agents and brokers be more successful.  MLS systems are a given now – the progressive MLS has to become a partner with its brokers and play a valuable role in delivering services that make the entire industry stronger. They are going to focus on services that are best suited to come from an objective third party and that can help every person actively selling real estate. As we all know it is very difficult for many homebuyers to qualify for a loan because they cannot afford a large enough downpayment.  If the industry can help consumers afford the downpayment we can help agents sell more real estate.  Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED) (www.mredllc.com) recognized this need and announced today that the organizations have entered into a contract to integrate Down Payment Resource℠ (www.downpayment-resource.com) with MRED’s listing data. Down Payment Resource (DPR), offered by Workforce Resource, is the first product to aggregate down payment assistance program information into one platform and integrate that information into multiple listing services’ (MLS) listing data. DPR connects eligible homebuyers and properties with government-funded programs for down payments, affordable mortgages, and rehab loans. “MRED is very pleased to be able to provide our brokers and agents a tool that enables them to identify listings that qualify for down payment assistance programs and help buyers determine their potential eligibility for those programs,” said MRED’s Chief Executive Officer, Russ Bergeron. “In today’s environment, prospective purchasers face new, stricter requirements to obtain a mortgage. Down Payment Resource helps both potential buyers and the real estate professionals serving them. It is truly a winning proposition for everybody involved. This is just one more example of MRED’s dedication to offering its customers no cost applications that enable them to put people in homes they might otherwise not be able to afford.” The tool is easy to use. As real estate professionals and homebuyers search for properties on MRED’s site, those homes eligible for down payment assistance programs will be clearly marked with DPR’s icon. Clicking on the […]

{ 0 comments }

QRM – not to be confused with QR

by Victor Lund on March 31, 2011

The FDIC is rolling out QRM. It is a new banking rule that requires that a bank must put aside a 5% retention on any loan that does not include a 20% downpayment. I do not have a PHD in Economics, but I can imagine a few implications that may crop up as a result of QRM. If banks must retain 5% as a result of QRM, they will need to make fewer loans either as a result of consumers not being able to put down 20% or as a result of the bank needing to retain the 5%, reducing their available cash to make loans. Fewer loans will slow the churn rate in the housing market, increasing inventory levels and driving down property values Lower property values will result in more lost equity More lost equity will result in more foreclosures More foreclosures will result in more lost equity and so on and so forth. The real issue is that people with solid income and 780 credit scores are walking away from homes becuse they are not hopeful that they will regain their lost equity anytime soon. Here in California where $1 Million dollar homes are considered middle-upper class, property values may have dropped 20% for those home purchasers who bought 3 or 4 years ago. When you home looses $200,000 in value, even the best financed family would be prudent to walk away. Afterall, they can simply pay cash for their next home and benefit from not taking the $200,000 loss. In a few years when their credit is repaired, they can finance their home and replenish their savings. Duh….. By the way, QRM has nothing to do with QR codes – to learn about those visit RE Technology  

{ 0 comments }

2011 CMLS Benchmarking

The Council of MLS released their annual MLS benchmarking study today. You can download it for free from the CMLS website at CouncilofMLS.com. The survey involved the participation of 141 of the nations’ leading MLS providing services to more than 750,000 agents and brokers. The survey provides an update of the key issues facing MLSs today – great data. Be sure to take a look and share it with your staff and board of directors.  

{ 0 comments }

JB Wheeler

      In a letter today, Jeffrey Wheeler announced that he is stepping down from his role of President and Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker United. Over the past five years Mr. Wheeler has successfully managed one of the great brokerages South Carolina, among the best Coldwell Banker franchises in the nation and around the world. Real Trends ranks Coldwell Banker United as the 4Th largest brokerage in America. Although details of the next chapter of Wheeler’s life was not detailed in the letter, you can imagine that he will continue to deliver his brand of inspired leadership in his future endeavours. Although WAV Group has never worked directly with CB United or Mr. Wheeler, we have long admired the strength of their organization and his role there. We are grateful for their support of our industry research projects over the years. Here is the announcement letter that we received today. After five years of serving as President and COO of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors® of the Carolina’s, I have decided to put my leadership and entrepreneurial skills to work in a different arena. I appreciate the opportunity to have worked with Richard Smith and all the fine people of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors, but there comes a point when it is time to move on to other opportunities. We have successfully navigated the past three years of a troubled real estate market, reducing our annual operating costs by five million dollars, while maintaining our gross revenue at over 30 million dollars. We have a strong business plan in place for 2011, and the company is positioned for success in the coming years. I believe the experience of serving in a variety of leadership positions, in both the business and faith communities, has uniquely equipped me to assist others in this new economy and “new normal.” I have enjoyed our relationship and look forward to maintaining that connection while I seek God’s direction for the next journey in my life. In the meantime, my contact information remains the same, or you may contact me via my website:www.jeffreybwheeler.com.  

{ 0 comments }

roost logo

Real Estate agents are mighty in numbers and skilled in communicating thier services to consumers. Eventhough many are critical of REALTORS, they are leaders in many ways – social media being one of them. Today Roost announced that they are planning to extend the same services they provide to real estate agents to other professional ranks. Here is the letter announcing their expansion. I’m very excited today to announce the next generation of Roost.com.  We’ve taken everything we’ve learned in the last year of building Social Marketing products for Real Estate brokers and agents and put it into this product.  And we’re confident you’re going to like it. The new Roost.com is a Social Marketing Platform for any Professional (REALTOR, CPA, Lawyer) or Business (Brokerage Firm, Law Firm, Consultancy) who wants to leverage the Social Web for more referral and network business. Roost helps you create powerful marketing campaigns across Facebook, Twitter (and soon LinkedIn) Roost does the work for you by suggesting actual content, types of posts, and when to post Roost allows you to join forces with the people around you to increase the reach of each other’s campaigns Roost is FREE (we’ll offer additional Premium versions soon with more robust features – for a monthly subscription fee) For those Roost clients (REALTORs and Brokers) using our Roost products on Facebook, these new features are all available to you immediately.  More importantly, they provide terrific support for your customized Broker and Agent FB pages and tabs.  We’re also continuing to invest in and improve our Real Estate and Home Search tabs, and are excited to say we will be releasing an update to the Facebook Real Estate tab within the next month! Real Estate is near and dear to our hearts.  We will continue to build and refine products for it.  We also have some very exciting news and Real Estate partnerships to announce soon.  Stay tuned! Try out the new Roost.com and we look forward to any feedback on how we can make it better for you. PS you can learn more about this release in the Press Release attached, as well as at the RoostBlog.  

{ 0 comments }

LPS launched their new real estate group website over the weekend.Http://www.lpsreg.com. The site is rich with information for their four primary product consumers: Brokers & Franchisors; Real Estate Agents; MLS; Data and Media. Drilling into any product group allows you to visualize the solutions. This is an interesting tactic – they are focused on solutions rather than products. Once a user selects the solution that meets their needs, the products that fill that need appear. I like the site.  Hugely improved over the last site. 1000Watt Consulting worked with LPS to put all of the pieces together, even added some leadership videos and written customer testimonials. Given 1000Watt’s mantra of helping companies out innovate the competition, I expect that the site will continue to evolve. Overtime, I would expect to see more engagement focused product blogs, social media hooks, and other innovations missing from the site today.. Those tools will allow the brand and its people to communicate with customers. (There is a twitter link – but there are no posts or followers there yet. – I joined as their first one:-). Check out this video that introduces LPS and its leadership team.   LPS Executive Team Final Candidate from 1000watt Consulting on Vimeo. Disclosure: WAV Group has worked on a variety of projects for LPS – we had no influence on the website project.

{ 0 comments }

Gary Vaynerchuck The Thank You Economy

I am exactly 111 pages into Gary Vaynerchuck’s new book, The Thank You Economy. The book talks about the role that Social Media plays in corporations. Usually a good business book gets my juices going on page 1. This one took me awhile to find a new thought. Nevertheless – I would say that the book is a must read. As the earlier post suggests (I was Linkedin user 153,000ish), I am bullish on social media. My passion dates back to my first electronic rolodex, then to my first palm pda, and so on and so forth. I like to stay connected to people. – not obsessively, but I think managing contacts is a reasonably important personal and professional virtue. Meeting new people would also fall under that virtue – and social media helps with that. I also like social media for research – we are constantly recruiting and working with new clients on new projects. We uncover a lot of information from social media. Gary Vaynerchuck has not told me anything about social media that I did not already know. But I like him, and we agree completely. I especially like the passion that he puts into his speaking gigs. He has that great speaking quality that can only be born into someone – I envy him for that. When I first met Gary, it was at a party. Our neighbor invites his friends – mostly wine makers  – over to his house for a party after the World of Pinot – an annual event here in Pismo Beach. This was Gary before Social Media – when he was more about wine than being Gary Vaynerchuck. He was interesting then, too. To me, social media is just something you do. Something everyone does. It is not a fad, or something that someone becomes an expert at. It is just another form of communication – like having a meeting, sending an email, or making a phone call. Social Networking if fundamental to friendship or businessship. Given this perspective, knowing that corporations block social media sites from their office network to prevent their employees from screwing around is absurd. If employees are not engaged in their work, it’s not social media’s fault. Either you have a crappy company or a crappy employee. And where do you stop – do you monitor their inbound and outbound calls too? To you have policies regarding […]

{ 0 comments }

Early Adopter gets thanks from Linkedin CEO

by Victor Lund on March 25, 2011

Victor Lund Linkedin member 153,231

If I ever wondered about being an early adopter…..

{ 0 comments }

MLS Mobile Game Changer – Smarter Agent

by Victor Lund on March 24, 2011

smartphone

Mobile Search has been a keynote service by MLSs now for many years. The first platform that saw significant adoption was Most Home (now called Kurio). With the emergence of the smartphone, the Mobile Search industry has sprouted mobile search companies like weeds. RE Technology has a list of80 companies providing mobile applications. The typical business model for MLSs purchasing mobile applications is a fee per member per month. Some service providers offer a basic version and a pro version for those who want to generate non-dues revenue. Today, Smarter Agent looks to change all of that. They are launchiing a program to provide all MLSs with a Mobile Applicaiton that works on all smartphones for free. I have not reviewed the terms of the agreement, but I like the initial premise. Apparantly there is an ad supported component – where ad revenues are shared back with the MLS in the form of non-dues revenue. If you want more information, click here for Smarter Agent Company Information. Contact inforamtion for Shelly Schwartz who manages this program is listed here. Disclosure: Smarter Agent is not a WAV Group Client. I am pretty sure that they are working the The MLS – CLAW if you need a reference.  

{ 0 comments }

CoreLogic Awarded Patent for ParcelPoint Technology

by Victor Lund on March 18, 2011

CoreLogic Logo

Technology Provides First Standardized Nationwide Parcel Database CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today announced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent to the company for its unique ParcelPoint® technology. CoreLogic ParcelPoint technology provides access to a single source for comprehensive, accurate and current parcel, property and tax data for the insurance, energy, utilities and telecommunications industries. The patent is the 13th patent awarded to CoreLogic and the second for the Spatial Solutions team, which previously operated as First American Spatial Solutions. U.S. Patent Number 7,890,509 is titled “Parcel Data Acquisition and Processing.” “This patent reflects the depth of knowledge our employees possess and their commitment to developing, expanding and delivering key intellectual property to benefit our clients,” said Scott Little, vice president and general manager for CoreLogic Spatial Solutions. “Accurate information is a critical success factor in helping these industries operate efficiently and effectively, and the patented technology provides precision-level insights to help our clients operate productively.” ParcelPoint data provides the exact area and associated latitudes and longitudes that are vital in identifying a propertys geographic position, as well as key property owner and tax information. The patent covers the method through which parcel data sets, which are provided through public records in various formats, are acquired from these multiple sources, standardized for consistency, and incorporated into a single database to create uniform parcel information for widespread use. First launched in 2007, ParcelPoint includes data for more than 127 million digitally converted and normalized parcels and points, including more than 2,000 counties in the United States. This represents approximately 90 percent of the U.S. population and 86 percent of the total land base. When used with the company’s PxPoint™ geocoder, a high-precision, parcel-level geocoding and spatial analytic engine, customers can achieve a high level of positional accuracy for any spatial application. More information about ParcelPoint can be found at www.faspatial.com. About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government. The company combines public, contributory and proprietary data to develop predictive decision analytics and provide business services that bring dynamic insight and transparency to the markets it serves. CoreLogic has built the largest U.S. real estate, mortgage application, fraud, and loan performance databases and is a recognized leading provider of mortgage and automotive credit reporting, property tax, valuation, flood […]

{ 0 comments }

Trulia Direct Connect

by Victor Lund on March 15, 2011

trulia logo

Trulia provided WAV Group with information about their Trulia Direct Reference product today. They have 3 MLSs who intend to put the solution into beta. The goal of the program is to improve data accuracy at Trulia by accessing a data file from the MLS to match against the Trulia data set. WAV Group has echoed the outspoken disappointment that brokers have about data quality on third party websites. This program provides a thesis to help clear up the problem, but questions remain – namely – will the MLS data trump other business rules? Will participation in the program remove competing brokers appearing on a broker’s listing? How does Trulia license the data and what are the limitations of its uses? The service is free to the MLS. More to come on this – 1000Watt offered an interesting perspective – Based upon this quote on the 1000Watt blog regarding Trulia Direct Reference, it is unclear how the industry will respond or embrace. “If you are an MLS and believe that your secret sauce is quality data, or perhaps have visions of a public-facing website, you’re essentially washing your competitors dirty car with your secret scrub-brush for free.” Read the Full Blog post here  

{ 0 comments }

Over the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of work with both vendors, brokers and agents evaluating different technologies.  In some cases this involved helping vendors improve their products and on the other side involved helping brokers and agents choose new products.  Something that hit me over and over again in both cases was the fact that our industry has over engineered products over and over again.  Why?  Because we don’t really listen to what users want.  We think we know better.  We understand all of the complex features that need to be included in websites, and transaction management and MLS systems.  But what is really enlightening is when you see products that go against the grain for accepted design and there is major product adoption, even though this product may not have every bell and whistle another product has.   When we do research with brokers, agents and consumers one of the key things they ask for is simple and easy access to information and help in getting through the real estate transaction.  They don’t want to become “real estate software users”!  They don’t want to learn systems.  They want to buy or sell real estate or help someone that is buying or selling real estate.  Our industry though makes an assumption that we have an engaged audience just waiting to sit down and learn their latest and greatest software approach. This isn’t the way it works. All of us have access today to websites and data that is as simple as asking a question on a Google search.  We look for this type of access and ease or we move on.  When we find it, we stay and come back again, because it gives us what we are looking for easily.  I saw a recent example of this in the so called Transaction Management arena. I say “so called” because TM has morphed over the years.  The traditional model is that it is software that manages the entire transaction process from beginning to end, document management, forms, scheduling, communication, digital signature, etc.  That certainly seems to make sense.  But, as we all know, the really robust transaction management systems have not been widely adopted. In 2005, when WAV Group did its first Transaction Management adoption study, we recommended that vendors modularize their products and present them in smaller chunks.  Separate out the Document Management, eFax and […]

{ 0 comments }

The Real Goal of RPR and CoreLogic

by Victor Lund on March 11, 2011

boardroom with blue sky

I just returned from speaking at the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World conference in Las Vegas. Leading RE is an amazing group of independent brokerages from across the nation and the world. The Leading RE network represents the largest non-franchise organizations from every marketcenter – I think they have about 600 broker members. Admittedly, my talk to the brokers likely represented the most boring session at the conference – Data Licensing, Listing Syndication, and an explaination of new IDX policies from the NAR MLS Policy committee. Notwithstanding, a few hundred broker owners joined the meeting indicating that they appreciate the importantance of paying attention to their data use policies. I conveyed a simple message about why I advise them to support Data Licensing to RPR and CoreLogic. My support of these initiatives has nothing to do with the tools RPR exchanges for the Data License, or the $.30 to $.50 per listing per month that CoreLogic pays for the data license. My message was simple. Would you price a listing using tax data? The Buyers of the Data – Federal Government policy setters, Government Sponsored Entities (fannie et al), Insurance Companies, and the primary and secondary Mortgage industry critical partners to consumers and property brokers.  They are currently basing their fiscal policy on Tax Data from CoreLogic and LPS. Imagine pricing a home for sale using Realist. That would be insane. But the Buyers of the Data are doing just that. They need access to the same active listing data to price to market that Brokers and Agents use. With RPR and CoreLogic tools, they will be able to make better, faster decisions on fiscal policy, mark to market, short sales and REO inventory. It will shorten days on market and free up consumers and their brokers to return to a local transaction term. Here is what my contact at UBS had to say about this – Victor: FYI: I picked up this reference to CoreLogic in one of my Morning Research updates. Market Update Risk aversion rising, and the US data doesnt help. This morning, initial unemployment claims back up towards the 400k mark coming in at 397k (UBSe: 370k, cons: 376k) for the week, and the previous week revised up from 371k from 368k. Well, it didnt snow, so no call to blame the weather this week. Think, think, think … the Labor Dept blamed it […]

{ 0 comments }

Do your homework before switching MLS providers

by Victor Lund on March 11, 2011

california association of realtors

It was March 29th, 2010. CalREDD, the for profit MLS division of the California Association of REALTORS had fallen on hard times. After getting a number of Associations to switch MLS providers and join their new MLS, they were putting out fires everywhere. On a good note, they had reported that REALTOR organizations representing 120,000 REALTORS had signed letters of intent to join CalREDD, but every installation was complex and ridden with issues. To review the state of affairs, check out this post here. Since those early days, much has changed, and much has stayed the same. On a positive note, CalREDD merged with MRMLS led by CEO Art Carter to bolster the strength and experience of the MLS management team. The newly formed company called CRMLS or California Regional MLS seems to be moving along at a steady pace, leveraging the operational competency of MRMLS. They are no where close to the 120,000 members forecasted over a year ago – more like 25% of that count – but nevertheless they are making progress. They also are also far away from becoming a statewide MLS. 10 REALTOR baord continue to enjoy all of the rich features from DiscoverMLS, long gone is the noise of dissatisfaction that plagued CalREDD in their early days. The number and severity of the conversion problems has diminished. These things are never perfect and always painful, but at least there is not the presence of full on disaster like the Fresno conversion. The balance of MRMLS customers are still riding along on the Matrix system that was under contract before the merger. Through WAV group strategic planning initiatives, we have come across some awesome stories about political pressure being placed on Associations to leave their MLS and join CRMLS. Sadly, it is quite evident that Associations are not doing the due diligence to clearly and fully understand the differences between their current MLS provider and their new MLS provider before joining the parade. Brokers have reported that conversions have been a rocky road too – which could have been averted with better planning. Whenever you switch MLS systems, change agent ID, broker IDs, and Office IDs you create a conversion nightmare. In one case, a client servicing portal called MLS Office that SoCal MLS offered as a member benefit was shut off for hundreds of agents as a result of the conversion. The agents were then advised that […]

{ 0 comments }

LPS Announces Release of Paragon 5

by Mike Audet on March 8, 2011

In the following press release,  LPS announces it has released the new Paragon 5 interface for its 200+ accounts, noting a number of new features including PC and Mac compatibility with cross browser access including Internet Explore, Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera.  Other notable upgrades include overall system multitasking and improved contact and client collaboration tools. PRESS RELEASE LPS REAL ESTATE GROUP GREATLY EXPANDS MLS SOFTWARE CAPABILITIES WITH COMPLETION OF PARAGON 5 MLS PHASED RELEASE Enhancements to MLS platform include cross-browser capability, multitasking options, improved CMA functionality and New Client Connect module. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – (March 7, 2011) – LPS Real Estate Group, Inc., a division of Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS), a leading provider of integrated technology and services to the mortgage and real estate industries, announced the release of its new Paragon 5 (P5) MLS platform to more than 200 Multiple Listing Services (MLS) customers. The new platform greatly expands the capabilities of real estate professionals to better manage their businesses and collaborate with clients. LPS Real Estate Group released P5 in phases during 2010, notifying its customers in November that the platform was “agent-ready.” The division completed the integration of all administrative functionality in January 2011. “Paragon 5 has greatly expanded the capabilities of MLS software,” said Rich Lull, senior vice president of LPS Real Estate Group‟s MLS Solutions. “Its new features and enhancements provide real estate professionals unsurpassed tools to track, analyze and communicate information in the most timely and efficient manner possible. One of our primary goals was to enhance the flow of information between real estate professionals and their clients and prospects.” The new P5 features and functionality include: Cross-platform capability with PC and Mac operating systems Cross-browser compatibility with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome and Opera Overall system multitasking and inline auto completion New wizard approach for Contact Manager, Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and user preferences New Client Connect module for collaboration between agents and their customers Other platform enhancements include a new and improved spreadsheet grid control that does not require Microsoft Java or Sun Java; the redesign of listings input and maintenance; updates to third-party integration and export functionality; and updates to the Paragon Tax Solution. The new Client Connect module within the P5 Contact Manager provides each agent with a free, customizable Paragon Web page that gives them added Web presence and more efficient communication with their clients. “Through […]

{ 0 comments }

MLSs and Brokers miss out on revenue opportunity

by Victor Lund on March 7, 2011

money bag

WAV Group facilitates dozens of MLS strategic plans each year. Once resounding question heard from Associaiton Shareholders and Broker Participants is “How do we generate more non-dues revenue outside of our ranks.” Last night, a new revenue source came to mind. As we all understand, distributing listings to IDX vendors and managing IDX contracts is heavy lifting. Most MLSs charge vendors anywhere from $500 in small MLS markets to $10,000 per year in large markets for RETS access to MLS data. Agents and brokers bear this fee as an added cost of the services they buy from vendors. What did not occur to me until just today is that Third Party websites like Trulia and others are not paying for the broker data feeds coming from sites like Listhub or Point2. Lets look at the revenue potential. If an MLS charges $1000 per month per feed for IDX, and Listhub distributes MLS IDX data to 46 websites, and Point2 distributes data to 60, then the MLS could generate $106,000 per month in revenue from Syndicaiton to third party websites. The MLS could redistribute that money, or some part of that money back to their member brokers as a license payment for thier listings, or reduce fees that brokers pay for MLS services. What would likely happen is that dozens of third party websites would not be able to bear the burden of the fees, and shut down. For that matter, they may all close their doors. What would be left are agent and broker websites who are already paying the fees. I think that consumers would be just as happy. Don’t you? The reality is that if third party listing websites had to bear any fraction of the cost that the broker and agent invests into curating MLS data, they would fail. By the way – while you are at it, please require the thrid party websites to enter into the same IDX agreements that brokers and vendors need to enter into. Trust me, your brokers will applaud you for leveling the playing field for the first time in history!  

{ 0 comments }

The entire real estate industry is retiring!

by Marilyn Wilson on March 5, 2011

Age of REALTORS chart

I was reviewing the 2010 National Association of REALTORS Member Profile today and noticed a very alarming fact!  The real estate industry is retiring! Not only has the average age of REALTORS moved from 51 to 54 year old.  While the number of REALTORS that are 60 or older has risen 32% in the past four years, the number of REALTORS that are 39 years old and younger has actually DECREASED 21%!   Not only is the industry concentrated on those that are nearly retirement age, we are LOSING those that are in their prime producing years!   Most MLSs and Associations are worried they are losing members because of the economy. I don’t hear too many talking about a disturbing demographic shift! What’s worse is that I would guess if we overlaid production volume by age, the transactions would be concentrated with older agents as well. At this rate of decline, the industry could lose as many as 30% of its members and probably at least 30 to 40% of its production in the next 2 to 5 years! What are we doing about it? I don’t see a whole lot of proactive thinking about this issue. What are brokers doing to attract younger people?   Are they changing their models to allow those that don’t have a nest egg of capital to invest in their first couple of years of the real estate industry?   Is anybody looking at a model similar to the financial services industry where they finance young agents until they get their feet under them? Many associations have created YPN’s, but I hear from many they are working to some level, but are not effective at attracting new young people to the industry. Are we engaging in education that can truly help young agents figure out how to survive in a commission only business?   Have we helped those already in the business figure out how to tighten their belts while continuing to evolve to learn effective methods to reach out to younger home buyers? I don’t think we’re taking the issue of an aging REALTOR population seriously enough!  What are we going to do differently in 2011 to aggressively recruit new younger people into the industry? What models have to change?  Do recruiting methods need to change? Do young agents really care about the amount of technology you offer them? To them technology is a given.  Do they […]

{ 0 comments }

The next horizon for real estate websites

by Victor Lund on March 4, 2011

bend over backwards

Whats next for real estate? Back in the olden days, just after the MLS book lost its appeal and was replaced by the MLS – a rather interesting new product launched for agent and broker websites called IDX – internet data exchange. The idea behind it was that broker participants of an MLS could display the listings of other participating brokers on each other’s websites. This led to an explosion of broker websites. Everyone has one. After awhile, democratically minded MLS boards gave consideration to the agents and extended IDX privileges to them in most markets, as long as the broker approves the vendor and takes responsibility for compliance with IDX rules and regulations. This led to an explosion of agent websites – 20% of agents have one. Template websites for agents – think rDesk, Z57, Advanced Access, and others make it easy for agents to get a website up fast and economically. Top producing agents went a more custom route, purchasing premium sites from the above providers, and still others pursued more elaborate business management solution like AgentAchieve or TopProducer. Then came blogging. For the past 8 years – it has been a challenge to attend a seminar or conference in real estate without some session on the agenda dealing with blogging. Blogging is a way for agents and brokers to become publishers of information that is important to home buyers and sellers, enhance your search engine visibility, and create an online personality. Soon after blogs emerged, so did search solutions that plug into your blog – companies like Wolfnet, Diverse Solutions, and FBS became very popular. A significant component of blogging is the ability to share your blog posts on a new platform that emerged with power about 5 years ago – Social Networking. Using some cut and paste plugins, you can easily promote your blog posts on twitter, facebook, likedin, youtube, etc. By extension, your blog post readers may do the same – helping your blog content to go Viral onSocial Networks with retweets and shares and the like. Today we see a new trend emerging – forget your website, forget your blog – just use facebook as the center of your website life. Redirect your URL to your facebook page, plug in your twitter feed and IDX and call it a day. Facebook is becoming the new internet. Forget Web 2.0, forget designing websites around your […]

{ 0 comments }

The Regional MLS  (RMLS), located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida provides comprehensive MLS services to over 11,000 members.  RMLS is owned by three shareholder associations, the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches, the Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound Association of Realtors® INC and the Realtors® Association of St. Lucie.   RMLS is currently interviewing candidates for the position of Executive Vice President/GM.  Located in the beautiful Palm Beach Gardens area, RMLS is a growing, forward thinking organization, with a full array of technology products and subscriber services. RMLS is looking for a new Executive Vice President/General Manager with the vision and industry skills to lead the organization forward in alignment with their strategic objectives. RMLS has extremely dedicated staff, an engaged and progressive Board of Directors and works closely with the shareholder associations to deliver the best possible services to the subscribers. A full position description is included below.  To express your interest or for more information contact: WAV Group Mike Audet Phone:  716-839-4628 Email:  mike@wavgroup.com POSITION TITLE: Regional MLS – Executive Vice President-/General Manager REPORTS TO: Board of Directors CLASSIFICATION: Exempt ORGANIZATIONAL DESCRIPTION: The Regional MLS  (RMLS), located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida provides comprehensive MLS services to over 11,000 members.  RMLS is owned by three shareholder associations, the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches, the Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound Association of Realtors® INC and the Realtors® Association of St. Lucie.   RMLS is currently interviewing candidates for the position of Executive Vice President/GM. It is the desire of the shareholders and Board that RMLS be driven by clear strategic goals and benchmarks designed to continually improve all member services from education to technology to data accuracy and costs of services.  Regional MLS and the Shareholder associations have recently conducted a number of strategic initiatives and member research and are looking for their new Executive Vice President/GM to move these initiatives forward.  The new Executive/GM will be given clear objectives and goals but will have the responsibility of executing the plan and bringing it to life for RMLS.   The successful candidate will possess strong leadership, management, technical, team building and communication skills as well as the strategic vision to work with the Board of Directors in reaching their strategic objectives.  The successful candidate also understands the importance of working with, communicating clearly with and being responsive to the needs of the shareholder associations and their executive management. RMLS has extremely dedicated staff, […]

{ 0 comments }