2017

Pacific Union have acquired Empire Realty Associates, read the release below: Dear Pacific Union Colleagues: I’m excited to share news that Pacific Union International has acquired Danville-based Empire Realty Associates, an independent luxury brokerage with 54 top-performing East Bay real estate professionals. The acquisition will continue to grow our Contra Costa region, increasing our market share in the Tri-Valley area. This alliance is a homecoming of sorts for the leadership teams of Empire Realty Associates and Pacific Union. The East Bay brokerage’s CEO and Chairperson Judi Keenholtz established Empire Realty Associations in 2002. Prior to founding that brokerage, Keenholtz was tapped by Pacific Union in 1989 to establish its first division outside of San Francisco in Contra Costa County. We are pleased to welcome Empire’s team to Pacific Union. We share both history in this community and the same core values of integrity and elite performance that define our commitment to our clients. This brings us one step closer to our vision of becoming the real estate firm of the future and the ultimate California real estate company, with projected 2017 sales volume in excess of $18 billion. As Pacific Union continues to grow, we stay committed to offering our real estate professionals the same benefits of a locally owned and operated business. Empire Realty Associations will continue to operate under its current name until 2018, when it will be rebranded as Pacific Union International. Click here for Q&As on the acquisition. Join me in welcoming Empire Realty Associates! Mark A. McLaughlin

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Lone Wolf Acquires Instanet Solutions

by Marilyn Wilson on October 16, 2017

The Transaction Management software space is one of the most competitive categories of real estate technology.  Today, Lone Wolf, one of the leading providers of broker accounting and management solutions, announced its acquisition of fellow Canadian company, Instanet Solutions.  This is the second transaction management software acquisition in the past two weeks.  Fidelity National Financial, Inc. recently acquired a majority interest in Skyslope, another highly regarded transaction management solution. Instanet provides Transaction Desk to over 500,000 REALTORS® through its partnership with MLSs and Associations across North America. Transaction Desk is a transaction management solution comprised of several cloud-based products for document and file management, electronic forms, eSignatures, and file review and compliance. In the last year alone, real estate professionals completed ten million signings through Instanet, while also submitting over 22 million documents and creating 31 million forms. Lone Wolf currently provides services to 10,000 brokerages offices serving 180,000 REALTORS®. The relationship between Lone Wolf and Instanet started as an integration partnership in 2014. The vision for an end to end broker solution has been in the works at Lone Wolf for several years.  We at WAV Group have been talking about this concept since 2010. Here’s a white paper we published in November 2010 entitled Brokerage Real Estate Technology, an Industry in Need of a Backbone. We wrote a follow-up piece in June, 2011 further articulating the vision for a broker-centric technology company seamlessly connecting to MLS data and delivering all of the functionality needed by a brokerage to secure new listings, effectively promote listings and then efficiently process transactions. It’s great to see the vision of a true end to end solution for brokerages coming to life. We had the pleasure of interviewing Patrick Arkeveld, CEO of Lone Wolf Technologies about the acquisitions implications for MLSs/Associations MLSs and Associations will remain a KEY priority. Given that Lone Wolf is clearly a broker-centric company we wanted to understand whether MLSs and Associations will remain a key priority. Lone Wolf was clear to reinforce to us that MLSs and Associations will remain a key priority.  They told us: “Instanet’s MLS customers are a major factor of the company’s success, and we plan to continue to invest in those relationships and the MLS space to enhance our value to the industry as a whole”. Corelogic/Instanet Partnership to Remain Unchanged We were first interested to find out what changes, if any that […]

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CRMLS, MetroList and High Desert all Go Platinum

by Kevin Hawkins on October 13, 2017

When RESO – Real Estate Standards Organization – announced the release of Data Dictionary 1.6, the group that is fueling future innovation in real estate unveiled the biggest update in the history of the RESO Data Dictionary. Hundreds of new data elements and massively important new capabilities were added. Data related to Accessibility, Showing Data, Saved Searches, Prospecting, Internet Tracking, Structure Types, and standardized Universal Identification of Organizations can all be delivered through this new Data Dictionary standard. It truly is real estate’s Rosetta’s Stone. Now three of the top MLSs in the nation — and not surprisingly all out of California — have achieved the highest level of RESO Certification of the most recent version of the Data Dictionary standard. This is a truly remarkable accomplishment. Just consider the scope of the update and the number of fields that needed to be added to hit this top tier level of recognition. Then consider the timeframe: they did this with lighting speed. In the music world, when a record goes Platinum, there is perhaps no greater feeling of accomplishment for the artist. In real estate, when an MLS goes Platinum, in this case three of them — California Regional MLS (CRMLS), the nation’s largest MLS, MetroList, the largest MLS in Northern California, and High Desert Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (HDAR MLS) as well as MLS  —  that also has to be an enormous feeling of accomplishment. Not just for the staff and leadership of CRMLS, MetroList and High Desert, but also for the 100,000 Realtors who gain access to the most advanced features of the RESO Data Dictionary. Extra kudos also goes to Rapattoni, the MLS technology firm that helped both MetroList and High Desert Association of REALTORS® MLS achieve Platinum level Certification. Rapattoni recently received RESO Web API Certification, which will enable all of Rapattoni’s customers to receive RESO’s most advanced data system that is replacing the widely-adopted RESTful (REpresentational State Transfer) technology in use by many industries today. Next week when RESO meets in San Diego at The Pendry Hotel for its Fall Conference Oct. 17-19, 2017 (and the new, super-exciting live RESO DataComp, a data competition with $25,ooo in prizes), please give a pat on the back to anyone and everyone you meet from these terrific organizations for leading the way towards more innovation with the RESO Data Dictionary. Here is the complete news release announcing these achievements:  Three […]

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It is really difficult to serve the needs of all of your MLS subscribers. Some are extremely tech savvy and some have little interest in technology, yet MLS systems and tools need to address all of their needs ideally. Do you want to be the best MLS you can be? Are you interested in what your members and REALTORS® across America have to say about the services and support that MLSs offer? If so, WAV Group can help you.  We’re offering a FREE service to the industry to evaluate the current state of MLS services and support. Armed with the valuable feedback gathered from agents and brokers around North America, you can be sure that you are services are meeting the grade. WAV Group would like to invite each of MLSs and Association colleagues to participate in our upcoming MLS Services and Support Survey.  As in past years, the WAV Group survey will measure awareness, adoption and attitudes about the services and support offered by MLS organizations throughout North America. The WAV Group 2017 MLS Services and Support survey will measure the attitudes of MLS leadership and staff AS WELL AS daily practitioners and users of MLS services.  We believe that it is critical to understand the feedback and insights of both of these important groups. Results of the FREE Survey will be shared with the industry. Individual market results will also be shared with participating MLS organizations as requested. For the first time the WAV Group MLS Services and Support Survey will ALSO include questions to uncover the most interesting ways for MLSs to continue to improve the services and support they offer. This section of the survey will help MLS technology providers and MLS organizations help outline the path for continual improvements in relevance and customer satisfaction. If you would like to participate in the survey, please register here and we’ll contact you with the details. If you have any questions about the survey, feel free to reach out to me at Marilyn@wavgroup.com. Thanks so much for your participation! CLICK HERE to register so that your organization can take advantage of this important survey.

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MLSs have a great opportunity to significantly improve the relevance and marketing power of their organization by finding ways to better serve the needs of their brokers and real estate consumers. I had the honor of interviewing David Charron, Chief Strategy Office of Bright MLS about the highly successful merger between Trend MLS, MRIS and several other MLSs in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. They have come together to create one of the largest MLSs in North America. Hear directly from David what it took to accomplish this broker-centric feat!  Check out the video below where David will give you specific ideas about how you too can accomplish consolidation in your local market. Learn from one of the best and brightest(pun intended) about how to create a more relevant organization positioned to help REALTORS®  succeed in even big ways. After you watch the video be sure to subscribe to WAV Group’s newly relaunched Youtube Channel too! Enjoy!  

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Never has so much information been available to consumers on the residential real estate economy, especially on market trends important to buyers and sellers.  Buyers and sellers are self-educating themselves about market conditions long before they hire a real estate agent. This wealth of information can be confusing and even contradictory, proving once again that there’s a big difference between information and knowledge.  Perhaps that’s why consumers want agents who are as smart—or smarter—than they are about market trends.  “Knowledge of the real estate market” consistently ranks higher than people skills, technology skills and even negotiation skills among the qualities that buyers consider to be very important when shopping for an agent.[1] Yet, communicating market smarts is not easy.  The most popular tactic the market report, a periodic summary of market conditions based on MLS data.  Original market reports require skills and time that few real estate professionals possess.  Several vendors help to fill the gap with computer-generated reports that brokerages can purchase and add their logo and email to prospects.  These are rich with graphics and data but thin on analysis.  While they are better than nothing, they often have a cookie-cutter feel.  Unfortunately, mass-produced reports usually lack substantive input from the sponsoring broker, and thus fail to convince prospects of the brokerage’s expertise. A good branded report: Tells readers in plain English what is happening right now in the local marketplace and what to expect in the weeks to come. Is truly branded. It contains unique analysis of market trends and includes commentary from one or more agency executives.  It is named “the XYZ brokerage report” and branded with the agency’s logo.  It reports sides closed by the brokerage as well as the larger marketplace.  It invites feedback, with a phone number and email address. Contains data so fresh and well-presented that it will make news in local traditional and social media outlets. It drills down into the Zip codes and communities where the brokerage has offices; and Builds credibility and SEO by coming out on a regular schedule, preferably monthly. It’s easier to justify the expense of a branded report by using it in many ways, including: Issuing a news release with each report to local and regional traditional news media and local real estate blogs; Pushing out an emailing to customers, clients and prospects; Posting an article on the brokerage’s blog; Reaching referrals by posting in […]

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Don’t Miss Out On This Spooktacular Deal!

by Camilla Harvey on October 3, 2017

Savings

With 2018 fast approaching, ensure that your leadership team, staff and brokers are well informed with the essential information they need to make SMART and WELL-INFORMED decisions in 2018. WAV Group’s highly acclaimed WAVes of Change webinar series is a GREAT way to keep your organization relevant and in sync with industry trends and ever-changing consumer requirements. What are the WAVes of Change? 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, best practices 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. Join the Texas Association of REALTORS, New Mexico Association of REALTORS, MFRMLS and many others in helping large and small organizations stay on top of the game changers in our industry. 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.  WAV Group provides balanced and unbiased overviews on the key topics of the day to help bring every one of your board members up to speed on key issues so that you can have more productive, strategic and insightful discussions at your board meetings Examples of previous topics discussed include: CMLS Research Reviews MLS Policy Trends Consumer Attitudes About Agent Ratings The Power of Consumer Research Panels The Power of Client Relationship Management Effective Ways to Increase Adoption of your Services Governance for the Nimble Organization AMP, Upstream, RESO and Broker Public Portal update Broker Hot Buttons Data Sharing/Consolidation Trends and lots more…… Don’t Miss Out on this Killer Deal! Get 5 Educational Sessions for the Price of 4! Right now, we are offering a Spooktacular Halloween Special!, If you subscribe for the 2018 WAVes of Change before October 31st,  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 […]

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WAVes of Change Award

We are proud to announce that Dionna Hall and her newly formed team in South Florida at RAPB + GFLR is the FIRST recipient of WAV Group’s WAVes of Change Award! Watch the video below of the presentation of the first WAVes of Change Award! Why were they chosen?  For creating the 3rd largest Association and one of the top 10 largest MLSs in America.  RAPB + GFLR is solving problems for brokers in South Florida.  The newly formed organization will provide listing exposure to nearly 30,000 agents, dramatically increasing marketing impact. It will also make it easier for brokers to expand their businesses into a much larger region in South Florida as they choose. What this hard-working group of volunteers and staff accomplished is NOT easy to do. It took guts, hard work, leadership skills and a strong will to better serve South Florida brokers and agents. This group did not let politics, naysayers or fear get in their way. They just made it happen. They have accomplished something that many have talked about, but have not had the bravery and tenacity to succeed at. WAV Group LOVES it when we see such great work being done to make our industry strong and vital for the long haul. That’s why we created this new award called the WAVEs of Change award. Now we have a way to take a minute to say thanks to those that go the extra mile for their members. What is the WAVes of Change Award? WAV Group is proud to announce a new program called the WAVes of Change Awards. These awards will be given to those in the real estate industry that have made bold new moves to create positive WAVes of Change for our industry. The WAVes of Change Awards will honor those that have a vision for a brighter future for real estate and do what it takes to make their vision a reality. Importantly, the WAVes of Change Award will be given to leaders of programs that are already live and have been proven to be successful.  A panel of judges will evaluate submissions based on the following criteria: Solves fundamental challenges or creates exciting new opportunities Improves the quality of service or insights provided to real estate consumers, agents or brokers Creates company, market or industry efficiencies, cost savings and opportunities for innovation. Helps to raise the bar of […]

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Great Content Should Still Be King

by Kevin Hawkins on October 3, 2017

Content Is King

The lines in the world of communication are blurring, between content that is paid for and content that is earned. Think about it. Is the last content you just read sponsored content or earned content? Do you know for sure? Did you check the source? Are you familiar with the writer? Did the CEO of the real estate brokerage get on the cover of the magazine because her company earned the accolades, or because they paid for a bunch of ads? Did the CTO of the tech startup get on the stage at the big industry tech conference because he was vetted as a great speaker, or because his firm was a Titanium Sponsor? The truth is that most people cannot tell if the content they are reading or the presentation they are hearing was influenced by sponsorship or advertising dollars unless of course, the content is crap. And that’s precisely my point. Great content should still win out whether it is paid for or earned. The reason the lines of communication are blurring, and that it is becoming harder to realize if a video program is sponsored, or a commercial is a commercial, is that when content is done really well, it works. We should not be judging content based on whether or not it was paid for, but by the quality of the content. If content is self-serving, it is going to turn people off. It’s going to come across as being crap. But if content is really good, even if it was sponsored, you are going to value that content. The opposite should be true as well: if content is really good, even if it is not paid for, you should value that content as well. What we need to be thinking about is how do we make sure that we are encouraging the creation of great content and not forcing a path of sponsored content when that path should be optional. The truth is most sponsored content is crap: it’s often just not good content, but mediocre content that tries to hide its self-serving agenda. As someone who has spent a few decades in public relations working hard to create great content with my clients, it’s frustrating to see the current path that is forcing a route towards sponsor content. Great content should stand on its own merit – earned or sponsored, as great content is […]

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In these times where inventory is so low there is nothing more important than figuring out new ways to secure listing appointments and convincing consumers that it’s the right time to sell!   Finding the best ways to engage with potential sellers is the KEY to business success. You’ve probably heard the old adage – You have to list to last!   How can you train and motivate your agents to aggressively pursue seller leads and scheduling listing presentations?   What you do in the minutes after you receive a lead makes a huge difference. And when you wait to contact that lead, chances are another real estate agent is going to get to them first. So what can you train your agents to do? Your agents need an iron clad lead follow up strategy that instantly responds to leads for them, so even when they are busy… they can still keep potential clients focused on them and not another agent. On Wednesday, September 27th at 9:00am PT W+R Studios’ National Trainer, Ricardo Bueno, Marilyn Wilson from RE Technology and Realtor Ray Fernandez are holding a free, panel-style webinar “Lead Follow Up Secrets for Busy Agents.” Join me on a webinar that I’m facilitating next week! This webinar will cover simple and proven lead follow up strategies that will help even the busiest agent convert more leads into clients. You don’t want to miss this! REGISTER NOW!  

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Multi Functions

Gain perspective about your MLS Services and Support Offerings. Do you want to be the best MLS you can be?   Are you interested in what your members and REALTORS® across America have to say about the services and support that MLSs offer? If so, WAV Group can help you.  We’re offering a FREE service to the industry to evaluate the current state of MLS services and support. WAV Group would like to invite each of our readers to participate in our upcoming nationwide MLS Services and Support Survey.  As in past years, the WAV Group survey will measure awareness, adoption and attitudes about the services and support offered by MLS organizations throughout North America. The WAV Group 2017 MLS Services and Support survey will measure the attitudes of MLS leadership and staff AS WELL AS daily practitioners and users of MLS services.  We believe that it is critical to understand the feedback and insights of both of these important groups. Results of the FREE Survey will be shared with the industry. Individual market results will also be shared with participating MLS organizations as requested. For the first time the WAV Group MLS Services and Support Survey will ALSO include questions to uncover the most interesting ways for MLSs to continue to improve the services and support they offer.  This section of the survey will help MLS technology providers and MLS organizations help outline the path for continual improvements in relevance and customer satisfaction. If you would like to participate in the survey, please register here and we’ll contact you with the details. If you have any questions about the survey, feel free to reach out to me at Marilyn@wavgroup.com. Thanks so much for your participation! CLICK HERE to register:

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Redfin Offers Method To Modernize IDX

by Victor Lund on September 19, 2017

“Let’s modernize IDX by linking to the listing broker!” IDX or Internet Data Exchange is a thesis that was developed by the collaboration between Brokers and MLSs that outlines a set of display rules for listings on broker websites. The idea behind IDX is that of cooperation among brokers. Fundamentally, the IDX policy states that a broker allows all other brokers participating in an MLS to display their listings on any broker (and usually Agent) website. Over the years, the IDX policy has evolved. And today, Redfin CEO, Glenn Kelman suggests a radical new change. Kelman would like the IDX policy to require that every display of IDX listings provide a link to the listing broker’s website. As the screenshot illustrates, the National Association of REALTORS® MLS Policy on IDX requires the Broker to be identified as shown here. Displaying the listing agent is a local election and sometimes required. In the illustration below, everything is static. The big idea is to add a requirement to include a hyperlink to the broker/agent website (canonical source of information). Kelman goes further in the development of his concept to suggest that the broker name and link be prominently displayed above the fold (top of the page before you scroll). WAV Group joins Redfin in the belief that this would massively increase the traffic to listing brokers’ websites form search engines. Having hundreds of real estate websites link to the listing brokerage for each listing should completely re-orient search rankings. Search Engines are always looking for the most authoritative source of information – including real estate information. Kelman has strong beliefs and enormous respect for the listing firm. “The listing broker is the one who pays for, reviews and uploads all the photos. The listing broker updates and validates all the data about the property, and writes the marketing description. The home-buying consumer should be able to find her way to the full listing on the listing broker’s site, where she may also be able to see virtual tours, three-dimensional scans, and additional marketing materials about the listing, not to mention details on how to ask a question about the home or even arrange a tour with another agent at the listing brokerage if that’s what she prefers.” WAV Group’s research and analytics team finds that Redfin is, by a factor of two or three, the most popular brokerage website today. The leading […]

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Passwords Phishing

Remember a time when a fishing rod, some bait, and a lake was all that was needed for a quiet afternoon of relaxation and fun. Today, we need to deal with a different kind of “phishing”. This phishing has gone wild in the digital world and has become the preferred method by the bad guys in obtaining easy access to your corporate email platform. Access to a wealth of desirable information that includes transactional information, wire-transfer directions, and personal identifiable information (PII) of your Agents, Staff and Customers. The question becomes, “How can I protect my brokerage from becoming a victim of phishing scams?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a single easy answer. It is difficult and must include layers of defenses to surround your pond. There is a four-layer approach to setting “No Trespassing” signs around your pond. This approach includes: Unique Passwords Multi Factor Authentication Preventive Layer of Defense Education Passwords The easiest place to build defense around your pond is to have a policy and technology in place to ensure people have a strong, unique password. The length, quality, and uniqueness of a password are elements to consider when protecting your pond. The length of a password is simple, the longer the better. Twelve characters or more goes a long way in preventing the bad people from using computers to harvest a password. Password quality is a password which must contain upper and lower-case letters, at least one number, and a special character. Today, Bill Burr, the author of a 2003 official guidance to password security by the National Institute of Stands and Technology (NIST), insists that the use of complicated and forgettable passwords is a flawed policy. In June 2017, NIST released an update version of SP800-63b and it explicitly states the complexity of the password must be easily memorized by the subscriber. In the summary of Appendix “A” of SP800-63b, it states: “Length and complexity requirements beyond those recommended here, significantly increase the difficulty of memorized secrets and increase user frustration. As a result, users often work around these restrictions in a way that is counterproductive.” Bill Burr recommends a good password should be a combination of four words that do not relate to each other, example… bizzzzarePoodle747giant. This password is a combination of words and numbers which are only relevant to user and are easy to memorize. Uniqueness of a password for a system is critical. […]

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It’s the Biggest Marketing and PR Mistake

by Kevin Hawkins on September 18, 2017

Targeting Consistency

Stay on message. Those three little words sound so simple. But it amazes me how difficult it seems for companies – and their messengers – to do this. It should be the core of their marketing and PR compass. Consistency and repetition: That’s what every well-crafted marketing and PR program adheres to over the long haul. Unfortunately, most companies forget these crucial tenets and they stray. Or worse, they veer so far from their original course, they completely undermine what they have already have accomplished. Building brand awareness takes time, often a very long time. Building brand loyalty (a.k.a. understanding and being able to explain your brand to others), takes a lot longer. To accomplish either requires – you guessed it – consistency and repetition in your communication. You have to stay on message. You must repeat, I say repeat, and repeat it again, and again and again. Yes, everyone at your company, especially you, if you are running the company, will grow tired of your messaging. And if you are like most folks, you will grow tired of it literally years before it has even come close to needed to be changed and refreshed. Yes, there are exceptions, but these two ideas — consistency and repetition — are pretty much an iron clad, time-tested (oh, say since the invention of Marketing and PR) fundamental truth. Set in stone. Make that steel. The Challenge in Real Estate I get that it isn’t easy to implement a marketing and PR program in an industry that requires independent contractors to play a key role in the public execution of your communications. I feel for real estate brokerages, in particular, and their unique challenges when it comes to the communications equivalent of herding cats. Independent people like to do things independently: like creating their own unique communications. Their own logos, their own flyers and brochures, even upon occasion (Egads!), their own new releases. I’ve seen and read many of them, mostly in horror, because the vast majority of them are awful. And I don’t fault the creators for the creative: they are not trained marketing and PR professionals. They didn’t spend a couple of decades or more perfecting this stuff, much less going to grad school for a degree in this area. Yes, there are exceptions and on occasion, exceptional work. But even then, those independently produced pieces often stray from the corporate […]

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$25,000 in Cash for Tech Startups via New RESO DataComp

by Kevin Hawkins on September 14, 2017

It’s the first RESO DataComp, a data competition sponsored by Realtors Property Resource®. Prizes total $25,000, courtesy of prize sponsors that include FBS, the creators of Flexmls and Stratus Data Systems, Inc. It’s set to begin on September 17, at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time. It will end with live demonstrations before a distinguished panel of industry judges from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in San Diego on October 17  during the RESO fall conference, October 17-19, being held at the uber-hip Pendry. That’s right, unlike a Hackathon, this data competition will last a month, and unlike many other real estate data events, this one is targeting Universities, Colleges, incubators, and startups outside the world of real estate. RESO is looking for new blood and fresh ideas to look at ways to leverage its hottest tech – the RESO Web API – in new ways that could improve the real estate ecosystem. Here’s the news release that RESO issued today, during CMLS in Austin: RESO Unveils Real Estate DataComp: $25,000 in Cash Prizes for Tech Start-Ups Competition Kicks-Off Sept. 17 with Live Demos Slated for San Diego on Oct. 17 Raleigh, NC – Sept. 14, 2017 – The Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO, todayrevealed the 2017 RESO DataComp its first-ever data competition sponsored by Realtors Property Resource®, will begin on September 17, at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time, culminating in live demonstration before a distinguished panel of industry judges from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time on October 17 at the Pendry Hotel in San Diego, during the RESO fall conference. RESO is an independent non-profit with more than 725 active members, including the National Association of Realtors®, multiple-listing services, real estate associations, brokerages – representing over 800,000 brokers and agents – and industry technology providers. RESO creates and promotes the adoption and utilization of standards that drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry. The RESO DataComp is welcoming tech start-ups outside the real estate industry, as well as new innovators from Universities to incubators. A total of $25,000 in Cash Prizes is being made available, provided by prize sponsors that include FBS, the creators of Flexmls and Stratus Data Systems, Inc. “RESO DataComp is open to all tech companies, startups, colleges, incubators and others who believe they have the next ‘big idea’ that could revolutionize real estate through data,” said Jeremy Crawford, CEO of RESO. “We are challenging the freshest minds in […]

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SmartMLS Co-CEO Announces Resignation

by Victor Lund on September 13, 2017

SmartMLS

WALLINGFORD, Conn., Sept. 13, 2017  — SmartMLS Inc., the Multiple Listing Service formed from the merger of The Connecticut Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (CTMLS), and the Greater Fairfield County CMLS (GFC CMLS), announced today Co-Chief Executive Officer Cameron Paine has resigned effective immediately.  The SmartMLS Board of Directors accepted Mr. Paine’s resignation.  SmartMLS will now continue operations with one CEO, Kathy Elson. Mr. Paine said, “Ten years ago I was selected to be the CEO of the Connecticut Multiple Listing Service.  It was always my ultimate goal to form a statewide MLS and having achieved that with SmartMLS, spanning all eight Connecticutcounties and providing MLS services to more than 17,000 subscribers, I decided it was the perfect time to pursue other opportunities.” “Cameron Paine is leaving SmartMLS having made a significant contribution to our evolution,” said Michael Barbaro, President of the SmartMLS Board of Directors. “During his tenure, he has led significant technology innovations. He has been a tremendous asset to SmartMLS and the entire MLS industry. We are grateful for his many accomplishments over the past decade.” Cameron made his start in the MLS world with a move to Naples, Florida where he served as the Director of Marketing & Professional Services for the Naples Area Board of Realtors.  In 2003 he was offered the CEO job at the Bonita Springs-Estero Association of Realtors. Following a national search, Cameron was selected in 2006 to be the founding CEO of the Connecticut MLS. Cameron has been recognized by Inman News as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate” and he continuously works to expand the boundaries of traditional MLS thinking.  Cameron has authored a number of real estate white papers and in 2014 created the Broker Public Portal concept of a single, nationally competitive, industry friendly public website.  The Broker Public Portal launched in 2017 with the award-winning Homesnap application and website now in use by millions of real estate professionals and their clients. “The SmartMLS Board is thankful for Cameron’s many years of service, innovation and leadership,” said Michael Barbaro, President of the SmartMLS Board of Directors. “We understand and support his decision to step down and are grateful for his many accomplishments. We wish him and his family the very best. I am confident that under the direction of our CEO Kathy Elson, and the executive leadership team, SmartMLS will enjoy continued success in the future.” About SmartMLS The SmartMLS territory spans the state of Connecticut, an area of over 5,500 […]

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MMSI Posts Record Sales Quarter for Membership Director

by Victor Lund on September 12, 2017

Davidsonville, MD – September 12, 2017 MMSI, makers of Membership Director have announced that the third quarter sales for the company have set a record. In the third quarter of 2017, the company added four major Association of REALTORS® and MLS customers including San Diego Association of REALTORS®, Greater Fairfield MLS(via the SmartMLS merger), Dayton Area Board of REALTORS®, and Maine Listings. In total, the firm reports adding 42,500 active members to the platform this quarter. Membership Director is among the leaders in providing Realtor® Associations and MLSs with software to manage their members. The most important component of association and MLS management systems is the member portal – allowing agents to pay their dues, register for courses and events, vote in online elections, and stay engaged with the organization. For the San Diego Association of REALTORS®, “Membership Director has so much more of the functionality that we need to support the array of services we provide our agents,” says Michael Mercurio, SDAR CEO. “Based on the needs of our 17,000 members, SmartMLS selected MMSI as our membership system.  The new membership portal gives agents and brokers seamless access to update their profiles and pay their bills easily.  The new membership portal allows the MLS to more effectively communicate and engage with our subscribers with targeted messaging.  The portal is a one stop shop for member services, account management, and MLS-related needs.  The conversion was quick and accurate, and our members love their new membership portal,” says SmartMLS CO-CEO, Kathy Elson. According to CEO James Yockel, the key for the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® (GRAR) was “being able to put our entire value proposition for our members on a single clean, modern page.  This ‘consumer-grade’ level of design and polish is the future of our industry and it’s what agents nationwide have been demanding for years.” Before switching to Membership Director by MMSI, Maine Listings was managing software they built internally for membership management. “For a very long time, we were unable to find software that was customizable enough to handle the needs of our MLS,” said Cathy Libby, CEO of Maine Listings. A key piece of functionality developed for Maine Listings was the ability for brokers to Add, Edit, transfer, or drop agents from the broker roster. “Together with Maine Listings, we are pushing the boundaries of agent and broker self-service, from anywhere, on any device, 24/7.  The […]

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IRVINE, Calif., September 11, 2017—CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, announced today that its focus on innovation in real estate solutions is helping drive its market penetration to record heights. Across all its solutions for residential real estate—which include listing, property information, and brokerage management platforms—CoreLogic now serves more than one million real estate agents throughout the United States and Canada. The most widely used CoreLogic solutions are Matrix™, North America’s leading multiple listing platform with approximately 750,000 users, and Realist®, the real estate industry’s most popular property information and advanced mapping system with more than 800,000 users. Many clients use both Realist and Matrix, but the combined unique user count is over a million. “Serving a million unique users is a tremendous milestone,” said Chris Bennett, executive leader of Real Estate Solutions for CoreLogic. “We’ve worked hard to deliver the forward-looking solutions our clients need to thrive in the modern real estate economy, and this is the result. Now we’re focused on Matrix 360, a project that will combine Matrix and Realist on the same platform, culminating in a groundbreaking property-centric system that will set the standard for the entire industry. We showed off many innovative ideas for future development at our annual Real Estate Solutions User Group Summit in Dana Point, Calif., and our clients just loved it.” CoreLogic recently completed a multi-year conversion project to consolidate its legacy multiple listing platform clients on Matrix. Version 7.0—the latest upgrade currently rolling out to customers—introduced a responsive client portal that agents can use to collaborate with buyers on the home search process. “Our agent members are raving about the new Matrix client portal,” said Merri Jo Cowen, CEO of My Florida Regional MLS. “The design, the usability, the mobile-friendly interface… everything is great. Most importantly, homebuyers and sellers are loving it too.” About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider. The company’s combined data from public, contributory and proprietary sources includes over 4.5 billion records spanning more than 50 years, providing detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, and the public sector. CoreLogic delivers value to clients through unique data, analytics, workflow technology, advisory and managed services. Clients rely on […]

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The MLS 2020 Agenda Overview

by Victor Lund on September 7, 2017

MLS 2020 Agenda

Ahead of CMLS, “The MLS RoundTable” published the MLS 2020 Agenda. It is a paper that provides a series of one-page perspectives from industry executives about the Future of the MLS (hat tip to Saul Klein who I give credit for coining the term). It is not clear how the people were chosen to opine on the agenda for MLS. Although there are a solid number of enlightened MLS thinkers in the report, there are many other great MLS executives that are conspicuous by their absence. The report is a good primer for the conference. The Association Problem (and Governance) There is some conversation about the relationship between the Associations of REALTORS® that own MLSs and the operations of the MLS itself. Much of this has to do with Governance. Bad governance kills great companies every time. There is an assertion that the association-based decision-making model is disastrous for the MLS – but there is no description about how the decision-making fails. Plenty of Associations have excellent decision-making models. I look forward to hearing more about what bad association decision-making models are. I agree with the premise that Associations can be troublesome for MLSs, but on different grounds. Associations profit from the MLS – and that is the biggest retardant of all if they are not providing any value to the MLS.  Associations should not be able to mark up MLS services 100% for doing billing.  If they are providing training and support, they need to be held accountable for their deliverables, required to have the right equipment for managing support, etc. I am just completing a project for a large firm who was being denied sales data in 12 markets – all Association managed MLSs with fewer than 500 subscribers. For most of them, a phone call or two cleared up the misunderstanding. The last 4 have been an issue. Two of them do not have full time staff running the MLS or the Association. I had to chase down the agent who was the president, educate them on the MLS policy that they have in place (yes, their rules clearly allow for sold data), and help them connect with their MLS vendor to add sold data to the feed (he did not know who to contact or their phone number). As it turns out, our broker client will be the first in those markets to have a sold […]

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Announcing WAV Group’s 2017 MLS Services and Support Survey

by Marilyn Wilson on September 6, 2017

WAV Logo

It is critical that every MLS continually evaluate its technology service offerings and support provided.  WAV Group would like to provide a FREE service to the industry to evaluate the current state of MLS services and support available today. WAV Group would like to invite our readers to participate in our upcoming nationwide MLS Services and Support Survey.  As in past years, the WAV Group survey will measure awareness, adoption and attitudes about the services and support offered by MLS organizations throughout the United States. As in past years, the WAV Group annual survey will measure the attitudes of MLS leadership and staff as well as daily practitioners and users of MLS services.  We believe that it is critical to understand the feedback and insights of both of these important groups. Results of the FREE Survey will be shared with the industry. Individual market results will also be shared with participating MLS organizations as requested. If you would like to participate in the survey, please register here and we’ll contact you with the details. Thanks so much for your participation! CLICK HERE to register:

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