HomeFinder.com

Homes.com partners with newspapers

by Victor Lund on September 9, 2012

HomesMediaSolutions

Following in the path of Homefinder, Trulia, and Zillow, the Nation’s 4th largest portal – Homes.com has announced that they are seeking to partner with Newspapers to offer online property search. Moreover, they are offering this service to Newspapers for free, in line with others. The new twist is that Homes.com seeks to leverage the relationship that Newspapers have with advertisers to develop a sales channel for their other products. The announcement of the new strategy is coupled with the launch of their first newspaper partner. In this case, it is actually an announcement of a partnership with 50 newspapers operated by the holding company, Landmark Community Newspapers, LLC.  The 50 Landmark Newspapers span 15 states. Here is the important bit. If you are a broker, you may now publish your listings to the newspaper website in your market simply by adding Homes.com to your listing syndication strategy (ie. Listhub, Point2, or reDataVault). Presumably, enhancing your listings on Homes.com will carry through to being enhanced on your local newspaper website. Historically, local newspapers have charged brokers and agents a king’s ransom to post listings to their site, or have made it a feature of print advertising. For those who have reasonable programs in place, the broker or agent had to enter listings or manage a data feed – both ver painful. This is a great benefit to brokerages, allowing them to overcome the seller’s request for print advertising by offering the digital alternative (which is far superior). If you are an MLS who has been providing a data feed to a Landmark Community Newspaper or licensing a data feed to them, you may need to take a close look at how this will impact your existing relationship. Here is the full press release: Norfolk, VA (Sept. 6, 2012) – Leading real estate listing service Homes.com has launched the “Powered by Homes.com” platform, a media solution and easy-to-use product which offers media outlets access to Homes.com and ForRent.com classified real estate listings. The new feature lets media partners integrate Homes.com into their existing site. This platform is easy to implement, free of charge and also offers revenue opportunities for partners. The highly customizable add-on is co-branded to match existing sites and gives partners control over the page’s appearance. Partners can make edits and incorporate elements of their websites, creating a seamless transition from the outlets’ sites to the listings. Key benefits […]

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Edina Realty and Broker Syndication Choices

by Victor Lund on May 25, 2012

Edina Realty

The news of Edina Realty pulling their listing from Realtor.com have been rippling through the industry since announced. There are probably a small handful of brokers who have done the same, but that is about it. This became newsworthy because Edina Realty is a big broker – really big. Moreover, the parent company, Home Services of America is second only to NRT in terms of being the largest brokerage in America. NRT has about 750 offices and 250,000 sides. Home Services have about 300 offices and does about 125,000 sides. There is a lot at stake for syndication and online advertising if Edina realizes business growth as a result of their decision. Edina Realty is a smart company. This was not an emotional decision, but the result of intense and calculated strategic development. They have researched the opportunities and risks carefully and will measure impact to many facets of their business. The Home Seller Clearly, Edina Realty needs to not only promise great marketing on a seller’s property, but they must deliver. One measure of this will be Days on Market. Edina (and their competitors) will know if their marketing strategy lengthens or shortens days on market. The second measure will be List Price to Sales Price Ratio. Edina will measure the variation from their historic or competitive benchmarks for list to sale price. Edina agents use this information in their listing presentations today. The Real Estate Agent For agent recruiting and retention, Edina Realty will need to demonstrate and build confidence in their new marketing strategy. Their leadership has been to every office and explained the decision, arming agents with information that justifies the initiative. Today, Edina Realty agents support the decision. But that could change. Agents expect their brokerage to give them the best opportunity to be successful. In Edina’s case, there is instant street credibility to an agent who works for Edina. They have earned the respect of the customers they serve over decades of delivering satisfaction. The brand means something. But agents also expect tools for managing their business and marketing their services. Syndication is only a piece of that. Edina does a lot more and their agents know it. However, at the end of the day, the agents expect their brokerage to deliver leads. Today, Edina knows exactly how many leads they generate from every syndication channel. They also know exactly what happens when they […]

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Online Accuracy

A crazy phone call came my way today from a large third party listing website. It does not matter which one. The person was very concerned that the industry is on a mission to stop brokers and agents from syndicating listings to them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Marketing listings is a fundamental obligation that the listing firm delivers as a service to the seller. Certainly online advertising is a component of fulfilling that obligation. WAV Group has been very outspoken about problems with listing syndication. We have done countless studies that measure the percentages of inaccuracies on publisher websites. To be clear, the inaccuracy is not the fault of the publisher. It is the fault of the advertiser (or listing agent). Garbage in, garbage out. We have reported on issues related to the Terms of Use of those websites (some of which have been changed in part from our criticisms). There is no reason why a listing broker should give unlimited commercial use and ownership of the data to the publisher when placing an ad. The use should be limited. There are other improvements that can be made to listing syndication to support brokers in their online publishing but the point of this is that data quality is the broker’s responsibility – not the publisher, not the MLS, not the syndication service. The broker is the custodian of the listing. They have a contract with the seller to market the property. That entails making an effort to provide the listing information to prospective buyers accurately. Here is a simple suggestion.

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WAV Group Week in Review September 10 2011

by Victor Lund on September 10, 2011

WAV Group Week in Review

In real estate technology this week, there were two announcements that caught our attention regarding Automated Valuations (AVM). Trulia launched Trulia Estimates, their version of property valuations for consumers that competes with public website rival, Zillow  and Zestimates. Along the same lines, CoreLogic announced this week that they have licensed more than 1 million active property listings from MLSs through their Partner InfoNet program (PIN) powering their institutional AVM products. CoreLogic is in a race with NAR’s initiative called Realtors Property Resource or RPR. Lender Processing Service (LPS) licenses active listing data from RPR to power their commercial AVM product. Stepping back for a moment, to the naked eye it looks to me like both Zillow and Trulia have more active listing data powering their AVMs than the institutional products offered by RPR (LPS Partner) or CoreLogic. Trulia and Zillow each claim a number somewhere around 3 or 4 Million active listings. I know that there is a third party rating system that measures the accuracy of AVMs that both LPS and Corelogic subscribe to. Not sure if Zillow does, and it is too early in the game for Trulia, who is only in beta in the San Francisco Bay Area.  In the long run, one wonders why Trulia and Zillow are not selling their AVM to the institutional markets like LPS or CoreLogic (or perhaps they are planning to and we don’t know it). One barrier is the ongoing litigation of CoreLogic vs. everyone with an AVM that may infringe on their patents.

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RE Technology Announces Giveaway Winners

by Marilyn Wilson on August 2, 2011

RET Logo tn

Arroyo Grande, CA (August 1, 2011) – The more than 700,000 subscribers to RE Technology’s website (www.retechnology.com) have been excited to see the outcome of the July Giveaway. The company, a top media site for the real estate technology industry, today announced the lucky winners. “This Giveaway was fun for us, our subscribers, and the tech companies who participated,” says Victor Lund, CEO of RE Technology, Inc. “The contest began on July 8th, and we’ve seen a great response since then.” For the Giveaway, RE Technology subscribers could choose 3 prizes (giving them 3 chances to win) from top technology vendors. Participating companies included Delta Media Group, The Real Estate Success Network, IMSD powered by Market Leader, HomeFinder.com, DocuSign, CoreLogic, Mobile Real Estate ID, and Goomzee. “We’d like to thank all participants,” says Mr. Lund. “We hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did.” And the winners were:

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