MLS technology

It is RESO week. The week when CIO and CTO types gather together in Austin, TX for the Annual Real Estate Standards Organization meeting. This year’s conference was sold out for the first time with a rumored count of more than 700 participants. Kevin Hawkins of WAV Group Communications says that the environment and buzz at the conference is amazing. You can follow Kevin’s RESO updates on Twitter @RESO_RETS  or follow the RESO hashtag at #reso15 to listen to the conference chatter. One of the astonishing calls that I got today was from an MLS asking me if CoreLogic was providing their new RESO compliant/certified Trestle solution to non-corelogic MLSs for free. The Answer is YES! We verified that Black Knight Paragon customer Coastal Carolina MLS is going through the certification process on the Trestle RETS platform from Corelogic. WAV Group’s understanding is that Black Knight and other MLS system vendors may be charging a reasonable one time fee for their customers to update their RETS servers and go through the certification process. We did not check with every MLS vendor to find out the policy. We have learned over time that these types of fees are often calculated on a market by market basis anyway. CoreLogic is not charging any fees for compliance at this time. Brokers and technology vendors who rely on RETS have long been frustrated by the lack of a single standard and a RESTful API for too long. The National Association of REALTORS MLS policy committee made the RESO standard a requirement for NAR-affiliated MLSs over 16 months ago. The deadline for meeting that requirement is December 31st of this year. The requirement to provide the RESTful API is July. This is a huge endeavor for every one of the 770 MLS in America today. RESO has not announced how many are certified. WAV Group has watched for the announcements and it seems like about 50 to 100 have gone through the process. There are only 60 days left for MLSs to get certified! In truth, every vendor of MLS services is involved in RESO and it is not unreasonable for a vendor to charge a fee for the service. It is a major undertaking. The biggest challenge is that the MLS must fill out the paperwork and pay the RESO application fee before the vendor can do anything to update the system in time for the […]

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Leveling the Playing Field Leads to Disaster

by Victor Lund on January 31, 2014

I read a story today about a social studies professor who engaged his students in an experiment do demonstrate the long term effects of socialism or leveling the playing field. This is a topic that is so dear to the hearts of today’s real estate brokers that I could not resist sharing the story. The day of the first test, the teacher advised the students that he would average the score of each student and issue the average grade to everyone. The students took the test. The average was a B, and everyone was given a B. As you can imagine, the slackers were happy for their grade, but the top students were disappointed. The second test the class took resulted in everyone getting a D. There was little incentive to prepare, so students took the lazy route hoping that others would pull their weight. What do you think happened on the final test? It should be noted that socialism has never worked in private enterprise, but cooperatives have worked very well. Something like the MLS, which is a form of a cooperative, is a handy tool for everyone – much in the same way that a processing plant owned by local farmers benefits each farmer equally. The processing plant does not interfere with the grower or their ability to get their product to market. Recently, some MLSs and Associations of REALTORS® have gone beyond the services of a co-op. They have launched products that are tied to marketing, which in our example of the farm co-op, would be tantamount to planting seeds in the fields. Marketing is an example of leveling the playing field, whereas the MLS is not. In the final test for the sociology class, the average test score was an F. Every student failed the class because there was no incentive. The lesson here is that MLSs and Associations must take care not to remove incentive for real estate excellence by providing services that compete with agents and brokers who are working hard to be A students. I will tell you in advance that there is no clear place to draw the line. It is incumbent for each co-op to survey their broker participants to figure that out. I would expect that there will be fewer services incorporated into MLS and Association subscription dues and more programs shifted to premium services. As an example, agent websites, virtual tours, […]

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Fear of Agent Ratings

by Victor Lund on November 25, 2013

The real estate industry seems to want to avoid judgments and ratings of any and all kinds. It may be for good reason, or it may be for fear. The reality is that agents resist ratings for fear and reason. Most people react to change with emotion and justify that emotion with logic. Fear According to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat that causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight-or-flight response) but in extreme cases of fear, a freeze or paralysis response is possible. As we break down the definition of fear, there are a number of keywords like “perceived,” “pull back,” “hide,” “basic survival,” “threat stimulus,” “fight-or flight response,” and “paralysis.” These are all very deeply rooted primary drivers of the human condition. It will take a revolution to overcome this fear, and I think the groundswell of that revolution may have already begun. Yelp, Zillow, California Association of REALTORS®, National Association of REALTORS®, countless technology firms, and countless MLSs have all dabbled in agent ratings. To be clear, consumers of real estate services demand ratings as part of their selection process. Real estate agents are fearful of the ratings because they may or may not be true depictions of the expected services delivered by an agent. Like it or not, agents will be rated. The real question for our industry is who will you trust to rate you? Who will consumers trust? Trust Back to Wikipedia, Trust is when one party (trustor) is willing to rely on the actions of another party (trustee). The trustor (voluntarily or forcedly) abandons control over the actions performed by the trustee. As a consequence, the trustor is uncertain about the outcome… but develops expectations. The uncertainty involves the risk of failure or harm to the trustor if the trustee will not behave as desired. Who should agents Trust? I have always believed that the administration of programs like agent ratings should be local – like the local MLS or Association of REALTORS®. These entities are there to develop structure for the agent […]

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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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We are pleased to present the results from the WAV Group 2012 MLS Technology Survey for your review and ongoing technology evaluation.  From September 29, 2012 to November 4, 2012 WAV Group fielded the WAV Group 2012 MLS Technology Survey to participating MLSs.  72 MLSs, representing 37 different states or provinces participated in the survey at both staff and user level. 15,130 individual participants filled out the survey completely making it the largest survey of its kind.  WAV Group would like to thank all of the MLSs and individual respondents that participated. Download the report here! Participants Receive Additional Report This survey report is unsponsored and is provided at no charge to our friends in the industry.  We hope you find this useful in your ongoing review of MLS technology services.  Participating MLSs also received a detailed survey report for their MLS system, at no charge, which includes the results from all of the MLSs that use their MLS system.  If your MLS did not participate this year we encourage to register for 2013 so you will receive this additional information to assist you in your ongoing technology review. Survey Distributed to MLS Staff and Users The 2012 WAV Group MLS Technology Survey is distributed to both staff and MLS members. What is important to an MLS staff person may be totally different from what a user wants to see in their MLS system so it is critical to obtain feedback from both for a balanced perspective.  As you review the survey results you will see a number of differences when comparing staff and user ratings.  Since this is the second year we have run our national survey we are also able to show you some trend results from 2011 to 2012. MLS Systems Included The following MLS systems has a sufficient number of responses to be included in the report: connect MLS FlexMLS by FBS Fusion by MarketLinx InnoVia by MarketLinx LIST-IT MLS by Solid Earth Matrix by MarketLinx MLXchange by MarketLinx Navica MLS by Systems Engineering Paragon 5 by LPS Rapattoni MLS TEMPO 5 by MarketLinx In-House MLS Systems (4) One Part of a Technology Review Surveys should never be used on their own to make a technology selection. We recommend this information be included as part of your ongoing technology review but encourage you to do a detailed analysis when and if you are looking to make a […]

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Business Intelligence

WAV Group has always been passionate about research and helping our industry obtain data that assists professionals in making the right decisions for their organizations.  We conduct numerous studies every year to that end and this September we will be fielding one of the most important studies we do, the annual WAV Group 2012 MLS Technology Survey.  We started this survey in 2011 meaning 2012 will be the first year we are able to see how this critical data is trending and to see how our vendors are moving up or down in various rating areas. We would like every MLS to take part and to benefit from the free reports that are provided to all participants. How To Participate To be included in the WAV Group 2012 MLS Technology Survey please send an email to sean@wavgroup.com or call us at 716-839-4628. The objective of the annual the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey is to provide a high level comparative satisfaction rating of the MLS technology used in our industry as well as to provide you trending information from year to year in regards to this technology.  The more MLSs that participate the more valuable that information will be for all of us. When your MLS participates in the MLS Technology Survey you will receive the following reports FREE of charge: Executive Summary Report – An overview of the full survey results for all systems for all users. Your MLS System Report – Summary report for all users nationally for your specific MLS system. MLS Means Rating Chart – See clearly how your system’s ratings compared to other system’s ratings in categories such as User Interface, Speed, Dependability and specific user features like Search and CMA. In 2011, over 70 MLSs participated amounting to almost 12,000 agents and staff taking part.  In 2012 we expect to have even more participants.  Unlike other surveys that only measure staff responses, which are certainly important, our survey also reaches out to the brokers, agents and other members that use the MLS system every day.   This is critical to get a true understanding of user satisfaction. The following chart on overall satisfaction from last year’s Executive Summary, which you receive free for participating, shows the differences in user and staff ratings in the 2011 survey.  Participation in the 2012 survey means you will be able to see how these same systems are being rated this […]

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