Arizona Association of REALTORS® refocuses its attention on ARBI – Arizona REALTOR® Business Interface which puts MLS, Document Management and a bunch of resources all on one page. The AZMLS Statewide MLS has found new life. No acquisition of ARMLS for now, but MLS partners are aligning to get it done. Perhaps ARMLS will simply move from first to “maybe a little later on.” WAV Group released a new whitepaper in an ongoing series about the Shift in Real Estate for brokers and agents. In the first paper released in June, we looked at the shift happening in enterprise broker software. Last week, we published a new paper that examines the keys to technology adoption. Building and offering great software is the easy – driving adoption is the hard part. Take a look if you missed either of those, for a complete list of WAV Group Whitepapers, browse this page. There is another paper in the works for October, so stay tuned. If you have an idea for WAV Group research, call or write Marilyn Wilson, Mike Audet, or Victor Lund to discuss it.
The predominant buzz in real estate this week was focused on successful and unsuccessful buyouts. On the successful side of buyouts, a talented team of managing executives from LPS was able to complete a buyout of non-MLS products and form a new company called RED, an acronym for Real Estate Digital. In a more straightforward buyout, CoreLogic purchased MLS provider Tarasoft, rolling that system under their Marketlinx brand. On the unsuccessful side of buyouts, the Arizona State Association of REALTORS was unsuccessful in its bid to purchase the shares of ARMLS, its first leg in a course to develop a statewide MLS. Although it may be a stretch of the imagination, there is a synthesis among these transactions. We see that there are three ideological philosophies that are becoming more defined in real estate, each represented by one of these buyouts: The Broker/MLS-centric ideology; The MLS-centric ideaology; the State Association-Centric ideaology.
In real estate technology this week, there were two announcements that caught our attention regarding Automated Valuations (AVM). Trulia launched Trulia Estimates, their version of property valuations for consumers that competes with public website rival, Zillow and Zestimates. Along the same lines, CoreLogic announced this week that they have licensed more than 1 million active property listings from MLSs through their Partner InfoNet program (PIN) powering their institutional AVM products. CoreLogic is in a race with NAR’s initiative called Realtors Property Resource or RPR. Lender Processing Service (LPS) licenses active listing data from RPR to power their commercial AVM product. Stepping back for a moment, to the naked eye it looks to me like both Zillow and Trulia have more active listing data powering their AVMs than the institutional products offered by RPR (LPS Partner) or CoreLogic. Trulia and Zillow each claim a number somewhere around 3 or 4 Million active listings. I know that there is a third party rating system that measures the accuracy of AVMs that both LPS and Corelogic subscribe to. Not sure if Zillow does, and it is too early in the game for Trulia, who is only in beta in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the long run, one wonders why Trulia and Zillow are not selling their AVM to the institutional markets like LPS or CoreLogic (or perhaps they are planning to and we don’t know it). One barrier is the ongoing litigation of CoreLogic vs. everyone with an AVM that may infringe on their patents.