September 2017

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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CoreLogic Logo

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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Want Raving Fans? 5 Gotta Haves for your 2018 MLS Budget

by Marilyn Wilson on September 5, 2017

Budget

WAV Group conducts more subscriber satisfaction research for MLSs than anyone else in the country.  We have a depth of understanding of the key drivers of satisfaction and perceived relevance for MLS organizations. Here’s the 5 key opportunities for improving your MLS’ satisfaction and relevance as you move into 2018: Go TO your Members Create a Field Support/Training Team There is NOTHING that drives up customer engagement and satisfaction for MLSs more than a team of customer servants that go out into the field, attending office meetings, broker events and community events.  These valuable team members can help educate subscribers on the technology and tools offered to drive up adoption and perceived value of the MLS fees. They can also gather input on ways to improve technology, service and support for your customers.  On every survey that we field, satisfaction numbers are off the charts with those that have attended sessions with MLS customer servants. Marketing Make Promotion a Priority    All of our MLS clients wish they could get every one of their subscribers to take full advantage of the tools, support and training they offer, yet,  according to the 2017 CMLS Best Practices Survey, just 18% of MLSs have full-time marketing staff.   In order for your members to take full advantage of the services you offer they need to understand the practical, tangible benefits that will help them succeed in real estate.  2018 is the year to think about hiring a marketing person, contract with an outside resource or a combination of both. Prepare for the Future Strategic Planning Our industry has never moved faster than it is right now. It’s time for every MLS to question every assumption and take a fundamental look at the company’s role, relevance and reason for being.  It’s time to think about important new ways to anticipate the needs of your customers and find new ways to help them be more successful without levelling the playing field. How do you know if you are addressing the needs of your brokers?  As part of the preparations for the strategic plan, you interview your largest brokers to be sure you are getting the whole truth so you can address their needs. Sometimes brokers are more willing to speak to outsides than their own team.  You will get unfettered access to the best ways you can improve your working relationship and value with your brokers. It’s […]

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MLSListings Shares Best Practices for Public Relations

by Victor Lund on September 5, 2017

MLSListings

Public Relations is a key communication practice for leading MLSs. Silicon Valley, California-based MLSListings is leveraging Public Relations to promote the relevancy of the MLS in the best possible way. They have developed communications for the real estate trade media and the consumer media that are both having positive impact. Consumer Media Trade The real estate industry has brokers and agents who continue to invest in newspaper advertising. By and large, newspapers may not display real estate listings from the MLS unless there is a special consideration. To save brokers and agents money, MLSListings has developed an agreement with 12 BANG Bay Area newspapers that allow the newspaper to display the broker and agent contact information and listings (fair display) if the newspaper provides MLSListings with a monthly bi-line. Articles written by MLSListings CEO James Harrison or their Board of Directors President appear each month in these newspapers though the agreement. As a result, MLSListings has gotten $400,000 in media trade. MLSListings subscribers further benefit because every article points buyers and sellers to the value brokers and agents provide. Consumer Press Release MLSListings’ press release strategy has shifted from market statistics to lifestyle and is generating incredible results. For example, a snapshot from March of this year generated $120,000 in earned media advertising. It has become very difficult for Associations and MLSs to get decent exposure to their publication about market stats. For a variety of reasons, newspapers publish data from Zillow Group, CoreLogic, or RealtyTrac. This shift by media company pickups has caused MLSListings to innovate around lifestyle. Here is a sample headline that talks about foreign buyers – MLSListings Becomes the First Real Estate Platform in California to Offer Chinese Translation Silicon Valley Property Information Translated for Agents and Brokers MLSListings Compiles List of Most Affordable Bay Area Homes Silicon Valley Property Information for Homes Under $300k As MLSListings issues press releases, they not only capitalize on supporting journalists with interesting consumer stories, but also educate consumers about the MLS, working with real estate professionals, and viewing listings on MLS- powered consumer websites. MLSListings has parlayed their PR strategy into tens of thousands of consumer visits to their consumer facing website, MLSListings.com. Moreover, the press release gets published to hundreds of news wire sites driving links back to their website for improved search engine optimization. The secret behind the success at MLSListings is Myra Jolivet, the vice president […]

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Using Twitter as a PR Tool

by Kevin Hawkins on September 5, 2017

Twitter

Twitter is probably one of the most ignored social media channels in real estate marketing and PR, which is remarkable considering its breadth and depth: 328 million monthly active users and 67 million of them in the U.S., a half-billion Tweets per day, and 80% of users access Twitter on their mobile devices. Okay, admittedly, Twitter also has 20 million fake users, and the profile of a “typical” Twitter user is (unfortunately) not a primary target for most brokerages: A young woman, with an average of 209 followers, using an iPhone. In fact, 37% of all Twitter users are between the ages of 18-29. Underappreciating Twitter Still, Twitter remains one of the largest and most influential social media channels in the U.S. 83% of world leaders have a Twitter account. And here’s the thing that the rest of the marketing world has discovered about Twitter: Consumers want to connect to brands via Twitter: 67% of users are likely to purchase from a brand they follow on Twitter. Also, Twitter is often the fastest path to reach a company to resolve a complaint. And companies on Twitter better be listening: 78% of people who complain to companies via Twitter expect a response with the hour. Twitter can be THE most important PR tool for many companies to resolve what could become a customer’s fiasco before it becomes a public PR nightmare by using Twitter as a key engagement channel. Companies use Twitter to monitor and resolve customer complaints and some firms have found that Twitter can even be used proactively to prevent a negative backlash. That’s what Delta Airlines did in July when it used Twitter to turn the tables on one of its customers. Delta moved passenger Ann Coulter to a seat that was different than the one she booked and Coulter unleashed a Twitter storm, attacking the airline – and in Tweets, called passengers derogatory names. Delta responded with a Tweet of its own that said “@AnnCoulter Additionally, your insults about our other customers and employees are unacceptable and unnecessary.” That was Twitter’s number one post, according to SocialBakers, in the U.S. for July: 214,615 interactions, including 174,359 “Likes.” About The “Who” The other key to understanding the value of using Twitter as a PR tool for real estate marketing is looking at who uses Twitter: real estate industry influencers, investors, as well as journalists and bloggers who have […]

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Don’t Miss Out on our Summer Special!

by Camilla Harvey on September 5, 2017

With planning for 2018 on the horizon, now is a great time to reflect on the best ways to help prepare your organization for the evolutions and revolutions that may happen next year. Are you Making Informed Decisions? Many things can happen when an Association or MLS is detached and not paying attention to the transient nature of the real estate industry and market. They can delay or even completely avoid decisions because they simply seem too difficult or controversial, causing the organization to fall behind or lose its competitive advantage. Even worse, Boards of Directors who do not stay in touch with these shifting trends can enforce and pass outdated rules and regulations that will impede their member’s success. Is your Travel Budget Limited? How do you kick your board into touch when you don’t have the budget to send several of your board members to attend multiple industry events each year? You can enroll in the WAVes of Change Series and 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, policy discussions and industry initiatives. We also discuss the key threats and opportunities that face our industry today, helping everyone to find new ways to improve the relevance of their organization and ensure its long-term viability. The agenda is ever-changing based on the hot topics of the day! Get a Pricing Special Today! Right now, we are offering an end of Summer Special!, If you subscribe for the WAVes of Change before 22nd September you’ll get a one off pricing special! You can start your organization on the path of being more informed in a few clicks! If this sounds like something your organization would benefit from please contact camilla@wavgroup.com to take advantage of this one-time special!  Please join many of your Association/MLS colleagues for this insightful educational series!  You’ll be glad you did!

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Looking for Job Security? Brokers are Looking for THIS!

by Marilyn Wilson on September 5, 2017

Job Security

By far, an IDX feed is the most heavily used broker tool offered by MLSs today.  Most brokers offer IDX data including active listings and many also include SOLD and PENDING listings thanks to the NAR IDX policy changes which allow brokers to leverage all statuses. One progressive MLS recognized how important IDX feeds are. RMLS in Portland, took the proactive step to transition every one of their IDX feeds to a RESO Certified collection of data.  This bold step allows all brokers to take full advantage of the rich collection of data relevant to their market available with Platinum Certification. Key Takeaways IDX Providers LOVE the idea of evolving all IDX feeds in a market to RESO Compliant standardized data. It saves them a ton of time and money and lets them focus on innovation and not data challenges. MLSs can help make the transition to RESO Certified IDX feeds much easier by following three simple steps: Concurrent Access – Give your IDX suppliers access to BOTH the current IDX feed as well as the new RESO compliant feed to make it easier for them to check the new feed is pulling data just as the current IDX is doing. That makes it much easier to test the new feed. Comparison Spreadsheet – Provide a spreadsheet that shows all of the fields currently offered and then show what the new data field will be called. Also show what fields are being added, removed or changed. Do not Increase Column Size – In all cases the length of the columns in the new RMLS IDX feed did not increase. They stayed the same size or decreased. From a database perspective, that makes it so much easier because the IDX providers do not have to change anything on their side. While we were thrilled to find out that the process was not that difficult from the MLSs perspective, we wanted to find out what the technology companies required to make the transition thought of the move. We interviewed Chris Freeman, CTO of Wolfnet Technologies to find out what he thought of the move.  Wolfnet aggregates data from 640 MLSs today so they are no stranger to data migrations. Chris was thrilled with the seamless process implemented by RMLS in Portland.  He told us, “It was one of the simplest data transitions we have had to make. The RMLS IDX feed was […]

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Moxi Cloud

MoxiWorks is a brokerage application development company that was founded by Seattle’s leading brokerage company, Windermere Real Estate. The software was originally developed for Windermere’s brokerage company until the company expanded the offering to include brokerages around the nation. Today, Moxi Works is a separate company that serves a brokerage base that is representative of more than 90,000 agent users.  Some of their leading brokerage partners include Windermere, Long and Foster, Howard Hanna, Pacific Union, Seven Gables and many others. Faced with the challenge of integrating their own applications into a broker’s suite of agent tools and data sharing across each solution – Moxi Works developed a unique platform called Moxi Cloud.  “Imagine a plug-and-play power strip for brokerage systems and solutions and that is basically what we have created”, stated MoxiWorks CEO, York Baur. Using a standardized API, Moxi Cloud enables brokerage firms to integrate varied applications and provides data sharing across an entire organization. In many ways, the company’s thesis resembles a portion of what UpstreamRE is developing. Today, companies like Imprev, Quantum Digital, Buyside, LanTrax Profitpower, Offrs, RealScout, Zillow, Spacio, Totomic, DocuSign, DotLoop, SkySlope, testimonial tree, Google G-Suite, and Microsoft 360 are all fully integrated with the Moxi Cloud.  In total there are more than 35 different companies that are fully integrated with the Moxi Cloud platform. In an announcement made by Moxi Works last week, Intuit’s Quickbooks – the leading provider of accounting software to agents and small or mid-sized brokers, has joined the family of companies on Moxi Cloud. Intuit has a product called QuickBooks Self-Employed that is perfectly tuned to help agents separate their personal expenses from their business expenses and identify Schedule C deductions. According to Intuit, 77% of all real estate agents do not feel confident about managing their finances. Now with Moxi Cloud, brokers who offer the service to their agents have a great new tool for recruiting and retaining agents with a service that really matters. Quickbooks reports that agents using the system find an average of $4,340 in tax savings per year, a worthy investment for a product that sells for $12 per month. Here is the full press release if you want to learn more. http://moxiworks.com/blogs/intuit-quickbooks-platform-partner

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