mls consumer website

National Broker Portal Launches Website

by Victor Lund on February 9, 2015

The national broker portal project continues to gain momentum as brokers and MLSs agree to participate in the formation of the company to explore the launch of a national MLS consumer facing website with broker governance. Although only a month into the funding period, the group is well on its way to raising the $250,000. After the holiday, the Council of MLSs hosted two online webinars on the topic. The Realty Alliance and The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World also hosted two webinars. This activity was followed by the delivery of information at the CEO Summit as part of the Real Estate Connect conference. Leading franchise organizations including Home Services of America, Realogy Franchise Group, RE/MAX and Keller Williams have also had executive briefings on the project. SAVE THE DATES The initial fund raising process is expected to be finished by March 18th, 2015 – the first scheduled phone meeting of the initial supporters. The first meeting of the initial supporters is scheduled for April 22ed. The April 22ed meeting will establish a leadership group to shepherd the project through the formation process where the governance of the corporation will be filed. A parallel initiative will seek the construction of a Request for Proposal that can be used as a scope document for the initial minimum viable “go to market” product. It is important that all interested parties visit the new website at http://brokerpublicportal.com for more information. The website is nothing fancy – just a simple grouping of pages that will allow the industry to get access to the information about the portal and to access documents to participate. There is also a news page that may be subscribed to by interested parties who want to track the progress of the project. WAV Group is acting as the interim consulting and communications firm for the project. For more information, contact Victor Lund 805-709-6696 or victor@wavgroup.com  

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MOVE acquires Point2 Syndication Contracts

by Victor Lund on September 4, 2014

It looks like MOVE, operators of Realtor.com have taken a stride that is not altogether different from the success that Zillow is garnering with their acquisition strategy. MOVE is doing their best to control the pipelines that deliver advertising to portals in the United States. MOVE already owns Listhub, the largest syndicator of listing content. Now they pick up their nearest competitor – Point2 – much in the same way that Zillow picked up Trulia. The biggest difference, beyond taking out a competitor, is that they will removing a layer of duplication of listing syndication. Spencer Rascoff of Zillow describes today’s listing syndication feeds as spaghetti. MOVE will now have a pretty good chance of cleaning up the problems. Point2 is providing a single data point for CREA that amasses the country’s listings from every market. MOVE did not buy that. Point2 will also continue to manage all of the syndication for CREA. Point2 will also retain all of their syndication technology, Listhub is just getting the contracts in the US with MLSs, Associations, and publishers. This acquisition is for US Listing Syndication Services Only. Point2 will continue to provide MLS Consumer facing websites, Point2 Agent Websites, Team Websites, Point2 Mobile, etc. I tried to reach out to Saul Klein to chat with him about this, but he was not available. I imagine that his phone is on fire. Saul has been at the forefront of a project he called Contract Alignment – a process of using the listing syndication agreements between content providers and publishers to cure many of the ills of syndication. Knowing Saul, I doubt that he will drop the ball on this topic as a vocal supporter. He has a pretty untamable passion of this stuff. The saddest part is that he will no longer have a mechanism for getting in the middle to impact change. In other stunning news, Saul Klein and his partner John are no longer working with Point2 or Yardi effective September 1.  This may provide a boost to Nationstar’s Real Estate Digital division, or RED. RED has been making many inroads with their REDataVault product. MLSs and Brokers like to have choices when choosing products, and with another choice off the table, RED may find themselves getting more requests for their syndication services. Immobel, who offers both domestic and global listing syndication may also find that they get a boost from this acquisition. Change […]

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Third Party Site or MLS? Why not both?

by Marilyn Wilson on May 7, 2014

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. Listing syndicator ListHub will feed listings to public-facing websites operated by multiple listing services, and the Houston Association of Realtors is the first to sign up for the new program, which will expand HAR.com’s coverage area to the entire state of Texas. ListHub is the leading provider of listing syndication services to MLSs today, syndicating listings for more than 450 MLSs around the country. What inspired the idea? In 2013, WAV Group conducted research for HAR, revealing that 98% of their membership valued HAR.com as the organization’s most valuable tool. Understanding the importance of this offering, HAR set out to find new ways to make the site more powerful and profitable for its members. The highly competitive online marketing environment had a large impact, as well. In February 2013, HAR.com was #1 real estate website in Texas with 9% market share. Just 12 months later, in February 2014, HAR.com had a 9% market share and Zillow had a 12% market share, becoming the number one real estate site in the state of Texas. HAR.com quickly figured out that they needed to have as much data as other third party sites have, allowing brokers throughout the state of Texas to add their listings to HAR.com. Last year, they met with Corpus Christi, Midland, Tyler and others, asking HAR.com how they could work together. Together they came up with the answer – let’s pool our resources and create one powerful site for the entire state. Interest in a statewide portal came also from brokers who would regularly contact HAR.com asking if they could add their listings to the site. Listening to the needs of brokers and their fellow Texas associations, HAR.com worked with Listhub to develop an easy way for brokers and MLSs to add their listings to HAR.com. What did it take to transition from local to statewide? HAR.com was already a robust site but there were several adjustments that were needed to make the site appropriate for statewide listing exposure. The […]

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Build Broker Support of your MLS Consumer Website with this FREE tool! MLS Consumer Facing websites collectively deliver millions of leads and thousands of inquiries for their subscribers every year.  In every market that I have evaluated the MLS delivers 2 to 3 times the number of inquiries that any other leading third party site does including Zillow and Trulia.  Sadly, most brokers and agents are not aware of this amazing value they receive from their MLSs. I solidly believe that if MLSs did a better job of communicating the amazing marketing value of these sites, brokers of all sizes would be more supportive of the event.  In today’s climate where so many brokers are trying to find alternatives to third party sites, there is an even larger opportunity to promote the value that MLS consumer websites are providing.  I have been pleading with MLSs to share the great work they do with their brokers, but I have not seen much positive movement. Now the Realty Alliance is asking for the same thing I have been suggesting for a long time. Enter the new Fair Display Guidelines. In a nutshell, The Realty Alliance is asking that MLSs provide a consumer-facing website that follows a set of guidelines that allow brokers to control distribution of the leads from their listings and that no broker can secure an advantage over another broker.  The guidelines also require that an MLS share results of the listing exposure generated by their site. Rule 6 of the Guidelines states: Make Reports available to the broker, if available. Brokerages will receive or be able to access complete reports on any traceable activities related to their listings. This language was actually watered down because there are so FEW MLSs that actually provide an outbound report taking credit for the lead activity their site and the MLS and IDX generates for their subscribers. Since every MLS is struggling to maintain relevance and value for its brokers it makes no sense not to promote the business value that MLS provides. Everyone knows that the MLS is the #1 place to market a home, but the industry has not collected the proof points like third party sites have published. If the MLS aggregated that data, agents could demonstrate that value. HAR.com, the granddaddy of MLS consumer websites has offered their STAR report to their members for years.  Every month the organization […]

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Support MLS Domains Association

by Victor Lund on December 10, 2013

WAV Group would like to share an update that was released today from the MLS Domains Association. If you are not familiar with the initiative, it is a collaboration of companies that seek to buy the domain extension of DotMLS. ICANN, which is the international group that determines domain extensions is in the business of licensing domains to legitimate parties. Determining what a Legitimate Party is can be quite a cumbersome (and expensive) task. .Com, .Biz, .Gov, and all of the county domains like .CA, .IT and the like have already been issued. ICANN became widely known when they issued .XXX. ICANN is trying to expand the names available for internet addresses in the best possible way – it is obvious that an extension like .XXX would allow people to block those sites from minors. The strategy of .MLS is to provide consumers with a definition that would allow them to differentiate websites that display MLS data from other websites that pretend to display website data but are unauthorized to do so. If successful, MLS participants and agents using the .MLS domain would have a special advantage online. Unfortunately, getting accepted as the registrar for .MLS is really hard, and very expensive. Here is the update on the initiative. If you have an interest in supporting or joining the .MLS Domains Association, please contact Judith Lindenau at mailto:judith@judithlindenau.com Re: Status Report on the Progress of a ‘.MLS’ Top Level Domain Name Greetings! The Board of Directors of the MLS Domains Association would like to offer a year-end summary to our Association members and friends.  Here an encapsulated version of our activities this year and where we stand with the .MLS applications. Partnering with CREA.  As we proceeded through the application process, we formed a partnership with the Canadian Real Estate Association to apply for the .MLS top level domain for the US and Canadian multiple listing services.  We did so for two reasons: (1) CREA owns the trademark “MLS” in Canada, thus giving more weight to our claim, and (2) CREA was willing to share expenses with us in pursuing a world-wide license to use the domain name for only for CREA and MLS Domains Association members. CREA is the entity applying for the .MLS top level domain; MLS Domains will manage it for MLSs in the U.S. Filing Two Types of Applications. The worldwide organization that manages domain names, ICANN, […]

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As many of you know there is quite a bit of discontent with selected large brokers and their MLS relationships. While there are many components to this discontent, there is one tangible action step that MLSs can take to help improve the relationship. The Realty Alliance recently published their Fair Display For MLS Public Facing Websites Document. Fortunately, our experience suggests that most MLS websites comply with these rules. For any MLS that already offers a site or is considering launching one here are the gotta have rules you must follow to be in compliance with The Realty Alliance’s dictate: 1. Brokers may opt-out of displaying their listings on the MLS-operating consumer site MLSs need to make it a simple toggle switch allowing brokers who would not like to participate in the program to opt-out. Also, this opt-out can NOT be tied to participate in IDX or other syndication policies. It needs to be isolated JUST to the MLSs website. 2. Unbiased display of all listings To be in compliance, MLSs need to display listings based upon the consumer’s search parameters, not given special preference to agents who pay for featured display of any sort. This would also suggest that no MLS can allow another subscriber to “claim” to be the listing agent on a listing that is not theirs, something that happens regularly on other third party sites. 3. Consistent display of listing data Each MLS will determine the amount of listing data and photos to be displayed on their website. There will not be charges imposed for displaying any data related to the listing or the agent, such as fees for additional photographs or broker/agent contact information. WAV Group recommends that MLS websites allow agents to display at least 20 or more photos per listing and then use the photos on their MLS site. 4. No ads for other brokerage or agents displayed on or with a Brokerage’s listing Only the actual listing broker and agent may be displayed on the property details page. No ads from companies that may compete with a broker’s affiliated business such as mortgage, title or escrow companies will be displayed on an individual property-listing page. This requirement is easily met if you work with third party ad provider like CoreLogic, MLSListings or the Realm from Real Estate Digital. They each allow you to set ad-type exclusions so you steer clear of every type […]

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5 Ways to End the “MLS/Broker Stand-off”

by Marilyn Wilson on July 24, 2013

StandOff

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. I’ve been thinking a lot about what is causing this stand-off and trying to find suggestions about ways to fix it. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: 1.  Data Distribution is Out of Control Many brokers get VERY angry at their MLS when they find out that the MLS has taken responsibility to distribute the broker’s listings as they see fit. I just saw a note from one of our broker clients yesterday. They have chosen NOT to send their listings to third parties. The MLS in their region pushes all of the region’s listings to third parties, providing no option for a broker to opt-out, other than to opt-out of IDX along with listing syndication.  When the broker asked to remove their listings from the listing syndication data feed the answer simply was no.  Really?   The last time I checked a broker had the right to control where their listings were distributed and the ability to opt-out of IDX separately from any other listing syndication activity.  With today’s technology it is completely possible to allow every broker to opt-IN to every listing syndication channel they choose to, not make them proactively opt-OUT of every listing they submit. While the MLS does have responsibility to ensure that the listing submitted by the broker is accurate and compliant, they do NOT have the right to tell the broker where to market their listing.  I’m not sure why an MLS would put a policy in place that takes away online marketing control from the individual broker. Recommendations: Offer only Opt-in data policies – Every MLS needs to review their listing syndication policies to be sure that every channel they offer is opt-in, not opt-out.  Once these policies are changed, the MLS owes it to each and every one of their brokers to give them a call and let them know how and why the policy was changed so that each broker can make their own decision about where […]

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Roomkey

The concept of Listing Syndication is just as prevalent in marketing hotel rooms as it is with real estate inventory today.  There are many syndication sites like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hotwire and hundreds more.  In theory, these sites were set up, in theory to HELP hotels, especially with last minute inventory to maximize their ability to sell room nights. Sound familiar?  The Theory failed. What actually happened though was that these sites have disintermediated consumers from corporate hotel sites like Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and others. It changed the way consumers shop and eroded hotel price points. Moreover, it eroded the ability for hotels to property plan staffing by not knowing how much of a last minute booking bounce they would get. Many people book their hotels on third party sites now, reducing the traffic and relevance of the hotel chain’s websites and costing them booking commissions. We have all had experience where we can get a lower prices on a hotel room on TripAdvisor than at brand sites like Hilton.com. In a new effort, hotels are chasing the development of a Realtor.com for hotel chains. I was just looking for a hotel room this morning at Hilton.com and I was taken to a new site called Roomkey.com.   This site appears to be a collaboration among many of the largest hotel chains – Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Wyndham and IHG(International Hotel Group).   According to its ABOUT US page, Roomkey.com aggregates rooms from the participating hotel chains, providing consumers a way to shop for a multitude of rooms directly from the corporate hotel chain sites.  It gives consumers an option to search for rooms in a particular market beyond just the corporate site they were searching on. For example, I went to the Hilton.com site while booking a room in Asheville. North Carolina. When I clicked on a listing detail page from the search, I was referred over to Roomkey.com to look at the entire available inventory in Asheville, NC for the date I was interested in. The hotel chains have, in effect, created their own mini-“IDX” system where cooperating companies offer their inventory on each other’s websites.  Seems a little late since the airline industry has cooperated like this for years. It would seem it could have moved to the hotel industry than it has. The real estate already has an aggregation strategy – it’s called IDX. There is one key difference between IDX and […]

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It’s a Kid’s World – Are you ready?

by Marilyn Wilson on June 12, 2013

Real estate concept.

I 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 film, 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. In my days at Fisher-Price, we never thought about the purchasing power in as crass a way as the documentary I watched describes. However, we were clearly focused on capturing the interest of parents and their kids as soon as we could. There’s another VERY important change in family dynamics that needs to be considered too.  Children are much more involved in family decisions than they were when I was a child.  Our daughter has an influence on what we eat, where we shop, where we travel and even what car we purchased.  Victor was all about buying a Porsche until our daughter went in the tiny back seat and started screaming when the speaker, located right next to her ear, was blaring. She did not influence the purchase of our current home, but then again, she wasn’t alive yet!   When we talk about moving now, the first things we think about are her needs. What school would she go to?  What dance studio would she attend?   Would she like the backyard?   Would it be safe for her to ride her bike in the neighborhood? When I started thinking about it, I realized that I have not seen a lot of programs catering to building brand awareness with children.  What broker website has any information that is interesting to kids?   What materials do agents bring with them that could entertain kids to help them understand more about why they might like the neighborhood?  What companies have offered apps that engage kids in the real estate process?   It’s an area RIPE for innovation and for new thinking. Even more importantly, are we involving kids in the actual process of looking at homes? Do we ask kids’ their opinion about what kind of a room they would like or what activities are they interested in?  Do we have information about where the […]

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Indiana Regional MLS Is Born

by Victor Lund on February 23, 2013

Indiana Regional MLS

In a press release yesterday, Indiana Regional MLS announced the selection of LPS as the vendor for consolidating 13 MLS systems into one. The effort was led by Kevin McQueen of Focus Forward Consulting. McQueen successfully managed to get 13 different MLSs serving an aggregate of 5000 subscribers to combine their MLS. The subscribers should be very excited about this. It is likely to reduce their costs and improve their services. There will be some bumps along the way as they accomodate change – but this is a great opportunity to advance the industry. Well done by all! There is a cool website that will allow those who may be considering similar initiatives to review the process which was expertly guided by McQueen. Click Here – http://indianaregional.org/ There is a handy Talking Points Document that tells the story of how it will work here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Findianaregional.files.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F12%2Firmls-updated-oct-2012-talking-points.pdf   PRESS RELEASE JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 21, 2013 – Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS), a leading provider of integrated technology, services, data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries, today announced an agreement by which LPS Paragon technology will be used to consolidate the property listing data of 13 Indiana Realtor® organizations across 42 counties into a single MLS system for real estate professionals and their customers. For the first time, more than 5,000 real estate professionals across Indiana – who formerly used 13 independent MLS systems – will now have unrestricted access to more than 750,000 real estate listings through LPS Paragon’s advanced capabilities. Newly formed Indiana Regional MLS (IRMLS) will collect from and distribute listing data to the 13 Realtor associations in Indiana, allowing members to search across multiple markets and pay only one MLS fee to access the IRMLS data. “The ability to access a massive amount of aggregated listing data is going to help Realtors and their clients by allowing them to work more efficiently in the marketplace,” said Carrie Kendall, general manager of the new IRMLS and executive officer of the Lafayette Regional Association of Realtors® in Lafayette, Ind. “And, IRMLS now has the critical mass necessary to provide more services to our members and to their members’ clients for years to come.” Kendall said the participating associations worked collaboratively with industry consultant Kevin McQueen of Focus Forward Consulting Inc. and LPS to meet the challenge of a consolidation of this magnitude and achieve successful results. “In addition to […]

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Is the MLS In Danger?

by Victor Lund on February 20, 2013

danger

I do not really know Alain Pinel as well as I would like to. He sold the company that bears his name and pursued other interests. He is back now and runs the Luxury division of Intero Real Estate, one of Alain Pinel Real Estate’s chief competitors in San Jose, along with Coldwell Banker and others. What I do know of Alain Pinel I like and respect a lot. I have a similar level of respect for the maverick efforts of Intero, who used passion combined with technology (AgentAchieve) to launch a powerful brokerage in a very competitive marketplace. In a blog post today, Alain Pinel asked – Is the MLS in Danger? He says: there are signs suggesting that the MLS is going through some mid-life crisis. (Non MLS transactions are) depriving most local Realtors of the ability to objectively judge values and trends listing agents who bring only a few of their peers in the loop, can nevertheless achieve the objective: the sale. They may even argue that the fact that they cooperate with only a few, creates some urgency among the select group we must respect the seller’s decision to withhold a listing from the mls (the MLS) has its own agenda you may wonder if the tail (the MLS) is not wagging the dog (The Broker). One thing is sure; the tail (The MLS)is now bigger than the dog (The Broker). many brokers think that the MLS is now eating their soup, somewhat competing with their business, and too zealous regarding new constraining rules MLSes which offer all their members a vast menu of state-of-the-art apps which compete with similar services that the finest companies created, at great cost, to differentiate themselves from other brokers more and more syndicated sites and real estate related service providers which feed off of the MLS, progressively divert the consumer from our sites to theirs and capture value-pieces of our business Intero operates the bulk of their company operations in MLS Listings, an expertly operated MLS covering Silicon Valley, San Jose, and Monterey. MLS Listings is somewhat unique in that their Board of Directors are brokers, and all of the large firms are represented, including Intero. This is important to understand in order to frame the gravity of Alain Pinel’s post. His thoughts are couched in a deep understanding of what MLSs do, and based largely upon his experience with an MLS that […]

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Your Real Estate Website is Illegal

by Victor Lund on November 1, 2012

Lawsuit Image

It is November, that time of year when you need to schedule the update on your copyright to © 2013 before January 1st. But there is more that you should be considering, a revision to the way that you handle the terms of use. Most real estate websites place their terms of use conspicuously down deep in the footer of their website, along with their privacy policy. This is the way that it has been done for years. However, a court case involving Amazon.com subsidiary, Zappos just changed all of that. In the Zappos case, 24 million consumer email addresses where stolen by hackers. Zappos went to arbitration and settled the case. The judge in the case threw out the arbitrated settlement for two reasons. The Zappos terms of use indicate that they can change the agreement at any time. The judge ruled that this is inherently unfair, and previous courts have invalidated contracts on those grounds before. The consumer did not explicitly agree to the Privacy Policy or Terms of Use. Go look at your website, and register. Is there a clickwrap? How about if the consumer fills out a form? In truth, you should speak to your lawyer about what is best in your State to comply with State and Federal Laws. I know that Larson Sobodka LLC and Privacy Solutions both have deep experience in these areas of  law and they get real estate. If you contact the firm, start with Brian Larson at Larson Sobodka or Darity Wesley at Privacy Solutions. They may pass you along to one of their Associates in the firm – but do not worry about that. They have done this sort of work before and are saving you money by having a lower paid lawyer get you fixed up. It should look like this (Image courtesy of RE Technology – Privacy Audit performed by Privacy Solutions)  

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MLS Listings to host Broker Summit

by Victor Lund on October 22, 2012

Broker Symposium: Engaging the New Consumer Techmart Santa Clara  |  November 2, 2012 When:  Friday November 2, 2012 from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM PDT   Where: Techmart Santa Clara 5201 Great America Parkway Santa Clara, CA 95054 Get Driving Directions Add to my calendar   Dear Myra, Please join us Friday, November 2 for a series of panel discussions centered on the new consumer, featuring local real estate media, top producing brokers and leading industry best practices consultants and of course, the target market itself. Event emcee: Robert Bailey, Bailey Properties 2012 Chairman, MLSListings Inc Hear directly from buyers and sellers who have purchased or sold a home in the last 12 months, or plan to buy or sell — their experiences with their real estate professional, search process and closing process, and how we can better serve their needs Learn from longtime local reporters – what stories most interest their readers, what they’re covering in today’s market, and how we can work together better to help educate consumers about industry trends and information Leading brokers from around the region will discuss key issues including regionalization, implications of the market turnaround, consumer trends and ways they have successfully leveraged MLS tools in their business Gain insight from real-life examples of brokerage best practices in putting the needs of the consumer at the center of decision-making, and how you can change your business model to focus on your customers and effectively measure your success   Space is limited – register today! Get more information Register Now! I can’t make it The symposium is free for MLSListings brokers. Breakfast is included. We look forward to seeing you at the Symposium! Sincerely, MLSListings, Inc. Forward email This email was sent to mjolivet@mlslistings.com by brokerbeat@mlslistings.com | Update Profile/Email Address | Instant removal with SafeUnsubscribe™ | Privacy Policy. MLSListings, Inc. | 350 Oakmead Parkway | Sunnyvale | CA | 94085

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GNAIR launches Rapattoni Public Website

by Victor Lund on October 16, 2012

SIMI VALLEY, Calif., October 16, 2012 – Rapattoni Corporation (Rapattoni), a leader in software and services for the real estate industry, announced today that the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of REALTORS® (GNIAR) has launched their new website using Rapattoni’s Integrated Website Service (IWS) product. Rapattoni IWS offers tremendous flexibility by making colors, styles and other content configurable and easy to change. Extended features include document management, social media tools, calendars, member forums, online member polling, and blogging. Rapattoni IWS integrates seamlessly with Rapattoni’s other products and services, including their Association Management Software, Internet Member Services, and the Rapattoni MLS. Pete Novak, Chief Executive Officer of GNIAR, said, “Rapattoni’s IWS product is a great full-service solution that has allowed our staff to simply create a website with the look and feel that best suits our needs.” Andy Rapattoni, President and CEO of Rapattoni, commented, “We are thrilled that GNIAR was able to utilize our IWS product. Our list of customers moving forward with IWS is rapidly growing and we are looking forward to launching many more successful websites.” About Rapattoni MLS Rapattoni MLS is setting the standard with advanced features such as integrated GIS parcel mapping, an integrated member management and billing system, the industry’s most advanced RETS data exchange system, integrated aerial photography, a robust statistics and trends analysis package, language translation, the Rapattoni Secure Logon system featuring Adaptive Authentication technology, and the ability to operate a convenient Single Sign-On (SSO) identity portal. Rapattoni MLS is compatible with the Internet Explorer® and Firefox® web browsers and can be operated natively on PCs and Mac® computers. About Rapattoni NetMagic Rapattoni NetMagic, the newest version of Rapattoni’s association management software, combines Rapattoni’s extensive real estate industry knowledge with the latest technologies to give associations the most powerful, flexible, and intuitive productivity suite available for managing association needs. Rapattoni NetMagic features real-time connectivity with the National Association of REALTORS® NRDS central database and enables association staff to effectively track, manage, and communicate with members. Rapattoni’s Internet Member Services feature allows an association’s members to pay their dues, register for classes, and interact with the association online. About Rapattoni Rapattoni Corporation has been serving the real estate industry under the same name and management for over 40 years. The company provides an array of integrated products and services for real estate associations and MLS organizations, including an internet-based MLS, association management software, and key-less […]

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BHI Logo

WAV Group saw this news release come across the wire today.  What we would like to see is a much stronger collaboration between home builders and REALTOR organizations. Just about every area in the country is low on inventory right now. Why not partner with homebuilders to offer up their inventory. The industry can work with the homebuilders to be sure that REALTORS are getting adequately compensated for the work they do with builders.  Associations can also provide training to agents to teach them how to work effectively and professionally with homebuilders.  Homebuilders have been forced to go it alone to encourage consumers to buy new homes because we have not created this relationship.  See the press release below: Builder Homesite, Inc. (BHI), an Austin-based consortium comprised of 32 of the nation’s largest home builders, announced today the launch of a new initiative to positively influence public perception of new construction homes. The new initiative represents a significant industry first, supporting home construction as an entire industry and uniting home builders nationwide. This multi-year, multi-million dollar marketing and advertising campaign is aimed at increasing preference for new construction homes among potential home buyers who are comparing new homes with existing homes. In collaboration with advertising agency GSD&M, BHI has developed a campaign focused on redefining the “new” in new home. The initial campaign launch is driven by digital advertising cleverly demonstrating the many benefits of new construction homes. Future campaign elements will include a comprehensive website, produced and user-generated videos, interactive games and other tools that highlight the joy and freedom of new home ownership. “We understand that consumers today face a wealth of choices when it comes to buying a home,” said Tim Costello, president and chief executive officer of Builder Homesite, Inc. “New homes offer many advantages for today’s modern home buyer, however, many consumers simply aren’t aware of the benefits of new home ownership. Our goal is to arm prospective buyers with the tools needed to make an educated decision that best fits their needs and lifestyle.” Research conducted by BHI in partnership with Hanley Wood revealed that buyers shopping for a home are most interested in lower cost of living through lower maintenance, improved energy efficiency, modern floor plans suited for today’s family and superior construction quality. Existing homes are often outdated and unpredictable, requiring home owners to make little compromises which often lead to costly repairs […]

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Do you really think IE is the only browser out there?

by Marilyn Wilson on September 20, 2012

Browser Adoption Trend

A few weeks ago I gave the state of California gave credit for their proactivity in measuring consumer perspectives on the DMV. They are definitely focused on making the experience of renewing your license more pleasant.  Today, I’m going to have to give them a gig them for an issue I found on their website today….sorry guys. I just went online to download some paperwork for a permit I was applying for and I got this screen while using Safari as my browser – ARGGGGHHHHHH! My first thought was  “What organization that is designed to service of the needs of its paying customers would not be browser-agnostic today?  How ridiculous is that?”  And then my mind turned to real estate… Well, guess what….we live in a world that is JUST THAT CRAZY!   Do you really think that in today’s multi-browser world that it is okay to offer products that are only designed for IE?   Blasphemy, you say?  Most real estate professionals prefer IE you say?  Well, let’s look at the facts: According to Stat Counter, Internet Explorer has been steadily LOSING customers for the past four years. Today, Both Chrome and Firefox are MORE THAN DOUBLE the size of IE. For those that IE is still the top dog of the browser world, think again. What will it take for our industry to understand IE is not the browser of choice any longer and hasn’t been since 2008? If you have a platform that is not addressing the needs of every browser now and future, you are WAY behind!   Time to stop acting like a state government and more like an entrepreneur interested in helping his customers sell more real estate no matter what computer they choose and what browser they prefer. As you consider technology for your business or for your customers you need to keep two critical things in mind. 1. All applications need to work fully on all browsers and operating systems 2. All applications need to work fully on all screens (Mobile, Tablet, PC).  

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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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Dot MLS on Hold?

by Victor Lund on June 29, 2012

MLS Domains Association

The Los Angles Times reported today that ICANN, the international non-profit that manages internet top level domains has indicated that they will not be releasing any new TLDs at this time. If you believe the article, this will stall the efforts of the MLS Domains Associationand the Canadian Association of REALTORS who were hopeful that they would be successful at securing the .MLS domain extension for real estate. (MLS Domains and the Canadian Associaton of REALTORS announced that they are working together). But alas, the news sometimes gets it wrong. Which may be the case here according to MLS Domains Association director, Brian Larson: “The news story on which your post is based misstates the situation (or perhaps overstates it). Only digital archery was suspended. According to ICANN, the evaluation process is continuing as designed.” http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/announcements-and-media/announcement-23jun12-en As many know, the efforts to secure the .MLS domain name has two separate but important strategic goals that will benefit the real estate industry. The first goal is defensive: block some third party from securing the .MLS extension. The second is aspirational: to create a place for listing content on the internet that assures consumers that they are viewing listing data derived from the MLS and displayed by authorized site owners who agree to a rules structure. Both excellent strategies. The Times cited a mirage of reasons behind their decision to suspend the release of new TLDs. To summarize, it seems that the ICANN organization is unorganized and remarkably incompetent. In fairness to ICANN,  their task is not simple. When the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided to expand the domain landscape — letting brands and anyone else with the money apply for the rights to own and run .anything — it did so to create competition in a world of expanding demand. And competition is what it’s getting. That’s clear now that ICANN has revealed who’s going after what domain extensions and where there are competing applications. 1,409 unique domain names applied for 116 are Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), meaning they use non-Latin script 230 domain names have more than one applicant vying for the same name 13 applicants for .app 10 applicants for .art 11 applicants for .home 3 applicants for .sucks Microsoft is applying for 11 Twitter and Facebook are applying for zero The big collision among the applicants: Amazon vs. Google. Google is going after 101 new domain extensions — […]

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Webinar: WAV Group Midyear Update

by Marilyn Wilson on May 25, 2012

webinar

Looking for an easy way to provide your Board with an update on important industry trends and programs?  Don’t miss out on the big news that came out of the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear conference. The WAV Group team was on the spot in Washington, D.C., and they have prepared a webinar that shares all the must-know details, as well as analysis of the issues that are going to shape the future of your business and our industry. To register for the webinar on register for Midyear Industry Update on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific click here. To register for the webinar on register for Midyear Industry Update on Thursday, June 7, 2012 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific click here. The cost is $149. In an information-packed hour, all of the WAV Group partners – Michael Audet Victor Lund, and Marilyn Wilson, will discuss the following: Economic update: Macroeconomic factors that may impact the real estate industry in 2013 NAR issues:  Get the latest on IDX rules changes and other MLS policy issues CMLS Update:  Learn all about CMLS’ new SourceMLS initiative Broker issues: Learn about the hot topics being discussed by large brokers Trends in listing syndication and how some leading brokers are adapting to increase the online marketing effectiveness Technology trends:  What’s hot for agents, brokers and MLSs Non-Dues Revenue:   How can you create a new source of income to offset membership losses MLS system trends: An overview of new changes occurring on all of today’s leading MLS system platforms Time has also been set-aside for a question-and-answer period. You will have ample opportunity to have your questions answered by industry experts. Take advantage this opportunity to absorb the key points of the NAR Midyear conference distilled into a single session! To register for the webinar on register for Midyear Industry Update on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific click here. To register for the webinar on register for Midyear Industry Update on Thursday, June 7, 2012 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific click here.

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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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