We have learned over the last half-decade of doing listing syndication that it is complicated, especially for firms that have multiple offices, multiple associations, multiple MLSs, and possibly a franchise or network. We call this overlapping syndication disorder and the existence of this disorder can lead to syndication fraud. Last month, Amy Gallagher of Century 21® Hometown Realty in California encountered a fraud attempt that was blocked by ListHub. This is an important component of our service that you may not be aware of. Gallagher’s firm participates in three primary MLSs along the central coast of California and is also a franchise of Century 21. All three MLSs offer listing syndication and so does Century 21. Because the firm’s listings overlap in some MLS areas (same listing in multiple MLSs), they choose to use the ListHub service offered through their Century 21 franchise as their primary syndication tool. Gallagher has a ListHub account in each MLS, but has the listing syndication turned off. In June of 2014, Gallagher received an email stating that her new ListHub account in a certain MLS was requested. The ListHub team alerted her that someone was using her broker credentials to try to create a ListHub account. The effort was blocked. “Without this fraud alert feature in ListHub, our listings could have been taken over and abusively syndicated!” Since over 90% of consumers begin their home search online, it is essential that technology is available to support real estate professionals who choose to advertise their listings online within a safe environment. And if brokers want to block syndication there should be a mechanism to support this option as well. ListHub, a leading technology-provider used by more than 450 MLSs and 50,000+ brokers in the United States, is a good example of a managed syndication platform. ListHub is controlled solely by the broker-in-charge and connected directly to the MLS. With ListHub, for example, only the broker-in-charge can decide where the company’s listings are being distributed online, or if they are distributed at all. ListHub has protective measures in place to help brokers prevent listing fraud including the ability to block syndication for your office codes, ensuring that no other broker or agent is able to fraudulently syndicate your listings via ListHub. A little background to understand how this works… The ListHub platform is set up so that when a broker account is configured ListHub pulls the […]
MLS Mobile is a highly competitive space. There are so many companies challenging for the lucrative contracts that I am afraid to list them all here. We get press releases sent to us almost every day about who has signed a contract with this MLS or this Mobile provider. One of the things that angers me when we get these press releases is that many of them are renewals. I am not sure what is press worthy about a renewal – but that is another story for another day. Goomzee announced this week the addition of a bunch of new MLS customers. They have a solid and competitive product, so it is no surprise. But underneath the press release is something that is more interesting. Many MLS vendors have not cracked their mobile strategy yet. Most of the MLSs who are buying Goomzee are using Paragon, Flex, or Rapattoni as a vendor. I think that they also have a Marketlinx customer or two. The need to have a mobile solution with full MLS access is a core requirement of every real estate agent today that is actively doing business. Today’s professional cannot get away with telling a client “they will get back to them later when they can look it up in the office.” This is the information age! Business is always on, always connected, and happens anywhere. What’s odd to me is that most of these MLS systems have responsive design or a mobile interface. Why the need for Goomzee or another third party app? Mobile is different. MLS vendors are natural creatures of their domain. When they think of their mobile strategy, they think in terms of porting their application to the web. They designate the killer features that must be accessed and port them to mobile in a variety of ways. Perhaps that is the issue. They are inside their domain and not thinking from the outside-in. In this case, outside-in thinking would be studying how consumers use mobile, then applying that knowledge to how an agent would use mobile MLS. The use case scenarios for desktop MLS do not apply to mobile MLS. Clearly, MLS mobile app developers have cracked this user experience where MLS vendors have struggled. I wonder how long that will last. Marketlinx has clearly come a long way with GoMLS. I understand that Flex has an app in the works. I am […]
This is a guest post sent to us by Carl DeMusz of NORMLS – https://www.linkedin.com/pub/carl-demusz/4/749/249 Real estate markets are cyclical and change with the economy. They tend to be closely linked to employment which is also impacted by the economy. We have often observed times when the housing market can lead the economy out of recession. One thing that helps improve the housing market is a well-informed consumer who realizes that while housing markets are cyclical they always recover. They know that if they buy a home and hold on to it, the value will rise over time simply because people need homes to live in and buildable land is in short supply. Here, the laws of “supply and demand” eventually kick in. That is why for most Americans their home is their most valuable possession. Did you know the most qualified buyers are usually the most impatient when it comes to finding their home? These are the buyers who web search a listing, find ones they are interested in and want facts on the property as quick as possible. How fast are you at responding to an Internet Inquiry? Response time is so important that the WAV Group, a Professional Consulting Firm, did a study of real estate agents responsiveness. I’ve posted a few of their results below. WAV Group evaluated agent responsiveness this year by becoming a homebuyer lead across hundreds of brokerages in 11 states. Our findings may shock you. • 48% of buyer inquiries were NEVER responded to • Average number of call back attempts after the initial contact was 1.5 • Average number of email contact attempts was 2.07 • Average response time was 917 minutes (or 15.29 hours) Agent Responsiveness Study Download Report: http://s3.amazonaws.com/mtssdhosting/wavgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/15085006/AgentResponsivenessStudy2013Final.pdf The worldwide web is a great tool for advertising plus a whole lot more. We can help you increase your lead conversion rate by speeding up your response time to consumer inquiries. Another valuable tool available to NORMLS members working with consumers is the Client Portal in the Matrix system. Each day hundreds of thousands of listings are viewed by consumers through our Client Portal right here in Northeast Ohio. If you are a NORMLS member and are not currently setup to use the Client Portal, I would be remising if I didn’t mention the “GoNEOHREX Mobile App”. This App is available for iPhones/iPads as well as android and tablets. If […]
AgentMatch from realtor.com was a solution that was tested in two real estate markets – Boulder, CO and Las Vegas, TX. The pilot program was developed as a service to connect consumers with agents based on performance, interests and recommendation data. Putting aside the debate about the strengths or weaknesses of this form of rating an agent, there is plenty to learn from how it was rolled out, how feedback was generated, and how the company reacted to the feedback. Pre-roll Out Decisions With any new service, the first question should be opt-in or opt-out. WAV Group has always recommended that the default on any consumer facing solution should be opt-in unless there are powerful mitigating reasons that support opt-out. In this test, realtor.com worked closely with both MLSs to be sure all were in agreement with how the data would be displayed. Pre-roll Out Communication Some companies have mandated classes on product roll-outs. WAV Group is not a big fan of this. Rather, offer the class or training online. Record it. Do not enable the service until the broker has either waived or attended the training. Getting the acknowledgement is really important. It is absurd to think that you will be able to reasonably solicit some form of acknowledgement from every broker – but make sure you get acknowledgement from most brokers. Schedule meetings face to face with your 10 largest brokers and phone conferences with 11-50. Again here, I applaud realtor.com for organizing local, executive and broker advisory boards during the development of this pilot. Pilot Testing New product roll-outs are never perfect. Indeed, the mantra for innovation is “fail fast and fail often.” What RDC did by putting the product out into the wild was aggressive. I know they worked closely with, and solicited feedback from, agents before AgentMatch was publically displayed. But they still got a pile of new feedback in the early days of the pilot. React to Feedback AgentMatch was taken offline today. In a statement, realtor.com President, Errol Samuelson said “The AgentMatch pilot has concluded, but the larger project remains: We intend to create the most accurate and complete resource for consumers looking for a Realtor online, and to continue moving the industry forward with innovative solutions.” What makes the company stronger in the eyes of their customers is that they were comfortable with embracing feedback and taking action to resolve important issues […]
When you are confronted with potential change to your organization, do you believe you are a “big picture” thinker or a wall builder? True leaders understand how resisting necessary change is never the right option. What type of leader are you? I recently had a conversation with an MLS/Association executive that made me realize how strong some of our leaders are, as well as how short sighted others are. This particular MLS executive who oversees a fairly good-sized organization with over 5,000 members brought up the issue of sharing data with another MLS. It really wasn’t the specific reason we were talking but it did have relevance via the big picture on things we were discussing, so we discussed it for a while. What struck me immediately about this executive’s commentary was the absolute lack of defensiveness when talking about all of the options from data sharing to full regionalization. This leader clearly looked at the situation from a position of what is best for his members and the business, plain and simple. There did not seem to be any hesitation or resistance to any and all possibilities though clearly some courses of action could potentially impact this person’s position. This is the type of person you meet and within seconds you respect them and you trust them because they operate from the “big picture”. They don’t worry about losing their job because they know another opportunity will open up that will be better. What they focus on is doing the right thing as the executive of their organization. They are a pleasure to work with! Some years ago
WAV Group would like to congratulate Bob Hale of the Houston Association of REALTORS® for being selected as the 2011 CEO Communicator of the Year. Hale was presented with this honor by the Public Relations Society of America through its Houston Chapter. As CEO of the Houston Association of REALTORS®, Bob Hale exhibited communications excellence by combining public relations, social media, a website, print, and outdoor advertising to successfully communicate the value of REALTORS® as the trusted resource for real estate consumers, and HAR as the trusted partner to broker and agent membership. Hale has been leading the Houston Association since 1988, growing the organization into the largest trade organization in the Houston Area and the second largest local REALTOR® Association in America representing 24,000 members.