January 2018

A number of years ago, ShowingTime purchased a number of companies that focus on market stats. Those products were listing centric, providing brokers with the capability to look at the market activity around a single property, neighborhood, city/town, zip code, etc. The charts are beautiful, and easily embedded into a broker’s website. Track Competition and MarketShare With this new product, they are developing market charts that change the focus from listings to the brokers and agents that sell them. You can look at the trend of an agent or broker’s production either on the buy side or the sell side, and dice that market penetration however you like  – you can look at company market share by county, zip code, neighborhood, agent. Recruit and Retain Agents MarketView Broker is also purpose built for recruiting and retention. It will allow firms to do the functions that are commonly performed in BrokerMetrics, Trendgraphix, and Collateral Analytics. These applications all query the same data from the MLS. So the differences between them come down to ease of use, design, and price. In all cases, they are looking at the MLS facts about transactions by broker and agent ID. WAV Group believes that it is an important best practice to constantly look at your performance relative to other firms, and explore data to find attractive recruiting opportunities. Now there is a new option that claims to have an advantage in mobile. WAV Group has not seen MarketView yet, but we expect to take a peek very soon. Every one of our broker clients is leveraging this product category. Interestingly enough, The Realty Alliance firms tend to use Collateral Analytics more because of their partnership on BPOs. Leading RE firms tend to use a combination of BrokerMetrics, and Trendgraphix. It will be interesting to see how the landscape changes. Press Release follows: ShowingTime Introduces MarketView Broker, a Browser-Based Application for Brokers to Recruit Top Performers and Determine Market Share Major Asset for both Large and Small Companies to Improve Competitive Positioning and Measure Company Sales Productivity Chicago, IL – Jan. 18, 2018 — ShowingTime today announced the release of MarketView Broker, a browser-based application that helps a brokerage’s management team  identify and recruit, manage and coach top-performing agents, review and analyze competitive market share, and determine the best opportunities for growth. “We believe MarketView Broker will become an essential tool for brokers to recruit top […]

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Brokers Need to Know that Bitcoin has an Economic Flaw

by Victor Lund on January 10, 2018

But the biggest gains may be ahead. If you took economics class in college, you understand that currencies of any type have a relationship between four very important metrics: MV=PQ. M is the total amount of money supply in circulation. V is the velocity of money and the frequency that it is being circulated. P is the price level Q is the inflation adjusted index of goods and services. The economic flaw with Bitcoin is that you cannot buy much with it. Sure – we hear these isolated discussions about people buying houses with Bitcoin, but those are isolated one-offs. There are companies like Filecoin that pay people in coin for hosting files, another called Steam that allows bloggers to earn coin by writing. Many more are emerging every day, but generally speaking, Bitcoin is investors investing in a currency that nobody uses for goods or services. This is a major problem for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and others. Investors Caused the Bitcoin Bubble Here is where the speculation comes in. There is no government involved in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It is a truly free market economy. Sovereign currencies are managed. The United States and other nations use the equation of MV=PQ to keep the economy balanced with artificial stimulation – government spending, putting money into circulation, setting interest rates, issuing or buying bonds or treasury bills, etc. The ability to tax the economy is a big control lever. There is no doubt that the money pouring into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is outpacing the economic output. The value run up in Bitcoin value after an 8 year trend of about $1000 that has been caused by the capital markets buying Bitcoin. The buy side demand is outpacing the sell side. We believe that Bitcoin and many other crypto currencies are being driven by hedge funds and electronic traders. They have electronic buy and sell points that are executing. When a few major investors follow the same trading pattern, the currency gets erratic. If a bunch of people sell, then the currency will fall to the bottom. As long as speculators continue to buy and hold – it will go up. In the case of Bitcoin, the traditional value that lasted from 2008 to 2016 was $1000. Investors poured a lot of money into the currency in 2017, driving the price up as high as 19,000 before a year end correction […]

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Faucet, IBS

For the last few weeks, I have been wearing the hat of a reporter. All I can say to the journalists whom I have worked with over the last couple of dozen years: I now feel your pain when it comes to unsolicited pitches from PR people. Moreover, I apologize on behalf of seasoned PR pros who would be as disappointed from this experience as I am. I now understand why many of you treat me with immediate suspicion and even an attitude of disdain if you have never worked with me before. It appears my chosen profession is still often well, very unprofessional. It all comes down to one simple PR 101 lesson that I have found hardly any PR person follows whom I have interacted with recently: know the publication you are contacting BEFORE you pitch them a story, invite to your press conference, or ask them to interview your CEO. Let me explain how I discovered this revelation. One of the hats I wear is that of a contributing writer for a sister company of WAV Group, RE Technology. It allows me to keep my journalistic skills polished. I have published more than 50 magazine features over the years, ghostwritten hundreds of other published works as well, and have won a few awards along the way. So having the good fortune of writing stories occasionally for retechnology.com – which reaches 750,000 agents and brokers via a web interface embedded inside 120 MLSs and through 1.7 million monthly emails – is a pretty awesome gig. This week is IBS – the International Builder Show hosted by the National Association of Home Builders. I have attended, on and off over the years, more than a dozen of these massive gatherings, which attracts upwards of 100,000 attendees in the past. This year’s confab in Orlando will attract 80,000 people. It also will host a NAREE (National Association of Real Estate Editors) Winter reception, which I joined a bazillion years ago, and the #1 reason for me to find a way to spend 72 hours in Orlando and fly 4,300 miles from Seattle and back to get there. Two years ago, I wrote about the re-emergence of smart home technology at IBS in RE Technology and my WAV Group blog. I attended a NAREE-sponsored press lunch that focused on the subject. My interest was in Amazon and Alexa that has won […]

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Pam Johnson O’Connor has announced that she will be retiring from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Paul Boomsma, who currently serves a dual role as LeadingRE chief operating officer and president of Luxury Portfolio International®, will assume responsibilities as president and CEO upon O’Connor’s retirement. Pam has had an amazing career in the relocation and residential real estate industry.  Here are just a few of her accolades: Here are a few of Pam’s accomplishments:  Pam was the first woman executive to head a major real estate network in 1985, her experience managing real estate and relocation organizations extends back 30 years to prior networks All Points Relocation Service and RELO®. O’Connor began her career in the promotion department of WSB Television in Atlanta and later co-owned Bryson-O’Connor Public Relations in Atlanta, but her professional focus has long been in the real estate industry.   I have watched Pam in action with her Board of Directors, brokers and agent members. She is one of the more consummate professionals I have ever seen. She has a wonderful blend of strategy, political savviness, drive and fun! During a time of consolidation for major independent real estate networks in the late 1990s, she was selected to head a new organization formed when leaders from fifty of America’s most respected real estate firms joined forces to launch a new non-franchise alternative for independent brokerages. This organization became the global powerhouse that today is Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. LeadingRE has blossomed under Pam’s leadership LeadingRE has thrived under Pam’s leadership.  It has become a truly global organization, with 565 member firms in 65 countries spanning six continents and corporate offices in London and Singapore. Under her leadership the company formed a separate corporate relocation company, RELO Direct®, Inc., and an award-winning luxury marketing program, Luxury Portfolio International®.  Understanding how important training is to broker success, Pam launched a highly-successful online learning platform, ranked #3 in the Training Magazine Top 125 list of the most successful learning and development programs in the world. And finally, Pam has driven growth In affiliate-to-affiliate referral sales volume to billions of dollars annually with an industry-leading conversion rate of nearly 50%. Pam has helped her real estate community succeed in exciting ways too: She is honorary lifetime member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Relocation Council.  She has served on the University of Tennessee College of Communications & Information Alumni Board of […]

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Google Tag Manager – A Broker’s Best Friend

by Marilyn Wilson on January 8, 2018

Google Tag Manager

Real Estate brokers need to leverage reporting to know what is working in their digital marketing assets. The good news is that Google Analytics can provide answers to the performance of your website pages and campaigns if you train it. The tool to deliver these reports is called Google Tag Manager, and if you are not using this utility in your brokerage today, you need to start. Google Tag Manager (GTM). Brokers now have more accessibility to track usage for all their Internet assets. GTM easily installs on your website and intranet, and is available for native mobile applications on Android and iOS. What is Google Tag Manager? GTM is a tag management system tracks user activity on pages without requiring a developer to do anything special. Once the developer has installed the GTM code, you have the ability to make changes to the site to collect data on how consumers use their web site or mobile applications. If you are tracking your intranet, you can see how agents are using that site. This video is an introduction to the concepts of Google Tag Manager. https://youtu.be/7FXbsCWsEi8 How does Google Tag Manager Work? This article is not a technical guide, but offers a general understanding of GTM. There are three basic elements to setup a Google Tag Manager: a tag, a trigger and variables. Triggers Triggers are an action which tells the tag to fire. When driving your car up to an intersection, street lights are a trigger which cause an action. When the light turns red, it triggers a piece of code in our brains says it is time to push the brakes and stop the car. In GTM, when someone lands on a web page or performs an action which meets the condition of the trigger, a piece of code or a tag executes. What to know if the consumer prefers map view vs. gallery view when looking at listings – no problem. GTM will allow you to track that, allowing you to set the most favored consumer default without guessing. Tags A Tag is a block of code usually from a third-party source which need to run on web site or mobile application. Instead of inserting the block of code like JavaScript within the code of a web site or mobile application, it’s inserted as a tag in GTM. You may have heard people talking about the Facebook […]

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Real Estate brokers and MLSs are pretty familiar with Collateral Analytics®. Collateral Analytics provides real estate brokers with a variety of tools including market trends, market share, and AVMs. Collateral Analytics is particularly interesting to real estate brokers because of the unique blend of MLS data and Public Record data. Brokers believe that MLS data introduces a level of accuracy and timeliness to analytics products, making them profoundly more accurate than Zillow Group’s® Zestimates®. Many of America’s top real estate firms also participate in the Collateral Analytics network of firms that provide Broker Price Opinion(BPO) services to the capital markets.  More than any other market analytics company, Collateral Analytics has developed a philosophy and suite of products that associates the brokerage firm into the process of home valuation and market analytics. The lawsuit discloses that Nationstar®, via their subsidiary Xome®, are customers of Collateral Analytics, and have been since 2013. It is not clear from the filing if Xome simply resold Collateral Analytics products or licensed the Collateral Analytics AVM and BPO products for use in their other software applications that Xome provides to the banking and title industry. Specifically, the filing of the lawsuit claims that Xome provided Collateral Analytics trade secrets to Quantarium®, a company acquired by Xome in 2015. Collateral Analytics claims that Xome tasked Quantarium with making a copy of the Collateral Analytics product. Moreover, the lawsuit claims that Xome is actively reselling white label versions of products that use the stolen trade secrets to other companies in violation of their licensing agreement. Collateral Analytics indicates that they have lost two major clients to Quantarium. CoreLogic® and Black Knight Financial® have long offered competitive products to Collateral Analytics. On the surface, the difference here is that Nationstar was a customer of Collateral Analytics first, then developed a competitive product as a result of their experience with Collateral Analytics. WAV Group has reviewed the filing, which is heavily redacted – as you might imagine. This is very common in these types of law suits. The court marks certain information confidential because the very nature of the litigation is the protection of trade secrets. WAV Group provides expert testimony witness services in these types of litigation, but is not engaged on this case by either side. There is quite a bit that lies in the outcome of this litigation. Should Collateral Analytics prevail, their broker partnerships (typically exclusive […]

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RESO: Fairy Tale or the Future?

by Marilyn Wilson on January 8, 2018

RESO

It’s hard to argue that standardized input, distribution and display of real estate information is not the desired path for our industry to follow. There aren’t many technology companies that would PREFER to map nearly 700 individual MLS data sets if they have the data and a choice. The Real Estate Standards Organization has set out on a path to remove millions of dollars in cost to real estate technology development and deployment while encouraging more innovation.   Download the results of the study here: When you get past the obvious technical advantages what does it really MEAN to have data standards? What practical ADVANTAGES does a company that is RESO Certified AND connects to RESO Certified data REALLY gain from going down this path?  Why should an emerging real estate technology company CARE about RESO?  What will it buy them?   And importantly, why should MLSs focus on promoting the availability of standardized data to the technology companies they work with? RESO asked myTheo, an emerging technology company, to examine this important question. What advantages does a standardized data feed bring to technology companies and their customers, in reality? Henry Gooden, CTO of myTheo worked with CRMLS in Southern California as well with MRED in Chicago to answer this important question. myTheo was chosen as one of the RESO Case Studies because they are an emerging MLS data-dependent company facing similar issues of expansion and growth as many start-ups in real estate.  The results of the myTheo examination are very enlightening AND very encouraging for the future of data in our industry. myTheo’s findings suggest that RESO standards clearly ARE the FUTURE and not an exercise in futility. Faster to Market, Less Man hours myTheo was able to precious time and resources when opening up new markets to sell their product.   myTheo reduced the their time to market, and saved on man-hours while launching into of the most sophisticated MLS markets in the country. Download the White Paper here: Is it WORTH the effort? Is it WORTH it to convert to RESO Certified Feeds for a technology company? Is there a short and longer-term return on investment and does it truly make sense for newer companies to engage with RESO even in their earliest installations? myTheo says that it is definitely worth it. Here’s their answer: “For any technology firm looking to expand rapidly into other markets, the ability to save time […]

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Bitcoin

As a real estate broker or MLS executive who is reading headlines like “Man Buys Texas Estate with Bitcoin,” you may be scratching your head to understand what this stuff is all about. Here is a primer that may help you to understand it. First of all, a cryptocurrency is a digital currency. It is not a coin or a bill. It is not backed by any nation’s treasury. It has a theoretical value that can be used for the exchange of goods and services. Bitcoin is only one of the digital currencies. There are many. In fact, anyone can create a digital currency in a few hours. Bitcoin is the largest and most widely known currency. Ethereum and Litecoin are gaining in popularity. Cryptocurrencies are a form of money that can be used for payment. It is nothing more, and nothing less. Funny thing is, we do not read headlines like “Woman Buys New York Penthouse with Pesos.” However, to all extents and purposes, the Bitcoin transaction and Peso transaction are effectively the same, you exchange one currency for US Dollars. But there is one catch that you need to understand. Currencies that we are familiar with are naturally attached to sovereign nations like the Dollar in America. When you want to use your American Dollar in some other nation, you need to exchange your currency for the currency of that nation. Exchange is the very nature of why currencies exist. In housing, people exchange currencies for property all of the time. Since housing is marketed here in America in US Dollars, if a seller wants to get paid in Bitcoin, then the buyer will need to use a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase to convert dollars into Bitcoin. Similarly, if a buyer has Bitcoin and the seller wants US Dollars (which is assumed), then the exchange will be used to move Bitcoin to dollars. Cyber currencies are not controlled by any bank or government. To all extents and purposes, the currency is established by a group of people mutually agree to its value and it trades on the open market like any currency with bids and asks. High risk investors are driving the market more than the use of Bitcoin for products and services. On April 3rd of 2017, Bitcoin was valued at about $1000 per theoretical Bitcoin, a relative value that was stable and lasted from 2009 to […]

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