Broker Public Portal

Broker Public Portal Update – October 2015

by Victor Lund on October 27, 2015

Many participants in the Broker Public Portal project were in attendance at the Council of MLS annual meeting in Kansas City. It was an extraordinary event, and one could not walk away without a sense that brokers and MLSs are communicating and working together better today than ever before. The BPP, LLC leadership in attendance was able to have meetings with prospective and partner MLSs, providing status updates on our progress.  We also spent the day before the conference to make progress on two fronts – the data license workgroup and the technology workgroup. Data License Workgroup Update Representatives from the legal advisors, Larson Skinner, attended the CMLS legal summit and there was some discussion of the data license agreement between the broker public portal and MLSs. Aside from some clarifying questions, there was strong support for the agreement template among all in attendance. No significant changes were suggested. Technology Workgroup Update The BPP, LLC will be among the first applications to be driven off of the RESO RESTful API that is mandated by NAR for MLS adoption by mid summer 2016.  This will provide the opportunity to add new MLS markets in hours rather than days. A number of our more than 50 MLS supporters will be providing API access for development. The Broker Public Portal product itself will be both responsive and come with native app support for iOS and Android. Business Update In October, three more brokers and two more MLSs joined the BPP. We welcome @Properties of Chicago, BHHS Bruce Mulhern, BH&G Gary Greene of Houston, and the Heartland (Kansas/ Missouri) and RealTracs/Middle Tennessee Regional MLS’s. Although we are getting strong industry support now numbering more than 50 Brokers and 50 MLSs, it will take more than that to be successful. Please check out this webpage to see the industry leaders who are participating. http://www.brokerpublicportal.com/founders.html – please encourage others to help. Vision The BPP aims to provide a home search experience as it was meant to be, simple, direct from the MLS, and based on the common sense principle of connecting consumers to the people who create the listings and are best able to help them. We will be successful through the support of our current community of BPP, LLC unit holders combined with the ever-increasing encouragement of brokers and agents all over the country. We aim to delight the consumer while adhering to Fair Display […]

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Broker Public Portal License Agreement

by Victor Lund on August 11, 2015

WAV Group is providing consulting services to the Broker Public Portal project. This project seeks the collaboration of MLSs and Brokerages in developing a national MLS consumer-facing website that adheres to the Fair Display rules for property search. Since starting the project in January, the company has developed and filed its LLC governance, elected the board of managers, and is running three parallel projects. The first two projects include Brand development (work contracted out to 1000watt Consulting), and Request for Proposal (being done by a workgroup of the Board). The third project is the development of the data license agreement between the portal and the MLSs participating in the site. WE NEED YOUR HELP! The goal of the development of a data license agreement is to create one license agreement. We have engaged the services of Larson Skinner to manage this process. A first draft of the agreement has been circulated to MLSs participating in the project. In this second phase of review, we would like to extend license agreement for open comment until August 24th. There are two documents linked to this post: the first is a letter explaining how to submit your feedback (click here to download), and the second is the revised draft license agreement (click here to download). Please carefully review both documents and submit your feedback to bppcomments@larsonskinner.com BY THE END OF THE DAY ON August 24, 2015.

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Partnership set to move historic project forward with strong identity and message Arroyo Grande, CA – July 23th, 2015 – The Broker Public Portal Project, a partnership between real estate brokerage firms and MLSs across the country aimed at creating a better, simpler digital home search for consumers, has selected 1000watt as the agency that will create the “BPP” brand identity and message. The BPP project has attracted widespread support from a nearly equal combination of 100 brokers and MLS representing about 750,000 agents. “We are genuinely excited to be moving forward with a strong and respected creative partner like 1000watt to bring our vision to life” said Merle Whitehead, Chairman of the BPP executive committee. “Their team understands real estate, they understand branding and they are uniquely skilled at communicating.” “This project aligns with our experience perfectly,” said Marc Davison, a founding partner at 1000watt. “We’ve helped innumerable real estate companies strengthen and communicate their brands, and have also helped launch dozens of new technology applications in our space. We are committed to supporting this really important initiative.” “Unlike outside agencies that flounder in their efforts to understand the real estate consumer and the role of MLS consumer facing websites, 1000watt is already an expert,” says Victor Lund, WAV Group project manager for the Broker Public Portal. Lund suggests “the board’s selection of 1000watt will accelerate the timeline and provide valued expert resources to the efforts.” 1000watt is a brand, marketing and strategy agency that helps real estate companies and real estate technology companies strengthen their brands, improve their marketing and out-innovate their competitors. The company has offices in Portland, Oregon and Oakland, California. About the Broker Public Portal The Broker Public Portal is a nationwide group of leading Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and real estate brokerage firms supporting the creation of a national property search portal. The portal aims to deliver the most comprehensive, timely, and complete property information to consumers while adhering to the fair display guidelines that brokers expect when their content is displayed online. More information can be found at http://brokerpublicportal.com Media Contact: Kevin Hawkins | WAV Group Communications (206) 866-1220 | kevin@wavgroup.com

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Broker Public Portal Retains Larson Skinner PLLC

by Kevin Hawkins on July 14, 2015

Arroyo Grande, CA – July 14th, 2015 – The Broker Public Portal (BPP) today announced that it has retained the Minneapolis law firm of Larson Skinner PLLC to assist in developing a broker-friendly and MLS-friendly content license agreement for BPP’s projects. BPP continues its progress to bring a national MLS consumer-facing website to market.  As with any other portal, multiple listing services that will be participating in the Broker Public Portal will need to enter into data license agreements that allow MLS-participant listing information to be displayed on the site. One of the founding covenants of the Broker Public Portal is to display data in compliance with the Fair Display Guidelines (http://fairdisplay.org) to create an online consumer site that is very different from other sites in the marketplace today. Larson Skinner is a firm that has long supported MLSs and other companies with advice on data licensing. “They are a natural fit for the needs of the Broker Public Portal,” said Merle Whitehead, BPP Chairman. “They have been in the trenches of data licensing agreements with third party sites like Zillow Group, MOVE, and REALTOR® Property Resource. They know how to structure agreements that protect MLSs and their participants’ data very well,” continued Whitehead. According to Victor Lund, WAV Group consultant to the Broker Public Portal, “It will be a pleasure to work with Larson Skinner again.” WAV Group has worked with Larson Skinner in the past on data licensing projects for mutual clients of both firms. “Their leadership in developing constructive agreements across our industry is well known.” BPP released the first draft of the licensing agreement to the MLSs who have contributed financially to the development of the project. “The agreement is open for comments and feedback from MLSs that are already involved in the project, and we expect to have revisions to the draft incorporated immediately following the two-week commenting period,” said Mitchell Skinner. Both Brian Larson and Mitch Skinner are collaborating on the development of the data license agreement between the BPP and participating MLSs. They are being assisted by Larson Skinner attorney Camille Beshara. About the Broker Public Portal The Broker Public Portal is a nationwide group of leading Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and real estate brokerage firms supporting the creation of a national property search portal. The portal aims to deliver the most comprehensive, timely, and complete property information to consumers while adhering to […]

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Arroyo Grande, CA – June 30th, 2015 – In the wake of the Broker Public Portal’s first board meeting comes the announcement that Alon Chaver, former Vice President of Industry Services at Trulia, has agreed to join the company’s Board of Managers. The governance of the LLC allows the Board to nominate two outside directors. Mr. Chaver is the first of those two. Mr. Chaver has deep roots in the real estate industry as the co-founder and CEO of iHomefinder, a pioneering technology firm that helped shape innovative applications for MLSs, brokers and their agents. Chaver stepped down from that position in 2012 to join online portal Trulia. While at Trulia, Chaver supported the organization in building direct data licensing relationships with brokerages and MLSs leading up to the $2.5 Billion acquisition by fellow portal giant Zillow Group. “I am honored to join the team that will guide and shape the industry’s initiative to build a national portal for the benefit of both consumers and the real estate community,” says Chaver. “MLS consumer-facing websites have long occupied a valued strategic position supporting their brokers’ online marketing efforts and winning the confidence and trust of consumers with timely, accurate, and comprehensive information direct from the source. For the first time, the industry will bring together both brokers and MLSs to build a national portal that will live along side third party websites and deliver additional value to local brokers and their agents.” A nationwide group of leading Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and real estate brokerage firms began the initiative to create the national portal in 2014, culminating in a fundraising round that began in January of this year. Since its inception, 51 brokers and 44 MLSs have contributed $480,000 in seed contributions to get the new company started. Together the contributors represent nearly two thirds of the members of the National Association of REALTORS®, a group responsible for 98% of annual home sale transactions according to the National Association of REALTORS®. In the first six months of the year the group has collected seed funding, elected its first Board of Managers and Officers, and is now busy with building out their go to market strategy. Broker Public Portal Board Chairman Merle Whitehead in a statement writes: “We welcome Mr. Chaver to the team! He brings decades of experience and leadership in our industry having operated enterprise businesses that provide consumer search […]

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An Industry At Risk

by Victor Lund on June 25, 2015

I am an optimist, so I live under the warm blanket of confidence that everything is going to be all right. But during the past month of traveling to every corner of our nation, I have encountered the twisty, curvy road to progress. I found greatness, and I found stagnation. I found agile innovators alongside good ol’ keep-it-is-ers. It’s hard to characterize our industry. We use most of the same words to describe our flocks of agents, brokers, Associations of REALTORS®, and MLSs. At times, is it is unfair to call some by their name. Are you an agent if you don’t sell real estate? Are you a broker if you do not have any agents or do any transactions? Are you an Association of REALTORS® if your chapter does not have enough dues to employ at least one full time staff member? Are you an MLS if your only duty is to collect fees? The one thing that we do have as an industry is freedom of choice. Agents have the choice to become REALTORS® or not. Brokers can maintain their license with little effort and use it as a shell corporation for data access. We have Association of Choice. There is also MLS of choice as long as you do not expect to take a copy of the data with you when you move. If you do not like something about your flock, you can move on quite easily. Indeed, if you are breathing you are likely being recruited. What could possibly disrupt all of this? Is the disruption likely to be constructive or destructive? What will divide us on our path as we face the intersection of doing nothing or doing something? We have among us some passionate leaders who are igniting constructive disruption from within the rank and file. They are organizations doing something like the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) who has set a goal to have every MLS RETS certified by the end of the year. There is Project Upstream that seeks to create a unified process for brokers to originate, copyright, and distribute their data to maintain their rightful ownership and prohibit misuse. There is the Broker Public Portal that sets out to deliver on a national consumer facing website fed by MLS data – adhering to the fair display guidelines – and giving brokers a new alternative to property display their listings […]

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Broker Public Portal Elects Executive Committee

by THE WAV GROUP on June 4, 2015

The Broker Public Portal announces that the Board of Managers has selected the first Executive Committee. Chairman: Merle Whitehead, CEO Realty USA Vice Chairman: John Mosey, CEO NorthstarMLS Secretary: Craig McClelland, Director Metro Brokers Treasurer: Paul Wells, CEO RE/MAX Barrington At Large: Cameron Paine, CEO Connecticut MLS At Large: Chris Heller, CEO Keller Williams Realty “It’s an honor to contribute to this vital initiative,” says Chairman Whitehead. “The resolve to introduce a new type of property search portal for consumers has never been stronger. Now that we have our new Board of Managers and Executive Committee in place, the talented team can advance the portal project.” John Mosey, Vice Chairman, said, “I am proud to be able to contribute to this initiative. It is a great example of how MLS’s and the broker community can work together to bring some balance back to the industry such that brokers have a new choice in how and where to display their listings. Moreover, consumers will now have a direct pipeline to the same kind of quality property information that their agents experience every day when they sign on to their MLS.” Nominations for the Executive Committee were drawn from the roster of the Board of Managers and duly elected by members of the board. The Board of Managers is as follows: Large Firms – 5 Joan Docktor – Fox and Roach Hoby Hanna – Howard Hanna Real Estate Chris Heller – Keller Williams Robert Moline – HomeServices of America Merle Whitehead – Realty USA Midsized Firms – 3 Richard Haase – Latter and Blum Craig McCelland – BHGRE Metro Brokers Dreyton Saunders – Michael Saunders Small Firms – 3 Christina Ishabishi Bonner – Pacific Union Mitch Ribeck – Tropical Realty Paul Wells – RE/MAX Barrington MLS – 4 Rebecca Jensen – Midwest Real Estate Data John Mosey – NorthstarMLS Cameron Paine – Connecticut MLS Kirby Slunaker – REcolorado   Media Contact: Kevin Hawkins WAV Group Communications (206) 866-1220

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