December 2015

LISLE, Ill., Dec. 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) –Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), announced that its President/Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Jensenhas been awarded the Women’s Council of Realtors® (WCR) Chicago’s Elevate Award, which recognizes an individual or company that promotes and supports the advancement of women in real estate. WCR Chicago chose to recognize Ms. Jensen for her great accomplishments in the MLS industry and the wonderful example she has set for women in real estate. Ms. Jensen arrived at MRED on March 2, 2015. She has worked in the MLS industry since 1998, and for the eight years before MRED she was the CEO of Utah’s regional MLS, UtahRealEstate.com. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the COVE MLS group and the MLS Executive Advisory Board at Realtor.com.  Ms. Jensen also serves as Secretary for the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) and on the Broker Public Portal (BPP) Board of Managers.  Ms. Jensen is one of the Swanepoel 200 Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate and a Utah Business Magazine Forty Under 40 Honoree.  She has also been recognized as a 2015 Rising Star by HousingWire Magazine. “It was an honor to present the Elevate Award to the President/Chief Executive Officer of MRED,” said Sarah Ware, 2016 WCR Chicago President and Broker/Owner of Ware Realty Group.  “Although there are as not as many women leaders in our industry as we would like, we are making great strides to level the playing field. This also speaks to the core mission of Women’s Council of Realtors ‘advancing women as professionals and leaders in business, the industry and the communities we serve.’  Congratulations again to Rebecca” “The Chicago Chapter of WCR has recognized the amazing ability that Rebecca has to inspire greatness in others,” said Jeff Gregory, MRED Chairman of the Board and Broker Owner of Realty Executives Success.  “She is truly a leader that others want to follow. What she has done and continues to do in the real estate industry will impress and inspire others — for years to come.” “I cannot express how honored I am to receive the Elevate Award,” said Jensen.  “I have been a strong supporter of WCR throughout my professional career, and respect the organization’s strong commitment to education and the elevation of women within our industry.  I am flattered to join the list of successful individuals and […]

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RESO Elects 2016 Officers, Names New Directors to Its Board

by Kevin Hawkins on December 21, 2015

Art Carter

RESO just announced its new officers for 2016 and line up for its Board of Directors and that MLS firms reaching more than 600,000 Realtors have been Data Dictionary Certified. Here is the news release: Morrisville, NC – December 21, 2015 – The Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO, announced today the election of its 2016 Officers and the addition of four new directors to its Board of Directors, as well as the re-election of two directors. Newly elected Officers of the Board of Directors: • Art Carter, CEO of California Regional MLS or CRMLS, Chair • Rob Overman, Chief Technology Officer of Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, Vice Chair • Richard Renton, Chief Executive Officer of Triad MLS, Treasurer • Rebecca Jensen, President & CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data LLC or MRED, Secretary Newly appointed members to the RESO Board of Directors: • Cary Sylvester, Vice President of Industry Development of Keller Williams • Tom Flanagan, Vice President of Technology of Alain Pinel Realtors • Glenn Shimkus, VP Product of DocuSign Newly elected member to the RESO Board of Directors: • Pace Davis, Owner/CEO of Bridge Interactive Group LLC Re-elected members to the RESO Board of Directors: • Richard Renton, CEO of Triad MLS • Michael Wurzer, President of FBS (Flexmls) • Justin LaJoie, VP of Industry Solutions, Zillow (appointed) “Our 2016 Board of Directors and Officers offers RESO an amazing depth of knowledge and breadth of expertise that represents the full spectrum of the real estate industry,” says Jeremy Crawford, Executive Director of RESO. “These business leaders and technical strategists will be instrumental in guiding RESO. They will help us build on our successes as we continue in our rapidly growing quest to truly provide a streamlined industry through fostering standards creation, adoption and certification. We are honored to have them at the helm of RESO.” Current RESO Board members also include Mark Lesswing, National Association of REALTORS®; Chad Curry, National Association of REALTORS®; Ethan Bailey, CoreLogic; Mark Wise, MOVE Inc.; Jeff Young, Realtors Property Resource, LLC; Brian Donnellan, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS); Stuart White, MTRMLS Inc. (Real Tracs Solutions) and Craig Cheatham, The Realty Alliance. Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) creates and promotes the adoption of standards that drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry, including the industry’s innovative Data Dictionary. With the upcoming addition of the new Web API, this growing set of property […]

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WAV Group would like to congratulate Stephanie Pfeffer Anton on being named to the Inman Top 101. This is a very well-deserved honor. Great work, Stephanie! CHICAGO – 12/17/15 – Luxury Portfolio International™ Executive Vice President Stephanie Pfeffer Anton has been named to the Inman Top 101, a list of industry leaders who are recognized for driving industry change through ingenuity, outspokenness, strength, conviction, power and persistence. A frequent industry speaker and an authority on marketing to the affluent, Pfeffer Anton has been with Luxury Portfolio since its founding in 2005. She is responsible for the program’s day-to-day operations, including its award-winning website, www.LuxuryPortfolio.com, which markets over 35,000 homes to over three million high-net-worth visitors annually. Luxury Portfolio is the luxury face of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (www.LeadingRE.com), a global real estate network comprised of the most powerful independent brokerages. Previously, Pfeffer Anton served as the vice president of marketing for a large Chicagoland real estate brokerage and as the director of communications and internet for an international real estate franchise. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Boston University and a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. To see the complete Inman Top 101 List, visit http://www.inman.com/inman101. ### About Luxury Portfolio International® Luxury Portfolio International® (www.LuxuryPortfolio.com) is the luxury face of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the largest global network of premier locally branded companies dominated by many of the world’s most powerful independent luxury brokerages. Luxury Portfolio International attracts a worldwide audience of visitors from over 200 countries/territories every month and annually markets over 35,000 luxury homes to over three million high-net-worth visitors. About Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (www.LeadingRE.com) is a by-invitation-only network that encompasses over 500 firms and 120,000 associates in over 50 countries worldwide. Collectively, the group produces over one million transactions valued at over $320 billion annually. The organization provides its affiliates with a robust menu of products and services spanning the areas of lead generation; outcome-based learning for leaders, associates and staff; web technology and systems; and branding and marketing support, including its Luxury Portfolio International® division.

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We’re proud to announce that our founding partners, Marilyn Wilson and Victor Lund, were recently named to Inman’s annual list of the top leaders in the real estate industry. The award recognizes their forward thinking visions about how the industry can and must adapt to change. Marilyn, according to Inman, is “an articulate spokesperson about the threats and the challenges faced by the industry,” while Victor is “an advocate for big strategic initiatives that the legacy industry must undertake to survive.” “It’s interesting to be acknowledged as one of the industry leaders because we operate a very small business,” Victor told me earlier today. “The recognition is more of a testament to the privilege we have to work with so many MLSs, brokers, and technology companies as their servant.” The recognition is also a testament to the huge potential impact of several key industry wide initiatives that WAV Group is working on: Supporting the communications of the Real Estate Standards Organization as they roll out Data Dictionary certification and the RESO API Supporting REDPLAN’s efforts to protect the assets of the real estate industry and to defend those assets against patent trolls and other nefarious activities Supporting the Broker Public Portal in its strides to build a national MLS consumer facing website Helping Project Upstream become operational now that they’ve secured the support of NAR and selected RPR as their vendor “We do these things at the liberty of the leadership that operates these initiatives,” said Victor. “I think a lot of times consulting firms are mischaracterized as the people doing these things when we’re merely the staff that supports them.” Regardless, WAV Group has been a driving force in pushing the industry to adapt to changing consumer expectations spurred by technology. To give you a better idea of WAV Group’s influential thought leadership, we’ve rounded up a sampling of their best articles from 2015: For brokers Upstream Revealed Top 3 Ways to Make the New IDX Rules Work for Your Brokerage Major Changes In Real Estate No HATERS in Real Estate Please! For MLSs Top 10 Ways to Become a Truly Broker-Centric MLS An Industry At Risk Enabling an Ecosystem of Innovation for Real Estate RETS Servers and Direct Feeds Understanding the MRIS-TREND Project Bad Customer Service Can WIPE OUT a LOT of Goodwill Away in Minutes! The Do’s and Don’ts of MLS System Selection It’s Time to Replace Core […]

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MLS Policy for Days On Market

by Victor Lund on December 16, 2015

Depending on where you are, Days on Market could be a hot topic. Perhaps the most sensitive area to Days on Market is San Francisco. I had a chance to talk to Steve Mavromihalis of Pacific Union about this topic last week. Steve is one of the most productive agents in the nation. Every year, WAV Group watches the listing count for Pacific Union go down by two thirds starting just before Thanksgiving and lasting until March or April – that’s 5 months of the year. Clearly this has P&L implications and budgeting implications for the brokerage. The truth is that these listing are still kind of “for sale”, but the agents take them off the market to prevent Days on Market from accruing. Sellers authorize this, and every listing agent tells the story to every seller for every company in the area. This is not a specific agent or a specific company following an unwritten policy. “It’s the culture of selling real estate in the Bay Area,” according to Mavromihalis. “People want to enjoy the holidays or go skiing in Tahoe. Because of summer vacation, a lot of listings go off the market in August too!” Mavromihalis admits that if another agent were to give him a call, he could probably arrange a showing with his client. Because the volume of off-market listings can become vary significant in areas like San Francisco, many MLSs have incorporated a status called Coming Soon. It recognizes the need to manage data when a listing is not active or before it comes active. In hot markets, listings will sometimes go from Coming Soon to Pending without every having any active days. The big advance in policy here is that the MLS can get the data for comparables, CMAs, Market Reports, Market Share and other high value needs of the MLS, its agents, brokers, and consumers. Days on Market does not accrue during Coming Soon status. MLS Listings, the MLS to the south of San Francisco, has done a great job with the development of MLS policy around coming soon. MLS Listings CEO James Harrison and his then Board Chairman, Broker Robert Bailey championed policy development and shared their efforts with the industry. I am not sure how the other Bay Area MLSs have dealt with it. Overlapping market disorder is very prevalent in the Bay area – San Francisco listings are placed in […]

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Is there a hidden downside to lead generation?

by Kevin Hawkins on December 16, 2015

Real estate lead generation research tells us only about 1 or 2 percent of all purchased online leads become transactions. Another way to say that is 98 out of 100 times, an agent fails to turn a lead into a client, or 98 times out of 100, they are being rejected. Yet, the conventional wisdom in real estate is that you only need to turn one lead into a transaction to pay for all the leads you’ve purchased this year many times over. But is there a problem with this logic? Is it looking at only one side of the equation, that is, the upside? But isn’t there a downside once one considers all the collective human capital that is expended to find that one needle in the proverbial lead generation haystack? Is lead generation also creating a tremendous waste of human intelligence? The cost of human rejection Most of us probably don’t think too much about the impact of the massive rejection that online lead generation is creating in real estate today. There is a reason we have robo-calls and don’t have door-to-door sales anymore: As humans, it’s tough to tolerate this kind of continuous rejection. It’s likely the main reason why sales call centers have incredibly high turnover rates. When someone hears “no” 99 times out of 100 calls, it has to be demoralizing. Is it really any different in real estate? A UCLA-lead team of psychologists found that two key areas of the brain appear to respond to the pain of rejection in the same way as physical pain. The study’s lead author, Naomi Eisenberger, told ScienceDaily, “There’s something about exclusion from others that is perceived as being as harmful to our survival as something that can physically hurt us, and our body automatically knows this.” We know rejection is painful, yet real estate subjects tens of thousands of hard-working real estate agents to this process all the time. Is it any surprise, taking these numbers into consideration, that real estate agents struggle in following up on all the leads their brokers give them? (See this WAV Group study.) One has to wonder if online lead generation isn’t contributing to weakening teams and agents. Breaking bad habits An argument can be made that the correct way to handle this type of lead generation is to use employees and agents who are independent contractors to handle these leads […]

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Hire a Curator

by Victor Lund on December 16, 2015

A quick Google search brings up the definition of curator – it is a word derived from the Latin word curare – meaning, “take care.” A curator is a manager or overseer. Traditionally this word has a connotation of maintaining historical things because it is an official position in museums, but that is not the context intended here.  The role of a curator in today’s business is to keep things current. WAV Group Communications starts projects with an audit. We begin by understanding the variety of audiences that the company engages. We then take a look at how MLSs or technology companies, or brokerages are communicating with their audiences. What we find is typically dated, stale, gross. Under the watchful eye of a curator, this never happens. A curator scours every touch point with every audience and keeps it clean and fresh. Agent images are always uploaded and there are no grey skulls. Old logos vanish and are replaced with new ones. Documents that have not been used or updated in years are refreshed. Social media updates happen every day. Press releases happen monthly. Intranets are hydrated with how-to tips, community stories, and celebrations. Consumer sites have daily contributions and newsletters go out on a regular basis. A curator is not necessarily the person who creates all of this content. It’s a management and supervisory position that draws communications from across the enterprise to leverage the expertise of the organization. They find out from the help desk what the most common calls are and create a task to create training materials. They speak to leaders about successful strides in the business and work with a PR firm to distribute a press release. They monitor social media and build reports on reach and study effectiveness, and so on, and so forth. I challenge you to take a few moments and look around your business. Look at every communication to every audience. I guarantee that you will find dozens of flaws. If you don’t have time to do this, hire us to do it for you. If you need a curator, we can step in and build the plan and kick it off. We can even train or hire someone to manage it after it is on the right track. WAV Group Communications is a full service public relations and communications firm. We work on retainer with brokerages, technology firms, and MLS […]

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Stop Buying Technology

by Victor Lund on December 16, 2015

It’s the season. WAV Group is fielding satisfaction surveys to determine how agents and brokers use or don’t use technology offerings. We even encounter a curious situation where we are measuring satisfaction with broker solutions and MLS solutions in the same market. Sometimes the easiest answer to a strategy is the simplest. What WAV Group sees today is that less is more. Too many technology solutions is real estate have feature creep. Regardless if it is a broker CRM or the MLS system – they are too complex.  In real estate technology, usability trumps functionality. Change is Hard The most difficult thing for anyone to do in life is change. Moreover, the older you are, the harder it is for you to learn or change.  Real Estate people are old. We see this constantly, and even NAR yells it from the rooftops. Before you switch systems, think very carefully about the overhead that it will cost your organization and users in functionality. Everyone takes a big hit. In most cases, you are taking your user intelligence way backwards to inch forwards. Tread very carefully and try not to change too often. Training Trumps Everything WAV Group does not have a specific gauge on training effectiveness. But we are deriving certain solutions that can help. First, training needs to be offered every day in every way! Remember, every day there is a pile of new agents entering the business that need to learn everything. Moreover, unless you have been training hard for years, even your most experienced agents are not trained on everything. Think about training plans for each product you offer. Create training for Expert, Intermediate, and Beginner. Think about training methods – concierge 1 on 1, in office, online webinar, How to Articles – FAQs, recorded webinars for all levels of experience. Watch your help desk calls! Inform your trainers of the top 10 reasons why people are calling and use that to drive training. Yes, you do need to begin every training session on how to recover your password! Measure Success Surveys are pretty cool because you can see (by email address) exactly who is screaming for training. Section that group out of each of your surveys and have your trainers attack them.  After 3 months, go back and survey the same people who were looking for training and survey them again, again, and again. There is a […]

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Advertising contrarian Bob Hoffman gave a talk at Matt Beall’s Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers’ Worthshop 5 conference last week, which is a wake up call to real estate agents and brokers everywhere. Why are we spending so much time, energy and money marketing to 18-34 year olds when the greatest, wealthiest, most powerful spending group in the world in nearly every major product category is 50+ years old? Remarkably, Bob helps us answer that question and a more important one: How should we be marketing to the over 50 crowd? Full disclosure up front: The majority of the marketing world hates Bob Hoffman and thinks he’s dead wrong. The only problem with this is that all the facts and research say he’s right. Why do we market to Millennials? Bob has researched this extensively and his findings are jarring. His overall conclusion is that most marketers have a herd instinct: They are marketing to Millennials because everyone else is and somewhere there must be someone who has the facts and knows “why the hell we are doing this?” Bob’s been looking for that someone and looking for the facts to support this movement, but has come up with contrary research at every step. He cites Nielson, saying: People over 50 are the most valuable generation in the history of marketing They are responsible for over half of consumer spending They outspend the average consumer in nearly every product category: food, household furnishings, entertainment, personal care, etc. They account for 55 percent of all package goods sales and dominate 94 percent of consumer package categories They outspend other adults online two-to-one, on a per capita basis They buy about 60 percent of all cars He also shared this nugget: “You know how you see all of those Millennials in car commercials? Well, people 75 to dead buy six times as many cars as people 18-24.” Then he dropped this statistical bombshell, met with gasps from the audience: People over 50 account for more than 70% of the wealth in the U.S. If they were their own country, they would be the third largest economy in the world – bigger than India, Japan and Germany. The biggest problem, says Bob, is this: People over 50 are the target of only 10% of all advertising in the U.S. Marketers are not over 50 Listening to Bob, you immediate start to ask yourself, […]

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WAV Group is leading an effort to help Pacific Union International (PUI) find a Vice President, Business & Digital Intelligence (VPBDI). The person in this position will lead PUI’s work in market dynamics based analytics, business and digital intelligence and client demographics. This strategic role will be responsible for business and digital intelligence programs and models to drive market share, client retention and decision support for our regional executives, real estate professionals and related business units throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. This key role will lead the industry and our company as the “go to” authority for new technical and digital initiatives around data mining, client demographics and analytics. Pacific Union International boasts one of the strongest brands in the real estate industry today. The company is a leader in the residential real estate industry as well as a formidable competitor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Commanding nearly twelve percent (12%) market share in the nine Bay Area counties, PUI has grown from $2.2 billion in sales volume in 2009 to nearly $7.5 billion in 2015. PUI’s relentless pursuit of Vision 2020 will drive strategic initiatives to further grow the business by increasing market share in the Bay Area and growing our geographic footprint throughout the Western USA. If you have demonstrated abilities to lead organizations by providing rich insights and new approaches to residential real estate and thrive in a fast-paced, team-oriented, technology-intensive environment, then this is a position for you. Responsibilities include rapidly building and overseeing business intelligence, internal and external communications and a willingness to be or become an industry spokesperson. Success will be dependent on collaborative and productive relationships with our Regional Executives, marketing, public relations, finance and technology leaders. To learn more about the position and Pacific Union, contact Marilyn@wavgroup.com or jenna@wavgroup.com.

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POSITION TITLE: Director of MLS REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer LOCATION: New Orleans, Louisiana ORGANIZATIONAL DESCRIPTION: New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®, Inc. is seeking a new MLS and IT Director to run their MLS operations for their wholly owned subsidiary, Gulf South Real Estate Information Network, Inc. The Gulf South Real Estate Information Network Inc., New Orleans, LA., is seeking an MLS Director to lead its 5600 member Multiple Listing Service, GSREIN. The company is looking for someone to administer and direct the activities, operations and staff of the Multiple Listing Service of the Association and oversees its IT Services. The ideal candidate is someone who has a working knowledge of the real estate industry and its technological trends. They must also possess MLS related job experience along with an understanding of the issues and challenges facing today’s MLS and its Participants. A candidate must have excellent work ethic and possess great organization, communication, management, technology skills and people skills. The company is looking for a progressive Leader and Manager adept at creating positive change for MLS systems while being considerate of the needs of the organization’s members. FUNCTION/ROLE: The New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS(R), celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2015, has a long history of providing amazing service, support and advocacy to its members. The company’s MLS and IT Director will be responsible for supporting and promoting a suite of highly useful and effective technologies, training and support services to help NOMAR members get the most out of their MLS offerings. The successful candidate will also be the point of contact for coordinating with IT and Network support vendors to maintain the company’s IT infrastructure. The role requires a strong ability to digest the needs of staff, leadership and members as well as sensitivity to the ever-changing demands of homebuyers and sellers. They will work closely with the CEO to ensure full transparency of the technology path and programs, communicating all plans, milestones and any pertinent challenges regularly. Finally, the Director of MLS and IT will be highly focused on benchmarking results against the plans outlined and will critically evaluate the success of technology programs and course correct in real-time. REQUIREMENTS/JOB SKILLS: Administer and direct the activities and operations and staff of the Multiple Listing Service of the Association, consistent with the policy and procedures as directed by the Board of Directors, MLS and Electronic Keybox Rules […]

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