RETechnology

Don’t miss this webinar moderated by WAV Group partner, Marilyn Wilson. Cloud CMA FREE Webinar! Thursday, April 14th at 10:00am PST Seats are limited so make sure you register today!     How To Use CMAs to Generate Seller Leads Join W&R Studios’ National Trainer and real estate speaker Ricardo Bueno and listing rockstar April Kass as they dive deep into everything you need to know to start generating and closing more seller leads today! ATTENDEE.GOTOWEBINAR.COM

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Change and Balance

by Victor Lund on June 16, 2015

WAV Group holds a quarterly webinar called the WAVes of Change. It allows companies and senior executives to get a one-hour overview of change that is happening in our industry. We wear a lot of hats in our capacity as industry researchers, investors, capital markets advisors, consultants, RE Technology publishers, and though our newest endeavor – WAV Group Communications. WAVes of Change webinars aim to pack all of this into a big ball and throw it your way so you can hit it out of the park in your business. Another way to look at change is innovation. Some call it rethinking. It is a process whereby you try to summarize external and internal forces that impact your mission and adapt in a way that improves your success. WAVes of Change helps with finding the right innovation by providing an overview of both external and internal trends. Externally, WAV Group research looks at consumer expectations and agent expectations to measure attitudes about our industry (consumer and agent satisfaction research). We look at how companies in different segments in the marketplace are changing to become more competitive (like publishers and franchises). We remark about the need for new technology (like agent safety) that may now find light. We watch the regulatory process (Dodd Frank) and stay close to the pulse of industry structural changes (RESO, Upstream, AMP, Partner InfoNet, Data Sharing, business consolidation). Internally we reflect on trends in business decision-making (like syndication and data management). We talk about problems in operations (lead responsiveness, business intelligence). We endeavor to understand why companies are growing or declining; the impact of leadership changes, and changes to alliances between organizations. My dad was a boat builder. He put everything he could into manufacturing the best possible product on the market. But he taught me more about business psychology than anything else. Honestly, I do not know anything about building a boat but have dedicated my life to business building. From him, I learned that people run businesses on emotion and justify their decisions with logic. His teaching was to ask more questions about WHY something is happening than following WHAT is happening. WAVes of Changes was created by Marilyn Wilson to look at the WHAT in an effort to understand the WHY. I don’t like change very much. It disturbs the balance of a company internally and externally. But I love innovation. Innovation is […]

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Time to Market

by Victor Lund on May 22, 2015

Shaping an idea or a strategy takes time. More importantly, it takes a well-structured catalyst that “just makes sense.” WAV Group has had the opportunity to work with some pretty fantastic visionaries on the future of real estate – powerful market makers that rethink things many times to carefully construct strategies for the greater good. The outreach with peers and competitors only drives the momentum and refines the structure. It is impressive and inspired. But these things take time to develop correctly. Upstream and the Broker Public Portal are the outcroppings of this industry-wide thinking. We are blessed to be administrative supporters of the will of these leaders. Passion creates urgency and urgency drives desperation and that causes mistakes and increased risk. Despite pent up energy and demand, there has been ample time for consideration of detail. That’s good news. For the past couple of years we have worked with franchise organizations, MLSs, large firms, independent firms, Mid-sized firms, small firms, all sizes of associations, state associations, an incredible range of technology companies, portals, and the National Association of Realtors to plant some seeds. Sorry for the run-on sentence, but we have endeavored to keep pace with many of the greatest sprinters in our industry. For the most part, our process has been confidential. I can tell you that the endurance and desire among this group of confederates is nothing short of world championship caliber. They are a fantastic group to serve. There is no ‘love at first sight’ in any industry. Relationships and strategies take time to develop. After all, industries are the constitution of competition that is programmed to allow some to win at the loss of others. There are only a fixed number of homes sold each year. The winner takes their share from their peers. In these projects, there is mutual agreement that data is like oxygen: How each person uses it will be different, but the purity of the air is requisite to all. WAV Group founder, Marilyn Wilson writes about “Haters” in her newsletter article this month. I feel her words. There is a tremendous amount of bullying that has happened in our industry as a result of the “potential” progress of industry-wide change. I am amazed that people would make these statements in text messages and emails. Say what you will in conversation, but to publish opposition and personal attacks is ludicrous. Moreover, […]

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Funny – Anti-Zulia Radio Campaign

by Victor Lund on April 2, 2015

WI Homes is the consumer facing website of Milwaukee Wisconsin based MLS, Metro MLS. The website is a regional powerhouse for providing consumers with access to search the MLS property search database. In an effort to advertise a differentiation between their website and websites that they call “Zulia and Trillow,” they created these rather humorous radio ads. The first ad talks about the two biggest events in a couple’s life – when they buy a home and when they have a baby.   In the second ad, they talk about a family buying a home of their dreams to outline how sometimes, when you search on sites like “Zulia or Trillow” the information about the home of your dreams could be way off. This is not the first time that competitors have gone after syndication websites. Realtor.com ran a campaign last year that still may be running. This entire competitive strategy is rather interesting. Largely speaking, consumers do not know the differences between third party websites and websites powered by MLS. Moreover, with publishers getting direct feeds from the MLS, the differentiation my soon go away. Since they launched their unique visits have increased by 160%

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Has Online Marketing Peaked?

by Victor Lund on April 1, 2015

In one of my favorite articles from 2008, WAV Group suggested that newspapers are like nursing homes. At that time, newspaper advertising was in a steep decline as a result of the emergence of more affordable online options that promised better reach. My argument was, “This obsolete technology sucks millions of dollars away from more cost-effective marketing tools while delivering less every year. There are better uses for your budget, especially if you market goods and services to people who don’t remember the Truman Administration.” Job seekers go online to Craigslist, Monster.com, or Careers.com to find employment. Consumers go to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com, and HomeFinder. Want a date? There is a website for that too! Unfortunately, the economics of the online sphere are catching up with the economics of the newspaper economy. Affordability is becoming an issue for online marketers. The price of online marketing is going up, and the number of publishers is increasing. The effectiveness is also going down as more listings are advertised. Remember the good ol’ days when you just had to get your few lines of text in by Thursday at noon? In some ways, I am pretty sure that marketers pine away for that process again. Just one high-res photo and a few lines of text for your Homes & Land ad. The goal was “make the phone ring,” and ring it did! In truth, online marketing is far more complex. But print marketing was not easy either. It took administrative and marketing staff hours to do ad copy collection. It still is hard. Online marketing is hard, too! Listing syndication is complicated and feed trumping often has unsettling outcomes for how your listings are displayed. Moreover, you need to be concerned about who else is advertising on top of your advertisement. There is some good news. Once you have listing syndication configured correctly it will work for your business. Sure, the price is going up but even if it doubles, it is a relatively efficient marketing strategy. More importantly, it is much easier to get sellers to “buy into” your online marketing strategy than it ever was with print. There will be endless discussions about the volume and quality of leads. Since more than 50% of leads go unanswered, I have resigned myself to the fact that a lead is only as good as the person who gets it. To me, all […]

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A broker friend of mine downloaded the WAV Group 2004 Broker Transaction Management study recently and gave me a call. Like every real estate broker in America, she has long adapted her business to online forms. Like most brokerages, she also confesses that they have a forms box of printed forms in every office. A few years ago, she made a decision to purchase digital signatures for all of her agents. Today, she is considering transaction management. Again. This is not her first visit to this consideration, but rather an annual trek that is part of her end-to-end customer experience analysis. She agreed to my recording of the call and the publishing of this article as long as I do not identify her. Here is my synopsis of her thinking. Why did you decide to adopt digital forms? It was so long ago that I am not sure I remember. We used to go to the Association of REALTORS office and pick up a forms packet. When we installed internet and email back in the late 80s or early 90s, we started getting the forms electronically. What is the benefit of digital forms today?  Our state forms are probably one of the most important member benefits we get from the REALTOR Association. Having a standard form is the cornerstone of compliance. I also know that printing forms has risks. The primary risk we experience is an agent using the wrong form. Aside from that, there are privacy and security issues to printed forms that are challenging to manage. Why digital signatures? Well, we waited a bit on digital signatures. It was kind of a catch-22. A digital form without a digital signature was pretty useless. Many fundamental usability issues came into play. First, you needed to be connected to the Internet. Second, all parties had to be comfortable with digital signatures, including the banks! The ability of managing forms and signing forms online did not really become easy until everyone had an internet-enabled smartphone and an eFax service. That is where we are today, so many of the barriers to adoption are taken care of. What is the benefit of digital forms today? Only about 1 in 10 of our transactions stay electronic throughout their life cycle. I am guessing at this statistic, but based upon the deal flow that I see, that seems about right. The highest use case […]

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Struggling with your Direct Feeds?

by Jenna Woodruff on March 17, 2015

Direct to portals, syndication platforms, virtual tour companies, online marketing products…the options for brokers to distribute listings seem endless. They all offer varying features, benefits and service levels, making it hard to determine what will give their businesses a competitive edge. Many brokers are at the mercy of agents using services that distribute listings without their knowledge; creating inaccuracies and liabilities, and eroding their brands. MLSs are in the unique position to offer brokers unmatched listing distribution services through strong data licensing agreements. A key benefit that only MLSs can offer is faster listing updates. When listings are not delivered and updated quickly, the risk of error increases along with the liability for inaccuracies, loss of quality leads and negative customer experiences that harm your members’ brands. Today, more tech savvy brokerages are experimenting with direct-to-portal data feeds, while more traditional firms are turning to their MLSs to help them compete. Direct feeds ensure the accuracy of data and are the fastest way to deal with the urgent need to get listings in front of consumers first. Join WAV Group partner Marilyn Wilson as she moderators this RE Techinar™ on what the best path for achieving this is. You’ll hear the perspectives of 4 industry experts with over 70 years of combined experience in a wide variety of roles. Special guests include: Kipp Cooper, CEO of The Huntsville Area Association of Realtors and the North Alabama MLS Dave Garland, Manager for Rainmakers Consulting Group and Principal at Pacific States Capital Alon Chaver, VP of Industry Services, Trulia John Whitney, Director of MLS Business Development, Trulia Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, WAV Group and RE Technology Register now to join the discussion!

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Top 5 Articles of the Week

by Victor Lund on May 19, 2014

How to Market Yourself on Facebook WITHOUT Annoying Your Family Learn from special guest Realtor® Shaun Nilsson as he diagrams his time-saving formula for attracting tons of clients through social media whole completely avoiding annoying your friends and contacts. We’ll show you exactly how to close more real estate commissions right now – using only your Facebook – while effortlessly projecting the confident business savvy of a seasoned professional. PLUS you’ll learn how to outsource your online marketing to others and avoid wasting even one more minute of your valuable time each day on it!  4 Great Mobile Apps to Help Real Estate Agents Succeed The power of the World Wide Web is now as portable as a a pocket watch, and this is changing the way real estate is bought and sold. How can you keep up? Here are a number of tools that may help you become a more productive and successful agent. 5 Things That Should Not Be on Your Real Estate Website Does your website feature your entire life story in one massive, typo-riddled paragraph? Is there – *gulp* – background music playing? If so, consider this article an intervention! The Hottest Tech of 2014 NAR REach’s class of 2014 debuted at NAR Midyear this week. Meet the 8 companies who are on deck to shake up the real estate tech scene this year! Krisstina Wise: The Birth of a Brand Krisstina Wise is the powerhouse behind GoodLife Realty, a brokerage that has redefined tech savvy and company culture. But you probably haven’t seen much of Krisstina in the last year … because she almost died. What could have been the end of her career (and possibly her life) actually became the start of something wonderful.

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Top Articles of the Week

by Victor Lund on May 9, 2014

Beating Zillow at Their Own Game What if I told you that just about everything you find unfair about the way Zillow and Trulia display your listings can be changed? Guess what? An insider understanding of how these sites work has allowed thousands of listing agents to get hundreds of dollars worth of free marketing on these sites without paying a dime.   What is Email Drip Marketing? Chinese water torture is a way to drive someone insane by slowly dripping water on the person’s forehead. Drop email marketing is a communication strategy that slowly drips email messages to prospects’ inboxes over time. Folks on the receiving end of either may feel tortured. But there is a positive way to drip that may be welcomed by the recipient.     WordPress Basics for Agents Industry superstars like Nicole Nicolay have made WordPress a familiar term for most real estate agents. The price tag – a big, fat ZERO – has undeniable appeal for many agents. If you’re considering a WordPress site, there are many factors you’ll need to investiage. Today, I’m going to look at only two of the most important.   The Biggest Marketing Mistakes (and how to avoid them!) After seeing a study on the biggest mistakes companies make with their consumers, couldn’t help wondering how many real estate agents were making these mistakes. And then I had an epiphany – most of these mistakaes could be avoided quite simply, by leveraging the right technology.   5 Reasons Electronically Signed Documents Might Just be Better than pen-and-ink Signing documents electronically is a necessity–a form becomes a living, breathing document when it’s signed. We’ve got some great reasoning to back up our position. Here are five of the best.

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Top 5 Articles of the Week

by Victor Lund on March 21, 2014

As you may or may not know, RE Technology was founded by the WAV Group partners to support the role of MLSs and Associations in delivering a wide array of information and education about real estate technology. On May 5th, the company turns three years old! Since 2011, we have been able to deliver over 100,000 pages of valuable information that helps practitioners learn about technology and the companies that provide technology services to power their business.  Each week, RE Technology sends a report to more than 4500 executives and staff of the nations MLSs and Associations of REALTORS® offering the most read articles. It keeps them sharp on the currency of information that is most relevant to the 250,000 weekly readers that pour over our editorial. You will find those top 5 articles below. If you do not have an RE Technology account. Reach out to Victor Lund. You will need a username and password to access the site if you are not affiliated with one of the 87 MLS and 260 Associations of REALTORS® that provide this service as a member benefit. My brief take away from this weeks’ top articles. DocuSign as emerged from an ingredient brand to a leading brand in the industry and they are parlaying dominance and brand into transaction management. The acquisition of CARTAVI brought them an agent transaction management solution and a talented team of developers and project managers who have an intense passion for the category. Everyone is keeping a sharp eye on them and this webinar will be the first look that many will have on their enterprise Transaction Management Solution for brokers. The article about Jump starting your listing inventory was contributed to RE Technology by the Point2 division of Yardi. Point2 does a great job of edutizing – providing valuable content to agents and brokers that warms up their brand. It is a smart marketing strategy and keeps them sharp on what REALTORS® are interested in – which is more listings. The Listhub article about listing presentations helps agents get the value they need by understanding listing syndication more fully, and learning how to articulate the strategy to sellers. Mike Audet’s article about a top producing agent who used CRM to take his business to another level is a great read. CRM solution are underutilized by sales people in real estate. Those who do adopt CRM tend to […]

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Mid-Year Party and Tech Guide

by Victor Lund on March 13, 2014

The Annual RE Technology Midyear Party is scheduled for Wednesday May 14th at a secret location 1 mile from the Omni/Wardman hotels. The limit of people this year is 200, so if you would like to buy tickets or be a sponsor – contact victor@wavgroup.com. The entertainment will be the SuperStar Factory band featuring our favorite Miss Wendy Moten. This sells out fast. Proceeds go to the venue and the band. Many of you have been associated with the WAV Group for many years now. You remember that from 2003 to 2011 we published the annual MidYear Technology review. It started out as a way that Mike, Marilyn, and I could take the notes from the NAR Mid-Year conference and summarize them for our clients. In 2010, that document had grown to nearly 200 pages and went beyond our grasp. This is one of the reasons why we founded RE Technology. It digitized that information and made it easier to access. Today, RE Technology carries on the tradition of the WAV Group Mid-Year Technology guide, and it has continued to be published each year as a digital magazine. It is a beautiful publication that reaches more than 150,000 industry executives who use the guide as a resource though out the year. If you are a technology vendor, I hope that you will consider having your product included in the 2014 guide. We are in the final process of page reservation, so please reach out to victor@retechnology.com for more information. Take a moment to look at the 2013 Guide Here http://techguide.retechnology.com    

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