MLS

Are you Taking Your Subscribers for Granted?

by Marilyn Wilson on August 8, 2017

Asking for feedback can be one of the hardest things we do as adults, especially if you know that feedback is going to be at least a little bit critical. Nobody likes to be told what they’re doing wrong. However, there’s a big mistake that many service organizations make — The mistake? Neglecting to actively solicit feedback from their customers regarding satisfaction with their services. How do you know if you’re delivering good service if you’re not asking your members or subscribers? ? You’re taking money from them on a regular basis. Even if they don’t have a better option in your market, you still have a responsibility to understand how they feel about you. Minimally, every MLS should be conducting an annual customer satisfaction benchmarking study. Ideally the surveys will  maintain some percentage of questions from year to year to help them benchmark  satisfaction trends over time — technology satisfaction, technology adoption, customer support satisfaction, training satisfaction and more — and also pepper in questions about new service levels. And here’s something you might not have considered: Overall, most of your clients are probably pretty happy with your services. In every case where we’ve ever done customer satisfaction benchmarking, we’ve found that generally, satisfaction is strong — but what it does for every company is it gives them a window into their weaknesses, and they start to identify the areas where they can be stronger. If you conduct an annual survey and use it to eliminate your two biggest weaknesses every year, then in three years, your company is going to be much t stronger. Another benefit to customer satisfaction surveys: You can discover who, specifically, is not happy with your service — and once you find out who they are, you can call and contact them individually and give them the  one-on-one attention they’re looking for Usually the unhappy group makes up less than 1 percent of your total customer base, and they’re often complaining about something that annoys or frustrates other subscribers  too. So focusing on and fixing those problems will also elevate your customer satisfaction — and your relevance in the market — over time. Customer satisfaction is ultimately your biggest protection against market disruption, If you have an engaged customer base who loves you and feels like you’re there to work with them and help solve their problems, it’ll be a lot harder for any […]

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Key Takeaways The move for MLSs to transition to ONLY RESO-compliant IDX feeds is not that difficult. Moving to offering only a RESO-compliant IDX feed is not that difficult.  RMLS™, one of the first MLSs in the country to distribute only RESO-Compliant IDX feeds, made the move in just FOUR weeks. They launched a campaign to their IDX providers showing them the fields that needed to be transitioned to be RESO-compliant and requiring them to transition completely ONLY to a RESO-Compliant IDX feed. Promotion is Key According to RMLS™, to make the move MLSs will need an effective promotional campaign to be sure each of your technology companies is aware of the reasons for the change and knows exactly what they need to do to make the transition successfully. Set a deadline Be sure to set a deadline with a reasonable timeframe to allow each of your IDX providers can meet the deadline. Since many of the largest IDX providers have already made the transition in RMLS™, it should make it easier for them. Brokers Endorse RESO-compliant IDX feeds   Brokers support the idea of making IDX feeds RESO-compliant. They applaud MLSs that make this bold move.  Join forces with RMLS™ and make the move in your MLS.  It’s hard to argue that standardized real estate listing data is not good for our industry. It makes it easier for brokers to collect and distribute information from multiple MLSs on their website.   It allows technology companies to move into new markets more quickly.  It allows MLSs to collaborate in new and exciting ways. The leaders at RMLS™ in Portland, Oregon decided to take a bold step designed to help brokers and agents achieve all of the benefits of standardized information for online marketing. RMLS™, one of the pioneers in the MLS industry, decided to align their IDX feeds with RESO standards.  While that might sound like a daunting task, they found the transition to be relatively easy to achieve. Christina Smestad, Vice President of Operations at RMLS, told us, “We know that IDX feeds are highly valued by our brokers so we wanted to make it easier for them to aggregate data from our MLS and others for their online marketing efforts.” According to RMLS™ the process was relatively painless. The hardest part was to communicate the reasons for the transition to all of their IDX providers.  Once the word got […]

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SmartMLS Hits the Ground Running

by Victor Lund on August 2, 2017

SmartMLS

WALLINGFORD, CT – SmartMLS, the Multiple Listing Service formed from the merger of The Connecticut Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (CTMLS), and the Greater Fairfield County CMLS (GFC CMLS), officially launched full, live operations to its members on August 1st, the company announced. SmartMLS represents over 17,000 real estate professionals and covers all eight Connecticut counties, making it among the top twenty largest MLSs in the country. Though the third smallest state, Connecticut has the highest per capita income in the United States, and boasts a massive $13 billion in real estate transactions annually. Led by co-CEOs Cameron Paine and Kathy Elson, SmartMLS is the product of merger discussions that began just seven months ago. It involved not only the physical merger of both MLS corporations and their back-end databases, products and services, but also a conversion to a new MLS system, CoreLogic’s Matrix 7 platform. “We committed ourselves to an aggressive timeline and we’ve been able to hit those benchmarks at every step along the way.” said co-CEO Kathy Elson, adding, “The speed in which this was all accomplished is a tremendous credit to our team, our Board of Directors and our vendors.  MMSI in particular, our membership management partner, had a huge role in making this happen for us.  They were tasked with handling the de-duplication of offices and members and combining of our member records.  We couldn’t have done it without them.” According to Co-CEO Cameron Paine, “It is generally accepted that the role of the MLS is to provide the most comprehensive, accurate, and timely data possible. However, many MLSs provide something far less than statewide data, which means they can only provide a fraction of a complete data set.  I’ll call this being a ‘Fractional MLS’.  The reason this merger came together so quickly is that we all recognized that being a Fractional MLS guarantees our irrelevance in the near future”. At launch, over 96 percent of the real estate professionals in Connecticut will be using MLS services provided by SmartMLS.  SmartMLS uses the new CoreLogic Matrix 7.0 platform, proudly endorses the Broker Public Portal and provides Homesnap as both the mobile app and public-facing portal for the MLS.  SmartMLS will introduce a new Membership Dashboard provided by MMSI and powered by Clareity’s SSO product. In addition, SmartMLS offers ShowingAssist, Realist, Instanet, and LisTrac products as part of the MLS subscribership. About SmartMLS The SmartMLS territory […]

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Did Zillow® Open the Door to Their Own Demise?

by Victor Lund on June 14, 2017

Zillow Logo

One of the greatest philosophers of all time was Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). For brevity, let’s call him Hegel and be thankful to the University of Berlin where he lectured. I will suspend with the deep philosophy I learned in college and summarize Hegel as the author of a triad of historical development referred to thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. In our observation, the MLS is the thesis, Zillow® is the antithesis, and what happens next will be the synthesis. Moreover, I will argue that Zillow may have opened the door to their demise with the Instant Offers™ test. Thesis Real estate brokers have controlled the market over decades by virtue of their knowledge of a listing. This entire era evolved when the MLS evolved and knowledge of massive numbers of listings became the shared knowledge of large numbers of brokers and their sales associates. As research has confirmed, homes sell for more money when they are introduced to the widest number of real buyers that are working off the MLS. The thesis is that the MLS marketplace is an orderly environment that is founded upon the constitution that there is cooperation among buyer brokers and seller brokers and that compensation will be offered during cooperation. Hegel calls a beginning state of affairs a “thesis.” So for our philosophy lesson today, let’s just call the MLS before Zillow® the thesis. Antithesis For those of you who have education in Latin or root words, the term “anti” means the opposite or contrast to the thesis. In Zillow®, we certainly find a contrast to the MLS. Zillow is agent focused, and believes in the opposite of the MLS. Zillow wants to provide open access to the knowledge of a listing. Most of all, Zillow does not have any construct for offers of cooperation or compensation for brokers. In fact, they invite For Sale By Owner listings and invite offers to be made on properties without any broker involvement (sidebar: it is interesting that a consumer with no demonstration of experience is given the opportunity to put a listing on Zillow, but a licensed real estate agent with a contract to represent the consumer does not). Zillow represents the antithesis of the MLS because of the invitation to FSBOs, no offers of compensation or cooperation, and the invitation for buyers to make offers without a broker. Zillow is an open market trading environment […]

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Empty Listing

‘Naked’ listings are a disservice to both buyers and sellers and WILL hurt your brokerage! When a listing hits the MLS and is syndicated to brokerage and portal websites — especially in 2017 — there are qualified, avid buyers who are waiting for that listing. They want to learn everything they can about their potential new home so they can decide whether it’s worth the asking price and whether they should spend some of their precious house-hunting time taking a tour.   Let me ask you something: How easy do you think that is to do without any listing photos? “Naked” listings are all too common in an era when there’s no excuse for it. Not everyone is a photographer — but everyone has a phone in their pocket with a high-resolution camera and five or ten minutes to read up on a few quick tips for how to shoot photos with that camera in an emergency (Google them — there’s an article for every phone model). Brokers, let’s be clear: Not having a single photo for the listing you are about to put into the MLS is an emergency. When that listing goes live, it sends the photo-less data to dozens of website within MINUTES. Your lack of attention to detail will be broadcast to hundreds of agents and potentially thousands of buyers with the click of a button.Just because your MLS doesn’t REQUIRE a photo to be included for one or more days  after the listing goes live doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include a photo. Your listing is going to be published on hundreds of IDX sites and third party sites literally within minutes of you hitting the “SAVE” button.  Why would you severely impact your ability to sell a property by not taking the time to build the most valuable marketing asset there is for a home – attractive photos? Think this is an exaggeration? This is what your listing looks like across the internet when you neglect to take at least one photo. Those bland street maps are really inviting to buyers, aren’t they? Franchise systems can also make it easy to forget about the photos, so agents should make sure they are uploading only complete listings to the MLS and to any franchise system that their brokerages use. Allowing your agents to upload listings to the MLS without at least one high-quality photo of the […]

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How Loyal Are YOUR Customers?

by Marilyn Wilson on June 6, 2017

It is critical for MLSs and Brokers to measure the relationships they have with their customers.  While most MLSs do not have DIRECT competition, they have tons of indirect competition.  MLSs compete against companies that generate leads for agents since that it one of their key roles. They compete against training companies providing CE credit and teaching about technologies. MLSs also compete. MLSs also compete with companies that provide ways to aggregate and distribute real estate listing information for the purposes of monetizes the information flow.  While MLSs have survived well in the real estate ecosystem, some are more well-regarded than others. Brokers, on the other hand have TONS of competition from their fellow brokers.  Understanding customer loyalty is even more critical for them. To really know how well you are doing in building and strengthening customer relationships, it is critical that MLSs measure customer satisfaction. There are two measures that WAV Group recommends for its clients – the Net Promoter Score® or NPS. Second is the Customer Effort Score or CEF®. What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS)? Net Promoter Score, or NPS is a customer experience metric developed by Fred Reichheld, aimed at determining the level of customer loyalty. NPS was introduced by Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article “The One Number You Need to Grow“.  Net Promoter Score measures a customer’s willingness to recommend a brand’s product and services to their friends, family and colleagues. NPS is a simple metric, based on a single question that measures customer loyalty: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company’s product and services to a friend or colleague?” Respondents answer by choosing a number from 0-10, with 10 being the most likely to recommend.   While this question can work well for brokerages and technology companies where there are lots of competition in the marketplace, we have seen it not work as well for MLSs, mainly because in most markets REALTORS® do not have a CHOICE of MLSs organizations to work with. Sometimes it angers MLS subscribers and they will say things like “I have no choice so I would have no need to recommend my MLS to anyone. Depending on the score they give, customers are then classified as promoters (score 9-10), passives (score 7-8) and detractors (score 0-6).  The more 9 and 10 scores you receive the higher your Net Promoter Score will be. Those that […]

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LIBOR and BNAR getting serious about REALTOR(R) safety

by Marilyn Wilson on May 16, 2017

Did you know that nearly 1/3 of REALTORS(R) STAY in situations where they feel unsafe as they strive to make a sale.   Nearly 4 in 5  do NOT ask for Identification/Verification before meeting a client.  Just about everyone (88%) of agents are alone when showing a home to new prospect. Bottomline, many agents put themselves at risk REGULARLY.   While real estate is an amazing industry that provides exciting career opportunities to nearly 2 million people every year, it’s a job that deals with the public.  By definition, it puts agents at risk. The Long Island Board of REALTORS® and the Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® have recognized these issues and are trying to support agents to help them stay safe.  Today they have announced a partnership with Real Safe Agent to provide safety training and technology. Read the Press Release Below:  Austin, TX, May 16, 2017:  The Long Island Board of REALTORS® and the Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® are joining the growing list of Multiple Listing Services and REALTOR® associations deploying the Real Safe Agent system, which includes the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service and the Fort Smith Board of REALTORS®. “Staying safe means preventing a crime, not reacting to one.  So, when I presented the Real Safe Agent system to my BOARD, we knew we needed to purchase the system for our members”, stated Dave Legaz, President of LIBOR.  “As a former NYPD Sergeant, it’s clear to me that Real Safe Agent understands both REALTOR® and criminals; and allows the agents to prevent a crime without jeopardizing a sale.” BNAR’s CEO John Leonardi, a retired US ARMY Lieutenant Colonel and 25-year industry veteran as an MLS and REALTOR® Association executive said, “Real Safe Agent is one of the most innovative products I’ve seen, it’s rare that something comes along that changes a paradigm in our industry and Real Safe Agent completely changes how REALTOR® safety is approached.”  The Real Safe Agent system differs from traditional safety products in that it’s based in behavioral science and uses the real estate community to prevent the behavior patterns of predators from bearing fruit for the predator, as well as denying the predator the environment needed to commit the crime.  Carl Carter, Founder of the Beverly Carter Foundation and son of murdered real estate agent Beverly Carter commented, “I think the Real Safe Agent system is the real answer for the industry, […]

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CRMLS Agrees to Offer Remine to its 82,000 Subscribers

by Marilyn Wilson on May 16, 2017

Remine is at it again!  In recent months, the company has forged partnerships with several of the nation’s largest MLSs. CRMLS will be launching the product to its 82,000 members according to the press release issued today.  Remine is taking the industry by storm.  Every MLS I work with across the country seems to be looking at this exciting new product. Remine is an intelligent service marrying social media profiles with home ownership factors to help agents identify prospects and then use social media to advertise to them.  The company has deep expertise in manipulating large data sets and then boiling them down into simple reports to help agents significantly increase their ability to target specific customer segments.  The myriad of reports are designed to help agents identify markets with strong investor representation, high incidence of kids in the household, ownership length and many, many other interesting factors that REALTORS® can use to hone their prospecting efforts. Remine  has created a whole new way for MLSs to help their subscribers leverage real estate information to successfully target potential sellers and help deepen relationships with current clients. Check out the press release here:   SAN DIMAS, CA — (May 16, 2017) —California Regional MLS, has signed a multiyear license with Remine to bring the power of big data and predictive analytics to more than 82,000 real estate professionals throughout California. “We organize d a focus group of 30 top brokers and they enthusiastically voted in favor of making Remine available for our MLS. We look forward to harnessing the power of consumer data with Remine to enhance agent productivity and usher us into the future of MLS services,” said Art Carter, CEO of CRMLS. Leo Pareja, CEO of Remine, said, “We are excited to empower agents in California with our big data visualizations and predictive analytics.  Agents will be able to find new listing opportunities that are most likely to sell, and be able to score their own contacts based on who is likely to buy next.” About CRMLS California Regional MLS is the nation’s largest and most recognized subscriber-based MLS, dedicated to servicing over 82,000 real estate professionals from 32 Associations, 3 Boards of REALTORS® and 1 MLS. CRMLS is the industry powerhouse and thrives on providing the most relevant products and services to its subscribers. For more information on CRMLS visit www.crmls.org. About Remine     Remine delivers real estate […]

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It is indeed a bright day in the MLS. The largest MLS consolidation in history is on the countdown to launch. A memo was released today to REALTORS® who will be impacted by the project called MLS Evolved – revealing the new name of their future MLS – Bright MLS Memo from Tom Phillips, CEO of Trend MLS As we continue to update you, TREND, MRIS and 7 other organizations are working to consolidate and create the next era of the MLS. I am excited to announce the name of this new MLS organization will be Bright MLS. 

We chose this name based on our vision for the new organization and a desire for it to: Inspire belief that each day is an opportunity to give real estate professionals all they need to shine, today and tomorrow. Instill the vision of something that empowers our customers for a successful future. Lift us out of the sea of acronyms most MLSs use. These acronyms are often based on geographies or basic descriptions of informational databases. Be imaginative, clever, empowering, and supportive. Project leadership and innovative thinking. As I’ve mentioned before, you likely have questions about the new MLS and in January we anticipate being able to provide you with more information.   MLS Evolved is one of the most impressive initiatives in America. It is a shining example of how organizations can place self-interest to the side and have an open and transparent business discussion and critical evaluation of the future of our industry. And, the role that MLSs must play to support REALTORS and Brokers in the best possible way. Anne Bailey of Pranix Consulting had a very moving discussion on stage at CMLS with David Charron of MRIS, a company that, along with Trend MLS, is at the heart of this MLS consolidation. Charron asked Bailey the question of “How many MLSs should we have in America?” It was a longish answer that centered on the notion that over 700 is too many, and one is probably too few. MLS Evolved covers multiple States, demonstrating that State lines are not necessarily the answer. There are many statewide MLS initiatives. Perhaps the number is 10 or 20 or 30. We do not really know. With Bright MLS, and California Regional MLS, we are seeing the emergence of two mega MLSs. For the first time, we will see multiple MLSs with […]

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MLSs and Brokers Misunderstand RESO

by Victor Lund on October 7, 2016

Our industry is in the dawn of a new day. With some measure of struggle, the Nations’ MLSs and their Vendors have endeavored to adopt a set of standard fields for standardized data transportation from the MLS system to applications that support the real estate industry.  I consider this the dawn of the effort because, for the very first time, MLS adoption of the real estate standards are more strictly mandated by the National Association of REALTORS® MLS Policy. For years, the National Association of REALTORS® supported and funded the Real Estate Standards Organization, which is referred to by its acronym, RESO. Despite being a free standing non-for profit with an independent board of directors, the bulk of the funding for this standards organization came from NAR, and was supplemented by MLS vendors and a few others. Today, the Real Estate Standards Organization has blossomed into one of the most collaborative industry wide efforts we have ever seen, with funding from vendors, brokers, Associations, and MLSs. The effort ties MLS Vendors, Broker and Agent Technology Vendors, MLS Operators, Associations of REALTORS® and many brokerages together. This group is funding and directing a massive overhaul of how information (data) is used today, and laying a strong foundation for the future. It is inspired transformation. Like anything new, different, and technical, there is also a massive level of misunderstanding that is frustrating the efforts. In some small way, my hope is to clarify some things to set some people straight. We try hard to understand before disagreeing, and disagree without being disagreeable. The MLS system has a native database. When agents enter listing information into that database, they most often enter data that is not RESO certified. We refer to this as entering data into the NATIVE MLS Database. Despite the 1,078 fields and 1,475 values within the most current version of the RESO Data Dictionary, the MLS has additional fields, business rules, database logic, and numerated values that are beyond RESO standards today. With few exceptions, NATIVE MLS Databases and listing input forms have not been converted to the RESO Data Dictionary standards. If MLSs were to adopt the RESO Data Dictionary standards for MLS fields, it would require an MLS conversion. I imagine that most of you reading this have suffered through an MLS conversion, so you can appreciate the expense and pain that it would cause to convert all […]

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5 MUST HAVES for your 2017 MLS Budget

by Marilyn Wilson on September 28, 2016

We’re getting to budget time again and  starting to think about what products and services that MLS’s should offer their members in 2017 and beyond. MLSs, of course, need to continue to offer their core MLS system, but there are a few other areas to consider as you move into your next budget planning cycle that will help your members.  WAV Group believes you should offer products and services that are designed to address a core need of your subscribers.  No MLS should offer a technology just because it’s exciting or new. They ALL need to address a fundamental challenge or create new opportunities for your subscribers.  There are five key needs that we believe are vital to the success of any MLS organization that need to be considered in 2017.  We have outlined the strategies and the proposed solutions below: Making Earnest Money Collection Safer Providing Broader Data Access Helping your Members Succeed with Technology Keeping your Subscribers Safe Making it Easy for Brokers to Leverage MLS data Making Earnest Money Collection Safer Our industry has done a good job of bringing the transition process online.  We now have great methods for filling out, signing and distributing disclosures and forms online via a myriad of document management, transaction management and electronic signature solutions. We haven’t yet addressed the final mile though.  Today, agents are still driving all over town to collect and deposit earnest money checks.  There is more risk within this part of the process than any other yet we as an industry have ignored.  Read this interesting case study about how Northstar MLS is addressing this problem very effectively. Providing Broader Data Access The core job of the MLS is to provide comprehensive, accurate and up to date real estate information that every REALTOR can leverage in their business.   Brokers continue to be frustrated by their inability to get one regional source of data for their websites, back office tools and mobile solutions.  MLSs will be doing their members a great service by finding ways to get them broader data access beyond JUST their local MLS.  While consolidation is the ultimate way to accomplish this task, many regions just can’t get beyond the politics. In the meantime, you can look at a variety of FREE and paid methods for accomplishing broader data access with data sharing efforts. I recently published a white paper on the topic entitled […]

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We would like to share that the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is accepting applications for its newly created Manager, Multiple Listing Service position.We are looking forward to working with this individual and believe this role will help to grow our cooperative relationship, inform policy development, and keep the MLS perspective part of the discussions.Know the perfect candidate? Help identify the individual that will maximize the potential of this position by passing along this information. A complete job description can be found below along with the link to the NAR job portal where candidates can apply.   Position: Manager, Multiple Listing Service Reports To: Vice President, Board Policy and Programs Division: Board Policy Position Summary: Provide support to NAR members, REALTOR®-association owned MLSs, and the MLS industry. Candidates should have experience working for an MLS and strong knowledge of the technical and administrative MLS operations. Major Duties and Responsibilities (Not all-inclusive): Actively connect with MLSs and REALTOR® associations, the Council of Multiple Listing Services, and the Real Estate Standards Organization by attending relevant meetings and cultivating relationships with the organizations’ leadership and executives. Track and issue reports on progress. Participate in strategic creation of educational and operational resources supporting REALTOR® association MLSs. Assist NAR MLS Committee Staff Executive in preparation of committee and advisory board meetings. Implement projects arising from NAR’s MLS committee and NAR’s collaboration with CMLS. Research, identify, analyze, and keep current on developments and events effecting MLS operations. Make presentations and help prepare other informational material as necessary. Work on other departmental projects as needed. Experience and skills: B.A./B.S. preferred 2-7 years of working in Operations at an MLS Knowledge of the organization and rules for REALTOR® associations and MLSs Tech savvy Knowledge of/participation in RESO is a bonus Self-motivated Strong written and verbal communication skills Effective and persuasive relationship building skills Strong problem solving and analytical skills Outstanding interpersonal skills Positive attitude Travel up to 5 to 10 trips per year Please find the link to the NAR job portal where candidates can upload a resume: http://www.realtor.org/careers-at-nar/search-jobs

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Industry Vet Russ Cofano joins eXP Realty

by Marilyn Wilson on July 29, 2016

EXP Realty Logo

We want to congratulate Russ Cofano for his exciting new position at eXp Realty as Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Legal Counsel! I used to have a job as the Chief Strategy Officer when I was at Fisher-Price. It is SUCH a fun position where you can have a real impact on the growth and innovation of a company! Congratulations Russ!  Can’t wait to see what amazing news you bring to the industry in this position!     BELLINGHAM, WA – July 29,  2016 – eXp World Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: EXPI) today announced that industry veteran Russ Cofano has joined the Company as Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel. Cofano brings more than twenty-five-years of industry experience to eXp. He most recently served as senior vice president of industry relations for MOVE, Inc. operator of REALTOR.com® developing strategy and building relationships with the real estate industry’s leading organizations, MLSs and technology companies. Cofano has also served as chief executive officer for the Missouri REALTORS®, the largest trade association in the state of Missouri, and as vice president and general counsel for John L. Scott Real Estate, consistently ranked as one of the largest real estate brokerage companies in the nation. He has also served as an advisor to a number of REALTOR® associations and MLSs and as CEO of a real estate CRM technology company. “I have been looking for ‘the next great opportunity’ within the industry, and I’m certain that I’ve found that opportunity at eXp,” said Cofano.  “Unlike other new entrants, eXp is redefining the brokerage model of the future from within.  Glenn Sanford has assembled a fantastic team and I’m excited to join them and use my various industry experiences to help the company chart its course of success.” “Russ brings a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to the Company from multiple perspectives,” said Company founder and CEO, Glenn Sanford. “We’re fortunate to be able to add Russ to our team and believe he will have an immediate and lasting impact on the Company as we continue to grow.” Contact information for Russ Cofano: russ.cofano@exprealty.com About eXp World Holdings, Inc. eXp World Holdings, Inc. is the holding company for a number of companies most notably eXp Realty LLC, the Agent-Owned Cloud BrokerageTM as a full-service real estate brokerage providing 24/7 access to collaborative tools, training, and socialization for real estate brokers and agents through its 3-D, […]

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Congratulations to Annie Ives for being featured as a Power Player in Angeleno Magazine. For those of us not from Los Angeles, Angeleno Magazine is a highly respected local journal. She was touted for her leadership of TheMLS/Claw since 2002. Congratulations Annie! Read the entire article here!   https://themlsblog.com/2016/05/25/news-ceo-annie-ives-profiled-in-angeleno-magazine/

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RESO

COMPLETE THE SURVEY NOW The Real Estate Standards Organization, RESO, has been hard at work creating consistent data across MLS regions and across the country by creating the RESO Data Dictionary.  To date 1.1 mm agents across the country now have access to RESO Data Dictionary thanks to the hard work of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, The Realty Alliance, NAR, MLS system providers and MLSs across the country. This normalized data built from years of work with technology leaders from around the industry is being used to fuel Upstream, Broker Public Portal (Homesnap) and the AMP program.  RESO standards are making it easier for brokers to expand into new markets and to work with innovative technology providers. WAV Group, along with RESO and its industry Ambassadors, is very interested in learning more about the challenges you and your brokerage face with data management today and what RESO can do to aid in your challenges.  We would like to gather insights from you as a broker about RESO and candid feedback about the challenges you deal with when trying to ingest and manage MLS data. If you can spare about 5 minutes we would love to get your input! If you are a broker interested in completing the survey, CLICK HERE! If you are an MLS interested in distributing to your brokers, CLICK HERE! If you would like to learn more about RESO and how you can be involved, contact Marilyn@wavgroup.com.

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WAVES OF CHANGE QUARTERLY SERIES continues Thursday, May 26th with an online recap of the policy issues, announcements and news coming out of NAR Midyear as well as important industry updates, best practices and other thought-provoking topics to share with your leadership, brokers and staff. Sign up TODAY to ensure your organization benefits from the essential information our Industry Leaders will share on the latest news and trends, cutting edge technologies, research findings, and strategies to navigate the challenges we all face. WAV Groups Quarterly Webinar Series is designed to provide “cliff notes” following the major industry conferences such as NAR Midyear, CMLS and NAR Annual along with new information vital to our continued commitment in moving the industry forward. Progressive MLSs, Brokerages and Associations understand the value of taking advantage of this exciting and affordable way to keep their members dialed in on industry initiatives that have a potential impact, answer questions that your board and staff have about the climate of the industry, technology changes, as well as provide guidance on some best practices. It also allows for an opportunity for your voice to be heard, regarding issues we have in common, relevant questions as well as sharing potential strategies that lead to optimal success. By purchasing the WAVes of Change Series, up to 50 of your members can participate in four webinars throughout the year. You will also be provided with a recording of each session and the presentation assets to utilize and share. Some of the exciting topics that are covered in the WAVes of Change series: • Latest news from Upstream, AMP and the Broker Public Portal • NAR Announcements and Developments • The Customer-Centric Association and MLS – How to become the Zappos of the real estate industry • Highly Productive Board of Directors – How to make every minute of your board meetings more valuable • Fueling Innovation and Relevance – New Business Models for Associations and MLSs • The State of Agent Ratings and Testimonials • Gotta Have Technologies for Associations and MLS • Best Practices from Associations and MLSs • The evolving role of Zillow • The Next Generation of RESO Standards and how they will help our industry thrive • Voice of the Consumer – What are the key strengths and opportunities for REALTORS to serve their customers better? • The next generation of IDX rules For more information or […]

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Don’t Switch Software Vendors

by Victor Lund on May 2, 2016

Change Switch

WAV Group constantly tries to educate MLSs and brokers to stay with their current vendor. We have long preached that making a change costs a lot more than you think and sets the company’s goodwill back years. We see this in user satisfaction research gathered from both agents and consumers. Unless your vendor is impossible to work with, stick with them. Recently, I was directed to research published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) that substantiates this issue even more. The article is titled Eager Sellers and Stony Buyers : Understanding the Psychology of New-Product Adoption. The article starts out with the famous quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.” Unfortunately, Emerson is too often correct as executives are too quick to purchase shiny objects that promise greater benefits than the trusted product that is doing its job just fine every day. The fancy new product replaces the old one and nobody takes the time to learn it, causing a multi-year quest to get agents to use it. In the meantime, you crushed the productivity of the business. According to HBR, replacement products fail at a rate of between 40 percent and 90 percent depending on the category. Indeed, 47 percent of new products fail, too. So much for pioneering, right? There is a psychological factor to change that does not factor into new product selection. The bar to create change is extremely high! “People irrationally overvalue benefits they currently possess relative to those they don’t.” In 2002, an economist named Daniel Kahneman won a Nobel Prize for figuring this out. Here is the money quote: “…[users] overvalue the existing benefits of an entrenched product by a factor of three, while developers overvalue new benefits of their innovation by a factor of three. The result is a mismatch of nine to one, or 9X.” The strategic bias is to stick with the incumbent unless you must change. An alternative strategy is to run systems in parallel. We have seen the parallel system battle work really well. Of course, it duplicates the level of effort, but it may be a better system than throwing one out. California Regional MLS is doing this today, and more MLSs […]

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Blow Away Your Broker Profit Goals

by Marilyn Wilson on April 20, 2016

Leverage

Top 5 Reasons to Leverage MLS Listing Data in Your Brokerage Today MLS data can make a lot of the systems in a brokerage work more smoothly and can create new ways to serve the needs of your clients while helping your brokerage be more competitive. I have been working a lot recently with brokers who are finding new ways to provide better service to their agents, sellers and home buyers by integrating their systems with MLS data in new and meaningful ways. Here are five benefits of integrating your systems with MLS data and how they can help your business be more profitable. 1. More Traffic to Your Website Today, every MLS is REQUIRED to offer you SOLDs in your IDX feed if you so choose. Why can SOLDs be a benefit? First, they can make your site more competitive with the depth of content offered on third party sites. Second, it can give consumers a reason to engage earlier on your site while they’re in the early research phases of their search. It can also help engage potential sellers looking to see how much their home is worth in today’s market. 2. Improve Professionalism Today, many of the online transaction management companies out there like Docusign, Form Simplicity, ZipLogix and others have easy ways to populate forms with live MLS data. The data then passes through to all of the documents that will be used in the transaction seamlessly eliminating the need for redundant data entry which inevitably leads to mistakes. A lack of attention to detail is one of the things that consumers complain about most. This is a great way to eliminate that problem. 3. Close Deals Faster Time is of the essence when an agent secures a listing. By using marketing automation systems like Imprev and others, property flyers and additional marketing materials can be built in real-time using MLS listing information saving hours and even days of turnaround time. These systems help you create a more consistent brand presence, provide better service to your agents and help you start to market your properties much more quickly with a push of a button. Our clients who use these types of systems LOVE them. They have freed up their marketing team to focus on corporate marketing programs, brand enhancements and other more strategic projects. 4. Reduce Staff Time and Cost Many of the industry-centric accounting packages […]

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3 Ways for MLSs to Frustrate and Alienate Brokers

by Marilyn Wilson on April 20, 2016

No!

SOLDS, VOWS and the RESO Data Dictionary are NOT Optional for MLSs Some MLSs are creating unnecessary and even illegal challenges for their brokers as well as for the technology suppliers that support their brokers, by not complying with NAR rules…some of which that have been in place for YEARS! I hear regularly from brokers and technology vendors that they run into roadblocks all the time when they try to access SOLDs for their IDX feed, a Virtual Office Website (VOW) data feed and most recently, the RESO Data Dictionary dataset. I’m going to start with a little history lesson to help MLSs understand there are three data programs that are part of the NAR family, that are NOT optional for MLSs. IDX feed including SOLDS Required Brokers from the Leading Real Estate Companies of the world fought hard for MLSs to provide the option for brokers to include SOLDs in their IDX data feed. Some brokers really like the idea of including SOLDs on their website. They believe it helps them to be more competitive with third party sites, it provides a better consumer experience as well as encouraging more traffic and engagement. To address these important broker needs, the NAR MLS Policy Committee approved a rule that requires an MLS to provide SOLDs in the IDX data feed as requested by a broker. The first rule was approved in late 2014, the language was then amended to address non-disclosure states more specifically in late 2015. Here’s the official language: “If “sold” information is publicly accessible, display of “sold” listings may not be prohibited.” Even though this rule was put in place almost two years ago there are still several MLSs and some technology vendors who do not offer this option to their brokers. NAR rules state that any approved IDX policy must be live in every MLS no later than 90 days after the ruling has been ratified. I’m not sure why an MLS thinks that limiting the data and ultimately the value they can deliver to their customers is a good idea, but there are several that still do. If you are one of these MLSs that has refused to comply with this regulation or is simply not aware of this requirement, it’s time to get on with it! If you are an IDX or website vendor that has not yet complied with this rule and does […]

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The New Process for RFPs in Real Estate

by Victor Lund on March 30, 2016

Display showing bad, average good, person selecting

The RFP process has been a practice of companies acquiring technology solutions forever. RFP stands for Request for Proposal. The RFP focuses on drawing out product features and functionality. Although RFPs have always asked questions about the company, that is perhaps the most important component of RFPs in 2016. Today, I would argue that an RFP really is a Request for Partnership. This change was caused by a quiet revolution. During the Y2K surge that transitioned software from mainframe to browser, there was recognition that the old process of software development was too bureaucratic, slow, and overly regimented. An alternative to traditional project management that emerged in the early 2000s is called Agile software development. They use terms like Scrum, Extreme Programing, Dynamic System Development Method, Feature-Drive Development and many others. The overarching focus of all of these methodologies is to deliver frequent, high quality working software, delivered in “sprints,” which are measured in weeks, not months. The result is continuous improvement. You are experiencing this new methodology routinely on your mobile devices. If you have notices that your iPhone asks you to update your apps all of the time, that’s it. DocuSign can illustrate an example in real estate. In the first two months of the year, they have done 18 new feature releases for their transaction management solution. The software that they offered in January has evolved in two short months. It’s not just DocuSign, this is the way it’s done for most software developers. Our Typical RFP process for an MLS or large broker is to write a draft, go through an approval and editing process, then provide the vendor with 2-4 weeks to respond. During that time line, the features of the application could change dramatically. That is the beauty of Agile development, and why companies need to adjust the way that they look at vendor selection. My key takeaway: the RFP should focus less on features and more on the frequency and quality of their releases. How fast are they evolving? A new way to learn about your Request for Partnership is to take a look at the epic stories that they are writing for their Agile sprints. Take a look back three months and see how many releases they have made, and what functions were delivered. From this type of research you can see the impact of these releases. It will give you a […]

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