real estate

Broker Public Portal Update Webinar

by Victor Lund on August 17, 2017

As part of our commitment to keeping CMLS members informed about industry initiatives, we want you to know there will be an upcoming webinar for the Broker Public Portal. By sharing and encouraging awareness, CMLS supports unified leadership, open communication, and market knowledge within the industry. All The Questions You’ve Wanted To Ask About The Broker Public Portal, Answered Most people have heard about the Broker Public Portal and have questions about it. This webinar will allow you to ask your own questions and answer some common questions: What is the BPP? What is the relationship between the BPP and Homesnap? How much does it cost to join the BPP? What are the benefits of the BPP for MLSs, brokers and agents? Can the BPP actually compete with the large portals? How is listing data shared with consumers and agents in the BPP? At 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 24, CMLS will host a time for the Broker Public Portal to answer member questions. Denee Evans, CEO of CMLS, will join the conversation with Lauren Hansen, CEO of IRES; Stephanie Hill, MLS director of GLVAR; and Merle Whitehead, chairman of the board, Broker Public Portal. ​If you have any questions for the panelists please email them to webinar@councilofmls.org. We will compile a list and get them over to the panelists prior to the webinar so they may be addressed. Be sure to register HERE!

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Homes.com Grabs Zillow Turf In New York City

by Victor Lund on August 9, 2017

Homes.com Logo

Homes.com signs direct agreement to receive REBNY’s Residential Listing Service feed Norfolk, Va. (August 9, 2017) – Homes.com®, the leading online real estate destination and provider of real estate marketing solutions, has announced that the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) will join Homes.com’s Data Partnership Program through a direct syndicated feed agreement with REBNY’s Residential Listing Service (RLS). The new partnership will offer the more than 600 New York City residential brokerage firms, comprised of 12,860 agents participating in REBNY’s RLS, the option to display their listings on Homes.com and utilize free exposure to their audience of more than 14 million transaction-ready consumers monthly. Homes.com will also provide RLS participants with access to the Homes.com Connect Lead System. The Homes.com Data Partnership Program is committed to the responsible display of residential for-sale and rental listing information by always promoting the listing agent and brokerage prominently on its listing detail pages, and always routing consumer inquiries directly to the listing agent. “We welcome Homes.com to our RLS Syndication network that is expanding the reach of comprehensive, reliable residential listing information to consumers searching for homes in New York City,” said John Banks, president of REBNY. “Partnerships with trusted real estate solutions platforms like Homes.com are a benefit to our members. This direct feed agreement demonstrates the importance of working together with partners like Homes.com to better serve all parties and the public.” The benefits provided by Homes.com’s Data Partnership Program include: Prominent Branding – Clear attribution and branding for the listing agent and broker on listing detail pages. Consumer Leads – All leads generated from listing detail pages are emailed directly to the listing agent. REBNY Branding – Prominent branding for REBNY’s RLS as the trusted source of the listing information. Direct Links – All listings on Homes.com can include “deep links” back to the broker’s website. Homes.com’s Data Partnership Program also includes all of the features of the Homes.com Connect Lead System: Contact, Lead, & Task Manager – Manage contacts and leads in one central platform. Central Lead Management – Aggregate leads from various sources into one central lead management system. Email Campaigns – Instantly add prospects to drip email campaigns. Social Prospecting – Aggregate contacts from major social networks. Agent and Broker Profiles – Prominent Homes.com branding with contact information, biographies, and links to agent and broker websites. com’s Q&A – Instantly connect with consumers asking real […]

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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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corelogic logo

Exciting news was announced today! Clareity has been purchased by CoreLogic. CoreLogic purchased the security company and the consulting company. Gregg and the entire Clareity team became part of the CoreLogic family effective today. WAV Group congratulates both companies. What it means for the industry….. I reached out to a few people to get their opinions and here is what I found. Inman News Summary – For the most part, this acquisition will be business as usual for all clients of Clareity. For obvious reasons, a lot of the comparative services that Clareity has provided will be carefully considered – ie – vendor selection or maybe MLS competitive survey. They are not shuttering the consulting services. Matt Cohen’s opinion is that CoreLogic intends to maintain the same policies with Clareity supporting competing MLS systems. Clareity will join Realist, ePropertyWatch, Listing Data Checker, Trestle, and the many other products that can service any MLS regardless of the core system. We will just carry on as usual. David Friedman, CEO of Boston Logic commented that he “did not know they were shopping.” Boston Logic is actively acquiring real estate technology companies and recently announced the acquisition of Property Base on June 1st of this year. The transaction was somewhat significant, but not reported. WAV Group’s surprise was that the companies have decided not to release the price of the transaction or the revenue of Clareity at the time of the transaction.  CoreLogic’s auditors probably set a threshold on material acquisitions that may not have been pierced. However, WAV Group suspects that the terms of the transaction could be shared publicly or filed with the SEC within a reasonable amount of time. CoreLogic is meticulous and hygienic when it comes to the obligations of a public company. Keep your eyes peeled. Ken Jenny pointed out that “Clareity Security’s prime feature is insuring tat every agent pays for MLS access. I suspect that Clareity Security is installed on most CoreLogic accounts. If nothing else, CoreLogic will be assured that they get paid for every seat in the MLS. I whish MLSs would invest as much in protecting data. The biggest security breach is going out via data feeds. MLSs should worry about that as a priority rather than a few real estate agents not paying the dues. The MLS is a very unsecure place to keep data.” Stefan Swanepoel had no comment but encourages […]

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CoreLogic Logo

Technology Provides Seamless Authentication Across Multiple Platforms IRVINE, Calif., August 2, 2017—CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, announced today that the company has added Clareity Security software solutions to its suite of Real Estate Solutions products. This addition expands the range of CoreLogic technology services to Multiple Listing Organizations and Associations in North America as well as product offerings for brokerages and their agents. Clareity® is identified as an industry leader in secure identity and access management.  Serving over eight hundred fifty thousand real estate professionals daily delivering over two hundred fifty application and service integrations. Clareity’s flagship product, SAFEMLS®, has been serving multiple listing organizations for a dozen years and its popular, custom-branded dashboard platforms serve hundreds of multiple listing organizations, associations, and brokerages across North America and will now do so using the CoreLogic solutions. All Clareity products and services are now part of CoreLogic, including their software solutions for secure authentication; single-sign-on (SSO); integration and workflow automations; secure messaging and communication; content management and business intelligence. “The Real Estate industry is full of visionary tech companies driving all of us forward,” said Chris Bennett, executive leader of Real Estate Solutions for CoreLogic. “Every day, a cutting-edge app or web service is introduced to agents and brokers to help them find and serve customers. The addition of Clareity solutions to the CoreLogic Real Estate Solutions suite helps tech companies deliver those innovative tools to users more transparently. We think our mutual cultures of commitment to moving our industry forward through innovation is a terrific catalyst for the benefit of our customers.” Gregg Larson, founder and CEO of Clareity, who will be joining the CoreLogic executive team states, “We’re thankful for our employees, customers, and integration partners for their continued trust in Clareity. We’re confident that CoreLogic’s dedication to customer centered innovation will help fuel the growth and enhancement of the Clareity line of solutions.” About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider. The company’s combined data from public, contributory and proprietary sources includes over 4.5 billion records spanning more than 50 years, providing detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, and the public sector. CoreLogic delivers value to clients […]

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Imprev Hosts Stellar Learning Labs at Inman Connect SF

by Kevin Hawkins on August 2, 2017

Conference

One of the greatest innovations that Brad Inman added to Inman Connect in recent years is a hidden treasure that not everyone may be aware of: the Learning Labs. These are held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, August 9 and 10, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Learning Labs have become, in my experience, one of the best places where agents and brokers can learn tangible business practices that can be implemented immediately. A company that perfected the Learning Lab concept out of the gate is Imprev, a pioneering sponsor of the Inman Labs. Imprev, America’s largest real estate marketing technology firm,1 was once known as a tool for building flyers and postcards, and for powering the RE/MAX Design Center. Today the company is rocking the real estate brokerage world with many of the biggest and best brands for its Automated Marketing Services. Imprev Learning Lab Lineup Wed. Aug. 9 – 2:00 pm: “Back to the Future: 4 Secrets to Building a Brand That Stays Relevant” (Parlor 9) James Dwiggins, CEO of NextHome, Inc., kicks off the first Imprev Learning Lab by sharing four ways NextHome’s innovative approach to technology, marketing, and recruiting has driven success—and what other real estate brokers can do to “future-proof” their business. Wed. Aug. 9 – 3:00 pm: “Don’t End Up Like a Cassette Tape: How to Build a Business Strategy That Endures” (Parlor 9) Our own WAV Group co-founder, Victor Lund, will moderate a panel that includes two top industry experts: Joseph Rand, Managing Partner and General Counsel, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, and Tom Tognoli, Founder, President, & CEO, Intero Real Estate. Their session will uncover how large brokerage firms can stay relevant to their agents –communicating a clear vision and hitting measurable goals for the business that agents can identify with. They will share how their brokerage is keeping clients for life, and turning your brokerage brands into a memorable experience (instead of just a transaction), as well as drive effectiveness and efficiency by taking charge of the marketing strategy for agents. Wed. Aug. 9 – 4:00 pm: “Where Will Your Tech Be in 2022? 6 Steps to Future-Proof Your Marketing Technology Strategy” (Parlor 9) This all-star line up includes Dave Garland, Partner, Second Century Ventures, moderating a panel that includes Realogy’s Jake Lyman, Chief Product Operations Officer, ZapLabs LLC and the always-interesting David Friedman, President and Founder, Boston Logic. This […]

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Elm Street Technology

Integration of Home Enthusiast content together with Real Estate search significantly improves the Consumer Experience and produces superior results for Real Estate Professionals August 1, 2017 – Greensboro, NC – Elm Street Technology and This Old House have just announced the launch of their co-branded digital marketing platform for real estate professionals. After months of testing, the Elm Street Technology and This Old House integrated digital marketing platform has generated best-in-class results for real estate companies and professionals including: Generating new monthly Unique Visitors and Repeat Visitors Increasing Session Time per User Proven improvements in the quality and volume of Leads Generated “Improving the consumer experience with rich content provided by This Old House has led to enhanced results and a truly unique offering for our customers” said Prem Luthra, President and CEO of Elm Street Technology.  “Increasing the volume and quality of leads generated on our digital marketing platforms is our ongoing mission on behalf of our customers, and partnering with This Old House is yet another step we are taking to deliver better value for our customers and the consumers they serve.” “Our team is excited to partner with Elm Street Technology to offer real estate professionals with content and tools to better engage consumers,” said Eric Thorkilsen, CEO of This Old House Ventures, LLC.  “While consumers are actively searching for a new property, they are simultaneously thinking about transforming the house they purchase into their home. We believe that offering our 37+ year library of home-related content to real estate professionals is a step towards providing a valuable content experience to those consumers.” Century 21 DuMont & Associates, a leading real estate brokerage in Massachusetts was one of the first companies to take advantage of this new platform.  “Everybody knows This Old House from TV so when I was offered the opportunity to offer their content to our custumers, I took full advantage immediately,” said Rick DuMont Broker/Owner.  Soon after the launch of the new website, consumer testimonials were received including, “I just wanted to let you know what a great website you have! We were surprised and delighted to see This Old House content on your site! We have watched this show!  We also love the look and ease of use with this site. Keep up the good work!” said Vanessa Guerney.   Contacts: Elizabeth Kaplan Elm Street Technology ekaplan@elmstreettechnology.com 401.632.3186    About Elm Street Technology […]

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Reso Fall Conference

Brokers, even those that invest significant money in their online presence struggle to engage potential customers. In just about every market, brokers have taken a backseat to venture-backed sites that are constantly launching new bells and whistles to capture the attention of potential home buyers and sellers. There’s been a group of hard-working technology leaders at work creating the Real Estate Standards Organization or RESO, as it is called. This smart community of thinkers, led by many of the largest broker organizations including Keller Williams, Home Services of America, REALOGY, Watson, Crye-Leike, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, The Realty Alliance, Michael Saunders and Company, The Group and many others, has built a standardized way to describe real estate used for websites, marketing tools, back office systems and just about every system that brokers use today that are dependent on MLS information. So, what does that buy a Broker in everyday, practical terms? Lots of things.  I am going to explain just one of them that can be a huge advantage for a broker website. Consumers bounce around a lot today when they’re searching for properties. They might look at a home on their phone as they drive by it. They really like it from the outside and want to save it for later to share with their spouse and their REALTOR®.  That evening they might be at home reviewing properties on their laptop while they’re watching television. They find a few more that they like. They want to save them so they can share it with their REALTOR in the morning. Because they’re actively looking for a home, they also have set up a saved search on their broker’s website so they can watch the market. Today, most consumers save properties in multiple websites and on multiple devices making it really difficult for them and their agent to keep track of all of the homes they might be interested in. RESO now allows  a broker to be able to sync what a consumer is doing into their lead management tools and their mobile solution seamlessly, as an example… As the consumer changes the search in one of the places, the agent is notified of the consumers updated preferences and can better assist. Richard Renton, CEO of Triad MLS and Secretary for RESO says “RESO has created a standardized way of defining and displaying saved searches and favorite properties […]

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Ben Caballero

America’s number one real estate agent isn’t from Manhattan or Beverly Hills. You won’t find him when you’re filing through the programming guide for HGTV, and he’s never graced the cover of Real Estate magazine. He doesn’t cater to the rich and famous. Ben Caballero is the broker-owner of HomesUSA.com®, based in Addison, Texas, and sells new homes to Texans for more than 60 top builders in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Ben is not only arguably, real estate’s most successful agent, he may well be its most unconventional one. The World’s Most Successful Agent On the success side, he’s the first individual real estate sales professional (Realtor®) in the history of the World to generate more than $1 billion in total annual home sales: he did that in 2015. Ben Caballero has done it again. He’s shattered his own billion-dollar record. His business soared over 40% last year alone, and that means he booked $1.444 billion in total home sales, once again landing the number one spot on the REAL Trends “The Thousand” list of America’s top producing agents, which was just published in the Mansion section of the Wall Street Journal. He is also atop the coveted REAL Trends “The Thousand” list for most transaction sides. The total is simply stunning: 3,556 of his new home listings sold last year. That means Ben sold seven times more homes than his closet competitor. You read that right: the number two agent had 467 of his homes listed sold last year and Ben outsold his competition 7-to-1. That’s crazy. To give you an idea of what that number really means, Ben sold an average of more than 68 homes per week: that’s nearly 10 homes a day, every day of the week, or more than one-and-a-half sales every business hour. Want to know something that’s even crazier? During a decade when the real estate trade media has been fixated on teams, Ben has crushed their numbers. That’s correct: Ben out-produced every single real estate team in America last year in BOTH categories of total transactions and total sales volume. The top team in the USA closed 1,980 total transaction sides. Ben closed more than 1,500 more transactions sides than the number one team in America – 79% more business than they did! How does Ben compare to the number one team in the USA for total sales volume? […]

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CoreLogic Logo

IRVINE, Calif., July 18, 2017—CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, announced today that clients of Trestle can now obtain Platinum-level data dictionary certification from the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO). Trestle™ is the national data marketplace created by CoreLogic to address fundamental data access problems experienced by real estate brokers, technology providers, and multiple listing organizations. RESO promotes data standards and processes that facilitate software innovation, ensure portability, eliminate redundancy and achieve greater efficiency for all real estate transaction parties. “CoreLogic is a strong supporter of real estate standards and has marched steadily toward the highest level of RESO certification for our clients,” said Chris Bennett, executive leader of Real Estate Solutions for CoreLogic. CoreLogic elevated its RESO data dictionary certification from Silver to Gold in April and now has become the largest provider of Platinum-certified listing data in America, as well as the first major multiple listing platform vendor to extend Platinum certification to all clients. “Platinum certification was an important short-term goal for Trestle,” said Bennett. “With that in our pocket, we can now focus on expanding beyond our current 112 clients and achieving complete coverage across America. With Trestle providing a single source of highest quality listing data that spans the nation, there is simply no reason for technology developers to maintain hundreds of individual data feeds to power their agent and broker applications.” Trestle does more than simplify listing data distribution. The solution automates the process of requesting and obtaining data licenses from participating multiple listing organizations. A planned enhancement will provide access to leading CoreLogic parcel record data and automated valuation tools. For more information, visit trestle.corelogic.com. About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider. The company’s combined data from public, contributory and proprietary sources includes over 4.5 billion records spanning more than 50 years, providing detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, and the public sector. CoreLogic delivers value to clients through unique data, analytics, workflow technology, advisory and managed services. Clients rely on CoreLogic to help identify and manage growth opportunities, improve performance and mitigate risk. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., CoreLogic operates in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, please […]

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TOH

WAV Group will be hosting a free webinar on August 1st at 10:00 am PDT focused around how MLSs like the Georgia MLS and leading brokers like Century 21 Dumont are leveraging video to drive consumer engagement. The webinar is designed to address the needs of MLSs and Large brokers with more than 100,000 website visits a month. If you operate a big site, you will want to attend. We will hear about how MLSs and brokers are partnering with This Old House, and how they are leveraging their extensive library to enhance the consumer experience, extend visitor time on site, and enhance online performance . Be sure to register here! Background You are more than likely to be familiar with This Old House – but here is an introduction if you are not. With over 35 years of house and home content, This Old House launched the genre 36 years ago. The crew continues to share their expertise and sense of humor with homeowners as they guide the transformation of two diamonds in the rough. Broker and MLS consumer sites have long known that a solid video strategy is beneficial, but the cost of developing custom video content is overwhelming. This Old House has a free video licensing program that is producing extraordinary results. Our panel includes: Victor Lund Victor Lund is a founding partner of WAV Group and CEO of RE Technology. For more than a decade, Lund has provided research, strategic planning and analyst services to MLSs, large brokerages, technology firms, and investment banks. He is a published author of an body of work that understands the role of technology in real estate. Lund is currently providing services to two key industry wide projects – Project Upstream and the National Broker Public Portal April Chaffee April Chaffee is the General Manager of the This Old House Real Estate Network. Prior to joining This Old House, April began her online advertising career 16 years ago with Homestore (Move Inc.) where she started as a Media Planner, working hands on with the National and Local Sales Team. She also worked for many other real estate related companies such as RealtyTrac, where she handled all large, strategic partnerships including Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL. A large part of her career was helping to build REALM, the first Real Estate Vertical Ad Network.   Prem Luthra Prem Luthra is a real estate technology and media veteran with […]

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CoreLogic Logo

MLS data services for brokers, agents, and their technology providers are changing at a very rapid pace. The RETS Standards that are used by an estimated 97% of IDX and VOW solutions are converting to the RESO Web API. Being informed about this conversion is vital to the effective management of data feeds. WAV Group Partner, Victor Lund is joined by CEO of the Real Estate Standards Organization, Jeremy Crawford as he discussed the challenges and opportunities he’s hearing first-hand from brokers and technology vendors as they move toward receiving standard feeds. Did you know that RESO certification must be obtained with each new standard version released? Did you know that certification is free to RESO members? Did you know that technology providers can be certified? Did you know that RESO will evaluate your listing input form to roadmap how you can adopt the Data Dictionary on listing input? Kevin Greene of CoreLogic also joined us live to discuss Trestle™.  Trestle is the solution that CoreLogic is delivering to all of their clients to insure compliance with the RESO certification standards that are mandated for all MLSs chartered by the National Association of REALTORS®. The solution has been delivered to more than 112 MLSs, providing a seamless solution for technology providers to access more than half of the listings in the United States. The solution includes automation for processing the three way agreement and an ecommerce solution for MLSs to collect fees. The webinar was rounded off with an in-depth Q&A Session that discussed a range of topics from technical questions about JSON to practical questions about fees. Did you know that CoreLogic is offering Trestle to MLSs who are not on their Matrix platform? Yes, Rapattoni, FlexMLS, Paragon, and many other systems can join the Trestle initiative. Do you know what it means to go Data Dictionary Native in your MLS system? If you could not attend don’t worry, follow the link below to view the full webinar free of charge.             If you have any questions regarding the webinar please don’t hesitate to contact camilla@wavgroup.com

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Zillow Protects Broker Data

by Victor Lund on June 28, 2017

Zillow Logo

WAV Group supports brokers and MLSs in constructing data licensing agreements with users of data records that belong to the broker. When a company like Zillow ingests broker data, like all recipients, they must adhere to the data license agreement which typically requires that you cannot allow the data to be used by a third party. The blog McMansionHell.com is learning the hard way that using data from Zillow without proper authority is a copyright violation that Zillow will pursue. Not only will Zillow pursue the violation, but they may be contractually bound to pursue the violation. The media around the case is a bit confused, so let me try to break it down in layman terms. There are two methods for licensing data to Zillow Group. I say Zillow Group because they do a great job of creating one license agreement for all of their websites. In the absence of a license agreement, the default agreement is the Terms of Use on their respective websites. Zillow manages a number of license agreements depending on how they are acquiring the data. The agreements that they have with Franchise Organizations like Realogy, Keller Williams, RE/MAX, etc have a certain flavor. Agreements with brokerages are a little different. Agreements directly with the Multiple Listing Service are also different. The primary covenants of these agreements is that Zillow Group will use the data for its intended purpose and not allow anyone else to use the data. If the broker sends the data to Zillow, its generally for advertising purposes. They would not expect Zillow to collect the data for the purpose of advertising a home for sale, then have Zillow turn around and ship it elsewhere for some other purpose. In this case, Zillow did not provide a data feed to McMansionHell.com. McMansionHell.com is subject to the Terms of Use that are published on Zillow as a user. McMansionHell.com scraped the data off of Zillow. The process is pretty easy to do on any computer. Simply right click on the image and save it to you computer. Here is where it gets interesting. Sometimes you can use an image from Zillow legally, and at other times you cannot. The digital millennium copyright act allows for some content sharing online. However, the Zillow Terms of Use are very specific. You can only use Zillow Group websites for their stated intent – looking for a […]

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Don’t Miss Out!

by Camilla Harvey on June 21, 2017

Ocean Wave

We are officially midway through 2017, now is a great time to sit back and reflect on the year so far and to begin preparing your organization for the inevitable evolutions we will experience throughout coming months and into 2018. Do you sometimes feel like your Board of Directors and key staff could benefit from a WAV Group overview of what is happening in the real estate industry today? Could your organization benefit from an information resource like WAV Group to characterize the rapid change in our industry? Would you like an informed review of how similar MLS boards are developing centers of excellence and outstanding performance? Join us for the WAVes of Change! Our WAVes of Change Series delivers regular industry insights and overviews of the topics shaping our future. Four times a year we present a live webinar, usually falling after major conferences such as AEI, NAR Mid-Year, CMLS and NAR Annual. These featured webinars provide exclusive looks at WAV Group research, emerging technology trends, broker challenges, and policy discussion, as well as other stimulating and engaging topics from key conferences. We provide updates on projects like AMP, Upstream, Broker Public Portal, Zilllow, Data Licensing, mergers and acquisitions, data sharing, and more. You’ll be Joining Many Other Successful MLSs and Associations… Many successful MLSs and Associations already understand the value of this stimulating and cost-effective way to keep their members up to speed on industry initiatives that make an impact. WAV Group will also answer questions that your board and staff have about the climate of the industry, address technology changes, as well as provide guidance on some best practices. The webinar series 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. Get Pricing Today You simply cannot afford to miss out on this vital subscription! Please contact camilla@wavgroup.com to schedule a call, get pricing, and take advantage of the series today! Please join your Association and MLS colleagues for this insightful series!  You’ll be glad you did!

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Google Local Guides Are Great For Real Estate

by Victor Lund on June 13, 2017

Google Local Guides

If you remember the rage about FourSquare years ago, its coming back again. But this time, Google is leading the way to create local experts and Google Maps is the platform. So set up your account on Google Local Guides and get going! If you participate a lot, (hit 50 reviews), you will be highlighted as a top reviewer on Google Maps for Apple’s iOS and Android. Why? Well, that is only something that you can answer. Like so many other social media strategies, it needs to be something that you enjoy doing. Also, consider this – Google Maps is the most popular mobile maps product on the planet – you and your brand will show up when people are using the map. Here is something kinda funny too. A lot of broker websites use the Google Map API to map properties. Imagine if consumers on your competitor’s website saw your name next to popular area hotspots surrounding listings. Funny right? (PS. If you are worried about this happening on your website – talk to your website vendor – they may need to upgrade you to premium maps). With Local Guides, you get points for validating things like writing reviews, validating that a business is still in business, validating their hours of operation, taking photos, adding new places, etc. If you do a really good job, you get badges and can become something like the Mayor of your community. Curate Neighborhood Experiences Local Guides have another feature that allows you to create lists. These can be a very cool way to give a new home owner the lay of the land around their home. Here’s how. Create A Neighborhood Map Open the Google Maps App. Tap Menu – Your Place – Saved In the bottom right tap Add + Enter the name and description of your Neighborhood Tap Save Adding Places to the Neighborhood Open the Google Maps App Search for a place or tap it on the map At the bottom, tap the place’s name or address Tap Save Chose a list. To create a new list, tap New List + Share List Open the Google Maps App Tap Menu – Your Places – Saved Next to the list you want to share, tap More – Choose Option Hide/Show on your map Share List When you share the list with a client, they will be able to add it […]

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Big Data Can Drive Bigger Broker Margins

by Victor Lund on June 9, 2017

customer reports

WAV Group spends a lot of time consulting with brokers on how to re-margin their business. We published a paper in 2013 called Harvesting Business From Broker Data.  That paper characterized the methods that we developed with a number of brokers to harvest business from across the enterprise of title, mortgage, residential, relocation, insurance, commercial, and property management businesses. It has worked very well for many brokers to recapture repeat transactions and new business though cross sell. In many ways, the rethinking that went into the thesis around harvesting business across the enterprise was the first intellectual break from the linear approach of Advertising for Lead Generation to Lead Maturation to Lead Conversion. Brokers were spending too much time trying to onboard new customers and far to little time staying connected with customers they have already won. Strangely, there has been a shift in advertising dollars away from the broker and more toward the team and agent. This shift is largely reflective of commission economics. But also driven in big part by Zillow remodeling their brokerage platform. If top producing agents and teams are capping out and getting 80% to 100% commission, there is no contribution to broker budgets for advertising. How does the broker get commission margin back? Referrals! WAV Group is now in a position to support brokers to re-margin their business with big data programs that we have been maturing. The programs key off of the relocation and referral commission programs that brokers retain about 35% commission on. Brokers who increase their referral business stand to reap greater margin rewards. Brokers are in a position to purchase big data solutions that use predictive analytics to generate leads for consumers upstream of Internet leads from websites or portals. CoreLogic, SmartZip, Opcity, and a host of other companies are framing up these solutions for brokers today. WAV Group works with brokerage firms to make these programs pay out. Here is the rub. The broker must become competent at developing these opportunities and purchasing solutions efficiently. The challenge for brokers is taking this strategy, understanding how it fits into your business plan, allocating resources, implementation, and managing effectiveness. You cannot just buy the service and expect the checks to start rolling in. This strategy needs to be developed as a center of excellence in your company. Brokers Can Win! WAV Group has done some experimenting with market buy-outs. In some […]

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Customer experience is the cornerstone of luxury purchases. Buying luxury yachts, jewelry, clothing, cars, restaurants……you name it – its always different. Now lets look at the other side of the coin. Have you noticed that retail in your downtown area is dying? Have you noticed that malls are struggling? Macy’s, Target, Walmart, Gap, Nike and so many other retailers are struggling. The silent voices are the small, non-chain merchants, commonly known as the mom and pop retailers. When is the last time you went into an independent toy store? The consumer has gone online, and Amazon is the category killer. Duh! Right? Consumers use the internet to shop.  It is a lot easier to find products and pricing using your keyboard and a browser than it is to go in and out of stores, parking, cashier lines, etc.     Retail Redefined If I were in the retail business today, I would create a great in-store online shopping experience. You valet your car. Going inside, you can sit down in a comfortable lounge with waitresses and bartenders. You order your merchandise as you sip your latte’. Runners collect your merchandise from the attached warehouse. When you finish your beverage or snack, the valet has placed your items in the trunk and brought your car up. Luxury Retail Have you looked on Amazon for Prada?  Louis Vuitton? GEORGIO ARMANI? It’s not there. They do not sell their products online, and this is true of many luxury brands. What makes Rodeo Drive work is that the products there cannot be purchased anywhere but in the store. Notice how well luxury malls are doing – South Coast Plaza in Orange County and Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Amazon cannot touch them. Is Online Real Estate like Online Retail Not yet. Zillow launched Instant Offers to test this. They focused the product launch on the investor market. Investors do not really care about the purchase as much as they care about the economic fundamentals. They trust inspectors and appraisers. They trust their data and analytics about future prices and rental prices. Investors are a perfect market for online real estate. Beyond that, it will take time for the market to mature. If I were to forecast this opportunity forward for Zillow, I think that they have a major opportunity to make real estate investing easy. And the housing market is a great strategic investment […]

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Broker Public Portal Inks Deal to Become Homesnap

by Victor Lund on January 19, 2017

Homesnap Logo

●     Homesnap will be a national MLS consumer search portal ●     Portal will adhere to Fair Display Guidelines   ROCKVILLE, MD, January 19, 2017 — Broker Public Portal, LLC and Homesnap, Inc. have executed final agreements to create the National Broker Portal, LLC, a joint venture that is equally owned by the two companies. The parties agreed that the best path to success would be served by forming a mutual partnership with Homesnap providing technology, brand and operational expertise to the new company, rather than composing a vendor agreement. The National Association of REALTORS modified their model MLS policy to designate an MLS consumer facing website as a basic benefit of the MLS. In turn, more than 50 leading brokers and 50 leading MLSs developed the case for a national consumer site rather than 700 independent local MLS sites. “HAR.com and a number of other MLSs have been able to capture a reasonable share of voice in online consumer search,” said Rebecca Jensen, President and CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED). “But we believe that the best opportunity for success will be paved by MLSs who focus on a single, national strategy.” MRED is one of several MLSs whose board of directors have already authorized participation in the portal, including a $1 per subscriber fee that will be paid to the National Broker Portal each month. Other MLSs committed to the portal include Northstar MLS (Minneapolis), Connecticut MLS, NORMLS (Cleveland), CRIS (Akron), Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors and Rochester Genesee Region Real Estate Service. In anticipation of this initiative being formalized, MRED launched the BPP/Homesnap app in July of 2016. “Adoption has reached over 25% of MRED’s 40,000+ Realtor customers in just a few months,” added Jensen. In addition, now that the joint venture has been finalized, MLSs representing over 200,000 subscribers have requested the new National Broker Portal MLS Agreement to review and present to their boards. “Homesnap is honored to have been selected as the technology partner to this inspired vision for the future of real estate search,” says Homesnap co-founder Steve Barnes. “As a company, we have always considered ourselves a business partner to the MLS and subscribed to the principles of the Fair Display Guidelines for MLS consumer sites.” Over 400,000 real estate agents have access to Homesnap Pro today, and the Homesnap app is used by over 4 million consumers. “This joint venture […]

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NYC Party Next Week – Hamilton

by Marilyn Wilson on January 11, 2017

Every year a bunch of us industry road warriors get together while we are in NYC to have an late night off campus party. This year, we will be meeting up at Tonic West. And as usual, John Heithaus has pulled together some of the best NYC musicians who will be playing a few sets of good old rock and roll along with some features from the hit musical Hamilton. Because it is a private underground event, only a few people have tickets. If you want to come reach out to your friends at one of the following companies: Realtor.com, Buyside, Moxiworks, Imprev, Wolfnet, CloudCMA, NAR Center for REALTOR Technology, Road to Close, and Real Estate Digital. Of course – Victor, Marilyn, and Kevin can also hook you up. As usual, this party starts at 9 PM after dinner and the band plays until Midnight. I am not sure if bars still close in NYC – We buy the first 600 drinks – after that you are on your own. Details: Venue: Tonic West, 727 Seventh Avenue, NY, 10019 Date and Time: 19th January 2017 9pm – 12:00am Dress Code: Party/Casual

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Should Brokers Do REALTOR Background Checks

by Victor Lund on January 4, 2017

Background Check

Too often, brokers and managers get caught up in recruiting goals that they skip some basic best practices – Background Checks, Customer Satisfaction Checks, etc. Perhaps agents should be checking out the backgrounds of their broker too. Before the New Year, Todd Kohlhepp, a real estate broker was linked to 7 murders and a kidnapping. Todd was the broker in charge of TKA Real Estate. Inman news reported that the guy had spent 14 years in jail for kidnapping a 14-year-old girl. Of course – his agent ratings on popular listing syndication websites gave glowing reviews. (The agent has been removed from those sites). Research Production This case points to some good fundamentals about proper recruiting. You may want to start out by building a target list of agents to recruit. Just as agents focus on customers, brokers should focus on agents. BrokerMetrics® from Teradatum and Trendgraphix are both good for this. You can see things like historic transaction history. How many brokerages they have worked for. Transaction dollar volume. Transaction location. There is a ton of intelligence available. Do your research. Recruit Around Culture Consider the cultural fit. I recently did a research project to look at Agent Profile pages on a broker website. We took stock of the brokerage culture that we could glean from simply looking at the headshots of agents. Diving in deeper, we would look at the profile of office managers and how they looked relative to the agents they recruit. It is astounding to simply look at profiles and pick out agents that look like they fit vs. others that seem out of place (or missing photos all together). Surprisingly, production numbers correlate to profile photos when you ask a group of people to pick the most and least productive agents. A photo says a lot. But deeper than that, take a look at the agent’s social media profiles – look at their friends, their posts, their reach, their engagement. It is never a perfect science, but simple observation goes a long way. Consider the risks. We all know that a bad apple ruins the bushel. But sometimes brokers take too much risk in bringing in agents that don’t fit. That can really demoralize an office, or worse yet – a brokerage. I seriously doubt that consumers are going to want to work with agents form a brokerage that has felons on their roster. […]

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