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The WAV Group Report

Issue: 63 September, 2014
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In This Issue
Real estate industry veteran to lead WAV Group Communications
And the Lead Goes Round and Round
Is your Board out of touch?
The Lasting Value of Knowing What Your Customers Are Looking for
Allre Causes Brokers To ReThink Strategy
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Real estate industry veteran to lead WAV Group Communications 

By Victor Lund

Real estate industry communications and marketing veteran Kevin Hawkins has been named President of WAV Group Communications, the newest division of the real estate industry’s leading consulting firm, WAV Group.

Click here to read more!

And the Lead Goes Round and Round

By Victor Lund

I had a rather interesting conversation about lead management and lead sales today. The story went something like this.  A broker enhances listings and purchases zip code leads from a portal. The broker believes that there is some form of exclusivity on the leads generated through the system in so far as the lead is only distributed once. In his case, he distributes the leads as they come in to one of his agents.

 Click here to read more!

By Marilyn Wilson

Do you sometimes feel like your Board of Directors and

key staff are out of touch with what’s really happening in the real estate industry today?  Do you sometimes feel a bit isolated and would like to know if other organizations are facing the same challenges you are?  Is your organization suffering from stifled and cumbersome decision-making?

The Lasting Value of Knowing What Your Customers Are Looking for

By Marilyn Wilson

MLSs are monopolies right?  They OWN their territory so they don’t have to worry about customer satisfaction.  Few in the industry would ever agree to this statement but in reality, many act as though they are a monopoly – not paying close attention to what their customers are asking for.  Can you honestly say you know what your MLSs strengths and weaknesses are?  Do you know what frustrates your customers or how you might hinders them from selling real estate as effectively as they could?   Do you occasionally get a board member that wants to re-invent everything because they have heard from one member who is not happy?

Click here to read more!

Allre Causes Brokers To ReThink Strategy

By Victor Lund

The FSBO dam just sprouted another leak, and brokers better pay attention. If you have not heard about Allre, you better watch the video below right now. It is collaboration between banks like Prime Lending, Home Insurance providers, home warranty companies, and even a lock box vendor to facilitate FSBO sales. The fee to the consumer is ZERO – nothing.

Issue: 62 August, 2014
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In This Issue
Who Syndicated My Listings?
We’re Losing the Race for Relevance
Advertiser’s Nirvana is CRM
An Industry Can Change In A Moment
Are you living the life of a Customer Servant?
MLSs Need To Focus on the Customer Record
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Who Syndicated My Listings?

By Victor Lund

We have learned over the last half-decade of doing listing syndication that it is complicated, especially for firms that have multiple offices, multiple associations, multiple MLSs, and possibly a franchise or network. We call this overlapping syndication disorder and the existence of this disorder can lead to syndication fraud.

Click here to read more!

We’re Losing the Race for Relevance -

How to Stem the Tide
By Marilyn Wilson

Every real estate association I have the pleasure of working with is struggling with how to re-invent themselves. Everybody knows it’s a problem at some level, but yet there has been no fundamental change in the focus, governance or scope of associations in several years. Are we just going to sit by and watch the association business go away?  Should it go away?  Has the value of an association run its course?

 Click here to read more!

By Victor Lund

If you want to see the marketing department at Lowe’s or Home Depot salivate – tell them you have a data source that will notify them of the Name, phone number, address, and information about the property they just purchased. In fact, you will even be able to tell them the closing data and the move in date.

An Industry Can Change In A Moment

By Victor Lund

There are many in our flocks that don’t have a calculus for manifestation of change. It just seems to rub them the wrong way. The belief is that, among those who fight change, there are the people who have wired the world for their own success. I don’t think so. I believe that fear of change is something internal, and innate in the nature of some portion of our humanity. It is probably not a bad thing either. It makes change difficult, and perhaps more worthwhile.

Are you living the life of a Customer Servant?

By Marilyn Wilson

We all know that our businesses are dependent on our customers, yet we don’t always live the dream of providing amazing customer service.

It’s easy when you get tired to say “I’ll get up early and do it tomorrow”.  When the phone rings and we don’t answer it we might justify it by saying I need to focus on this CMA I am building. Or worse yet, the phone might ring and we ignore it because we’re talking to one of our friends or having a cup of coffee.

MLSs Need To Focus on the Customer Record

By Victor Lund

We all know that our businesses are dependent on our customers, yet we don’t always live the dream of providing amazing customer service.

It’s easy when you get tired to say “I’ll get up early and do it tomorrow”.  When the phone rings and we don’t answer it we might justify it by saying I need to focus on this CMA I am building. Or worse yet, the phone might ring and we ignore it because we’re talking to one of our friends or having a cup of coffee.

Issue: 61 July, 2014
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In This Issue
Can You Trust your Digital Signatures?
WAVinar Emails
Marketing Trauma
Road Map to Listing Syndication
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Can you Trust Your Digital Signatures?  Top 8 Ways to Know for Sure

By Marilyn Wilson

It’s not always easy to sort out what those tools are, however. A simple search for “electronic signatures” on the App Store or Google Play will yield dozens of results. How can you know which solutions to trust and which to avoid? Knowing what questions to ask and what elements are most important in an eSignature solution is a great place to start.

 Click here to read more!

WAVinar eMails

By Marilyn Wilson

Our industry is moving really quickly these days.  There are so many challenges facing MLSs today threatening the viability of the entire industry!  Lawsuits, new players, technology revolutions, economic shifts….It is difficult and expensive to keep MLS leadership teams up to speed on the myriad of events, trends policies and legal issues and research affecting the business. MLS organizations and their leadership need to keep up on all of the trends so they can make proactive decisions to keep their organizations relevant.  That’s why the WAV Group created its new WAVinar series.
 Click here to read more!

Marketing Trauma

By Victor Lund

MLSs, with their consumer-facing websites, long to find ways to make their sites more engaging, attracting more visitors and ultimately more exposure to their member’s listings. The Houston Association of REALTORS®, arguably one of the most progressive and gutsy Associations in America today, has done it again.  They have become the first MLS consumer site in America to allow listings from brokers around the state of Texas via Listhub.

2014 WAV Group Road Map to Listing  Syndication

By WAVGroup

3d isolated characters on white background series Listing syndication to online portals is in the throws of a revolution in real estate today. Listing syndication has followed a philosophical pattern first envisioned by the German philosopher G.W.F. Hagel in his triadic process – thesis, antithesis, and then synthesis. This paper will walk though the first two phases of the process, discussing the evolution of the original thesis of listing syndication followed by the new roots of today’s chaotic antithesis. The industry is developing a plethora of new models to transmit listings for online advertising at a pace that is eroding the effectiveness of the process in a significant way. However, out of this chaos of antithesis we are beginning to see a glimmer of new publishers who seek to be the best possible partners to brokers. A new synthesis is on the horizon.

 Click here to read more! 

Issue: 60 June, 2014
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In This Issue

Euro Net Privacy Calls Brokers to Action

Technology Self Audit For Real Estate Companies

A New Way for MLSs to look at Mobile

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Euro Net Privacy Calls Brokers to ActionStandards

By Victor Lund

I have often been heard shouting about consumer privacy in real estate. Brokers and agents toss listing content onto the web with little care for their ability to take it down. If you ask a seller if they want their home advertised online with a dozen or a hundred photos of every quaint nook and cranny of their home – they shout a jubilant YES! If you ask a home-
Click here to read more!

Technology Self Audit For Real Estate Companies

By Mike AudetMike Article

If you are a mega broker, with thousands of agents, you will have an IT department that watches over your software and technology infrastructure.  If you are a small or medium size broker, that chore usually falls to you, much like it does for us, in our consulting company.  We watch real estate technology on a daily basis and advise some of the best technology companies in the business on -

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A New Way for MLSs to look at Mobile

By Marilyn WilsonPresentation1

The real estate industry suffers from what I call the “lowest common denominator” phenomenon. Every one of the business models in the industry – associations, MLSs and brokerages are built on attracting and retaining as many agents as possible.   Many real estate entities collect monies every month from every participant – regardless of their productivity.  While these models each have their own reasons to exist, they have created a major problem in my view.  Real estate organizations are so busy attracting sales professionals that many ignore the needs of the most important group - the customer. -

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Issue: 51 August, 2013
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In This Issue
MLS Technology Survey Participants
Revenue Generation Emerges
Become More Relevant with Consumer Research
Top Digital Budgeting Mistakes Brokers Make
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By Mike Audet

WAV 2 Inch LogoWAV Group will be fielding the third annual WAVGroup MLS Technology survey in September.  We are inviting all MLSs to take part.  This is a free, non-sponsored survey we provide for the benefit of the industry.  The more participation we have the more valuable the data will be for everyone. The objective of the annual MLS Technology Survey is to provide a high level comparative satisfaction rating of the MLS technology used in our industry.    Click here to read more!

Contact us now to participate!

By Victor Lund

Stacked pennies

MLSs are for profit entities. They have investors and a board of directors and have a stated goal of providing returns. Normally, the investors in the MLS are the Associations of REALTORS® or brokers that put up the initial funding for the MLS. The MLS was the natural extension of sharing property listings between real estate professionals pre-dating the founding of NAR.

When printed listings were replaced by the electronic MLS, the business model, payment per month by members continued. That model still exists today and is in line with how software as a service (SaaS) is typically delivered across all enterprises.

Click here to read more!

By Marilyn Wilson

Houston Mag coverThe real estate industry suffers from what I call the “lowest common denominator” phenomenon. Every one of the business models in the industry – associations, MLSs and brokerages are built on attracting and retaining as many agents as possible.   Many real estate entities collect monies every month from every participant – regardless of their productivity.  While these models each have their own reasons to exist, they have created a major problem in my view.  Real estate organizations are so busy attracting sales professionals that many ignore the needs of the most important group - the customer.  Click here to read more!

By Victor Lund

As summer draws to a close and fall sets upon us, it is incumbent upon all businesses to build their budgets for 2014. The old adage rings true, failure to plan is a plan to fail. Too many brokerages in America are guilty of this. Here are a few tips that will improve the planning process in your company. It is a good idea to print this out and provide it to your team as a reminder.  Click here to read more!

Issue: 50 July, 2013
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In This Issue
Broker Website Effectiveness Study
5 Ways to End the MLS/Broker Stand-off
eSignature Webinar
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By Victor Lund

WAV Group, industry leaders of technology, strategic planning, research, business and product development, sales and marketing in the real estate industry, today released a whitepaper entitled “2013 Broker Website Effectiveness Study.” The whitepaper, written by WAV Group, surveyed the Google Analytics accounts of broker websites representing 7,500,000 monthly visitors as the subject for insight on consumers accessing broker websites, and also garnered insights on the impact of social media, mobile, listing syndication and search engines.

Click here to read more!

By Marilyn Wilson

A few weeks ago I wrote a post called the “Challenge for Positive Change” that highlighted many of the relationship dysfunctions we are experiencing in the industry today. At Inman Connect in San Francisco I was invited to be part of a panel called the MLS/Broker Stand-off.  It’s clear that there are many that are feeling as though our industry could be working together much better than it is at the moment.  Click here to read more!

By Marilyn Wilson

WAV 2 Inch LogoAre your electronically signed documents compliant with the laws governing electronic signatures? If you’re not sure, you MUST attend this webinar on August 8, 2013 10:00 pacific/1:00eastern. You will hear from eSignature providers DocuSign and Authentisign, along with Russ Bergeron of MRED, on best practices, what you need to know and how important it is to do your homework.  Click here to read more!

Issue: 49 June, 2013
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In This Issue
Challenge for Positive Change
Company Culture
Share This Listing
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By Marilyn Wilson

road to change

 

I have been reflecting on what I observed at NAR’s Mid-year conference and I have to tell you that I am more than a bit disheartened.

While there is more optimism than there was even a few months ago about the health of the market, there is more dysfunction than ever in “organized” real estate.

Click here to read more!

By Mike Audet

WAV 2 Inch LogoIn almost every RFP (Request for Proposal) process I facilitate I get asked the question, which MLS vendor and system is the best?  In every instance I say, it depends, there isn’t a single right system for everyone.  Unlike the waitress who tells you everything is good on the menu, I really am not trying to avoid the question.  I will openly discuss what we see as pros and cons of each system, but the truth is, the vendor that is right for one customer is not going to be right for another. Click here to read more!

By Victor Lund

WAV Group has gained the support of The Realty Alliance and The Leading Real Estate Companies of the world to revisit our Broker Website Effectiveness study performed in 2008. A lot has changed over the past 5 years, but much has remained the same. Our report will be published at the end of the month in advance of the Inman conference in San Francisco.  Click here to read more!

By Marilyn Wilson

hand dropping coinI just watched a fascinating documentary called Consuming Kids highlighting how advertisers are tapping into the ever-growing purchasing power of children under the age of 12. According to the firm, children directly control $40 Billion in spending and indirectly influence over $700 billion in spending.The documentary goes on to talk about how brands are trying to create relationships with kids as soon as they can to create life long relationships. They are trying to create young “super” consumers that will be committed to purchasing their products throughout their lifetime.

Click here to read more! 

Join Merri Jo Cowen and John Mosey to learn about: How Leading MLSs Are Winning with Public Service Apps
By Marilyn Wilson

Merri Jo Cowen and John Mosey

 

First-time home buyers are necessary for a healthy housing market, but their needs and behaviors have changed. This group is doing more research in advance of working with an agent, and it’s no surprise that their research is happening online. In fact, real estate related searches on Google.comhave grown more than 200 percent over the past four years, with frequently searched terms like FHA loan, home grants and homebuyer assistance.

Are your MLS core services prepared to serve these buyers?

Join MLS leaders John Mosey of NorthstarMLS and Merri Jo Cowen of My Florida Regional MLS on April 16th for a discussion about the most critical home purchase considerations for homebuyers and how public service apps can be integrated to reach your community in a more impactful way.

Click here to read more!

By Victor Lund

On the business-to-business side of real estate, there are entities that cooperate with one another that also compete with one another. A common term for this in modern business management is a neologism called coopetition. Brokers competing against each other participate together in the MLS to share information and offer of compensation; and may be related to the same franchise.  Click here to read more!

Tips on Choosing the Right Mobile Solution For Your MLS
By Mike Audet

Mobile MLS For years now our industry has talked about how mobile devices will soon be the primary device used by agents in their day-to-day business.   We have been waiting for our MLS vendors to introduce cutting edge mobile products that would allow this vision of our future to become real.  Advances in mobile are coming, however, not all MLS vendors have kept pace  There has been progress and some solutions are better than others but the reality is, because MLS vendors were slow to provide really compelling mobile solutions, 3rd party mobile vendors saw an opportunity and filled the void.  It is very similar to the situation we saw in 2005 when Zillow n Truila recognized a huge consumer need with the realization that organized real estate wasn’t doing anything to fulfill it.  Today those 3rd party vendors own that space.  The same thing may be happening with mobile today and MLSs that are looking at upgrading their MLS systems are wise to evaluate all mobile options not just the ones offered by their chosen MLS vendor. Click here to read more!

Managing Your Training Department
By Victor Lund

Training, support, and customer service are key features to any organization in real estate. Although these are three separate functions in large organizations, they typically are handled by one or two departments in most real estate organizations. For the purpose of this article, we will discuss this as one department, Training.
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By Mike Audet

Over the last year I have had the pleasure of working with a very talented and visionary team of business people in Brazil, who realize it is time to take real estate in Brazil to the next level.  Today, like much of the world, buying and selling real estate in Brazil is a frustrating, fragmented affair, where sellers always feel they have not reached the right buyer and sold their property for too little and sellers always feel they have not seen the right property to buy and, of course, they worry they paid too much.  Why? Because in Brazil there is no MLS, until now, and every real estate broker and agent is an island. Click here to read more!

By Marilyn Wilson

If you visit any of the large third party property search sites today you will see a significant focus on the rental market. In most cases, rentals are now getting just as much focus as residential sales.  A few months ago Zillow purchased Rentjuice again underlines the growing importance of the rental market. They paid $16mm for the company to take advantage of its younger, renter focused 2.8 million viewers. Click here to read more!

Remembering Pat Bybee
By Mike Audet

All of us at WAV Group want to acknowledge our friend and colleague, Pat Bybee who was taken from us recently in a tragic car accident. Our prayers and sincere condolences go out to her family.  Pat will be missed by all that know her. Click here to read more!

Brokers Harvesting Business From Their Data
By Victor Lund


Real estate brokerages are way behind in the curve of excellence in lead management. This report is not about best practices of routing leads to agents, it is focused on measuring lead quality, and appending lead information with business intelligence that will convert more leads to drive more revenue.
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