May 2011

NAR Announces 2011 30 under 30 Award Winners

by Marilyn Wilson on May 31, 2011

NAR30under30

As a former winner of a “40 under 40″ award in Buffalo, New York I know what an honor it is to receive a “30 under 30″ award.  It’s a great way for the industry to recognize those that go above and beyond – the up and comers – the future of our business. Today, the National Association of REALTORS® announced its 2011 list of  “30 Under 30″ honorees. This group exemplifies the personal drive many Realtors® have to be the best and provide a high level of service to their clients, despite tough market conditions and a constantly evolving industry. It would be great for every Association and MLS to be lucky enough to have one of these winners to promote their dedication and success. It would also make sense to see if you can involve them in committees and groom them to become part of your Board of Directors. “I am amazed at the outstanding qualities and work ethic this year’s ‘30 Under 30′ honorees possess,” said National Association of Realtors® President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “As Realtors®, we bring the most value to our clients by applying new perspectives to their knowledge and experience. In that regard, it’s important for us not only to recognize these Realtors® for their success, but also to learn from them, since they are the future of the real estate profession.” The 2011 “30 Under 30″ class is a diverse crowd of young real estate professionals. However, among the group are several common threads: a willingness and determination to pass along their knowledge and teach others; an entrepreneurial spirit; and the ambition to try something new and take risks. These traits have helped some members of this year’s class triple their personal sales volumes, become their association’s youngest president, and pursue an M.B.A. and other degrees while working a full-time career. In the context of today’s market challenges, it’s as important as ever for this year’s honorees to educate their clients on the different aspects of home ownership, as well as the buying and selling process. “I try to take the time to make sure clients understand everything from their financing to their escrow, as well as the contractual process. The more the client knows, the better, in my opinion,” said Craig. In addition to educating their clients, these young professionals are making a distinctive mark in […]

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When It’s Good To Lose Control

by Mike Audet on May 31, 2011

Threshold of Activation

Business leaders can plan and set strategies but the real key to whether these plans are executed successfully is what their organization does after the plan is released.  Do they embrace the plan?  Do they start strong and then slip back to their old ways?  Do initiatives kick off with great promise and then lose momentum?  Do you find yourself having to continually push the plan rather than seeing full engagement by your staff?  Do you find that some of your staff get on board while others resist change? Here’s the truth!

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Making a Change Requires Some Tension

by Mike Audet on May 31, 2011

ChangeGrid

We have always been big believers that most change occurs as a result of some “pain”.   While we all would like to create change in our lives for positive reasons, and we certainly do at times, a good deal of “major” changes in business and personal lives come about as a result of pain or some “tension” in our lives.  It’s the old aspirin vs. vitamins story. We know we should take vitamins; they are good for us right?  But, if you have a really bad headache or muscle ache you are most likely going to take something for it more reliably than we take vitamins…pain or tension cause action to occur. What if there was a way to measure energy or tension within a business or an individual to assess how likely they are to move in a certain direction, for example, in alignment with your strategic objectives?  What if that process also showed you how to create “tension or energy” without having to have a crisis?  What if that process showed you which individuals were best aligned for specific tasks?   Well the good news is there is a process and a tool to help you make that happen!  It is called the “Change Grid”. What is a Change Grid?

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The Era of Listing Syndication Security

by Victor Lund on May 6, 2011

Listing Syndicaiton

We have entered a new era in real estate called the Era of Listing Syndication Security. Listing Syndication Security is a technology solution that solves many of the legal and technical concerns related to sending listings to third party websites (Zillow, Trulia, et al) in the form of advertising. WAV Group has published numerous papers on the topic over-viewing the key issues of Terms of Use, Accuracy of Online Listings, Indexing, and so forth. Since its inception 4 or 5 years ago, Listing Syndication has been fraught with business problems typical of any circumstance where many people are sending information to many sites. Real Estate brokers discovered a compelling new method to market properties for sale, and pursued it with vigor. When it all started, they had poor tools for sending their listings to online media companies. Along came Listhub, a start up company with very talented staff which set the first standard for syndicating broker listings from the MLS over to the media companies. Their mantra was remaining neutral. They offered the service to the MLSs for free to offer to their brokers. With a mouse click, brokers can send their data to more than 40 third party websites that display listing information. WAV Group wrote a paper on the effectiveness of the solution in August of 2008. By all accounts, Listhub was satisfying the needs of the broker, the MLS, the agent, and the third party websites publishing the listings. Home Run! Then the problems started… The first problem was competition to Listhub. Magazine companies, virtual tour companies, and other technology start ups began to offer syndication services. Listing information was being sent electronically to multiple sites from multiple sources with no consideration for what happens when the data arrives or changes. The third party websites were forced to build business rules around the display of the data, called feed authority. Generally, if you were paying to feature or display your listings on a site, that is the listing that is displayed. Otherwise, they generally ranked feed authority with Agent first, followed by Broker, Franchise, MLS, magazine, virtual tour, postlets, etc. This generally solved the issue of duplicate listings. But more problems arose. As the third party website grew and grew, brokers began to concern themselves with the liabilities of sending data out that they could not keep updated. When the data was delivered, it was accurate, but […]

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mlslistings logo

MLS Listings of the San Francisco Bay area is apparantly the first MLS in the country to join The Realty Alliance, Leading RE, the Council of MLSs, Home Services and others who have sent letters to NAR requesting a denial of recent wrokgroup suggestions for IDX policies. MLSListings, Inc. operates a regional multiple listing service for 8 REALTOR® associations in the Silicon Valley and coastal regions of Northern California, encompassing a service area of over 28,000 square miles and representing more than $70 billion dollars in annual real estate transactions. We are owned by these associations, and governed by the brokerage community. Hybrid in nature, MLSListings is a full MLS service operation, as well as creators of software development initiatives. Given our close proximity in providing products and services in the hub of technological innovation for this country, we are often times contacted first with new business model ideas, which we consider thoughtfully.   Our board of directors has reviewed the “Report and Recommendations of the IDX Data Use Work Group” proposed by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee. We stand in opposition to this recommended policy change, and suggest it be reconsidered.   While we applaud the work groups efforts to create measures to ensure the IDX data policy keeps pace with technology trends, enabling real estate professionals to redistribute other brokers listings to public and social media sites on the Internet is inconsistent with the reason why our NAR IDX policies were created in the first place.   Today, IDX policies are very specific regarding the permission and usage of other brokers listings on a broker or agents consumer-facing website.  These same policies are also strictly enforced by MLS rules. Allowing distribution and publication of other brokers listings to a social media site in the manner recommended in this report would be non-compliant with the IDX guidelines used today regarding refreshing data on web sites.   For example, posting a listing on Facebook is considered “static” or something similar to what you might see displayed in a newspaper advertisement. The posting, unless its in an I-Frame linked to an IDX site, is not synchronized with the MLS; it doesnt change, and even if it did, the postings on these social media sites would disappear as new entries were made. As these postings roll off, consumers would not be informed of any changes associated […]

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CMLS

Dear Pat and MLS Issues and Policy Members,   Please accept this letter on behalf of the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) regarding the recommendations included in the “Report and Recommendations of the IDX Data Use Work Group”. The difficult task of reviewing the inclusion of social media in IDX isnt an enviable one; please know that we respect the commitment that each work group member gave to the effort.   The membership of CMLS is very diverse and includes Associations and MLS organizations from small to very large REALTOR® owned to regional to broker owned to private. Regardless of size or governance of an MLS, our fellow MLS Executives are very experienced and highly professional. While we do not profess to speak on behalf of our entire membership, we feel it is prudent to share the feedback we have received regarding the “Report and Recommendations of the IDX Data Use Work Group”.   Historically, IDX policies have been very specific to the permission of brokers to advertise their respective listings on other participating broker (or agent, if allowed) websites for use by consumers. MLSs have vigorously enforced these rules on behalf of their MLS Participants. The requirements for timely updates, recognition of the listing brokerage and other rules relating to the protection of the listing content have created a significant level of confidence in the process.   Before proceeding, it is important to note that we have not received feedback with objections to allowing IDX via mobile technology. However, expanding that reach to include social media options such as Facebook and RSS feeds is causing consternation among MLS Executives and Brokers alike. CMLS humbly requests that the MLS Issues and Policy Committee consider the following concerns and comments prior to a vote to authorize IDX via social media options: 1. The ability to require current and accurate information on properties (status, price, etc.) to avoid misconception by consumers is not possible when considering Facebook posts, tweets or RSS feeds. Allowing such distribution as recommended in the report would be contrary to current IDX rules regarding refreshing listing content. 2. Listing brokerage acknowledgement and other required disclosures can be verified for compliance on a broker website, but verifying compliance on tweets and posts will be nearly impossible, creating a huge void in compliance monitoring. Is this creating different standards for broker IDX websites and social media distribution? In many […]

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I was just looking at the MLSCloud.com and noticed a few very interesting things. First, the listings of over 777,000 agents are now being promoted on the site.  The site now truly has a meaningful, national footprint.  Way to go HAR! I also noticed something else that I thought was a little disappointing however.  Through a terrific partnership with Terradatum’s Clarus MarketMetrics product, MLSCloud.com also provides every market that would like to participate, a FREE market snapshot, yet there are still several markets missing from this analysis. I don’t know why every MLS in the country wouldn’t take advantage of this free service. Every market in the country, even those that do NOT currently offer a consumer-facing website can promote their local market performance on the site.  The Clarus MarketMetrics product includes quick facts about each market as well as Single Family Median Price vs. Year Ago, Number of sold properties by month vs. year ago and even year on year pricing activity for local areas within an MLS.  It’s a great tool! And did I mention it’s FREE? If you would want your market to receive this additional level of promotion, simply fill out the attached form and you’ll be in business!

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