February 2013

Brokers harvesting business from their data

by Victor Lund on February 25, 2013

WAV Group White Paper - Broker Data

Real estate brokerages are way behind in the curve of excellence in lead management. This report is not about best practices of routing leads to agents, it is focused on measuring lead quality, and appending lead information with business intelligence that will convert more leads to drive more revenue. WAV Group’s brokerage business is focused on enterprise brokers, 500 agents or more – and usually a brokerage that also has some type of relationship with a mortgage or an insurance company. We use the term “home services” or “ancillary services” to refer to a brokerage that provides a full suite of residential, mortgage, and insurance services to the consumer through its enterprise business units. These companies also frequently have a complement of settlement services and home warranty services that may also be offered. Only brokerages that have significant size and offer a suite of home services will have enough data to profit from the harvesting practices outlined in this report. This report illustrates the best data analytic and business intelligences practices by the nation’s largest banks and mortgage companies. Using these examples, we explain how large real estate brokerages with home services offerings can become more competitive and more profitable from adopting these best practices. To access this report, please click this link.

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Indiana Regional MLS Is Born

by Victor Lund on February 23, 2013

Indiana Regional MLS

In a press release yesterday, Indiana Regional MLS announced the selection of LPS as the vendor for consolidating 13 MLS systems into one. The effort was led by Kevin McQueen of Focus Forward Consulting. McQueen successfully managed to get 13 different MLSs serving an aggregate of 5000 subscribers to combine their MLS. The subscribers should be very excited about this. It is likely to reduce their costs and improve their services. There will be some bumps along the way as they accomodate change – but this is a great opportunity to advance the industry. Well done by all! There is a cool website that will allow those who may be considering similar initiatives to review the process which was expertly guided by McQueen. Click Here – http://indianaregional.org/ There is a handy Talking Points Document that tells the story of how it will work here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Findianaregional.files.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F12%2Firmls-updated-oct-2012-talking-points.pdf   PRESS RELEASE JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 21, 2013 – Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS), a leading provider of integrated technology, services, data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries, today announced an agreement by which LPS Paragon technology will be used to consolidate the property listing data of 13 Indiana Realtor® organizations across 42 counties into a single MLS system for real estate professionals and their customers. For the first time, more than 5,000 real estate professionals across Indiana – who formerly used 13 independent MLS systems – will now have unrestricted access to more than 750,000 real estate listings through LPS Paragon’s advanced capabilities. Newly formed Indiana Regional MLS (IRMLS) will collect from and distribute listing data to the 13 Realtor associations in Indiana, allowing members to search across multiple markets and pay only one MLS fee to access the IRMLS data. “The ability to access a massive amount of aggregated listing data is going to help Realtors and their clients by allowing them to work more efficiently in the marketplace,” said Carrie Kendall, general manager of the new IRMLS and executive officer of the Lafayette Regional Association of Realtors® in Lafayette, Ind. “And, IRMLS now has the critical mass necessary to provide more services to our members and to their members’ clients for years to come.” Kendall said the participating associations worked collaboratively with industry consultant Kevin McQueen of Focus Forward Consulting Inc. and LPS to meet the challenge of a consolidation of this magnitude and achieve successful results. “In addition to […]

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National MLS Sales Opportunity With Mobile Realty Apps

by Mike Audet on February 22, 2013

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Mobile Realty Apps has experienced outstanding growth over the past 12 months and has established itself as a leader in mobile technology for MLSs and real estate companies.  Winner of the 2012 “Most Innovative Real Estate Startup” at the Inman Conference in July 2012, Mobile Realty Apps offers a full set of leading edge mobile products for real estate professionals and the consumers they serve, from their custom branded native apps to their augmented realty technology HomeSpotter. Mobile Realty Apps is currently interviewing individuals who will lead their  sales to MLSs  nationally.  This individual will work closely with the national Broker sales manager to reach company sales objectives. WAV Group has been retained to help find the ideal candidates to continue to drive new growth for the company and to manage existing account relationships. Interested candidates should be experienced sales professionals with an established network of MLS relationships, looking to move into the new core technology of our industry. POSITION TITLES: National Sales Manager MLS Accounts REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer CLASSIFICATION: Exempt OPPORTUNITY: Mobile Realty Apps a leading provider of mobile products for the real estate industry is seeking to hire a sales executive for the position of National Sales Manager MLS Accounts.  The position will be responsible for building revenues by securing new MLS customers for their mobile technology products and for managing existing account relations and renewals.  The position reports directly to the CEO. Mobile technology is the new core technology for each level of the real estate industry.  Mobile Realty Apps offers a full range of leading edge products for the full range of mobile devices, combined with deep integration with existing MLS systems to allow for photo upload and mobile editing as well as their award winning augmented mobile realty technology, HomeSpotter.  Learn more about why Mobile Realty Apps is the choice for MLSs and real estate companies nationwide. ORGANIZATIONAL DESCRIPTION: Mobile Realty Apps is a profitable, funded startup that has experienced substantial revenue growth in the last twelve months. Founded in 2009, the company provides best-of-breed, white-labeled tablet and smartphone app solutions to the real estate industry. The company was recognized as the “Most Innovative Real Estate Startup” at the Inman Conference in July 2012 – in large part due to its industry leading solutions, including its augmented-reality HomeSpotter technology and its unique approach to deep MLS integration with its edgeMLS product line. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the company has a growing […]

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TheMLS/Claw seeking Senior DBA

by Marilyn Wilson on February 21, 2013

MLS

  Senior DBA Job Description Los Angeles based company is conducting interviews for a permanent, full time Sr. Database Engineer who will be responsible for the design, development, coding, testing, optimizing, debugging and documentation of database applications. Candidate must be able to thrive in a fast paced, team oriented environment. Your Nature: Ability to work independently with minimal supervision as well as a team player Self-motivated  Ability to manage support tickets through to completion. Ability to prioritize workload and manage time effectively. Excellent communication skills and customer service skills. Exceptional problem solving and results oriented Take ownership of your work Troubleshoot and quickly resolve production issues Responsible for documenting all contact with the systems or clients in the trouble-ticketing application Updating client knowledge base as appropriate.) Ability to prioritize, meet deadlines and to work well under pressure The Senior DBA Responsibilities: Work on project deliverables while supporting day-to-day production activities Maintenance or enhancement of existing applications Perform database backups\restores, maintenance, replication and data archiving Ensures the security and integrity of the production databases Address Database performance related issues Monitors disk space and performance, coordinates with the development team to develop/tune SQL queries, stored procedures for the production site Create SQL server scheduled Jobs to automate database related processes. Apply good and efficient Databases design practices Work with very talented developers and be a major contributor to projects Working in a multi domain environment. Plan and coordinate application roll-outs with QA and Development teams Administration, optimization, monitoring, tuning and backup/retrieval of enterprise databases Work with development team to develop data architecture documentation project. Review systems design and database solutions, assuring adherence to defined corporate standards Senior DBA Position Requirements: 7+ yrs hands-on experience in database development in corporate environment SQL Server 2000, 2005 and 2008 Strong T-SQL skills. SQL Server in a multi-node Failover Cluster Configuration Experience in creating, modifying, and tuning Stored Procedures, UDF and Views. Experience in Database Optimization: index/query tuning and optimization SQL Server Integration Services – SSIS SQL Server Reporting Services for 2005 and 2008 – SSRS Good understanding of SQL server replication, log shipping, database mirroring and\or other high-availability/fault tolerance solutions. Understanding of SQL Server security and authentication Experience with database code enhancements such as architecture, development, design, test and support. Logical database design and normalization\data modeling techniques Familiarity with Microsoft Visual Source Safe Experience identifying and developing solutions for optimizing production reports and queries Provide […]

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Is the MLS In Danger?

by Victor Lund on February 20, 2013

danger

I do not really know Alain Pinel as well as I would like to. He sold the company that bears his name and pursued other interests. He is back now and runs the Luxury division of Intero Real Estate, one of Alain Pinel Real Estate’s chief competitors in San Jose, along with Coldwell Banker and others. What I do know of Alain Pinel I like and respect a lot. I have a similar level of respect for the maverick efforts of Intero, who used passion combined with technology (AgentAchieve) to launch a powerful brokerage in a very competitive marketplace. In a blog post today, Alain Pinel asked – Is the MLS in Danger? He says: there are signs suggesting that the MLS is going through some mid-life crisis. (Non MLS transactions are) depriving most local Realtors of the ability to objectively judge values and trends listing agents who bring only a few of their peers in the loop, can nevertheless achieve the objective: the sale. They may even argue that the fact that they cooperate with only a few, creates some urgency among the select group we must respect the seller’s decision to withhold a listing from the mls (the MLS) has its own agenda you may wonder if the tail (the MLS) is not wagging the dog (The Broker). One thing is sure; the tail (The MLS)is now bigger than the dog (The Broker). many brokers think that the MLS is now eating their soup, somewhat competing with their business, and too zealous regarding new constraining rules MLSes which offer all their members a vast menu of state-of-the-art apps which compete with similar services that the finest companies created, at great cost, to differentiate themselves from other brokers more and more syndicated sites and real estate related service providers which feed off of the MLS, progressively divert the consumer from our sites to theirs and capture value-pieces of our business Intero operates the bulk of their company operations in MLS Listings, an expertly operated MLS covering Silicon Valley, San Jose, and Monterey. MLS Listings is somewhat unique in that their Board of Directors are brokers, and all of the large firms are represented, including Intero. This is important to understand in order to frame the gravity of Alain Pinel’s post. His thoughts are couched in a deep understanding of what MLSs do, and based largely upon his experience with an MLS that […]

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mobile technology

  For years now we have been pointing out that in the not too distant future mobile technology will be the most important part of an MLS system.  In fact, we have noted that mobile technology will, in fact, be the MLS system.  That distant future is here and mobile is finally coming of age.  We are seeing more advances in MLS mobile technology over the last year or so than we have seen since mobile was introduced.  These advances in mobile, however, also bring some very interesting questions. All MLS vendors today have some form of a mobile solution. Most have offered some form of web app (mobile browser access) and some of these, apps, are pretty decent and even offer some deeper integration with the MLS system.  Most web app products offered, however, have been largely “search apps” with fairly limited functionality. CoreLogic, the leader in the MLS system arena, while offering various web apps over the past several years for their different MLS products, now partner with Doapp to supply mobile native apps (apps for specific mobile devices, i.e. iPhone,Android, etc).  Their partner, Doapp, a major mobile technology developer, provides entertainment apps, lifestyle apps, advertising apps to name a few in addition to real estate with CoreLogic.  Moving forward, they are promising to become more tightly integrated with the CoreLogic MLS systems where they have an exclusive agreement in the real estate space.  This emergence of strong 3rd party mobile products brings up my first question: Will this trend continue with other MLS vendors that  have shied away from internal native app development? MLSs, as they look for mobile technology options, realize there are some very attractive 3rd party options in the mobile space beyond those offered by their MLS vendors.  Companies like Prospects, Mobile Realty Apps, Smarter Agent, Goomzee and others are offering very competitive mobile products in terms of usability; functionality and price so it is no longer a slam-dunk to just go with the MLS vendor solution.  So this brings me to another pretty big question.  If mobile technology is the future of MLS and MLS vendors are really not leading that charge today what  does that tell us about how MLS systems may change in the not too distant future? Fifteen years ago building an MLS system was a daunting prospect.  Today, advances in technology have certainly made it much easier to play […]

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corelogic logo

IRVINE, Calif., February 6, 2013—CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading residential property information, analytics and services provider, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Metrolist, Colorado’s largest multiple listing service (MLS) and provider of REcolorado, to provide the CoreLogic Matrix MLS system to 15,000 Colorado real estate professionals. For more than 25 years, Metrolist developed and hosted its own proprietary MLS systems. “The pace of innovation has profoundly accelerated since the company was originally founded in 1984 and we found that a transition to a vendor-based product suite made a lot of sense,” commented Metrolist President and CEO, Kirby Slunaker. “We’re really here to empower our customers and help them drive their business success. Through this partnership with CoreLogic, we will be able to offer our customers a comprehensive set of tools that extend beyond the MLS platform and deliver on our service promise to Colorado Realtors®.” CoreLogic will be the first MLS platform vendor to work with Metrolist in its history and Matrix is slated to fully replace the current MLS system in 2013. The multi-year agreement also includes other CoreLogic products such as Realist® public records services, MLS Data Checker (MDC), and its newest mobile product, GoMLS, which is powered by DoApp. “A full suite of MLS offerings is critical to our future strategic growth and was not available with any of the other vendor solutions we reviewed, making CoreLogic the best possible partner for us,” said Slunaker. “We are honored that Metrolist has chosen CoreLogic as its technology partner,” said Ben Graboske, senior vice president of Real Estate and Financial Services for CoreLogic.  “Over the next several months, we will be working closely with Metrolist to design a truly unique solution for the Colorado real estate market—one that will continue to grow as new requirements and technologies emerge. With Matrix as the foundation, Metrolist subscribers will have access to the rich property data homebuyers want, coupled with the blazing performance and broad device compatibility that top real estate professionals demand.” Metrolist is the largest MLS in the state of Colorado, supporting the largest network of Realtors® with the most comprehensive database of real property listings throughout the Front Range. Realtor-owned since 1984, Metrolist provides leading technology solutions to real estate agents and brokers to better serve buyers and sellers. More information about Metrolist is available at www.metrolist.com. About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading […]

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Are my listings going everywhere – Zillow Front Door

by Victor Lund on February 13, 2013

zillow Logo

Whenever an announcement like the Zillow-Front Door announcement is made, brokers have questions about their data and where it is going. We call this the issue of re-syndication, and whenever an announcement is made made about one party sending data to another party – brokers should know. Zillow is not re-syndicating to HGTV’s Frontdoor.com website. The first thing that I would suggest to any broker providing data to any publisher is to have a contract with the publisher that defines what they can or cannot do with your data. Most of the franchisors like REALOGY, Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and others have such agreements in place. If you are a franchisee, ask your franchise rep for a briefing on how they are protecting your data. Be aware, you must syndicate through your franchisor for this agreement to cover you. If you send listings from the MLS to the publisher, from your website to the publisher, from your virtual tours to the publisher, or allow agnets to send them to the publisher using postlets or any other means – that data is not covered under those protective agreements. If you syndicate through MOVE, Inc, Listhub or through Yardi’s  Point2 product, there is great information in the broker dashboard about re-syndication. In the case of Zillow, they power hundreds of websites beyond Zillow.com – most prominently they power realestate.yahoo.com and have a partnership with CNHI (Community Newpaper Holdings, Inc).  They are “part of this publishers extended network. These sites are either subsites owned and operated by the publisher, or sites powered by the publisher. In all cases, listings remain resident in the primary publisher’s database at all times.” Interestingly enough, there is no mention of HGTV or FrontDoor in the Zillow page on Listhub, yet. I am sure they are working on it. FrontDoor.com is still listed as a publisher on Listhub, and they have a 6 out of 10 rating. FrontDoor, like Zillow also powers subsites operated by the HGTV along with sites powered by the publisher where listings remain resident in the FrontDoor data bases. OpenHouse.com is one of the key sites in their network – about 75 or 80 sites in all.  So, to answer the question about where your data is going – it is not going anywhere beyond the walls of Zillow according to the public proclamations.  You should take a careful look at your local newspaper or television website to see if Zillow, […]

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Where is the Genius Bar for Real Estate Tech?

by Victor Lund on February 11, 2013

metrolist genius bar

There is no doubt that consumers trust an expert more than they trust themselves. If you look back at breakthroughs that have lead to consumer success and major increases of consumption and adoption, it always occurs when the vendor provides a local expert. Apple was not the first company to figure this out. There are many examples, but certainly Rite-Aid did it with an in-store pharmacist; Home Depot did it with in store builders and remodelers; and Best Buy did it in technology. What Apple did was take it all to a new level with product super heros. The Strategy is to take the knowledge about the products and make them more interesting, and more accessible to the consumer. Take a look at the Metrolist Genius Bar at the Colorado State convention. Agents could walk right up and get any answer they wanted. We see a lot of examples like this with expositions. They are all over the country. They all allow REALTORS® to get up close and personal with the technology tools that they use in their business everyday. Where I believe we fall short as an industry is making the Genius Bar available every day. In the past month, we have surveyed more than 150,000 agents as part of our MLS strategic planning process. During the month, we also performed product adoption research across 3 large brokerages. In all cases, we combine surveys with interviews and focus groups. The core of dissatisfaction is that agents do not know how to use the products that they have. As technology continues to get more complex, training and support need to increase. If you are a brokerage, MLS, or an Association – you need to employ a Genius, a person whose job is to learn every product and be able to teach any agent. Training can be 1 on 1, in office, by phone, by webinar, by recorded webinar. If you don’t have a genius – be sure that your agents have access to retechnology.com. Contact Victor Lund or click this link and the RE Technology accounts are free. RE Technology is now available in 82 MLSs as a free member benefit, reaching 750,000 REALTORS, with more than 1 Million user sessions per month. Here is how ARMLS in Arizona rocks their Genius communications

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Zillow to power HGTV

by Victor Lund on February 8, 2013

zillow Logo

I have always been a fan of HGTV’s strategy to marry their television audience and content with property search. I do not watch TV much, but I do tune into HGTV from time to time and have run some analysis on the comprehensiveness of the listing data on their site. From our point of view, HGTV did not go far enough to put timely calls to action into programming to drive the television audience to search for homes on their property search portal. This is my opinion, not grounded in any facts. Suffice it to say that Zillow is going to get another bump in traffic, and as HGTV suggests in the press release – they will have a better search solution. Sounds like a great win for both companies, consumers, and brokers who syndicate to Zillow. Here is the full press release: Zillow to Power For-Sale and For-Rent Listings on HGTV’s FrontDoor (via PR Newswire) Partnership Will Allow Real Estate Agents to Easily Market Listings Across Four Leading U.S. Real Estate Sites SEATTLE and KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z), the leading real estate information marketplace, today announced that HGTV®’s FrontDoor™ is joining…

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