January 2018

Cleveland, Ohio (January 30, 2018) – Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the third largest real estate company in the United States, is pleased to welcome Welles Bowen Realtors to the Hanna family of companies. For over 100 years, Welles Bowen Realtors has been serving Northwest Ohio with the latest in marketing and technology. A reputable local real estate broker, Welles Bowen Realtors will now be able to provide the over 150 professionals in their 10 offices with Howard Hanna’s programs, services, and business resources. “Two years ago, we opened up our new Howard Hanna Toledo/Maumee office with a commitment to the region,” said Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna, IV. “The joining of these two dynamic companies will give us the opportunity for local expansion, allowing us to better serve agents and customers in 2018 through this partnership with Welles Bowen.” “The Howard Hanna values and company philosophy closely resemble ours at Welles Bowen. Our combined success through commitment to top notch service, our agents and our clients will help all of us to thrive in 2018 and beyond,” said David Browning, President of Welles Bowen. “The transition to Howard Hanna will be seamless for our clients. Under the Howard Hanna umbrella, we’ll be offering the same people and same services,” said Kevin Smith, Vice President of Welles Bowen. “Howard Hanna’s network of 259 offices will be an excellent resource for strengthening and supporting Welles Bowen.” “Coming together and the great synergy of Welles Bowen Realtors with Howard Hanna will allow us continued growth throughout the markets we serve,” said Kristine Burdick, President of Howard Hanna Midwest. “Our partnership together, and the professionalism and expertise of our great Northwest Ohio sales associates, will continue to be the strength that consumers will see when choosing a company for all of their real estate needs.” Agents will be able to offer exclusive Howard Hanna programs, including the 100% Money Back Guarantee. Buyers will be able to purchase a new home with confidence in their homes’ worth as Howard Hanna stands behind the value of the home. Sellers will be able to set their home apart from others on the market, resulting in the home selling for the highest market value. “Howard Hanna is dedicated to our strategic growth, and we aim to be the top choice in the Toledo area marketplace. The addition of the team at Welles Bowen Realtors will help us to achieve this in the coming […]

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WAV Group Announces New Technology Consulting Division

by Victor Lund on January 30, 2018

WAV Group is pleased to announce David Gumpper as the latest addition to its growing suite of executive leaders.  David Gumpper, former Chief Technology Officer for Michael Saunders & Company and Founder of the Gumpper Group, a strong industry advocate will be leading the company’s Technology Consulting division. David’s depth of experience helping brokerages increase market share uniquely qualifies him to help technology companies, brokerages and MLSs  drive success by delivering technology and marketing programs. David is expert at o leading the development of sound technology strategies that position a company well for success and then develop workable and practical plans to implement initiatives for technology infrastructure, security, cloud deployment, telecommunications systems, web and mobile application development, lead generation processes, business workflow efficiencies, measuring and analyzing marketing campaigns, and leveraging data for informational knowledge to help brokerages make more well-informed decisions. Victor Lund, Founding Partner of WAV Group noted “David comes from one of the most highly respected real estate brokerages in our industry.  His experience and real world knowledge addressing the technology, data and security challenges brokers face today is invaluable to our clients.” David is great at both technology infrastructure as well as consumer-facing marketing technologies. In 2015 Real Trends awarded Michael Saunders and Company as the #1 Web Site in the U.S. as voted by 70 of the top CMO’s and CIO’s in real estate.. David’s strong leadership skills led him to become the chairman of the Marketing Technology Advisory Council, the group that drives technology initiatives and partnerships for the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. In addition to a strong technologist, David has been an effective advocate for technology policy which has helped all brokers compete more effectively.   He was instrumental in driving the on-going overhaul of IDX Policies which have given brokers more flexibility to offer pendings and solds on their website, co-mingle data among multiple MLSs, and supporting RESO data dictionary and web API standards. His effective advocacy efforts earned him a position as a broker serving on the Multiple Listing Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board and Multiple Listing Issues & Policy Committee for the National Association of Realtors®. Marilyn Wilson, Founding Partner of WAV Group says, “We are absolutely thrilled to have David join us at WAV Group. He is one of the most strategic, hard-working executives I have met. He’s that unique person that can outline an exciting vision […]

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Showing Service Delivers Key Ingredient In Broker Success WAV Group has just published a case study examining specialized showing software. WAV Group works with real estate brokerages to assess back end technology solutions. Real estate brokers have been working with specialized back-end showing software like Centralized Showing Service. This paper examines two very different customers of CSS. First, we examined a long-time customer of CSS, Ebby Halliday, Realtors®. In the case of Ebby Halliday, we wanted to understand the reasoning with why they’ve stuck with Centralized Showing Service for such a long time, and what the strategic value is to their brokerage. The second brokerage we examined was a new customer of CSS, NP Dodge Real Estate. In the case of NP Dodge, we wanted to understand how they use it as a business solution and how they have been effectively rolling it out to their agents. The case study also effectively summarizes the background of CSS, where exactly they stand in the Lead to Close strategy, and how CSS benefits both the listing agent, the buyer’s agent and the brokerages themselves. Read and download the full case study HERE

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      Industry effort ”blows the doors off estimates;” Should quiet critics, leaders say ROCKVILLE, MD, January 23, 2018 – Broker Public Portal (BPP) since its launch with Homesnap in January last year has grown from serving 45 Multiple Listing Services to more than 120 MLSs today, representing 800,000 real estate agents and brokers. As a result, Homesnap has become one of the nation’s most collaborative consumer real estate apps. Real estate agents have invited more than 19 million clients and contacts to access MLS listing data, and 8.5 million consumers have engaged with their agents through Homesnap. Broker Public Portal is owned and operated by real estate brokerages and MLSs to deliver, through Homesnap, a better home search experience, with the same comprehensive, real-time MLS data used by real estate professionals – the people who list and sell homes, not ads. “In just 12 months since the Broker Public Portal went live with Homesnap, our growth blows the doors off even the most optimistic estimates,” said John Mosey, Vice Chairman of BPP. Mosey, who also heads up NorthstarMLS, which supports over 17,000 REALTORS® in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin, said, “This should quiet the naysayers who wrongly believed that a well-designed industry-led effort couldn’t succeed. Well, millions of consumers and hundreds of thousands of agents have demonstrated that the industry was in fact searching for just this solution,” he added. Broker Public Portal with Homesnap is designed to help real estate professionals generate listing exposure and leads and encourage prospects and clients to connect and collaborate directly with an agent. Mosey said that it has already become one of the most successful, “if not the most successful industry-born technology initiative in real estate history,” noting Broker Public Portal with Homesnap now features over 100 million property records and over 59 million active and sold listings. “We have created the industry’s largest private real estate marketing network delivering more listing exposure opportunities and direct client engagement opportunities to agents than ever imagined. Finally, real estate agents have a real alternative,” Mosey added. A better, ad free experience Steve Barnes, co-founder of Homesnap, attributes the breakneck pace in MLS, agent and consumer adoption and engagement to delivering what consumers and agents want, and what the real estate industry needs. “First and foremost, Broker Public Portal with Homesnap is free of advertising pollution, which makes us different,” Barnes said. “We deliver a […]

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Swanepoel Power 200 Honors 2018 Industry Leaders

by Camilla Harvey on January 23, 2018

Just this week the, Swanepoel Power 200 was released, naming the Top 200 people in the real estate industry. Inman News dropped their Top 100 Influencers list – so Swanepoel is the one and only definitive list. The 2017 Swanepoel Power 200 list is “truly designed to recognize the most powerful and influential in our business,” According to Swanepoel T3.  “It is culled from over 3 million real estate professionals, with less than 0.01% selected to be included. The firm spends over 400 hours in researching and analyzing the rankings. Leaders from all residential real estate brands, brokerages, technology companies, MLSs, associations, economists, authors, consultant, coaches and media members are all considered.” No doubt, the work that the Swanepoel group performs in putting the list together is heavy lifting and takes significant thought. This year, the list includes a lot of industry newcomers who were vaulted up to the top by the station that they hold. For sure, the changes in Leadership at both the National Association of REALTORS® and the Realogy Franchise Group were very significant. Each corporation has more than a handful of people included, and deservedly so. They impact a lot of people in their work and service to the industry. WAV Group reviewed the list this year and we were very excited to see exactly 75 of our clients on the list. You know who you are and its folly to list them all here. The point is that we are blessed to have been invited into the boardrooms of so many companies that are truly making WAVes of Change to better the industry. As servants to the industry, we are thankful to collaborate. My thoughts for 2018 There is much to do to make real estate better. Industry executives are fired up to get things done. These are exciting times, but certainly not without controversy. There are many outrageous statements being slung around, creating barriers to progress. Leaders should remember that if they condemn the very people that are there to help them, it will not likely lead to generous support. Having said that, the success of the Broker Public Portal shows that MLSs, Brokers, Franchises, technology vendors, and real estate agents can find common ground. The fact that the BPP grew from 45 markets to 120 markets in 12 months is testament to the rapid advancement that is possible. We applaud all of you […]

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The MLS – The Ultimate Real Estate Marketing Network

by Marilyn Wilson on January 21, 2018

We all know that successful agents are always looking for new ways to grow their business. Some spends hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month with online portals.  Some pay $29.99 a month to a BUNCH of technologies hoping they will provide them with a magic bullet of brilliance.  While there are billions of dollars spent online every year, most agents are disappointed by the results of these disjointed investments. The same agents that are happy to spend thousands on many ill-fated and poorly executed outside marketing services, ALSO belong to their local MLS.  They are spending well UNDER $100 a month in most cases for their MLS and receiving a variety of services that if bought individually would cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. So, let’s look at why I believe MLSs are the BEST marketing network that exists in our industry today: Targeted listing exposure to thousands of real estate professionals – become part of the MLS provides an agent access to just about EVERY active agent in their region. Each of those active agents delivers hundreds, if not thousands of prospects interested in learning about real estate and buying and selling properties.  There is NO more targeted list of prospects that an agent can find than the engaged prospects delivered by their fellow real estate professionals. How many listing presentations take credit for the ability to deliver thousands of LOCAL agents to promote your property and delivered qualified buyers?   There is no social media campaign that can come even CLOSE to delivering such a specific and interested database of potential buyers. Leveraging buyer interest to secure a new listing – If an agent is looking to secure a new listing or sell a property, agents can use the MLS to find interested buyers from the reverse prospecting in the MLS system. Again, MLS members can leverage every prospect from every member of the MLS to generate interest for themselves. Is this starting to sound like a marketing network to you. Sharing Market Knowledge – as a member of an MLS, any agent can share in-depth information about sales trends, pricing trends, what markets are hot/not, on demand property valuations and a whole bunch more. The data they can leverage is contributed to by every agent that has bought or sold a home on behalf of their clients. This collective insight is invaluable to every person […]

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ThoughtLeaderSurvey

An unprecedented 73% of top real estate executives say the U.S. economy will improve or improve significantly. That’s the highest level of confidence real estate leaders have expressed since Imprev started its annual Thought Leader Economy & Housing Outlook Study in 2012. These numbers are simply stunning. Top real estate executives’ confidence in America’s economy has more than doubled since October 2016. Then just 32% said the U.S. economy would improve or improve significantly. The 2016 survey was conducted immediately prior to the U.S. presidential election. The highest confidence level prior to the current study was 54% in 2012. The biggest surprise in the survey data: for the first time, it broke the “closer to home” trend. Every year, the Imprev Thought Leader Survey asked top real estate leaders about their confidence in the economy, the broke it down: local economy, state economy, U.S. economy and World economy. And every single year, the same results: real estate leaders expressed the most confidence in the local economy, second most confidence in the state economy, third most confidence in the U.S. economy, and the least confidence in the World economy. It made sense: one has more influence and knowledge about one’s local economy, so naturally, the closer to home  the economy, the greater the confidence. Except when it’s not: As in 2018. That’s right. This year, for the first time, real estate leaders expressed the most confidence in the U.S. economy. That has never happened before. To give you an idea of the typical contrast, Renwick Congdon, CEO of Imprev and father of the Thought Leader Survey, says, “Take 2013 for example: 46% of real estate leaders were more confident in their local economy, 39% were more confident in their state economy and 21% were confident in the U.S. economy.” This year’s confidence levels, says Congdon, “Leaders were more confident in the U.S. economy (56%) than either their own local economy (49%) or their own state’s economy (40%).” Call me stunned. Real estate leaders confidence in Housing was equally bullish and at record levels as well. Overall, half of real estate executives said that the housing market will improve or improve significantly this year—a large jump from last year’s 38%. Housing confidence levels for the coming year had steadily dropped from 2012 to 2016. Broker challenges Wisely, Imprev also asks real estate leaders heading into the New Year to reflect on their […]

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Hyperlocal Whitepaper

Social media, mobile technology and marketing automation: those are the three ingredients that are changing real estate in a profound and everlasting way. And, unlike many skeptics, I believe it’s for the better. My proof is the emergence of a “HyperLocal Movement” in real estate that the confluence of these three has fueled. Now there is really nothing new about the “idea” of HyperLocal in real estate. No other industry has been more focused on being local than ours. Many agents have legitimately been practicing hyperlocalism for years, if not decades. What is new is what’s happening NOW with hyperlocalism, or more importantly, what’s NOT happening across America. That’s the conclusion of a brand new White Paper from the WAV Group — HyperLocal Movement in Real Estate – that we just issued. It was sponsored by a very hot Colorado real estate tech startup zavvie, a broker technology provider that specializes in HyperLocal marketing. It’s 100% free. The beautiful 40+page report is filled with graphics, statistics, and information from expert sources inside and outside of real estate can be downloaded here. Survey says… It all started when the WAV Group conducted real estate’s first HyperLocal Survey, in partnership with zavvie. The HyperLocal Survey of 340 leading brokers, agents, team leaders, and industry executives had a shocking finding: agents and brokers said one thing, and did something completely different. The survey showed this great disconnect between agents and teams, saying they were neighborhood specialists, or hyperlocal, but they reported that they actually were doing very little neighborhood focused marketing activities. For example, more than 60% of agents and 65% of teams said they “specialize” in a large regional or metro area. But that’s not specializing. You can’t specialize in a city or town, hyperlocal experts like Stefan Peterson, the COO of zavvie will tell you. “It’s just too big of an area to be the ‘go-to expert’ who knows every single home in that market,” he said. Stefan is so right. His business partner, Lane Honung, the other cofounder of zavvie, nails the behavior when he explains that agents and teams are just so afraid of losing out on business, “they cast a wider net.” Instead, hyperlocalism tells you to do the opposite: specialize and focus solely on a neighborhood or area of about 3,000 homes or less. Lane knows his stuff: he’s in the RE/MAX Hall of Fame and ran […]

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Every computer device – server, laptop, desktop, every router, every wireless router, every network printer, every network fax machine, and every phone is impacted. Don’t freak out. Being impacted and being attacked are two different things. We are going to explain what is happening in layman terms and help you get through it. Right before Christmas, researchers discovered that there is a security vulnerability (like an open door) that exposes computers built after 1995 to risk. Google found it (nod in reverence to Jann Horn of Google who was a key researcher who found both vulnerabilities – Meltdown and Spectre. If you want to geek out – visit this website – https://spectreattack.com). Basically, all of your usernames and passwords go through your chipset without encryption. This means that the door is open, not that you are infected with a virus. If you want to super geek out – look at Jann Horn’s blog – https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com Here is the layman’s understanding of the issue. Unless you live under a rock, you have heard about Intel processors. Intel is a brand, and all brands of processors are open to attack. Processors are the electronic pieces of hardware that do all of the work on all computer, kind of like your brain. This is not a vulnerability that is limited to only Intel processors. It impacts all processor manufacturers on all device. If you know what a Kernel is, that is what is open to attack. Basically, every chip set in every electronic device after 1995 is at risk. Again, it is not a virus, it’s a flaw and there is a risk that the hardware can be attacked. Everyone, everywhere is at risk and it will impact every device you use and every cloud service you use. Your anti-virus software will not prevent this attack – in fact – it may block the software patch from being installed properly. Read what your antivirus vendor tells you. Typically, when researchers learn about this stuff, they privately go to the manufacturers and let them know about it. That is what Jann and others did. Then they go to work finding a fix, and afterwards they announce both the problem and the solution at the same time. If researchers talk about the problem before there is a fix, it encourages nefarious hackers to exploit the problem. To some extent, the problem was leaked before the […]

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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. You can learn how to buy bitcoin in Australia, here. 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 […]

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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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