April 2011

Is it time for a MLS “Light” product solution?

by Marilyn Wilson on April 30, 2011

Time for Change - Ornate Clock

I have spent the last couple of hours reviewing verbatim comments from a member satisfaction survey for one of the largest MLSs in the United States. While they have outstanding satisfaction scores overall we always like to look at those that are less satisfied than average to better understand what could improve satisfaction. One of the themes that came through loud and clear with the less than satisfied was the need for simplicity. Many said things like “there are too many bells and whistles”, “just want to “get in and get out” of the system quickly and that’s not possible today.  While this sentiment is not coming from the majority of the customers, there is a fairly large contingent of customers who feel this way. They are so busy just trying to survive right now that they don’t have time to spend learning what they believe are complicated tools.  Interestingly the group saying this does seem to be a bit older than average, but let’s face it, the industry is being driven by the experienced agents who are more mature so they are a VERY important audience. At the same time, there’s a new breed of agents who are more tech savvy than average and they are frustrated for different reasons.  They believe the industry is behind the times because some MLS systems are still not available on all browsers and are not viewable on iPads. Maybe it’s time to create two new products – one that is MLS “Light” – a simple system with listing input, search, simple to use CMA and maybe auto emailing capabilities and leave it at that.  Just include a simple dashboard to view their own activity and be done with it. Forget reports and the other modules they don’t use much. The second product could be centered around a mobile platform – make it the easiest to use tool to input, view, promote and distribute listings to social media all from a mobile platform. For those that are moving away from traditional computers to pad devices, build a tool that is just for them.   This version could be really interesting for many audiences. In a survey we have in the field currently we are seeing that many are using their ipads as “large smartphones” as well as those that are using it as a more portable version of their computer.  This tool might be […]

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Why IDX at all? A response to 7DS Associates

by Victor Lund on April 30, 2011

Broker Reciprocity Logo

I cannot speak for The Realty Alliance, Leading RE or any other brokerage. But I can summarize the sentiments of WAV Groups’ broker clients.  This will hopefully shed some light on the question of IDX usefulness, and the issues that are concerning brokers across America representing 200,000 REALTORS. Brokers are upset with recent changes to NAR’s model IDX rules and regulations. Brokers claim that the two recent modifications to IDX, and a third policy revision under consideration; NAR’s MLS Policy Committee failed to contemplate (or appreciate) who owns the data and who is legally responsible for it. The first policy change extended IDX rights to Franchise Organizations who are not members of the real estate board and are not participants in the MLS. The second policy change extended Indexing rights to the Franchise Organizations. Now NAR is on approach to allow anyone with IDX to make ALL IDX DATA available by ANY ELECTRONIC MEANS to anyone. The outrage is that the listing broker and the MLS who own the copyright to the data are still legally responsible for it. Listing data is not a public information. It is the private and curated information of the broker contracted by the home seller, cataloged under uniform rules of the MLS who carefully shares it with Participants and Subscribers of the MLS governed by rules and legal agreements.   IDX is a valuable client servicing tool. IDX (and VOW) websites are valuable resources offered by brokers to consumers. It allows consumers to research area properties online, all in one place. Consumer convenience when working with an agent or broker is the purpose of IDX. It allows the real estate service provider to advertise the homes and services that they provided to the home buyer and home seller. Without IDX, the consumer would need to visit hundreds or thousands of broker websites to access the complete and accurate listing inventory. Try to find a home in Portugal if you want to experience life without IDX and MLS. MLS rules indicate that the broker may opt out of IDX entirely, or on a listing by listing basis. A broker who opts out of IDX may not display listings to the public on their website, but may operate a VOW website. Opting out a specific listing from IDX usually requires a document signed by the seller. Brokers are free to distribute their listings to anyone. I do not think […]

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canalysq12011pcshipments

According to a study released by Canalys today,  Apple fueled the 7% growth of the computer market in Q1, 2011. According to Canalys, pad shipments reached 6.4 million units worldwide. Apple accounted for 74% of these shipments, while other vendors struggled to bring competitive products to market. Canalys expects that next quarter will see a significant change in the market, with products appearing from Acer, Asus, LG and RIM. This continued growth suggests that the iPad and other pad devices are here to stay. They seem to be moving past devices that are purely for games and entertainment and into true computing platforms used in business as well.  In research WAV Group has in the field at the moment, we’re learning that iPads are taking off in real estate as much because they are “smartphones that are easy to read” as they are small computing devices. Those of us that can’t read smartphones without our glasses or large type options are gravitating to the larger form factor of a pad device. Those in the real estate industry that are serious about attracting consumers through mobile devices really need to pay close attention to this growth.  As evidenced this week by the launch of the Realtor.com iPad application, those with consumer-facing websites need to get serious about meeting the needs of this quickly growing segement of the mobile population.  Realtor.com told us that they receive as much as 20% of all of their weekend traffic through their mobile applications now.  If you are trying to attract highly qualified, self-selecting buyers, mobile is an absolute requirement now.

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Cut of the red ribbon

Whenever we conduct member satisfaction surveys for MLSs, there are many suggestions from members about ways to improve MLS tools and services.  Of course, many MLSs listen to their clients and make the requested changes.  Over time these improvements help to increase the overall satisfaction of the MLS with its members. Here’s a way to jump start the process of improving customer satisfaction.  Make sure that your subscribers know that you are listening and responding by giving them credit for making the suggestion in the first place. Here’s a great example of this I wanted to share with you.  There were many suggestions made by their customers about ways to improve their current photo upload product.  MRIS responded to their concerns and is about to launch a new way to make it really easy to upload photos into a listing.  I’m sure they have a marketing campaign planned to help their subscribers learn about this new service, but they did something very clever in addition. They provided a “sneak peek” to one of the leading bloggers in their area, Matthew Rathburn.  He is the one that is providing the “inside scoop” to fellow agents via his company’s blog, Coldwell Banker Elite’s Inside Scoop.  Instead of MRIS telling the story about how they listened and responded to customer requests, the message is coming from a practicing agent, delivering the story with much more credibility and passion than the company could deliver without sounding self-serving. Check out this great example from Matthew Rathburn at Elitescoop.com for clues about how to launch your next new feature.  First, Matthew took the time to produce a video describing all of the features he really likes about the new tool.  Note how we gives MRIS credit a FEW TIMES for listening and responding to the needs of their customers. This is GOLD.  Whenever your customers say you are listening, especially a member with a loud, credible voice like Matthew’s, it’s a great thing. As a side note I would also give MRIS credit for launching what looks like a terrific new photo upload feature!  Matthew did such a great job of describing it that he convinced the viewer that the new Media Connect product is really easy to use and available for MAC users- huge for any MLS to take credit for Mac-Friendly upgrades. Now how could you do the same thing? Step 1 – find […]

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Realtor.com iPad App released

by Victor Lund on April 26, 2011

MOVE logo

Yesterday, under the cloak of embargo, Realtor.com released the iPad app to the media. Errol Samuleson, President of MOVE provided us with a walk through of some really great technology, calling it the Etch A Sketch of mobile real estate search. If you are familiar with the popular iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile applications by Realtor.com, then you know that they have done an admirable job of providing a top of class mobile search product. Like its mobile brethren, the iPad is no different. All in all, it is a great start. Some features I liked are the ability to circle an area you would like to search with your finger (hence the etch a sketch reference). The map updates the listings as you drive, even updating the median home value and market statistics. They are also focused on helping the consumer move from desktop to mobile device and back. Registered consumers may save their preferences, like a favorite house on either platform and view it from the other. To support REALTORS, if a consumer adds their agent’s email address and phone number in the settings of the application, the consumer may share what they find with thier agent. Mobile has become the darling of leading consumer facing websites. Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com have all reported extraordinary traffic from mobile search. The consumer facing applications are far better than many of the tools provided to REALTORS from their MLS. Perhaps that too shall change. Here is the press release   REALTOR.COM® LAUNCHES iPAD APP 15 Million iPad Users Now Have The Search Power of Realtor.com In All Inclusive App CAMPBELL, Calif., (April 25, 2011) – The search power of Realtor.com is now available on the iPad at http://www.realtor.com/mobile/iPad. Launched today by Move, Inc., (NASDAQ: MOVE), the leader in online real estate, the Realtor.com iPad app is the only real estate search app delivering everything from listings with maps and GPS directions to personalization tools to keep users organized and connected when searching across country or across town. Realtor.com mobile apps are also the only real estate search apps with access to Realtor.com, the largest and most accurate collection of online property listings, with more than 80 percent of all property listings updated every 15 minutes. Today, 10 properties are viewed every second on a Realtor.com mobile app, including the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, and now iPad at http://www.realtor.com/mobile. Realtor.com […]

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threepeoplewitharrowsconnected

Many times when I speak with Association Executives they tell me how they wish they could play a more vital role in solving the technology needs of its members. Here’s a simple idea to consider…..why not take advantage of all of the great services and technologies and training classes your regional MLS offers?  Many MLSs offer terrific consumer-facing websites, for example.  For example, few association sites I visit feature the MLS Consumer facing website on their websites.  Property search has been proven to to be the best way to generate consumer traffic yet few Associations are taking advantage of framing in a property search solution from their MLS.  How about promoting all of the core services being offered by MLSs?  Most regional MLSs offer not only the MLS system, but public records, wireless MLS, document management and several other tools. Why not partner with the MLS to take credit for all of these great services to increase the perceived relevance of the association? Most MLSs also offer great technology training and most are free of charge. Again, why not take advantage of these live sesssions and webinars? We all know how difficult it is to break through to an agent because they are so busy just trying to survive right now. If the Associations and MLSs work together to promote all of the great services they offer, agents have a much better chance of taking advantage of the tools available to them as part of their regular subscription fees. Here’s one simple suggestion as a place to start…. I would love to see every Association that is part of a regional MLS take one small step – feature your MLSs consumer website on your home page with a property search that is featured prominently, just like they are on leading consumer sites. You’ll be able to bring more consumers to your website AND help generate most exposure and leads for your member’s listings. Sounds like a win/win doesn’t it?

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Are you as worried about our planet as I am?  We continue to destroy it without considering the consquences. As a mother of a young child, I would really like to find ways I can create a positive impact on the planet she will be living on in the future. While I don’t believe I can come up with a way to reduce the amount of oil used in auto engines or eliminate jet fuel from our air supply, I do believe I can help influence our own businesses.  The technology exists. We just need to embrace it and make it happy We’re all busy, but there are simple things MLSs can do that will save them money AND help the environment. Why should MLSs and Associations care though? Did you know that Green organizations benefit from reduced costs, more loyal staffs and more satisfied customers? In a time when MLSs and Associations are facing ever-increasing competition from fellow real estate organizations and third parties, going green provides a whole new competitive advantage. Smart green strategies help a company save money and eliminate waste while attracting new customers and creating a competitive advantage. Going green is a win-win for all involved.  Check out our free white paper on the Top Ten Ways to Go Green with your MLS here. Real Estates Contribution to Our Environmental Crisis There is another very simple reason why real MLSs and Associations need to go green: because it is the right thing to do. We all hear the shocking statistics about how quickly we are consuming the worlds resources while destroying our forests, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. The real estate industry is contributing to the problem. In fact, it only takes about 12 sales to consumer a tree. More Than 2,000,000 Trees Consumed Since 2005 the real estate industry has killed more than 2 million trees just with the paperwork needed to process residential real estate transactions! More Than 1.5 Billion Gallons of Gasoline Travel to clients, properties, open houses, home tours and conferences accounts for usage of approximately 1.5 billion gallons of gasoline a year. More Than 1.8 Billion Gallons of Waste Water Created The production of just one piece of paper produces 13 ounces of wastewater. To produce 26 million real estate transactions, our industry has created more than 1.8 billion gallons of waste water. Real Estate Consumers […]

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MLSs across the U.S. helping consumers to get into homes

by Marilyn Wilson on April 25, 2011

downpaymentresourcelogo

Three more MLSs announced today that they will offering a great new service that helps connect consumers to a myriad of downpament assistance programs around the United States. The program called Workforce Resource helps agents promote downpayment assistance programs that will help their clients be able to afford homes because they will receive help with the downpayment.  Within the MLS system each listing is tagged with the type of downpayment assistance program(s) available for that home. These forward looking MLSs now join NorthstarMLS and Empire Access MLS to cover 23 million Americans in 10 states served by over 90,000 REALTORS® marketing more than 140,000 listings eligible for 824 homeownership programs administered by 128 Housing Finance Agencies. Russ Bergeron from MRED has joined a new phrase for these types of applications. He calls them Public Service Applications or “PSA’s”.  He says  “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 MREDs Chief Executive Officer, Russ Bergeron.  “In todays 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 MREDs dedication to offering its customers no cost applications that enable them to put people in homes they might otherwise not be able to afford.” In a time when MLSs are struggling to find new ways to keep our organizations relevant and vital to their membership, these kind of applications can make a meaningful difference in the lives of agents as well as their clients.  It’s a great way to deliver tangible value to your subscribers while helping in some small way to solve the real estate crisis we are living through at the moment.

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SpatialStream advanced mapping

by Victor Lund on April 22, 2011

Great Video that explains how MLS data and Public Record data can be plotted on a map to display all kinds of real estate trends. In this case, the video talks about price declines.SpatialStream advanced mapping

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MOVE logo

ListHub operator Move, Inc., (NASDAQ: MOVE) and Zillow, Inc., today announced a long term content syndication agreement for the ListHub publishing network.   ListHub is the largest online syndicator of real estate listings to real estate web sites and provider of performance reports for brokers, franchises, and Multiple Listing Services. ListHub is Zillow’s largest listings syndication partner. This agreement confirms Zillow and Move’s commitment to the publishing and syndication of  accurate MLS real estate listings. As a result of the new agreement, ListHub will continue to send approximately two million listings to Zillow directly from 358 MLSs every day representing 40,000 brokers throughout the United States. In addition, Zillow will now provide web site and mobile metrics and listing performance data to ListHub for inclusion in reports that brokers, agents and franchises use when working with clients to evaluate the value of publishing destinations and efficiently manage their online marketing strategies. Read more: http://www.benzinga.com/news/11/04/1022711/move-inc-and-zillow-inc-sign-new-listing-syndication-agreement-for-listhub-move#ixzz1KCyR9Ys6

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MLS and Cloud Computing

by Victor Lund on April 21, 2011

There are some technology companies in real estate who love Cloud Computing. Many of the nations’ most significant websites use it to host their applications, include foursquare. But be aware, there are risks – Imagine the frustration of agent and brokers would express if they tried to login to the MLS or other business critical system, and got a similar message to this.  

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WAV Group

by THE WAV GROUP on April 20, 2011

corelogic

WAV Group always begins with a clear understanding of the needs and objectives of the customer as well as the end user.  Our team can help you outline a new strategic direction for growth, product or service improvement. We can help you better understand your member and clients needs by proven research methodology. We can assist you to make wise technology decision and stay with you and drive implementation. In short, we work with your organization to help you successfully reach your specific business objectives! WAV Group always begins with a clear understanding of the needs and objectives of the customer as well as the end user.  Our team can help you outline a new strategic direction for growth, product or service improvement. We can help you better understand your member and clients needs by proven research methodology. We can assist you to make wise technology decision and stay with you and drive implementation. In short, we work with your organization to help you successfully reach your specific business objectives!

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There is a work group that recommends changes to NAR’s MLS Policy Committee on changes to the policy. This work group recently submitted suggested changes that, if adopted, would enable RSS and other electronic means of syndicating listings to third parties. Brokers and MLSs alike are very concerned about the potential infringements on the copyrights of brokers and MLSs, and the potential for law suits from home sellers. Broker participants are legally liable for the listing content as outlined in the listing contract with the seller. The broker takes on the legal responsibility for the listing through the contact. Moreover, the convents of the relationship between the broker and the MLS impart the mutual responsibility of each party to manage the custody of the listing to preserve the rights of the seller and the representing broker. Furthermore, the broker also legally perfects their copyright ownership of the listing content when putting it into the MLS, and the MLS has copyright over the compilation of participant listing. The seller acknowledges that the copyrighted listing contnet will be shared by the broker with other broker participants in the MLS in ways that protect the seller. The broker is legally responsible for the accuracy of the listing. Unless otherwise indicated, the seller also consents to allow the broker to accurately advertise the listing for sale on the internet through IDX. IDX has specific rules that indicate that other participating brokers may display the listing for sale on their website (and in many markets, the website of an agent). IDX restricts the listing display of another broker’s listing to the website of another MLS participating broker. There are rules and regulations that exclude marketing any listing that is not active. Some brokers may also advertise their own listings (not listings of other brokers) by sending that listing to other websites. The broker enters into an agreement to do this that is in line with the listing agreement. The broker only advertises the listing during the term of the listing contract with the seller, and ceases all advertising activity when the listing changes status from active to any other status. Currently, listing syndication is only performed when brokers opt in, and only to places that the broker directs. Think “Approved by the broker who has a listing contract with a seller.” This new recommendation allows for RSS syndication from IDX. Think “allows anyone to obtain all data […]

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Zillow files registration for public offering

by Victor Lund on April 18, 2011

Press Releases Zillow® Files Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering SEATTLE, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Zillow, Inc., which operates real estate site Zillow.com®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, and Zillow Mobile, today announced that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.  The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. Citi will act as the sole book-running manager for the offering.  Allen & Company, Needham & Company, LLC, ThinkEquity LLC and First Washington Corporation will act as co-managers. A copy of the preliminary prospectus, when available, can be obtained from Citi, Brooklyn Army Terminal, 140 58th Street, 8th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220, or by calling 800-831-9146. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective.  This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor may there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction. SOURCE Zillow, Inc.  

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In a press release today, The Realty Alliance joined the ranks of Leading RE and other brokers who are making an effort to overturn the recent actions by the NAR MLS Policy Committee to extend IDX prividleges to franchise organizations. Chief rationale is that only the procuring broker may authorize and share their listing data with anyone who is not a member of the MLS. Press Release: Joe Horning, Chairman of the Board, The Realty Alliance LARGE BROKERS ASK FOR REPEAL OF FRANCHISE EXEMPTION FOR IDX The Board of Directors of The Realty Alliance sent a letter yesterday to the Multiple Listing Policy and Issues Committee asking that the National Association of Realtors at its earliest opportunity repeal the recent change in policy that allows real estate franchise organizations to receive and display IDX information. The Realty Alliance comprises more than 60 of the largest, full-service residential real estate companies in the United States, comprising close to 100,000 licensed salespeople, all of whom are members of the National Association of Realtors and are participants in literally hundreds of MLSs. The organization’s shared membership has an important stake in the policies related to MLS policy and Internet Data Exchange (IDX). Close to one-third of our member firms are franchises, another portion is otherwise affiliated and the rest enjoy varying levels of independence. In the letter The Realty Alliance Board expressed concerns about conflicts with various real estate laws and regulations, about the lack of recourse and liability for non-participant use/display of listing data, about the varying standards of responsibility between participants and non-participants, about the financial and administrative burdens placed on participants and MLSs (but not non-participants), about liability regarding the protection of information, about breach of contracts between participants and MLSs limiting where data can be sent, about the discriminatory nature of singling out franchisors for the exemption, about the potential for the policy to empower the creation of “straw brokers” who can exploit the policy and about copyright infringement. The Board summarized by attesting that the value of increasing the availability of listing data does not outweigh the many legal issues raised by the policy change. The organization expects its members to make independent decisions about the policy and anticipates that the NAR committee will receive significant and varying input from various companies and networks with which its members are affiliated in addition to The Realty Alliance Board’s request. […]

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IDX Data Use Workgroup Submits Recommendations

by Victor Lund on April 15, 2011

Post image for IDX Data Use Workgroup Submits Recommendations

I just received a copy of the Report of Recommendations of the IDX Use Work Group of the Multiple Listing Issuse and Policies Committee. I have had a blur of calls from The Realty Alliance, Leading RE, MLSs and Franchises alike today. There are many significant concerns. At the heart of the recommendations is the new rule that IDX listing content may be distributed by RSS or other electronic means (anyway you want) to any third party without any restrictions what so ever. Brokers and Agents still have restraints on the use and display of the data on their own websites that third parties do not. Furthermore, the MLS is required to enforce policies on the use of IDX data like prohibiting the display of expired, sold, or under contract listings. WAV Group has been asked to prepare a document of concerns to this Recommendation, which we will be doing this weekend. If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments or send Victor Lund an email. If you believe this is an important topic, please share this with others via Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, email or “by any other electronic means” Here is the document. If you would prefer to download the document rather than read it here, you may do so byfollowing this link.   Report and Recommendations of the IDX Data Use Work Group of the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee March 2011 In early 1999 the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee began its consideration of “intellectual property issues, advertising, use of MLS data by other brokers, and related issues”.  That initial consideration led to NAR’s elected leadership convening a special inter-disciplinary Internet Data Display work group comprised of the REALTOR® leaders of the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee, the Professional Standards Committee, the Risk Management Committee, current and former Law and Policy Liaisons, and representatives of the NAR Leadership Team. Their deliberations led to adoption of the policy now referred to as the Internet Data Exchange (“IDX”) policy. The IDX policy has been reviewed and enhanced on several occasions to respond to emerging issues and to questions and concerns of MLS participants and MLS administrators. In early 2010 NAR began receiving questions from MLS administrators asking whether Internet “display” of other participants’ listings was strictly limited to display on participant websites or whether delivery/display via RSS subscription was permissible under the policy. At the Committee’s 2010 […]

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LPS going to bat for Franchise Organizations

by Victor Lund on April 13, 2011

LPS Logo

In an op ed column released today, LPS suggests that NAR’s MLS Policy Committee made a poor choice in forbidding Franchises (like Century 21, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX, Keller Williams, et al) from allowing them to display advertising around IDX listings. Here is the article   Why the NAR’s IDX Policy Kills Competition By Shiraz Vartanian With the publication of the NAR Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy in January of this year, the National Association of REALTORS policy has changed to now allow national franchisors to index IDX listings on their Websites. While this is a positive development – and one that should be applauded – there are also some problematic elements to this new policy. Primarily, the issue lies with the prohibition by NAR for these franchisors to advertise around these listings. The logic behind this restriction seems to be that advertising would somehow compromise the integrity of the listings and/or the MLSs themselves. While on the surface this may seem a valid concern it is really demonstrably false. In fact, studies have shown the exact opposite to be true. Consumers actually invest siteswith advertising with a greater perceived authority than those without. In our opinion, limiting the ability of franchisors to leverage their traffic and data to sell advertising is anti-competitive. Times are tough all over. Franchisors – and indeed, everyone on down to the individual agent – need to take advantage of every opportunity possible. The NAR’s policy on advertising around IDX listings eliminates a significant business opportunity for the franchisors (and the rest of the industry) that has been controlled by national real estate portals. What the NAR’s indexing policy accomplishes more than anything is ensuring that further innovation from franchisors will be difficult, if not impossible. Money is Being Made For quite some time now, the major national real estate search portals (REALTOR.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc.) have been capitalizing upon the listings of individual REALTORS, agents and brokers to capture the attention of national advertisers. In the process, they’ve been pulling in millions of dollars that – in theory at least – could be going to the brokers and MLS’s who willingly provide the portals with listings. The portals have also sold (and continue to sell) product placement to competing agents and brokers, essentially allowing them to advertise their services in connection with listings they have nothing to do with. Portals are making money of an individual’s […]

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Zillow going Big, Real Big

by Victor Lund on April 13, 2011

Comscore

Here are the top RE Sites combining all properties running under the top brand names.

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Driving Technology Engagement

by Victor Lund on April 13, 2011

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For more than a year now, WAV Group partners have been operating RE Technology. RE Technology is designed to operate inside of an MLS System supporting the role of offering education and information about technology products available to real estate professionals. The site is free to MLSs and Associations, and they may offer it to thier members at no cost. Companies may list thier products in the directory at no charge. WAV Group partners and other qualified contributors volunteer their educational writing for the daily publication. Today, RE Technology reaches 587,000 agents and expansion continues. The cost of operating the site is offset by advertising. Through the operation of RE Technology, we learn about how technology is introduced into the real estate market place. Here are a few observations that we would like to share. Performance By Engagement measures how content is interacted with by users on a website. On RE Technology, we offer four forms of engagemnet on the site. Articles, Social Video, Contests, and Polls. From a study done by eMarketer across multiple websites, we le arn how engagement occurs. Banner Advertising generates impressions which raise awareness. They are great tools for new brands or forgotten brands. They support building awareness of new offerings and allow legacy companies to frame new attitudes toward their brand and products. However, they fall at the bottom of the list for engagement, averaging 1.4% click through rates. Polls generate 1.8% engagement. Relatively speaking, they have the attraction rate of a banner ad. However, they allow marketers to gain valuable insight into the beliefs of their product audience. Contests generate 6.5% engagement. Contests also have the added benefit of allowing the company to collect contact information to win the prize. Prizes over $500 in value increase the adoption. Prizes over $1000 in value drive adoption rates significantly. Social Video gener ates 6.7% engagement. For videos to perform effectively, they need to be less than 5 minutes long. At the end of the video should be a call to action to share the video with others. Share on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Marketers get impression time combined with word of mouse distribution from customer to customer. Article Content generates 16.6% engagement. Far and away, the best practice for engaging with customers is by sharing information. Writing articles that share insights and observations. Here is a tip – always provide a photo with your article. It helps people lean […]

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Time for Change - Ornate Clock

I just love to see leaders of the real estate industry take an active stand in trying to impove the state of the housing market. I applaud Steve Hundley’s effort for bringing the key issues facing the San Diego real estate market to the forefront with the state and federal legislators from his area. Steve is placing his company 1ParkPlace in the forefront of influencing change by connecting community leaders and government officlals to talk about tangible methods to fix the real estate industry woes. I would love to see REALTORS and technology companies around the country come together to replicate the kind of symposium Steve is hosting in San Diego. Way to go Steve!  Great job! Here’s the details: Congressman Duncan Hunter to Co-Chair 1parkplace Real Estate Symposium Experts present housing recovery strategies to bring back our housing market   San Diego, CA – 1parkplace presents The Real Estate and Housing Symposium scheduled on April 21, 2011at the Marriott Marina. The event kicks off a national campaign to “Bring Back Our U.S. Housing Market.” The goal of this symposium is to initiate a citizen led forum focusing on a “Blueprint for Housing Reform” in order to present to Congress. The event is being led by Steve Hundley, CEO of 1parkplace, Inc., (www.1parkplace.com) a national real estate marketing firm based in San Diego.  Hundley has made it his personal mission to educate Americans on what they can do to help restore our housing market. “Correcting our housing market means more money for communities, higher property values, more jobs created and improved consumer confidence,” said Hundley. Hundley has enlisted the support of honorary co-chairperson, Congressman Duncan Hunter. “The idea of presenting strategies from leaders in our real estate industry to our elected officials in every level of government to advocate meaningful reform is an important step, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Hunter.  “The participants at this symposium are industry professionals who are in the trenches everyday with their clients.” The Blueprint for Housing Reform will address three key areas of recovery: 1.     Now issues – reforms that will address the urgency of solving our short sale, mortgage modification and REO process in order to remove as much inventory off the market as quickly as possible. 2.     Tomorrow issues – addressing the landslide of regulations that are destined to decimate our real estate and housing industry.  Much of the new legislation concentrates […]

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