2016

Who really has the pulse of the U.S., World, State and Local Economies? Those with boots on the ground versus those sitting in Ivory Towers, I’d argue. That’s why I look forward to Imprev’s annual study that examines the confidence that the top real estate broker-owners and executive management at franchises have in the housing market next year. There have been 240 responses this year from leaders who run brokerages that together, are responsible for one of every two home sales transactions in the U.S. It’s the most comprehensive study of real estate industry Thought Leaders, and it has shown to be incredibly accurate. The message this year: Realtors are not always the eternal optimists they are portrayed to be as they are not as bullish on 2017 as they were on 2016. Here’s a look at their news release from today — with a link to a Summary Results PDF — that discloses the hard data from this survey: Study Shows Real Estate Leaders’ Outlook for Housing, Economy Softens for 2017 Imprev Thought Leader Study Also Reveals More Brokerages Feel Profitability Pressure  December 7, 2016 – Bellevue, WA –Top real estate executives’ confidence in the U.S. economy and housing market for 2017 has softened compared to two years ago, and 42% have grown less confident in the world economy since January, according to the latest Imprev Thought Leader Real Estate Confidence study. “Real Estate leaders are clearly less bullish about the coming year than they were two years ago,” says Renwick Congdon, Chief Executive Officer of Imprev, a top provider of automated marketing services for real estate. “In fact, confidence for 2017 is lower across nearly all questions related to housing and the economy.” “When we compare past studies, an interesting trend emerges: Executives and broker-owners are less confident in the global economy and far more confident in their local economies at the end of each year than they were at the beginning. In fact, their confidence grows stronger the closer the economy is to home,” Congdon explains. “This year, while only 4% of leaders say their confidence in the world economy has grown this year, 35% say their confidence in their own local economy has grown; while 13% have gained confidence in the U.S. economy, 26% have more confidence in their own state’s economy.” Respondents included nearly 240 broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage […]

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When Ben Caballero became the first individual real estate agent to break the $1 billion production number in 2015, very few folks really understood how Ben did that. This year Ben will obliterate his own record with a stunning 35% increase in business. That’s a number north of $1.375 billion and a total of more than 3,400 home sales, up from 2,491 in 2015. Ben has won the Inman Innovator Award, was honored on stage by Gary Keller at Keller Williams MegaCamp (even though Ben is CEO of HomesUSA.com, a non-KW firm), and has been atop the RealTrends Thousand as published in the Wall Street Journal for several years straight – for both total sales and total production. Ben has produced more home sales than any real estate TEAM in America. Heck, his numbers make him the #1 real estate agent in the World. How does he do it? Many real estate agents cry foul when they see Ben’s name at the top of production lists because what Ben does is VERY different than what any other top producer does. Like others, Ben has a system. Unlike others, Ben targets only new home builders — 100% of his business — but also built his Cloud-based platform that powers his business. He also is the only name on every listing he posts on the MLS for his more than 50 builder brands, so he gets credit for every single sale. Technology is what allows Ben to do what Ben does, but it is just one part of his listing and marketing system for builders. What Ben’s system also does is connect real estate agents – buyers’ agents – to builders. Builders often struggle with marketing their listings to real estate agents and explaining why the new home sales process is different – and needs to be different – than an existing home sale. Ben helps real estate agents understand the opportunities with builders. Ben’s HomeUSA.com system for new home builders has made him the most efficient real estate agent in the World as well, and has increased the efficiency of listing and marketing homes for his builders. For the bottom line of a builder it’s pretty simple: using Ben and his system helps builders sell their new homes faster and Ben has the data to prove it. Yes, Ben is unlike any other top producing agent or team — he is a listing machine – using his technology to make builder […]

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WAV Group DMCA Safe-Harbor Alert

by Victor Lund on December 6, 2016

DMCA

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides some protection to website owners from tiresome litigation when an image or other copyrighted content is found to be on their website.  Before December 31st 2017, you should electronically register your designated agent. Even if you filed before using the old paper method, you must refile electronically by Dec. 31, 2017 or your DMCA safe-harbor will no longer be in effect. By now, I think that every website owner has gotten some form of letter from Getty Images or other copyright trolls – and this will continue. In fact, now that the Copyright office allows firms to electronically submit thousands of images for copyright protection, it is likely to cause more copyright claims for photos. The safe-harbor provision works something like this. First, you must have a DMCA notice on your website. WAV Group recommends that you have an attorney review your DMCA and your Terms of Use each year to assure that you are in compliance with current laws. While you are at it, plan to update the copyright on your site to © 2017. Also make sure that you incorporate the National Association of REALTORS® guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act by adding a statement into your terms of use like “If you have a disability that is preventing you from experiencing this website, call…….” The most important part of compliance with the DMCA safe-harbor is that you pay a fee and designate an agent for any copyright violations.  Under the safe-harbor act, if you are found to be infringing, the copyright holder will notify you to take it down. If you comply with the notice, the issue should be resolved unless there are extenuating circumstances. There is a lot more information on the copyright.gov site below. https://www.copyright.gov/rulemaking/onlinesp/NPR/faq.html Many thanks to Mitch Skinner of the law firm, Larson Skinner for this heads up on this! While you are thinking about copyright, I would also recommend that you review your photography policy at your brokerage.  Make sure that you secure the copyright on every photo, or get perpetual rights to use it. Many professional photographers have template agreements that only provide you with the rights to use the photograph during the marketing of a home – which means that you are responsible for getting those photographs off the internet and the MLS. The best practice is to have a work for hire […]

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Matterport Has Gone Mainstream

by Victor Lund on December 6, 2016

Matterport Logo

Matterport delivers the most immersive virtual tour experience in the marketplace for consumers to view property. Immersive is a term used frequently in business to describe something that is deeply engaging. But, the real definition is more than that. Immersive describes a digital technology or images that actively engage one’s senses and may create an altered mental state. Indeed, if you have sampled the Matterport experience, it does just that. The realism of the experience is mind altering, but it comes at a price. The cost of the tours varies by market, combining expensive and patented camera technology with sophisticated software for hosting and viewing these novel experiences. But, the result is a truly differentiated type of marketing that transcends two-dimensional media. Moreover, it woos! Matterport was founded in 2011, and according to Crunchbase, the company has raised $61 Million in 6 rounds of financing by 20 investors. This has provided the company with ample funding to mature the product and explore the possibilities of how the experience can stretch the boundaries of 3-dimentional experiences. RE Technology is excited to have the opportunity to invite you to this free webinar to get a first hand update on the company, the products, and the future of Matterport. Today, the product is a listing tool first and a buyer’s tool second. WAV Group understands from Matterport clients that sellers are impressed by the technology. Sign up here for the webinar – held December 8th at 11 am pacific, 2 PM Eastern. Webinar Title: Learn what it takes to win more listings and outsell the competition. Overview: The real estate business is changing, and it’s more important than ever to understand the new tools and techniques available to savvy REALTORS® today. Do  you want to be recognized as one of the most tech-forward, marketing savvy businesses in your market? Attend our live webinar to learn why Matterport is the future of property presentation and how you can get in on the ground floor of the growing #D movement in real estate.

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Time For Brokers To Clean Up Online Profiles

by Victor Lund on December 1, 2016

Online House

Real Estate Agent and Brokerage Profiles Online are a mess. Specifically, agent and broker profiles on the broker website, Zillow, Realtor.com, and Homes.com are naturally in disarray at this time of year. With transaction volume low during December, it is a very good time to clean everything up. Most brokerages audited by WAV Group consulting average 10% inaccuracy, which reduces lead generation and undermines a firm’s online reputation. Start With Data Collection It is a relatively easy task to collect the data necessary to update profiles. Start with your offices. “Offices have identities,” says Marilyn Wilson, partner with WAV Group. “When we audit brokerage firms we find that companies who have moved offices rarely put forth the effort to remove the old offices from Association Data Bases, MLS Data Bases, Brokerage websites, and syndication websites,” according to Wilson. There are services that can do this for you. WAV Group has resources that can automate the process on major search sites like Yelp, Google, and others. But the syndication sites require more effort, typically requiring the broker to log into the publisher site to make corrections. Agent profiles are the heavy lifting. It is vital that you collect the profile image of all of your agents, detail their contact information, and help them curate a reasonable bio of at least 250 words. Here is a quick guide for 5 Best Tips to Create a Powerful Bio (Sherry McCormick) Audit December is a great time to audit your syndication websites. Look not only for agent and broker profiles, but you may also want to measure the effectiveness of the sites where you syndicate. “If you are going to share your property listings with third party websites, you should do so with intention,” says Victor Lund, listing syndication specialist with WAV Group. Here are a few things to consider” Does the website adhere to the fair display guidelines (see fairdisplay.org)? Do you get leads from the site? Test it – inquire about one of your listings on each site to see if the lead is produced in your lead management system. Review the terms of use. Many brokers may not be aware of the terms, especially the liabilities related to listing content and copyright. Check the agent profiles for every agent in your company. If they are incomplete, you may be missing out on leads and lead conversions. Document “It is a good idea […]

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It is indeed a bright day in the MLS. The largest MLS consolidation in history is on the countdown to launch. A memo was released today to REALTORS® who will be impacted by the project called MLS Evolved – revealing the new name of their future MLS – Bright MLS Memo from Tom Phillips, CEO of Trend MLS As we continue to update you, TREND, MRIS and 7 other organizations are working to consolidate and create the next era of the MLS. I am excited to announce the name of this new MLS organization will be Bright MLS. 

We chose this name based on our vision for the new organization and a desire for it to: Inspire belief that each day is an opportunity to give real estate professionals all they need to shine, today and tomorrow. Instill the vision of something that empowers our customers for a successful future. Lift us out of the sea of acronyms most MLSs use. These acronyms are often based on geographies or basic descriptions of informational databases. Be imaginative, clever, empowering, and supportive. Project leadership and innovative thinking. As I’ve mentioned before, you likely have questions about the new MLS and in January we anticipate being able to provide you with more information.   MLS Evolved is one of the most impressive initiatives in America. It is a shining example of how organizations can place self-interest to the side and have an open and transparent business discussion and critical evaluation of the future of our industry. And, the role that MLSs must play to support REALTORS and Brokers in the best possible way. Anne Bailey of Pranix Consulting had a very moving discussion on stage at CMLS with David Charron of MRIS, a company that, along with Trend MLS, is at the heart of this MLS consolidation. Charron asked Bailey the question of “How many MLSs should we have in America?” It was a longish answer that centered on the notion that over 700 is too many, and one is probably too few. MLS Evolved covers multiple States, demonstrating that State lines are not necessarily the answer. There are many statewide MLS initiatives. Perhaps the number is 10 or 20 or 30. We do not really know. With Bright MLS, and California Regional MLS, we are seeing the emergence of two mega MLSs. For the first time, we will see multiple MLSs with […]

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The Power of Sharing

by Steve Cook on November 17, 2016

Woman reading blog on tablet

Today many leading news sites and blogs welcome by-lined posts and articles from respected professionals willing to share valuable knowledge and insights with their readers.  Good, free content helps boost their SEO, readership, and prestige. For companies who sell to brokers, agents, lenders, and consumers, the explosion of real estate blogs locally as well as nationally creates unprecedented opportunities to build brands, advance careers and position products and services.  The only cost involved might be the time of a professional writer experienced in the residential real estate to turn concepts into great copy. The publishers who operate these sites make a living from advertisers who pay for space.  Allowing contributors to fill their pages with posts that are blatantly free ads not only costs them money but will quickly diminish the value and credibility of their site or publication to their readers. If you are intending to submit by-lined articles to bloggers or other media, you must make sure that it is news. So, blogs and publications that accept outside contributions have very clear guidelines outlining what kind of content crosses the line.  One leading mortgage publication for originators, for example, encourages quality contributions by will not allow any references to companies, their employees or their proprietary products; the author’s name and affiliation are considered adequate payback for the quality content.  Most accept—and reject—pieces on a case-by-case basis, on writing quality and their value to their readers. Here is some advice on how to make guest contributions a powerful tactic in your outreach efforts: Begin by inventorying potential outlets.  Start with a solid understanding of the opportunities available to you and what they are looking for in contributors. Spend some time surfing sites, not just those you read daily but others you may not know.  List them by the audiences they reach brokers and agents, lenders, vendors, consumers.  Include local as well as national.  Locally, include weekly business you Think broadly and remember that your professional audiences read consumer outlets and that an article in a consumer or business publication.  Build a large list.  You will reach more people and build a “surround sound” image by appearing in several outlets. As you are researching, subscribe. Also be sure to make a plan to engage with their content by sharing your favorite articles on social media and by commenting on the article in thoughtful ways (i.e. don’t just say “great article, […]

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2017: The “Magnificent 7” Tech Trends to Watch

by Kevin Hawkins on November 17, 2016

deep_learning_icons_nvidia

When Gordon Moore, Founder of Intel, in 1965, observed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since its invention, “Moore’s Law” has become the predictor of what’s happening in technology. Granted, in 1975, the “law” was changed to say every two years and since then, modified often to say every 18 months, but the point remains the same – technology in the lab progresses wickedly fast. Today’s Moore’s Law is the moniker to describe changes in more than technology, including social and economic change, changes that technology has helped to speed up. As a novice tech junkie, I am fascinated by “what’s next” and in 2017, there are seven tech innovations and trends that have my attention. The implications for real estate are fairly profound. My Magnificent 7 for 2017: Automation, Ghosting, IoE, Intelligent Apps, Deep Learning, Security and your Digital Twin. Automation It’s not that automation is new – the Automat, the first automated food restaurant dispensing food from vending machines debuted in 1902 – it’s what’s happening in Automation in real estate today that’s profound. A day in the life of the real estate agent is being changed forever. For marketing activities alone, agents no longer need to design flyers, postcards, single property websites or YouTube videos. Heck, they don’t even need to update changes on their marketing materials when a price changes. Everything is done for them – automatically. Imprev is at the forefront of fundamentally changing that part of the agent’s life, and nearly everyone in the marketing space is jumping on the automation bandwagon. It’s not just a wave, it’s a tsunami: automation will be pervasive in everything that touches an agent’s life, from back office support, to transaction management, to driverless cars for taking their clients on home tours. Ghosting Chad Curry heads up NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology and mentioned the concept of “Ghosting” at the fall RESO conference in Nashville. Imagine taking a client on a home tour without every leaving the office – and the client without ever leaving their home. Shared AR is the best way I can describe it. A light comes on in your office, indicating your client is ready for a tour. They are at their home as a light comes on, indicating you’re ready. Through a shared Augmented Realty experience, you take a tour of each home together, […]

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Homes Portal Jumps Into Responding To Consumers

by Victor Lund on November 17, 2016

Consumer and Agent

The top online real estate search destination Homes.com recently announced a new lead conversion tool that solves one of the industry’s most puzzling weaknesses—timely consumer responsiveness. More than half of real estate consumers consider response time before selecting their agent. Yet, research by WAV Group indicates that 48 percent of buyers never receive a response and those that do wait an average of 15 ½ hours. The Instant Response Technology (IRT) by Homes.com, comprised of a fresh Lead Concierge service and a location-based application TalkNow, aims to boost REALTORS’ ability to successfully capture those leads by enabling faster direct communication with online leads. Zillow has been doing this for a number of years now. The Lead Concierge service saves REALTORS’ valuable time by pre-qualifying online leads before transferring them directly to the agent. Brokerage giant Howard Hanna purchased tech start up One Cavo to deliver this service on their brokerage website. Experienced call center assistants answer initial inquiries from prospects and vet their home-buying readiness by eliciting information such as whether they already have agent representation or financing. Qualified leads, or those that do not have a REALTOR and are poised to buy soon, are immediately connected to an agent or broker. Leads that are less time-sensitive are forwarded to the REALTOR’s online dashboard for later follow-up. “In effect, we’re providing real estate agents and brokers with a personal assistant to help them never miss a call,” says Homes.com President David Mele. “No one can always be available: if they’re actively engaged with a client, they can’t stop to answer a call or respond to a text. Homes.com Lead Concierge will perform that service for them, and more importantly, will help qualify and prioritize leads.” The affiliated Homes.com TalkNow application gives REALTORS the competitive edge by facilitating even more direct online lead engagement. Agents simply set their availability to field consumer inquiries and the application automatically sends an alert when a prospect expresses interest in a property within their service area. The first REALTOR that accepts the inquiry is connected to the prospect in real time. Since nearly a quarter of online consumers expect an instant response and 50 percent anticipate communication from a REALTOR within an hour, making the connection immediately is a powerful benchmark in a successful lead conversion cycle. “These may be the hottest leads an agent can get,” explains Mele. Both the Lead Concierge and the […]

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The Battle of Consumer Profiles

by Steve Cook on November 17, 2016

business and financial report with pen.Document is mockup

Long the bible of consumer data in residential real estate, NAR’s venerable Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers now has competition. With the 2016 Profile, which was released on Halloween and is based on a massive survey of both buyers who have participated in recent residential transactions, NAR celebrated 35 years of annual publication.  When the Profile was launched in 1981, Ronald Reagan was inaugurated for his first term, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” opened in theaters and the median value of a home was $55,300.[1] in recent years, the Profile has been the source of information that defines residential real estate today, such as these often-cited findings: The percentage of home buyers who used the internet to search for a home increased to 95 percent in 2016 after holding steady at 92 percent for three years in a row. Sixty-four percent of sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative or used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home. FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $185,000 last year (down from $210,000 the year prior), and significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $245,000. While the venerable NAR Profile set the standard for years as the “go to” source of consumer data, now it has a competitor with some different ideas about what measure and how to present its results.  Just a a few weeks before NAR releases its 35th edition, Zillow introduced the first Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends. The Zillow report differs in number of ways.  It is based on surveys of more than three times as many consumers than the NAR study and includes rentals as sales.   Its samples included not just recent but also long-term sellers, buyers, homeowners and renters.  Its analysis and discussion of key findings was included a discussion of generational trends. Here are two interesting findings that give a sense of how the Zillow study takes a generational approach: Younger buyers (50 percent of Millennials and 54 percent of Generation X) are significantly more likely than Baby Boomers or the Silent Generation (38 percent and 39 percent, respectively) to consider newly built properties. Nearly half (48 percent) of all buyers are considering new homes. The older the buyer, the more likely that buyer is using an […]

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Strategic Planning – More Critical Than Ever Now!

by Marilyn Wilson on November 17, 2016

Strat Planning

Never before has our industry been moving more quickly.  Industry initiatives like UpstreamRE, Broker Public Portal and AMP are coming are way.  Consumers are looking for more and more transparency.   Agents must learn how to use technologies effectively if they are going to survive working with Millenials. What is YOUR organization doing to adapt and adjust to the fundamental changes that are upon us? WAV Group conducts strategic planning sessions regularly for MLSs, Associations, Brokerages and Technology companies. There are five fundamental questions that every organization needs to ask itself today. What’s our organization’s TRUE value?  If your organization was going to market today, would it be viable?  Would it have unique value to its customers?  Would it have what it takes to attract customers of all shapes and sizes?   Would you be able to secure funding?   How would you quantify that it has value? If the answer is no, then its time to do some thinking about what your customers really need and how you are going to provide vital solutions for them. How good are we at telling our story?  Getting Adoption? While most organizations that we work with offer an amazing collection of services and support, I have never worked with ANY organization that is satisfied with the level of engagement, adoption and usage they have achieved.  Organizations sometimes fall into the trap of “checking it off the list”.  They say to themselves, “yes, I offer a really powerful suite of technologies” or “my customer support is available 24/7” or “my training programs are diverse and helpful”. While all of these statements are probably true, it’s not enough just to offer great programs.  It takes a commitment to on-going promotion of all of the services that you offer and a vigilant monitoring or adoption, usage and satisfaction. We hear stories all the time about how an agent switched from one brokerage to the other because they were offered free Zillow advertising or some other “shiny object”.   We also talk to agents and brokers who spend money unnecessarily on programs that are ALREADY offered by their MLS or brokerage because they’re not aware its available to them as part of their regular MLS subscription. If you don’t effectively promote your services, there’s no way you’re going to get credit for them.  If you don’t effectively promote your services, you’re wasting money and you’re not building your value proposition. […]

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Waves of Change Title

With the holidays fast approaching and the end of the year in the horizon many associations and MLSs have begun to budget and are thinking about what services they should offer their members in 2017 and beyond. Don’t miss out on the WAVes of Change in 2017, be sure to plan accordingly! Did you miss NAR? Where you and members of your Board of Managers stuck in the office rather than being out at NAR a couple of weeks ago … ? …Not a problem! We attend the events and conferences so you don’t have to! We understand that sending a whole team to several conferences can quickly add up and be expensive, we provide an opportunity to educate everyone on your staff for a much more desirable price! Four times a year we present a live webinar which falls shortly after major conferences. We provide exclusive first looks at WAV Group research, emerging technology trends, broker challenges, policy discussion and any other vital information which comes up at industry events! You’ll be joining many other successful MLSs and Associations… Many successful MLSs and Associations already understand the value of this stimulating and cost-effective way to keep their members up to speed on industry initiatives that make an impact. WAV Group will also answer questions that your board and staff have about the climate of the industry, address technology changes, as well as provide guidance on some best practices. The webinar series also allows for an opportunity for your voice to be heard, regarding issues we have in common, relevant questions as well as sharing potential strategies that lead to optimal success. An example of the upcoming webinar topics for November can be found below: NAR Annual Policy Update Consumer Attitudes About Agent Ratings The Power of Consumer Research Panels The Power of Client Relationship Management Effective Ways to Increase Adoption of your Service Governance for the Nimble Organization AMP, Upstream, RESO and Broker Public Portal update Broker Hot Buttons Data Sharing/Consolidation Trends and lots more…… Contact Us Today! If you still have room in your budgeting you cannot afford to miss out on this vital subscription! Please contact marilyn@wavgroup.com or camilla@wavgroup.com to schedule a call and take advantage today!  Please join your Association and MLS colleagues for this insightful series!  You’ll be glad you did!

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2016 NAR Annual Moments and Musings

by Kevin Hawkins on November 15, 2016

NAR

Like many Americans, I was glued to the television on election night, and seeing the Javits Center instantly reminded me of my first NAR Annual Convention. It was in 1986 when the brand new Javits Center opened in Manhattan. I was a young PR Turk fresh into my first full year at Great Western Bank (then Great Western Savings). I went there to plot our long-term trade show strategy. It was also my first NAREE – National Association of Real Estate Editors – meeting, a dinner at a classic NYC steakhouse. That’s especially hard to forget because it’s where the legendary real estate columnist, the late great Bob Bruss, instantly greeted me. It was also my first personal encounter with David Jeffers, then of Fannie Mae fame, who gave the most politically incorrect slideshow presentation. Both encounters convinced me that this was my kind of organization. Fast-forward 30 years to last week’s NAR Annual Convention in Orlando, and most of the traditions remain the same. Here is my attempt at recapping my highlights and offering three takeaways: Journalist are back at NAR: I walked into the Press Room at the Orlando Convention Center and was delighted to see so many reporters working away in the press room. While the numbers don’t compare to what was common a couple of decades ago, there were more reporters attending then in the last three NAR Annuals combined. In addition to perennials attendees, such as Steve Brown of the Dallas Morning News and the godfather of real estate columnists, Lew Sichelman, there were many fresh faces, including those from the new bread of media that can’t be categorized as journalists, but who create a plethora of real estate content. One example is Chris Cain, once the head of PR for the Florida Association of Realtors, Chris is both a RE/MAX agent in the Orlando area who both writes extensively about and specializes in selling vacation homes. A long-time member of NAREE, Chris was sharing his book called “Your Made in the USA Vacation Home.” Another stellar writer in the room was Bernice Ross, an Inman Columnist who also writes one of my favorite weekly newsletters, The Real Estate Coach. The big three trade media outlets were there: RE Technology, RISMedia and Inman News. Inman was very well represented, as Amber Taufen, Inman’s top editor and Deputy Editor, Andrea Brambila, were writing non-stop. Kudos to […]

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To Zap Or Not To Zap

by Victor Lund on November 15, 2016

ZapLabs

That is the question for many brokers today who are part of the Realogy® Franchise Group. This group includes brokers who may be a member of any number of franchises spanning Century 21®, Better Homes and Gardens®, Sotheby’s®, Coldwell Banker®, ERA®, and some others. As WAV Group detailed in this case study of BH&G Metro Brokers in Atlanta – the Zaplabs platform is excellent – combining an effective mix of agent website, CRM, Lead Management and other vital agent business tools. But the question to Zap or not to Zap is really not a question about technology at all. It is a question about strategy. Consider the Cost of Change Franchise technology solutions come in three business models – free, freemium, or premium. Sometimes the vendor is external, like Zillow, Smarter Agent, Marketleader, or DotLoop. Sometimes the vendor is internal like Zap or LeadRouter. If the vendor is contracting directly with your brokerage and not through the Franchise, there would be no cost of change. The cost of change comes when the franchise makes a choice to continue or discontinue a product. It is also the cost that you may have of migrating from your current solution to Zap. Are the customers and agents portable. Example: Smarter Agent Realogy just notified some or all of their franchises that they are sunsetting the relationship with Smarter Agent for their mobile app. It will be replaced by the Zap App. Both apps are excellent. There are a number of unanswered questions about what happens with the agent apps. More details to follow on this. Do not panic if you are using Smarter Agent today, but understand that changes are happening. Consider the cost of change that is related to the legacy customers who are using the app. Agents have been giving out that app for years to their customers. Brokers have made it the cornerstone of their mobile strategy. How will they port the customers from Smarter Agent and get them to download the new app? Will the saved searches and favorites be transferred? Who will retrain everyone? Who will rewrite all of the recruiting and marketing materials? Consider that there may be a day when you reverse your decision to Zap. What contractual assurances do you have that your firm and switch away in the future and keep the data exclusively? Realogy has made Zap the hub of the technology strategy […]

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 10, 2016: Inside Real Estate and Kunversion announced today that they completed a transaction to combine their businesses. They will operate under the Inside Real Estate name with Kunversion becoming the brand for their marketing and sales software platform. The combined business becomes a leader in marketing and sales software for residential real estate agent teams and brokers. Kunversion brings its leading software platform and marketing solutions delivered to agent teams and brokers while Inside Real Estate adds unique capabilities for larger brokers including seamless integration with transaction systems, full marketing and sales lifecycle tracking and analytics, and other emerging enterprise features. The acquisition comes after a flurry of recent product releases from both companies, including a new CRM Mobile App, Facebook Lead-Generation tools, Advanced Lead Routing and Agent-Management capabilities and integration with other industry solutions including Dotloop, SkySlope and BrokerMint transaction management systems. Because both companies operate with common technologies, integration of their software solutions will be a seamless transition. In fact, substantial integration steps have already been completed allowing customers to begin taking advantage of the broader functionality of the combined platform. The integrated Kunversion platform will be capable of serving the unique needs of small agent teams all the way up to large, multi-region, multi-office brokers. Justin Tracy, founder of Kunversion, spoke about the combination: “We couldn’t be happier to have found a partner that has the capacity and experience to take Kunversion to heights considered unachievable by the current leadership. We now have the infrastructure and funding to not just play with the big boys, but to truly take the lead in the real estate CRM marketplace.” Mr. Tracy will be the Chief Technology Officer of the combined business. “We have a lot of respect for what the Kunversion team has accomplished,” said Inside Real Estate founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Joe Skousen. “We’re very excited to break down barriers between smaller, limited team solutions and antiquated enterprise platforms. We are aggressively bringing teams, brokerages and enterprise companies the strongest, most integrated solution on the market.” The combined leadership team will be headed by Chief Executive Officer, Ned Stringham. Stringham has a strong track record of successfully building sales, marketing and cloud-based software businesses and also acts as an Operating Partner of NexPhase Capital as well as being the principal owner of 42 Ventures which has been successfully investing in […]

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NAR Annual: Looking for 2017 trends, tech and tactics

by Kevin Hawkins on November 2, 2016

This week, Orlando is more than home to Disney World and tens of thousands of happy tourists across the globe: it also will house nearly 20,000 enthusiastic REALTORS®, other industry organizations (RESO Booth #609), MLSs executives and staff, lenders, title firms, closing agents, technology providers of every shape and size, and of course, the Scarf King. Navigating through the maze of more than 400 exhibitors is challenging, but kudos for the NAR for making it highly accessible. The Trade Expo kicks off on Friday afternoon with its Grand Opening at 3:00 pm, running to 6:00 pm. The official hours: Expo Hours Friday, Nov. 4, 3:00pm–6:00pm (Grand Opening) Saturday, Nov. 5, 9:00am–4:00pm Sunday, Nov. 6, 10:00am–5:00pm Monday, Nov. 7, 9:00am–1:00pm If you are not planning to access the terrific sessions, seminars, workshops and NAR meetings, and you just want to spend your time checking out the latest and greatest at the Expo, the NAR has made it VERY affordable: Admission for all four days is just $50. A link to a list of exhibitors and floor map is here. If you wanted to attend just one hot session – my pick is always RISMedia’s “PowerBroker Forum” – you can do both for just $90 with advance registration. Tip: The best time to tour is always Sunday and Monday, if you want to spend quality time and avoid the crowds. This is when the serious shoppers, information gatherers, walk the halls. Hot spots This is the 21st Annual Power Broker Forum by RISMedia, and their panel is always packed with some fresh faces whom are actually doing the business. I tend to get a few great takeaways, that often include a new recruiting tactic, current pain points, an innovative marketing strategy, or a business challenge with a unique solution. This year’s panel is no different. John Featherston always plays host with a guest moderator, and this year, it is Rei Mesa, who heads Florida Real Estate Services and is President & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. Panelists are set to include: Craig Beggins, President/CEO, CENTURY 21 Beggins Enterprises (Tampa/St. Pete area, Florida); Robin Dickson, Executive Vice President, J. Rockcliff Realtors (East Bay, San Francisco); Marti Hampton, Broker/Owner, RE/MAX One Realty (Raleigh, NC); Matt Widdows, Founder & CEO, HomeSmart; and Charlie Young, President & CEO, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The theme after Carpe Diem or “Seizing the Day, Winning the Future.” Friday, November 4, […]

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Piggy bank

Our WAVes of Change™ Series means we attend the events so you don’t have to. Four times a year we present a live webinar which includes exclusive looks at WAV Group research, emerging technology trends, broker challenges, and policy discussion. Many successful MLSs and Associations already understand the value of this stimulating and cost-effective way to keep their members up to speed on industry initiatives that make an impact. Will YOU benefit? Does this sound like something your Association or MLS could benefit from in 2017? It’s the perfect way to boost your board members education without ever having to spend the money to send them to conference after conference. Boards of Directors who do not stay in touch with the ever-shifting sands of real estate can enforce and pass outdated rules and regulations that will impede their member’s success. Upcoming Topics… WAV Group also answers any questions that your board and staff have about the climate of the industry, addresses technology changes, and provides guidance on some best practices. The webinar series also allows for an opportunity for your voice to be heard, regarding issues we have in common, relevant questions as well as sharing potential strategies that lead to optimal success. An example of the upcoming webinar topics for November can be found below: NAR Annual Policy Update Consumer Attitudes About Agent Ratings The Power of Consumer Research Panels The Power of Client Relationship Management Effective Ways to Increase Adoption of your Service Governance for the Nimble Organization AMP, Upstream, RESO and Broker Public Portal update Broker Hot Buttons Data Sharing/Consolidation Trends and lots more…… Last Chance Savings – Get 5 Educational Sessions for the Price of 4! Right now, we are offering a Halloween Special!, If you subscribe for the 2017 WAVes of Change before Halloween you’ll get one WAVes of Change™ session free.  Your group will be able to attend 5 sessions instead of four, including one in mid-November THIS year. You can start your organization on the path of being more informed in just a few weeks! If this sounds like something your organization would benefit from please contact marilyn@wavgroup.com or camilla@wavgroup.com to schedule a call and take advantage of this one-time special!  Please join your Association and MLS colleagues for this insightful series!  You’ll be glad you did!

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San Diego

October 25, 2016 (San Diego) – A dispute between the three largest real estate trade associations in San Diego County has resulted in new legal action intended to dissolve San Diego’s regional multiple listing service (MLS) that provides information on available homes for sale to more than 19,000 local real estate professionals. The local MLS, called Sandicor, Inc., is owned by three local real estate trade associations, including Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR), the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (NSDCAR) and Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR). PSAR has about 2,500 members, NSDCAR has more than 5,300 members and GSDAR has about 12,000 members.  Members are real estate professionals who pay dues to access the MLS through their association of choice. Attorneys for PSAR and NSDCAR recently filed a complaint in San Diego Superior Court to dissolve Sandicor as a legal entity. SDAR’s position on this filing is still unknown. As a replacement to the local MLS, leaders with PSAR and NSDCAR aim to provide their members with access to the statewide California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS), which is used by more than 80,000 real estate professionals and lists data on properties in most of southern California and other parts of the state. “Transitioning to a more robust Statewide MLS like CRMLS benefits all consumers, as well as agents and brokers who work in San Diego County’s real estate industry,” said Anthony Andaya, 2016 president, PSAR.  “A move to an MLS that is controlled by brokers who own the data and endorsed by our state association provides our agents with an enhanced ability to serve the clients.” In January of this year, SDAR’s board approved the filing of a federal lawsuit against Sandicor, an entity it partially owns, and against PSAR and NSDCAR. In the complaint, SDAR alleged that Sandicor had been used as an “anticompetitive weapon” by the other two REALTOR® associations. Since then, the court granted motions to dismiss two earlier versions of SDAR’s claim. “SDAR has previously attempted to block progress to improve Sandicor, and to investigate the benefits of a merger between Sandicor and CRMLS, despite our members’ requests,” stated Raylene Brundage, NSDCAR 2016 president. “For the future growth and stability of our industry in San Diego, it would be best to simply dissolve Sandicor and protect our members’ best interest through an enhanced partnership with CRMLS.” “About half of all […]

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customer reports

Real estate values are constantly changing, challenging agents to provide clients with the most detailed, up-to-date property reports available. While there are many valuation services available, selecting a solution that provides agents with the ability to deliver strategic comprehensive property reports can maintain valuable connections between agents and consumers. To understand how a property valuation service can optimize agents’ long-term relations with their customers, Swanepoel undertook a case study of how Berkshire Hathaway HomeService (BHHS) Fox and Roach successfully implemented ePropertyWatch, a company-branded solution that effectively cultivates a client-for-life strategy. Here is a summary of the Swanepoel T3 Sixty report. Property Valuations Aid Client Retention Generally speaking, valuation services look at local property tax assessments and other public data including sales price histories for comparable properties in an area to derive a trend line that can applied against the target property’s assessment to estimate its market value. The reports generated by the various services differ with regard to the scope of data they include, and the way they present it. Property valuations provided by different services can differ significantly as they may use varying property comps and proprietary algorithms. In addition, the data sets that each service relies on can diverge in quality and comprehensiveness. As a result, when agents leverage their valuation service to implement stay-in-touch programs with past clients they may actually be providing information that could undermine a trust relationship. When the valuation services are not based on accurate and comprehensive data, clients may not feel the agent is reliable or knowledgeable on local area trends. In addition, while most programs enable agents to provide clients with information on area statistics and sales, they do not provide detailed answers to customer’s most compelling question: What is my home worth if I sold it today? Agents find it cumbersome to compile personalized reports for the potentially hundreds of contacts in their CRM. BHHS Fox and Roach examined all of the options available on the market with an eye toward advancing their client-for-life strategies and, in the end, selected CoreLogic® ePropertyWatch™. This valuation solution is a customer opt-in program that delivers agent-branded property reports based on comprehensive and current data based on the company’s CoreLogic database. This database is comprised of more than 3.5 billion records, representing more than 99.8 percent of the population, in addition to data from public and non-public sources and contributions from lenders—all of which […]

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WAVes of Change: Spooktacular Savings – Halloween Special

by Marilyn Wilson on October 24, 2016

Piggy and Pumpkin

With the end of 2016 only weeks away, and 2017 fast approaching, ensure your members are well informed with the essential information we’ll be sharing on the latest news and trends, cutting edge technologies, research findings, and strategies to navigate the challenges in the real estate industries. Our WAVes of Change™ Series means we attend the events so you don’t have to. Four times a year we present a live webinar which includes exclusive looks at WAV Group research, emerging technology trends, broker challenges, and policy discussion. Many successful MLSs and Associations already understand the value of this stimulating and cost-effective way to keep their members up to speed on industry initiatives that make an impact. WAV Group will also answer questions that your board and staff have about the climate of the industry, address technology changes, as well as provide guidance on some best practices. The webinar series also allows for an opportunity for your voice to be heard, regarding issues we have in common, relevant questions as well as sharing potential strategies that lead to optimal success. An example of the upcoming webinar topics for November can be found below: NAR Annual Policy Update Consumer Attitudes About Agent Ratings The Power of Consumer Research Panels The Power of Client Relationship Management Effective Ways to Increase Adoption of your Service Governance for the Nimble Organization AMP, Upstream, RESO and Broker Public Portal update Broker Hot Buttons Data Sharing/Consolidation Trends and lots more…… Spooktacular Savings – Get 5 Educational Sessions for the Price of 4! Right now, we are offering a Halloween Special!, If you subscribe for the 2017 WAVes of Change before Halloween you’ll get one WAVes of Change™ session free.  Your group will be able to attend 5 sessions instead of four, including one in mid-November THIS year. You can start your organization on the path of being more informed in just a few weeks! If this sounds like something your organization would benefit from please contact marilyn@wavgroup.com or camilla@wavgroup.com to schedule a call and take advantage of this one-time special!  Please join your Association and MLS colleagues for this insightful series!  You’ll be glad you did!

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