February 2018

New Thinking Can Create a MUCH Stronger Board

by Marilyn Wilson on February 28, 2018

You’re sitting in your board room thinking through a tough decision that needs to be made.  Many of the board members are passionate, engaged real estate professionals who have lived in the local area for their entire careers. 

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Upstream Fixes Many Problems, Not Just One

by Victor Lund on February 27, 2018

Upstream Logo

As a leading consulting firm, WAV Group operates deeply inside the complex technology stacks of MLSs, Brokerages, Franchises, REALTOR® Associations, and technology firms. From this experience, we recognize the pain that these groups face because of the lack of connection between the systems and applications that agents and consumers need. Upstream aims to deliver a better data management foundation for the data that brokers are entrusted for safe handling.

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Buyside Makes It Real

by Victor Lund on February 20, 2018

If you know anything about Hunt Real Estate Corporation, you know that they are a family owned and operated brokerage with high integrity and a fierce approach to competition. Since 1911 they have been a market leader in upstate New York, cities like Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and the many Southern Tier communities that border Pennsylvania. They recently expanded into the Boston marketplace though a significant acquisition. We have known the Hunt family since Marlyn and I lived in Orchard Park, NY. We became friends though our interactions at The Buffalo Club and The Country Club of Buffalo. At the time, Marilyn ran marketing at Fisher-Price and I was spinning up my first start-up companies.

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It’s GAME ON for Data Standards in 2018!

by Marilyn Wilson on February 20, 2018

The smartest technology companies and most progressive MLSs are leading our industry to a new era of efficiency and profitability.  They are making it easy for start-ups to expand quickly from market to market and serve the innovation needs of brokers.  These leaders are supporting well-established companies to evolve their data platforms and opening the door for standardization in EVERY market in the country.

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WAV Group Systems Audits and Integration

by Victor Lund on February 20, 2018

We are excited to have David Gumpper on the team here at WAV Group. Since joining our firm, he has been actively supporting our brokerage, MLS, and technology clients with a wide variety of systems audits and systems integrations.

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Are Brokerages using BI Visualization Tools?

by David Gumpper on February 20, 2018

Google Data Studio and Microsoft Power BI Time of Day Lead Analysis

In talking with various people inside brokerages, I hear the same challenge time and time again. “My data is all over the place and I have no way to figure out what it means.” Driving information out of your data is Business Intelligence (BI). There are free or low-cost solutions to help analyze data in your control and derive the answers needed to make better business decisions.

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Michael Gabriel

When I interviewed Craig Newmark for California Real Estate magazine a dozen years ago, it struck me how down to earth and unassuming he was. After all, he had created one of the most pervasive and influential internet sites in the world. But Craig remained remarkably modest, humble and approachable. I called him the “Reluctant Internet Mogul.” Last year, Forbes wrote how Craig has now become the reluctant internet billionaire.

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This Flashback Features series unearths profiles from the past of real estate and technology leaders. A version of this story was first published in California Real Estate magazine. This profile of Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is from 2006.

By Kevin Hawkins

Craig Newmark, the Internet’s reluctant mogul, makes his daily visit to Café Reverie in the Cole Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. He has dog biscuits in his pockets and a ready smile for the next little child that he encounters.

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Gabriels Technology Solutions (Gabriels or GTS) has been flying under the radar for literally more than 20 years. In that time, Manhattan real estate entrepreneur Michael Gabriel built the world’s leading provider of internet technologies and services for the most prestigious Gabriels logonames in the news business: The New York Times, Boston Globe and 500 more media companies around the globe. GTS powered their real estate sections, including the creation of some of the most innovative multi-lingual web technology our industry has seen.

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On the last day of Inman Connect, Managing Director of Bain Capital Matt Harris dropped this bombshell to the digital disruptors: financing is shifting away from the challengers to the facilitators, those that offer technology serving traditional Realtors and lenders. Harris said that the money is going to “next-generation listing marketplaces that serve Realtors, that serve the industry by facilitating traditional transactions.”

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zipLogix Hires Scott Strong as CEO to Succeed Joel Singer

by Victor Lund on February 13, 2018

Founded in 1991 with a vision to help streamline the conventional real estate paperwork process, zipLogix™ has evolved under the nearly 18-year leadership of CEO Joel Singerto become the leading forms management software solution for Realtor Associations and MLSs in North America.

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Elm Street Technology Announces Acquisition of Agentjet

by Victor Lund on February 12, 2018

Elm Street Technology

February 12, 2018 – Greensboro, NC – Today, Elm Street Technology (EST) announced the acquisition of Agentjet, Inc., a digital marketing, lead generation and technology provider for top producing agents and teams. Today’s announcement marks the fourth transaction in the company’s two-year history and provides a scalable lead generation compliment to the company’s Elevate productivity suite of technology and client servicing platforms.

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Be Smarter with Google Tag Manager & Analytics

by David Gumpper on February 8, 2018

A few articles ago, we looked at why Google Tag Manager is a Brokers friend. The use case mentioned in the article tracked form conversion of a customer inquiry on a web page. Form submissions in real estate capture leads, so it is imperative to integrate forms into Google Analytics and learn as much as possible from our customers. This is one area where Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics (GA) work beautifully together.

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WAV GROUP has gotten acquainted with myPlanit and it’s CEO Adrienne Meisels. Adrienne is a fantastic person who is super smart and developing a very creative application that lets agents look at a map to see the places they have gone (like listing appointments, open houses, etc) and visualize their journey on a timeline. It’s a lot more than that, but you can appreciate how this example would benefit an agent. Adrienne uses the term The Internet of You. myPlanit does the work for you by privately and securely tracking the things that you do, for you. Inman News gave myPlanit the first ever 5 star review. That is a big kudo. If you are thinking about app development, you may want to look at the functionality of myPlanit. If you are looking for an app to broaden your mobile strategy for agent retention and recruiting, you may want to look at myPlanit. Here is the release. myPlanit Receives First Ever 5-Star Product Rating from Inman myPlanit’s newly launched real estate app receives major accolades FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. New York, NY, (February 8, 2018): myPlanit, the patented personal data platform that delivers the Internet of You, receives the first ever 5-star product rating from Inman News. The mobile app automatically interconnects and contextualizes data scattered across calendars, contacts, places, videos and photos into a single map- and time-based user experience. Launching in February, myPlanit for Real Estate already has brokerages and other real estate companies lining up to license the app. Northwood Realty Services, and its 1,000 sales associates in Pennsylvania and Ohio, is the first brokerage to be launching the app. myPlanit’s launch strategy will focus on the top 100 brokerages in real estate, representing 45% of the total addressable U.S. real estate market, or about 500,000 real estate agents. In some progressive markets, myPlanit will also introduce its product to MLSs and real estate associations that have more than 5,000 agent subscribers. “myPlanit is a high-concept, visually-enthralling product designed around how the brain processes memories,” describes Craig Rowe, Inman’s technology columnist, who has been writing about real estate and software for 15 years. “It’s an original and practical business app wrapped in a user experience other developers should be emulating on their whiteboards. myPlanit can replace multiple software tools, which means adoption could render other products useless.” “We are honored and thrilled to be the very first recipient […]

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HUNT Real Estate Buys Large Boston Brokerage

by Victor Lund on February 7, 2018

Another member of The Realty Alliance is kicking up activity on the acquisition trail. As Real Trends CEO Steve Murray has spotted, large firms are getting larger. HUNT Real Estate, the second largest ERA franchise in the world has expanded from the Upstate New York market into the Boston, MA market by acquiring ERA Key Realty. WAV Group congratulates the Hunt family and the Taylor family for opening another major demographic market area. I would expect that HUNT Mortgage and other affiliated companies in commercial, property management, insurance, and title will get added to the Boston market area. HUNT will now be integrating their company into MLSPIN, one of the largest and most successful broker owned MLSs in America. HUNT is already an owner in MLSs spanning Upstate New York. This is off topic, but I am more than a little surprised that in this era of consolidation of MLSs, doesn’t anyone see the natural consolidation of the broker owned MLSs in the northeast? MLSPIN (custom system), Upstate New York (Matrix), Pittsburg (Matrix). Between NRT, Howard Hanna, HUNT, BHHS, Northwood, etc. Here is the full press release:   ERA Key Realty Services merges with HUNT Real Estate ERA Combination creates family of real estate brokerage companies boasting a strong foothold in Upstate New York and New England Buffalo, NY and Northbridge, MA (February 7, 2018) – HUNT Real Estate ERA, the second largest brokerage firm in the ERA® network, today announced it has joined forces with ERA Key Realty Services, which also ranks in ERA’s top ten. This merger significantly expands the reach of the combined companies, increasing options for homebuyers and sellers, especially in the Northeast. HUNT Real Estate ERA brings to the merger its expertise and deep connections in four fast growth real estate markets in Upstate New York – Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Albany, as well as Phoenix, Arizona. ERA Key Realty Services brings markets in Massachusetts – north and west of Boston, as well as Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The combined company will have more than 50 offices and nearly 1600 experienced affiliated agents. The offices will continue to do business under their existing trade names and local management will remain in place. To support the continued growth and achieve the full potential of this merger, this combined organization will continue to leverage the suite of digital tools and best-in-class infrastructure provided by the […]

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Swanepoel Trends Report Overview

by Victor Lund on February 7, 2018

Each year, I review the Swanepoel Trends Report. It’s a nod of respect for Stefan Swanepoel and the work that he does. His reports deliver exactly what they intend. They provide a few hours of reading that will stimulate you to absorb various perspectives and reflect. I have a full library of the reports and find myself pulling them off the shelf throughout the year for one reason or another. The real estate industry is a living thing that is fundamental to society. Like the history that comes before it, we watch change happen and are influenced by our years of experience. Each year, Swanepoel scribes a snap shot though his lens. It’s an annual chapter that is added to a lifetime of work. There is no right or wrong. There is no good or bad. The facts are right, and the authorship is sincere. For me, Swanepoel Trends Report is like reading a chapter of history. My 15-year-old daughter is learning about the revolutionary period in Europe. She is learning that there was a time when all property was owned by noble blood with absolute rule. Then some non-nobles were able to acquire property and inherited the right to vote as a property right. After the revolutions continued, business owners were afforded the right to vote. And so on and so forth to modern day. My most profound moment of reflection for me came from the Forward, as written by Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. He reflected on how he had a revelation one day that as much has he and his company have sought to be different than traditional real estate, Redfin’s heart and pulse is not really much different than that of any other brokerage. Redfin has developed a center of excellence around delivering consumers a property search solution that they love. It’s an ambition of many firms. They coupled their online efforts to a brokerage business model that incentives both the consumer and the real estate agent. They have grown a very nice business, one of the largest in America. They cooperate with MLSs like every other broker. Redfin has not disrupted real estate or ignited a trend. They do their thing and they get their piece of the market. It’s an outstanding piece of writing. It was appropriate to have Mr. Kelman kick off the trends report. There is a lot of material in the report […]

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IRVINE, Calif., February 7, 2018—CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today announced it is adding DisclosureSave to the Clareity® SSO Dashboard to enable nearly twenty-thousand California agents simpler access to natural hazard disclosure reports required to close each transaction. Three multiple listing organizations throughout the state now display DisclosureSave as an option for their members—allowing them to conveniently select and order reports directly from the Discover Network panel within the Clareity SSO Dashboard. “We brought DisclosureSave into the CoreLogic family to offer real estate professionals in California a high quality, data-powered product and a simpler way to order,” said Chris Bennett, executive leader of Real Estate Solutions for CoreLogic. “Home sellers must provide natural hazard reports in California—and we have leading edge underlying data and world-class processes to stay current. That’s product quality that agents, escrow officers and home buyers can feel confident about.” “We touch over 1.2 million agents, almost every day, with our combined Matrix™, Realist®, and Clareity platforms,” adds Bennett. “With this volume of daily agent-touch, we’re always asking ourselves how we can take more work off an agent’s plate by making it as simple as possible to do a job they spend time worrying about today. And we’ve done that with DisclosureSave by adding it to the Clareity SSO Dashboard. We think our California members will find it easier than ever to order a report they’re tasked to chase down for every closing.” For more information about DisclosureSave, visit DisclosureSave.com 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 CoreLogic to help identify and manage growth opportunities, improve performance and mitigate risk. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., CoreLogic operates in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.    CORELOGIC, the CoreLogic logo, CLAREITY, MATRIX and REALIST are trademarks of CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective […]

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In an announcement made to their membership, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) have entered into a definitive agreement with MoxiWorks® to provide LeadingRE Cloud™ to their 565+ brokerage members. The solution is called LeadingRE Cloud. Franchises and networks like LeadingRE have been providing data services for their brokers over decades. No doubt, the most notorious version is the legacy CREST system at Realogy Holdings Corporation®. Keller Williams® CEO, Gary Keller has kicked off a Billion dollar investment in technology. RE/MAX® is in a process to buy a company or outsource to a vendor. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services® has projects underway but have not released their ambitions to the media. Remember, all franchise systems are required to have some sort of data base for tracking payments from the broker to the franchise on transactions. They all need data systems to power up their franchise software solutions. Realogy made a $220 Million investment in the acquisition of ZipRealty® to upgrade their technology. Formerly CREST, this system is now called Dash, a data management system that allows the franchise to delivery all of their software as a service systems like Zap™ (Lead Managment, CRM and Agent Website), DotLoop® (Transaction Management), etc. Each of the brands does something a little different in their software stack, but core solutions like Listhub™ and LeadRouter™ carry across them all. Remember too that Realogy is also the world’s largest brokerage, NRT®. Operating in more than 100 MLS areas, they are handling a lot of data aggregation. A lot of the features in LeadingRE Cloud are on the roadmap for Dash and Zap, but they are not available yet. LeadingRE Cloud is not a competitor to Upstream, but has some similar benefits to brokers. All of these activities are representative of brokerage and franchises collaborating to disrupt themselves. Unlike the taxi industry that got rolled by Uber and Lyft – or the travel industry that was rolled by Expedia and dozens of others – brokerage is fixing itself before any third party disrupters take over. Admittedly, brokers and franchises were already rolled by Realtor.com and Zillow Group in online search. But data strategy is open territory to get it right before the newcomers step in. LeadingRE just took the lead. How apropos. How LeadingRE Just Passed the Franchises There is a keynote of significance to the move made by LeadingRE. Today, WAV Group is unaware of any franchise […]

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NAR Gets Serious About RESO Compliance

by Marilyn Wilson on February 2, 2018

The National Association of REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer, Bob Goldberg has been making some impressive moves this week. The first move is to send threatening letters to about 90 MLSs who have not adopted the RESO Standards or are not adhering to the MLS Policy required to maintain NAR affiliation.  Some of the MLSs are being cited for not being certified with the RESO Data Dictionary and some do not yet have availability with the RESO Web API. While many MLSs still believe that RESO is not critical to their business, we hear from brokers regularly that they are requesting RESO feeds and their MLS says it is not available. Worse yet, some MLS don’t even know what the broker or their tech company is TALKING about when they ask for a RESO certified feed.  This proactive step in policy enforcement will go a LONG way to help fix this problem. We are so excited to see NAR get serious about compliance with NAR policies. By putting more teeth into policy compliance, NAR is helping brokers to leverage technology in new and exciting ways to differentiate their business, compete more effectively and most importantly, remain vital for the long haul by better serving the needs of their clients. For all MLSs who are RESO compliant, there are better ways for you to promote availability of RESO Standards too.  RESO has created a FREE marketing toolkit with videos, articles and logos you can use to make it easier to help your brokers take full advantage of your RESO compliance. Now that NAR is getting serious about RESO compliance, it’s time to turn its attention to IDX rules compliance.   We have worked tirelessly side by side with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and the Realty Alliance to update IDX rules to make them broker-friendly including options to offer Pendings and Solds, co-mingling data from multiple MLSs, requiring approval of IDX feeds more quickly, and a myriad of other proactive changes that have helped IDX feeds work harder for brokers.  Many MLSs are in full compliance with all of these new required policies and they are making it easier for their brokers to compete more aggressively for consumer attention and engagement.  Just like RESO compliance, however, there are MANY MLSs that have ignored the new required policy changes and simply say NO when one of their brokers calls to ask for […]

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NAR’s Goldberg Kills Amp and Powers Up Upstream

by Victor Lund on February 2, 2018

We’re starting to see the impact of a new leadership team at the National Association of REALTORS® led by Bob Goldberg, a strategic, yet practical leader that is SERIOUS about making the industry function more effectively.  He also seems to be critically evaluating every investment in technology and making some bold moves to re-focus efforts. NAR announced yesterday that is shutting down development on its Advanced Multilist Platform, or AMP. AMP was under development for a few years at a burn rate of $6 Million per year. The concept behind AMP was solid – consolidate MLS data into a single data repository and allow developers of systems like Matrix, FlexMLS, Paragon, Stratus, Rapattoni, Navica and others focus on the front-end software development. Most of all, the ambition was to provide more choice for MLS members to access MLS information and reduce costs to MLSs. There were a number of contrarian opinions about the idea. First of all, the price of AMP was estimated to be $5 per user per month. This was way off the goal of saving money. Large MLSs pay less than that for the entire MLS system. For AMP to succeed, they would have needed to hit a price point of about $1 or $2 at the most. My hope is that NAR will donate the code to RESO and/or make it open source. At a recent broker town hall meeting in California, CAR President Joel Singer talked about the merits of a single MLS database with local service providers. I do not think that this idea will die along with AMP. Two MLSs in California are working on MLS Front End of Choice. Both the Los Angeles based California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS) and San Jose based MLSListings have CoreLogic®’s Matrix® product as their primary system and are integrating Black Knight Financial®’s Paragon MLS® as a secondary system. Both companies have been working on the project for about 2 years or more. Both companies already have an AMP-like database that is connected to Matrix. When the system goes live, agents will vote with their log in preference for one system over the other. The vendor’s only get paid for the users they support. Both Paragon and Matrix will be in a heated battle to serve the agent or watch their market share of users dwindle to their competitor. It will be interesting to watch. It […]

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