MLS executives

POSITION TITLE: Director of MLS REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer LOCATION: New Orleans, Louisiana ORGANIZATIONAL DESCRIPTION: New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®, Inc. is seeking a new MLS and IT Director to run their MLS operations for their wholly owned subsidiary, Gulf South Real Estate Information Network, Inc. The Gulf South Real Estate Information Network Inc., New Orleans, LA., is seeking an MLS Director to lead its 5600 member Multiple Listing Service, GSREIN. The company is looking for someone to administer and direct the activities, operations and staff of the Multiple Listing Service of the Association and oversees its IT Services. The ideal candidate is someone who has a working knowledge of the real estate industry and its technological trends. They must also possess MLS related job experience along with an understanding of the issues and challenges facing today’s MLS and its Participants. A candidate must have excellent work ethic and possess great organization, communication, management, technology skills and people skills. The company is looking for a progressive Leader and Manager adept at creating positive change for MLS systems while being considerate of the needs of the organization’s members. FUNCTION/ROLE: The New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS(R), celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2015, has a long history of providing amazing service, support and advocacy to its members. The company’s MLS and IT Director will be responsible for supporting and promoting a suite of highly useful and effective technologies, training and support services to help NOMAR members get the most out of their MLS offerings. The successful candidate will also be the point of contact for coordinating with IT and Network support vendors to maintain the company’s IT infrastructure. The role requires a strong ability to digest the needs of staff, leadership and members as well as sensitivity to the ever-changing demands of homebuyers and sellers. They will work closely with the CEO to ensure full transparency of the technology path and programs, communicating all plans, milestones and any pertinent challenges regularly. Finally, the Director of MLS and IT will be highly focused on benchmarking results against the plans outlined and will critically evaluate the success of technology programs and course correct in real-time. REQUIREMENTS/JOB SKILLS: Administer and direct the activities and operations and staff of the Multiple Listing Service of the Association, consistent with the policy and procedures as directed by the Board of Directors, MLS and Electronic Keybox Rules […]

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Staff Promotions Announced at NTREIS, Inc

by Victor Lund on July 20, 2015

July 17, 2015 – NTREIS, Inc., the multiple listing service for over 27,000 licensees serving the North Texas Real Estate community, recently announced two internal staff promotions. David Blake has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer and Cindy Miller now serves as Chief Operations Officer for the corporation. As CTO, David is responsible for developing the overall technology vision for the company as well as maintaining systems. David brings 20 years of networking, hardware and application development and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. David has served the last 8 years as NTREIS Senior Network Administrator and has been integral in the virtualization of the MLS systems and data exchange. Cindy is assuming a new role as COO and in addition to new responsibilities, will continue previous duties overseeing the Customer Care Team and as Communications liaison with NTREIS’ 15 Shareholder REALTOR Associations. Cindy holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Stephen F. Austin University and joined the NTREIS staff in 2012 after 14 years serving other roles in REALTOR Associations. She has been instrumental in training and support of Association partners through a recent system conversion and in streamlining data export approvals. “We are proud of our entire NTREIS Team and look forward to the leadership both David and Cindy bring to our Executive Staff”, says John Holley, CEO. “In this fast-evolving industry, we are confident that NTREIS provides, and will continue to provide, the best technology tools to support our Shareholders and their members.” For More Information Contact: John Holley, CEO – johnh@ntreis.net or Cindy Miller, COO – cindymiller@ntreis.net North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, Inc. (NTREIS) is a real estate information and technology solutions provider serving the real estate community in a coverage area exceeding 48,000 square miles in North Texas, including the Dallas Fort Worth Metropolitan Area. NTREIS provides information management services to over 27,000 MLS subscribers of its 15 Shareholder REALTOR® Associations, including over 6,000 real estate offices. In addition to its information management platform; NTREIS researches, develops and delivers various technology products and services through strategic alliances, utilizing a sales and distribution network which includes its Shareholder REALTOR® Associations.

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The Case for Measuring Customer Satisfaction Regularly 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? If you are an MLS that can relate to any of these questions above, then you might want to read on. If you haven’t asked your customers how they’re feeling about your organization, then you are you undoubtedly missing opportunities to build a stronger relationship with those that give you your livelihood.  It can be scary to ask your customers think of you, but it’s more scary to think about what might happen if they become really unhappy. What are the upsides of customer satisfaction though?  Companies that monitor satisfaction regularly can manage their board’s expectations because they have an on-going measure of technology adoption, satisfaction and suggestions from their members.  It is much easier to set goals when you have quantitative, indisputable measures to use instead of perception and innuendo which can enter into the MLS boardroom in the absence of hard facts. We have the honor and pleasure of working with MLSs across the country on their customer satisfaction surveys. Many conduct annual surveys. Some, like MRIS, actually conduct quarterly surveys. They measure satisfaction on every facet of their business. Every department head in the company is responsible for digesting the survey and identifying methods for improving customer satisfaction. In fact, their annual bonuses are based in part of helping the organization to consistently improve customer satisfaction.  The company has shown consistent and dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction since it began its program nearly 10 years ago.  Could there be a correlation between monitoring and responding to customer requests and the accomplishment of becoming one of the largest and most successful MLSs in the country?  We definitely think so. The MLSs we work with have learned a lot about the trigger points for […]

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Agents Love MLS Newsletters

by Victor Lund on September 3, 2014

When RE Technology was founded by WAV Group partners in 2010, the goal was to provide an information resource inside the MLS system that would sharpen agent understanding of technology in real estate. We will forever appreciate MRED, MRIS, MLSListings, and MFRMLS for introducing the first 100,000 users to the service. Today, 91 MLSs and over 700,000 users have access to RE Technology as a member benefit. Because technology companies sponsor the service, there is never charge to the MLS or the broker or agent. The concept behind RE Technology is to support MLSs at delivering insightful information about technology that allows real estate professionals to make the best possible choices when purchasing solutions for their business. When it comes to real estate technology – websites, CRM solutions, digital signatures, IDX providers, virtual tour providers, and so many other solutions, the array of vendors is confusing. RE Technology makes learning about technology easy, and combines user ratings, product overviews, product descriptions, press releases, and company contact information all in one place. It was our belief in 2010 that social media, blogs, and rss feeds would take over the MLS newsletter as a primary method for communications. In some ways it has, but the MLS newsletter continues to endure. The RE Technology newsletter is MLS branded for every market. It is part of our localization strategy that organizes information for each MLS. For example, products offered as member benefits or premium MLS services are highlighted for the agent. RE Technology also informs the broker or agent if products requiring data have an active IDX or VOW data license in the market. We also include any information in the newsletter that the local MLS would like us to include. Moreover, MLSs can republish any articles or other information on RE Technology for other communications, like MLS customer magazines. For example, many MLSs are picking from the hundreds of articles about RPR to educate REALTORS on that new member benefit. Today, RE Technology sees about 40,000 daily visitors to the site. We also send out just under 57,000 emails a day. The open rate on those emails is about 22%, and the click though rate is about 50%. Apparently, article headlines play a significant role in open rates and click through rates.  The hottest topics in the industry today are How to Use an iPad in Real Estate for listing presentations (CMAs) and […]

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For those of you that believe relationships with MLSs are important either for distribution partnerships or data access, I would HIGHLY recommend that you attend and exhibit at the upcoming CMLS 2014 Conference in Huntington Beach, CA from September 24th to 27th, 2014.  I served on the board of the Council of MLS previously and I can tell you that is it THE single best way to build relationships with leading MLSs, bar none. It is an intimate conference focused exclusively on MLS issues so it is a great place to build relationships with the movers and shakers of the MLS world. I received a notice today that there are only 12 booths left for this year so I wanted to get this out to you right away so you can take advantage of this opportunity if you believe it is right for your business. Here’s the information shared from CMLS today…….. “Act now and take advantage of the last few sponsorship opportunities that include an exhibitor booth !* Come face-to-face with some of the biggest decision makers in our industry, and take advantage of the chances to market your products and services to MLS leaders and professionals from across the country and Canada. We are expecting a packed house, drawn by the surf, sun, and entertainment possibilities that are unique to Southern California! Because 2014 has already been shaping up as a year of transition, the marketing opportunities CMLS2014 will offer you cannot be missed! From signage throughout the conference to branding in the all-new conference mobile app, your sponsorship and attendance are sure to get you the visibility you seek for your products and services. Also, conference sponsorships of $2,500 or more also include one free conference registration (a $750+ value).” Email info@councilofmls.com for more information about sponsorship today! If you would like to learn more about ways RE Technology can help build your business, feel free to contact me at Marilyn@wavgroup.com.

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Association Standards – It’s definitely TIME!

by Marilyn Wilson on February 11, 2014

Jeremy Conaway, Dale Stinton, and Bob Moline used the Swanepoel Trends report to push the real estate elephant into the spotlight in America. There are simply too many REALTOR® Associations not providing adequate service and support to their members. Today, 1100 of the 1400 REALTOR® Associations in America have fewer than 300 members. Many of these smaller organizations have a difficult time delivering the depth of services and training REALTORS® need to effectively serve the needs of their clients and stay relevant with all of the technology options available to today’s demanding consumers.  At the end of the day real estate aren’t associations supposed to exist to help their members be successful, while nurturing a thriving community and real estate market?  It is time for us as an industry to try to figure out how to get every REALTOR® member a comprehensive and relevant suite of services and support no matter what local association they belong to. These issues and struggles are not limited to the United States.. The Quebec Boards of REALTORS® separated from the Canadian Real Estate Association in absolute protest of some of CREA’s policies that they did not believe were in the best interest of their members.  The revolution took courage, but these Canadian boards were able to live up to the challenge and make it happen.  The good news…. the revolution created positive change, and now CREA and the Quebec Boards of REALTORS® have new terms in their relationship. Conaway mentions in his contribution to the Trends Report that “what one won’t find at the annual (NAR) meeting are demonstrators, protesters, dissenters, revolutionaries, or counter culture types…”  It shouldn’t necessarily have to come to this, but I think we’re all growing weary of little progress being made about an obvious problem in our industry.  It’s too easy to ignore the need for change without a crisis or critical event to bring it to our attention. I fear blanket condemnation of small boards.  There are some boards that deliver an amazing suite of services and demonstrate total member-centricity.  There are some larger boards that are much less responsive to their member’s needs than smaller boards. They bring an arrogance to the table that is not at all welcome with their members.  Some have staff leadership that has been in place WAY too long and has grown completely complacent.  My personal experience has taught me that just […]

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Swanepoel Publishes Power 200 List of RE Executives

by Victor Lund on January 9, 2014

Stefan Swanepoel is best known for his engaging conference lectures and the running line of Swanepoel Trends Reports that has published since 2006. This year, Swanepoel partnered with Rob Hahn, Chris Nichols, Kelly Mitchell, Michael McClure, Susan Browne, Michael Krisa, and Shannon Musgrove to produce a new publication called the Swanepoel Power 200, The most Powerful People In Residential Real Estate in 2013. These types of lists were made famous by Forbes Magazine, the publisher who releases 52 Top lists a year, including Rich Lists, Top Companies, People, Investing, Places, Sports, Technology, and Education. I spoke with Swanepoel for a few minutes on the eve of the publication to learn a little bit about the publication in advance of its debut.  “The cornerstone of our selection process,” says Swanepoel, “is to define people who have the ability to make things happen. People who make decisions in large enterprises, have significant personal influence, tenure in the industry, signifiant reach, or have created an industry impact though a recent activity.” About the Publication There is a one page overview of the top three executives on the list, and a half page write up for all of those in the top 20. The other 180 individuals included are given a one sentence overview. In truth, I cannot imagine the challenge of collecting all of these people then putting them in some type of order. But Swanepoel and his team did an admirable job. 91 of our good friends and customers made the list. WAV Group Congratulates: (In no particular order – you will need to buy the book) Alan Tennant, John Mosey, Ty Doge, Paul Jackson, Krisstina Wise, Anne Bailey, Mike Brodie, Tom Hurdelbrink, Jeremy Conaway, Brian Larson, Constance Freedman, Craig Cheatham, Mike Fischer, Saul Klein, Gregg Larson, Mike Pappas, Rebecca Jensen, Matt Consalvo, Kathy Condon, Mat Ferrara, Jim Harrison, Brian Boero, Marc Davison, Mark Woodroof, Teresa King Kinney, Jay Gaskill, Any Rapattoni, Dan Forsman, Jim Litten, Merri Jo Cowen, Robert Merrick, John Featherston, Andy Woolley, Jon Coile, Lorne Wallace, Merle Whitehead, Mary Frances Burleson, Dan Parmer, Bev Thorne, Art Carter, Rob Sibcy, Rosey Koberlein, Pat Riley, William Raveis, Russ Bergeron, Saul Cohen, Nancy Seaman, Glenn Shimkus, Joe Horning, Steve Murray, Bob Peltier, Allen Tate, Steve Ozonian, Mark McLaughlin, Steve Baird, Ed Krafchow, Bob Moles, Dan and Stu art Elsea, Austin Allision, Ian Morris, Joan Docktor, Mark Lesswing, Hoddy Hanna (and Hoby, Helen, […]

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Anybody that runs a company wants to believe that consumers LOVE their brand – after all we love our brands don’t we?   While that’s a great goal, it’s a lot harder than it looks to create a strong emotional connection with your customer base. Apco Worldwide, a public relations firm recently fielded a global survey. Here’s the list of the Top 100 Most Lived brands.  According to Apco’s press release, here’s what it takes to rank as a loved brand: “APCO’s proprietary Emotional LinkingSM model served as the basis for evaluating the companies by measuring consumers’ emotional attachment to brands along eight dimensions, providing companies with a roadmap to understanding consumer expectations in an actionable way. Technology companies were the largest industry represented in the top 10 with Apple coming in at ninth on the list. “The best brands are those that build a strong, enduring emotional attachment with consumers,” said Bryan Dumont, president, APCO Insight. “In addition to acting as a highly predictive tool for consumers’ purchase choices, the Emotional Linking model has proven to be an excellent way to help companies retool their campaigns to build stronger emotional attachments between their key audiences and their brands.” The rankings are the result of a decade-long research project including a global survey of more than 600 of the world’s largest corporate brands among more than 70,000 individuals in 15 key markets around the world. The Emotional Linking model identified eight emotions that are critical to effective brand communication. These eight critical emotions are: Understanding, Approachability, Relevance, Admiration, Curiosity, Identification, Empowerment and Pride.” This methodology is very interesting and seems to have found a way to quantify emotional connections to brands. So what can real estate brands learn from this research about how to create stronger brand loyalty and connections to their customers? Understanding In the real estate industry we are notoriously bad about engaging consumers in dialog to truly understand their wants, and emotional desires.  We cannot expect to create a meaningful connection if we don’t even know what really drives them? As I have written about many times, it’s time for our industry to embrace the consumer and engage in regular dialog with them.  Companies like the Houston Association of REALTORS® as well as Trulia and others regularly engage in conversation. Approachability Do we make it easy for potential customers to approach us?  In many cases, consumers are afraid […]

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A couple of months 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. We have the honor of working with large brokers as well as MLSs, Associations, technology companies and even title and home warranty providers. We see misperceptions and distrust running rampant between each of these groups. 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. Fast forward a few weeks and we get to CMLS and the now infamous outline of issues delivered by Craig Cheatham, President and CEO of the Realty Alliance, a highly-respected network for many of North America’s largest full service brokerages and their affiliated business. Many people in the audience were shocked with Craig’s candor and level of frustration, but I’m not sure why. The types of issues he outlined are the types of issues that have been circling around in MLSs and Associations for a long time. I think the difference is that many groups were simply not listening or taking the conversation as seriously as the tone in which Craig delivered his eloquent presentation of the issues suggests they need to. The issues he outlines are complicated. Some are quite easy to rectify, but many of the issues are based on local tradition, not on sound business logic that considers today’s consumers and the brokers that serve them. I have a theory as to why large brokers believe real estate organizations are in conflict with their business goals. I believe that the industry’s extreme focus on satisfying the perceived needs of agents is getting in the way of progress. When you look at it just about every organization in the industry is agent-centric and not broker-centric. From the National Association of REALTORS® all the way down to a one office brokerage, the needs of agents are considered above all others. Every model depends on agent quantity and not necessarily quality. With that focus comes a lot of dysfunction. Associations and MLSs are well aware that agents and brokers have different perspectives about the industry and yet, in many cases, agents dominate committees, boards and taskforces. They drive decisions that are best for individual agents, but not necessarily the most appropriate or workable for brokerages. In my article called 5 Ways […]

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IDX Reboot

by Victor Lund on October 24, 2013

This is a rather obscene notion, but sometimes the best way to innovate is to ask a bunch of questions about the status quo. For brokers and MLSs to innovate, they need to question the effectiveness of IDX. I would not question its value. Rather, I believe that it has uncompromising value to MLS participants and subscribers. I question how we can make it more valuable. Perhaps it is time for a reboot. A reboot is a process where you turn something off and turn it back on to stop routines from running that undermine the operation of the machine. Some Background Here is a little background on how the consumer’s online behavior is measured. This is important to understand because if you don’t, you will take some consumer statistics for facts when they really are not. For example, according to ComScore, 1 in 3 consumers visit the top 3 real estate websites: Zillow.com, Realtor.com; and Trulia.com. The education about this stat is in the statement “according to ComScore.” You see, ComScore only counts using survey data. They put a tracking cookie in a bunch of consumer browsers and watch how they behave. Using a little bit of data, they estimate a lot trends. The second thing that you need to know about ComScore is that they only track the top 100,000 websites in America. That means that they only track a thin number of real estate websites. Only huge broker, franchise, and a couple of MLS consumer sites even get counted. Taken out of context, ComScore data would yield that IDX is useless to most agents and brokers because nobody goes to those websites. That is incorrect. ComScore is not counting IDX sites. In truth, nobody really is. Reboot Idea Number One – Start Counting What is really great about IDX is that permitted use is structured in a way that benefits all participants in the program. There is an agreement. What if that agreement required that you install a tracking code on every site that displays IDX data. You have seen reports from portals about the number of times that a listing appeared in search results and the number of times a listing detail page was viewed. If that data were counted for every IDX site in every MLS across America, I would expect that the total amount of traffic would be very different than what ComScore is […]

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Build a More Well-informed Board with the WAVinar Series

by Victor Lund on September 10, 2013

Our industry is moving really quickly these days. There are so many challenges facing MLSs that threaten 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, legal issues and research affecting the business. MLS organizations and their leadership need to keep up on all of these issues so they can make proactive decisions to keep their organizations relevant. That’s why the WAV Group created its new WAVinar series. The Solution: WAVinars The WAVinar is designed to provide you and your MLS leadership with crucial updates on what is going on in our industry. WAV Group will be leveraging all of its experience in research, technology, strategic planning, organizational development and thought leadership to deliver a thought-provoking yet practical look at the latest industry developments and trends. What is a WAVinar? Quartlerly online industry updates for MLS and board leadership on topics critical to successful organization management.  The Details: WAVinars are designed to stimulate conversation at board meetings and provide valuable information to help organizations make better informed decisions about technology, policy and legal issues, program changes, and service enhancements. WAV Group partners Mike Audet, Marilyn Wilson, and Victor Lund will be hosting the exclusive webinars. The content for WAVinars is specifically purposed for MLS Executives, MLS Executive Staff, and MLS Directors. Meetings are held quarterly via a live discussion and also recorded so that you may share the WAVinar with others in your company, refer back to previous episodes, or catch up on missed episodes. As an MLS leader, we would like to invite you and your organization to participate in our new WAVinar series. Staying current with crucial industry events and news is important but very difficult. WAVinars ensure that your leadership is informed and up to date. To learn more about WAVinars or to subscribe contact the marilyn@wavgroup.com or (805) 473-9119    

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Last Call For WAV Group 2013 MLS Technology Survey

by Mike Audet on September 10, 2013

If you haven’t already signed up this is your last chance to have your MLS participate in the WAV Group 2013 MLS Technology Survey. Last year we had 75 MLSs participate with over 15,000 agents and staff taking part. This year we expect to have even more participate. Three Free Reports For Participating National Roll-up Report Every MLS that participates will receive the national roll up report, which provides a summary of the overall findings for all of the vendors reviewed. This will include comparisons to results in 2012, what users and staff like most about each system as well as what they are looking to improve. These is “must have” information for any MLS. Your Vendor Report The second report is a roll-up of results nationwide for your particular vendor. This report aggregates the results of all the survey respondents who use the same MLS vendor and system you use. Your Member Report New this year, we are providing a free system report, which will show the results of the survey just for your members. This system generated report will include charts for all rating questions and you will also see the verbatim responses from your members for all open end questions. Survey Launch Survey launch instructions will be sent to all participating MLSs next week for distribution to staff and membership. The survey will run for a minimum of two weeks. Our plan is to have the results for all participating MLSs prior to the NAR Conference in San Francisco. To Participate To sign up to participate in the WAV Group 2013 MLS Technology Survey email us at mike@wavgroup.com, or jenna@wavgroup.com. If you have any questions feel free to call us at 716-839-4628.                    

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Leaders and Innovators Often Walk Alone

by Mike Audet on September 10, 2013

I have been working a lot in Brazil these days working with a company called Prolist building the first true MLS in their country. The reason I mention Brazil is because it is a great case in point regarding leaders and innovators walking alone. In dozens of meetings I have had with major real estate companies, associations and banks in Brazil I meet those that are leaders and innovators and I also see those that are part of the herd, that only go where the herd goes. The brightest, those with clear vision into the future, often those who have been exposed to the US style of real estate, see why MLS makes sense and they are ready to change Brazilian real estate. They see a need to change and they recognize you will never get different results by doing the same thing, over and over. These people are totally comfortable moving outside the herd mentality, thinking and moving on their own with confidence. Others I speak with tell you how Brazil is different and how things don’t work that way down here and why MLS could never works…blah, blah, blah…! What they are really saying is “Don’t move my cheese, it makes me uncomfortable.” Well, the truth is, change can be uncomfortable and leaders and innovators understand this and have learned to move right through it. These are the people that are constantly moving outside of their comfort zones because they know growth doesn’t occur unless they do. Unfortunately I see our industry move as a herd too often as well. MLSs make choices based on what other MLSs do or don’t do. We don’t innovate. This isn’t unique. People in all industries become creatures of habit. We do things because we are comfortable until we realize we are facing disaster. This is how vendors like Zillow and Trulia took over our Internet space so quickly, because we held on to old ideas and couldn’t move out of our industry comfort zone to embrace change that was being demanded by consumers. What other things in our industry are at risk? Are we managing change effectively? Are we challenging the status quo and asking the tough questions? What parts of our own organizations are at risk because of stagnating thinking and complacency? Leaders Stand Out   Think of anyone that has been the catalyst or architect of innovation in any […]

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RE Technology Top 5 Articles of The Week

by Victor Lund on September 5, 2013

Each week, RE Technology publishes the top 5 most read articles. These articles may be republished by MLSs and Associations in newsletters or blogs for free. If you are not offering RE Technology as a member benefit, join more than 82 MLSs currently offering the service. There is never any charge. 8 Reasons You’re Not Generating Real Estate Leads Through Social Media When using social media, there are so many pitfalls you can potentially befall an agent trying to generate leads for themselves online. In many cases, you see agents making the same mistakes online, then throwing their hands up in the air to proclaim “social media doesn’t work” for leads. Social does work, but in lots of cases it requires time and effort when compared to more traditional methods of lead generation.   Telephone Tips for Real Estate Agents Whether you’re answering a call from someone who saw your yard sign or conversing with a long-distance client, how you conduct yourself on the phone is a large part of your professional image. This is no place to skimp on your manners. 18 Tips for an Awesome Real Estate Listing Presentation Seven seconds. That’s how much time it takes to make a first impression. As an agent, your first impression has to be fantastic in order to convince a seller to list with you. Proper planning and preparation will gain you an edge over the competition and earn your potential seller’s business.   More Brokers Offering More Services Marketing technology provider Imprev released an interesting study that confirms more brokerages are focusing on full service, which they refer to as “one stop shopping.”      Top 5 Ways to Use RPR Search  to Gain a Competitive Advantage It’s true! With over 160 million properties available within RPR, most users are simply entering a specific address and going directly to that property. While it’s a great use of RPR, you could be missing out on all the RPR Search function has to offer.      

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Join WAV Group for an informational webinar on advertising in an Association owned MLS! This webinar will feature a Q & A session with GLVAR, BNAR, and GEPAR – three leading Association-owned MLSs who have launched advertising programs to help generate non-dues revenue. If your Association or MLS is considering adding or modifying your advertising strategy, be sure to register today! You are encouraged to prepare questions and invite your leadership to attend this webinar as well. There is no fee for attendance but the capacity of the meeting room is limited to 1000. Register early to ensure your access. Date: September 12th, 2013 Time: 1 pm Eastern / 12 pm Central / 10 am Pacific [Please adjust for your time zone!]   Click here to register   Moderator: Victor Lund, WAV Group, Inc. Panelist:     Nelson Janes – CEO, GLVAR will discuss how advertising on their public website (http://homelasvegas.com/) funded a new website, along with an overview of feedback on the strategy from the perspective of the membership and the board of directors.     Linda Doane – Vice President and Publisher, BNAR and operator of the public site, 2FindYourHome.com will talk about how their print publication and online search site combine to compliment the advertising strategy. They have been particularly successful at attracting Brokers, Agents, and Homebuilders to advertise in their publication and on their website. Learn why members would rather purchase advertising from the Association than the newspaper or other magazine publications.       Jason Sanchez Jason Sanchez – Director of MLS and Technology, GEPAR. The GEPAR board of directors took a bold initiative by placing advertising in the MLS system. Sanchez will talk about the process of developing the strategy and the feedback from the membership.   Disclaimer: This webinar is sponsored by CoreLogic. The company launched a new advertising program called CoreLogic Real Estate Advertising Network (CREAN) in 2012. The webinar will not be providing any product information. Please contact your CoreLogic account manager or Todd Costigan (tcostigan@corelogic.com) if you would like information about their ad network. WAV Group and RE Technology do not endorse any product or service. We strongly encourage Brokers, Agents, MLSs and Associations to thoroughly investigate a variety of solutions before selecting a vendor for any service. For a complete list of suppliers of Advertising solutions, visit RETechnology.com

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Product Overview of BombBomb for Real Estate VMail

by Victor Lund on August 28, 2013

BombBomb is a video mail program. You can record yourself talking on your computer or mobile device and send that recording as an email. It is a streaming email, so you are not sending a large file. Beyond vMail, BombBomb allows you to vLog or video blog. You can publish the recordings you make in newsletters, on your blog, website, or social media page. Suffice it to say, once the video is created, you can ship it anywhere. Using BombBomb for the first time was quick and easy. I entered a little bit of profile information and was off creating my first video within less than a minute. However, there are a few areas where I believe there could be improvement. The good news is that they are all very fixable. Suggestion 1: Don’t Change My Password – When I registered it asked me for my password. In the registration email confirmation, there was a password which was system generated that I did not set up. Suggestion 2. Promote the Mobile App – I feel like vMail is something that is more impactful and more efficient on mobile. I would rather talk into my phone than try to type – especially when I am on the go. None of the registration pages or confirmation emails mentioned anything about support for iPhone, Android, or Windows Mobile. Fixing this is a simple matter of dropping in some icons and linking those icons to the application stores. Suggestion 3. Contact Sync – Once I set up my account, I would expect to be taken directly to add contacts. They do support uploading a CSV file – but agents will not do that unless they have a burning desire to adopt vMail or vlogging. Even those that do will be constantly challenged to keep contact records in both places. As a company that consults with enterprise business, I would tell you that without Gmail Contact Sync and Microsoft Exchange Sync, it would not be licensed for all agents. Again, this is not heavy lifting for any skilled development team, so I would expect that BombBomb may be able to add this functionality inside of a month or two. My guess about the reason that they do not do contact sync is because they bill by the number of contacts you add, which I believe is a mistake. I would counsel them to bill on […]

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MLS – It’s All About The Community by Carl DeMusz

by Victor Lund on August 19, 2013

If you know anything about the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) you know they are communities and they are better when they are more inclusive than exclusive. A more inclusive MLS will generally have more members, more listings to share with its members and more opportunities for those members to make sales. That makes members happy but it also makes their consumers happy. It would be hard to make the case that less members and less listing content would make an MLS better than a MLS with more members and more listing content looking at it from either the member or their client’s perspective. Therefore, we see more regional MLS’s in the country today than ever before and many smaller MLS’s are either merging or data sharing than in the past. The latest trend seems to be regional MLS’s merging, consolidating and or sharing data for the same reasons. Given those facts what could cause a merger or consolidation to fail? There are many possible reasons why some MLS’s do not manage to come together. Here is a short list of the most popular reasons I have heard in my 35 years in the business: It is not in the best interest of the Executive Officer Their governance does not match ours (broker control or agent control) and we like ours It is not in the best interest of the largest broker in one MLS (big fish in a small pond) It is not in the best interest of “special markets” (don’t want those people getting in my market) Our MLS Rules & Regulations don’t lineup with theirs and ours are better Why should we merge with those people up there? I don’t do business up there Our Board counts on MLS revenue to survive and we can’t cut any of it for this merger They are much larger than us and would swallow us up. We would have no say in decisions Why should we go with their vendor when we’ve had ours for 12 years with no problems Of course there are others but these are very common issues raised in an effort to kill a merger. In fact it is possible for an MLS to split for many of the same reasons. While this would be very rare, it has happened. Here in the Northern Ohio Regional MLS (NORMLS) we covered six counties in the Cleveland Ohio region. […]

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Call for MLS Technology Survey Participants

by Mike Audet on August 15, 2013

WAV Group will be fielding the third annual WAV Group 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. There is no cost to participate. Each participating MLS will in turn receive three reports: National Results for all MLSs Your Vendor Specific Results (i.e., All results from users of MLXchange); Your MLS Member results in a system generated report Your MLS will receive the reports prior to the NAR national conference in November.  Survey Objectives 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. The report will also provide you trending information from year to year in regards to this technology.  Surveys should never be the basis for choosing a MLS vendor and system but should be used as part of your overall due diligence and strategic planning. Survey Design In 2012 we had over 75 MLSs participating with over 15,000 agents completing surveys.  In 2013 we expect to have even more participants.  The WAV Group survey, from its inception, has always measured both staff ratings and user ratings. Staff MLS Ratings: Your MLS staff work with vendors and systems on a completely different level than the general members.  Staff insight is crucial to understanding how vendors are to work with, how quickly they respond to issues, how well they provide general support, and how they respond to feature requests. Member MLS Ratings: Members, will rate the MLS system on usability, and the features and functions they use every day in their real estate practice.  Our survey only collects ratings from those that use the specific features and functions being rated and all questions in the survey are role appropriate. Choosing a MLS Vendor and System Reviewing MLS vendor options is a complex process.  Surveys are a valuable tool to be used as one component in the process, however, they should never be used as the sole basis for making a vendor selection. WAV Group assists MLSs each year in evaluating MLS technology from a full RFP process to Technology Updates.  If you would like more information on our MLS technology evaluation and selection processes please contact us at mailto:mike@wavgroup.com or call […]

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If the real estate technology industry had an Old Boys club, Andy Rapattoni and Rex Marr would most certainly be founding members. They have each contributed their life’s work to the advancement of our industry. WAV Group would hope that you will join us in congratulating these industry pioneers and leaders on the celebration of their 45th year in our industry. Below is the announcement. Rather than clog up their email with congratulations, consider sharing a note on Facebook: Here is a link to their company page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rapattoni-Corporation/374152779313159 SIMI VALLEY, Calif., August 13, 2013 – Rapattoni Corporation (Rapattoni), a leader in software and services for the real estate industry, announced today that industry veterans Andy Rapattoni and Rex Marr celebrate 45 years vending MLS and association management systems to the real estate industry this August, 2013. Andy Rapattoni, President and CEO of Rapattoni, recalled, “Rex and I have known each other since August of 1968, when we both went to work for Realtron in Michigan, the first computer MLS system in the country. Rex joined Realtron just three days after I did so I beat him by just a bit. I left Realtron in 1970 to form Rapattoni Corporation and I was thrilled to have Rex join us in May of 2004. It’s been a great ride with many changes in 45 years and I’m bringing up a new generation to carry on the traditions at Rapattoni.” Rex Marr, sales representative at Rapattoni, added, “Yep, we started the same week in the business back in 1968. I worked for Realtron for over 30 years and was the vice president of Realtron for 21 years before it was purchased and became Interealty; and I was with Supra four years after that before joining Rapattoni in 2004. Boy, I’ve been to a lot of conferences and expos in 45 years and met a lot of wonderful people. It has been very gratifying to be involved with Rapattoni for almost ten years and be part of its contributions to the industry.” Ralph Hoover, Senior Vice President and COO of Rapattoni, remarked, “Having two icons in the industry mentor the team at Rapattoni is like getting a doctorate degree in industry history. Rex is still actively involved in all of the sales activities and national events. Andy oversees the company and the many exciting things we are putting together for the future.” About Rapattoni Rapattoni […]

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Keller Williams/Urbain

  MONTRÉAL, Qc – June 24, 2013 Congratulations to Anne St. Dennis and Michel Beauséjour for moving from their executive positions in the MLS world to open their own Keller-Williams franchise! They have co-founded a Keller Williams francise in downtown Montreal under the name of KW Urbain. It’s an aggressive move for North America’s largest real estate franchise, a calculated move that took roughly three years as the Austin-based corporate head office familiarized itself with the language laws and Quebec brokerage act. “We saw the immense potential of opening a real estate franchise in Quebec that is completely broker-centric, learning based and treats our brokers like partners, to the extent that we share profits with our brokers and have open books at that,” said Beauséjour, KW Urbain’s spokesperson. Beauséjour said that before Keller Williams Realty Inc. was ready to commit, its principals had to better understand the cultural, language and legal aspects to Quebec.  He added that head office did not doubt the vigorousness of Montreal’s real estate market, noting that it rivals the other large international cities in Canada like Toronto and Vancouver, but with more modest real estate prices. Aside from the complexities of a different culture, the move into Quebec meant a major investment for Keller Williams Realty Inc. in the translation required to ensure that Montreal brokers had the same fundamental tools and training as elsewhere.  “Since Keller Williams Realty Inc. is a learning-based company, the costs associated with translating core courses, and marketing tools, developing a bilingual website, etc. all had to be assessed and approved.  That was probably what took the longest but we all recognized that to be successful, this was key,” underlined Beauséjour. Even the name, KW Urbain, was fundamental to the opening success of the first franchise in Quebec.   Beauséour stated that the name was chosen so as to be respectful of Quebec culture and reflecting its downtown location, in the heart of Montreal, at 1100 rue University. Keller Williams Realty Inc. has made incredible inroads into the real estate industry, growing to the number one position in North America, in terms of number of associates, with roughly 700 franchises and over 80,000 associates. KW Urbain’s St Dennis and Beauséjour see this as a plus and are planning for more expansion in Quebec in the coming years. St Dennis and Beauséjour are equal partners in the venture, complementing each other with […]

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