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Listing Bits

Greg Robertson, co-founder of W+R Studios and publisher of Vendor Alley, talks real estate technology with the people who are shaping it.
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Now displaying: May, 2019
May 28, 2019

“We will never sacrifice service to our existing customers to growth. We just won’t.

Our first priority is taking care of our customers.”

 

Merri Jo Cowen is the CEO of Stellar MLS, the third-largest regional MLS in the US with nearly 60K members in 16 REALTOR Associations throughout Central and Southwest Florida and Puerto Rico. Formerly known as My Florida Regional MLS, the organization’s recent rebrand is inspired by its reputation as the country’s most customer-focused MLS and intention to design a curated experience for each subscriber. Merri Jo’s resume also includes a 6-year run as CEO of Northern Nevada Regional MLS, and in her 35-plus years in the industry, she served as president of CMLSand played an integral role in the development of the CMLXprofessional accreditation program.

 

Today, Merri Jo shares her journey from entering listing input at the Reno Board of Realtors to CEO of Stellar, offering insight around the challenges she faced in moving from NNRMLS to MFRMLS in 2008. She discusses her commitment to foster future industry leaders, her involvement in the MLS Grid, and her proactive approach to solving for front-end of choice. Listen in to understand how MFRMLS has grown under Merri Jo’s leadership—without sacrificing service—and learn how the organization is working to create a ‘curated customer journey’ for each of its members.

 

What’s Discussed: 

 

Merri Jo’s journey from entering listing input to MLS CEO

Merri Jo’s commitment to foster future industry leaders

Merri Jo’s leadership in developing the CMLX program  

The challenges of moving from NNRMLS to MFRMLS

The experience of expanding Stellar to include Puerto Rico

What inspired the rebranding of MFRMLS to Stellar MLS

Stellar’s emphasis on creating a curated customer journey

Why Merri Jo sees value in being part of the MLS Grid

Merri Jo’s proactive approach to solving front-end of choice

 

Resources:

 

NNRMLS

CMLS

CMLX

Shelley Specchio

Chris Carrillo

Sean Murphy

T3 Summit

MLS Grid

Flexmls

Matrix

Remine

Cloud MLX

NAR Legislative Meetings

Rapattoni

 

Connect with Merri Jo:

 

Stellar MLS

Email:  ceo [at] stellarmls [dot] com

May 22, 2019

Rather than trying to predict the future of real estate and act accordingly, Gene Millman is working to collaborate with brokerages to create the future together. He comes to MLS leadership from a unique perspective, leveraging his experience running a brokerage to find ways to say YES to his members and champion the industry as a whole.

 

Gene is the CEO of Northern Nevada Regional MLS. With 32 years of experience in the real estate industry, he served as an agent, broker-manager and broker-owner before making the transition to MLS executive. Greg has held key leadership roles with various local, regional and state associations, and his recognitions and honors include Realtor of the Year for the Delaware Association of Realtors and Hall of Fame Inductee at the New Castle County Board of Realtors.  

 

Today, Gene explains how serving on the board at TRENDintroduced him to the MLS world and how working on consolidation ignited his passion for the space. He introduces us to his mission to partner with brokers and create a future together. Gene also offers his predictions around the potential iBuyer market share and shares his take on portals as a broker versus MLS exec. Listen in for insight on creating culture within a team and securing buy-in for your vision—and learn how Gene’s background as a broker influences his approach to running an MLS.

 

What’s Discussed: 

 

How serving at TREND introduced Gene to the MLS world

How MLS consolidation ignited Gene’s passion for the space

The differences among governance models from MLS to MLS

Gene’s approach to running the MLS to serve the brokers

Why Gene doesn’t believe that the MLS is under threat

The MLS’s responsibility to secure data, give brokers control

Gene’s aim to partner with brokers + create a future together

How a market correction may impact views toward the MLS

Gene’s take on portals as a broker-owner vs. MLS executive

Gene’s predictions around the potential iBuyer market share

The value in creating culture + getting buy-in for your vision

 

Resources:

 

T3 Summit

TREND MLS

 

Connect with Gene:

 

Northern Nevada Regional MLS

Gene on LinkedIn

May 9, 2019

Glenn Kelman has always had the ambition to make real estate better for consumers. But it took him a while to realize that he wasn’t the only one who wanted to do that. He came into the game with an US vs. THEM mentality, assuming that all of Redfin’s competitors were villains and snake oil salesmen. To his relief, it turned out that his industry rivals were actually good people. And while that doesn’t make him any less driven, he does concede that this shift in perspective has made him ‘not quite so insufferable.’

Glenn Kelman is the President and CEO of Redfin, a technology-powered brokerage designed to redefine real estate in the customer’s favor. Prior to Redfin, Glenn cofounded the startup Plumtree Software and served as its VP of Marketing & Product Management until its acquisition in 2005. Glenn has been the CEO of Redfin for the past 13 years, and under his leadership, the company was twice named Innovator of the Year by Inman News. Redfin went public in July of 2017, and today, its market cap is $1.82B.

Today, Glenn explains why he still feels like an underdog, despite Redfin’s success. He weighs in on running a mission-driven company, discussing his aim to ‘do something good for real estate consumers’ whether Redfin makes money or not. Glenn also covers the civil nature of the relationship between Redfin and Zillow, Redfin’s new partnership with Re/Max, and the impetus behind Redfin’s ‘buy without an agent’ feature. Listen in for Glenn’s insight on cultivating agent professionalism and learn how his perception of the competition has changed over time.


What’s
 Discussed: 

Why Glenn still feels like an underdog despite Redfin’s success

Glenn’s aim to ‘do something good for real estate consumers’

Glenn’s take on the tribal nature of American politics

How becoming a father has made Glenn a better leader

The learning culture Glenn works to cultivate at Redfin

How Glenn’s perspective of his competitors has changed

Glenn’s solutions-based approach to candor with employees

How Glenn is driven by the desire to live up to his potential

The civil nature of the relationship between Redfin and Zillow

How Redfin addresses the idea of agent professionalism

The impetus behind Redfin’s new partnership with Re/Max

What inspired Redfin’s new ‘buy without an agent’ feature

 

Resources:

T3 Summit

Glenn’s ‘Once and Future King’ Post

Vendor Alley

Andreesen Horowitz Real Estate Stats

 

Connect with Glenn: 

Redfin

Glenn on LinkedIn

May 9, 2019

“A phone call is worth a thousand emails, and a Slack channel is worth a million conversations.” 

RESO’s push for an industry shift from RETS to Web API makes a lot of developers nervous. You can spin your wheels for days trying to figure out how to make the new way to consume MLS data work with your application. But here’s the thing: Somebody else has probably already solved that problem. So, how do we create a platform where developers can team up to move adoption forward? How much does accessibility to the experts serve as a game-changer in the switch to Web API?

Jon Druse is a Senior Developer at W+R Studios, a software company dedicated to building tools for the real estate industry. Prior to W+R, he served as a Software Engineer and Interaction Designer with Socialcast, Sleepy Giant, and Central Desktop and cut his teeth as a Senior Developer at PhishMe, Inc. Jon has 11-plus years of experience in the industry, and he was recently responsible for leading Cloud Agent Suite’s shift away from RETS, making W+R the first vendor to put Web API into production. 

Today, Jon explains why direct access to ‘people with answers’ was critical to his success on the project. He describes how Web API is less error-prone and requires fewer requests than RETS yet displays in the same format. Jon also discusses the minimal differences among Bridge, Trestle and Spark when it comes to replication of a data set. Listen in to understand why collaboration among developers is key in moving Web API adoption forward and learn how Jon was able to make the transition happen at W+R in just 6 months!

 

What’s Discussed: 

 

How John set up the Web API feed in W+R’s Cloud Agent Suite

Why accessibility to ‘people with answers’ was crucial to Jon’s success

RESO’s push for an industry shift from RETS to Web API

The intention behind RESO’s Replication Workgroup

How Web API outperforms RETS in terms of time and accuracy

How a common schema will solve for maintenance in Web API

The 3 vendor-MLS partnerships delivering data through Web API

The minimal differences among Bridge, Trestle and Spark for replication

Jon’s insight around how to move Web API adoption forward

How Jon taught himself to program working tech support at a high school

 

Resources:

RESO Conference

Mike Wurzer & Andy Woolley on Listing Bits EP035

Al at CoreLogic on LinkedIn

The Bridge API

Trestle

Spark API

 

Connect with Jon: 

W+R Studios

Email: jon@wrstudios.com

Jon on LinkedIn

Jon on Twitter

May 9, 2019

In a world where national brands like Zillow and Realtor.com dominate search results, how can individual brokerage websites compete? And how do real estate brokerages stay relevant as the iBuyer market continues to grow? Eric Stegemann believes the firms that adapt and take on alternative options for transacting will be well-placed for the future—and adopting the right real estate tech is a big part of that solution.

Eric is the founder and CEO of TRIBUS, a custom brokerage platform vendor tasked with providing medium and large real estate firms with made-to-order websites, intranet, email marketing, transaction management and CRM systems. Eric became a licensed agent at the age of 18 and started his own tech-oriented brokerage, River City Real Estate, at 21. In short order, River City became the largest independent brokerage in St. Louis due in large part to its real estate tech innovations, which became the framework for TRIBUS. Eric is often called upon to speak at industry events, including Inman Connect and the NAR Annual Conference.

Today, Eric explains why brokerage websites still matter in the age of Zillow and Trulia, discussing what differentiates a TRIBUS site from the national brands. He shares his conservative approach to growth for TRIBUS and offers advice for aspiring vendors in terms of building trust and fixing your mistakes. Listen in for Eric’s insight around the challenges facing brokerages today and get his industry predictions on MLS consolidation, the changing role of the agent, and potential winners in the iBuyer market.

What’s Discussed: 

How Eric started selling real estate to pay for college

What inspired Eric’s shift from broker to software vendor

The meaning behind the company name, TRIBUS

TRIBUS’ aspiration to be a zebra rather than a unicorn

Eric’s take on the challenges facing brokerages today

Eric’s insight on why brokerage websites still matter

How TRIBUS customer sites rank in Google search results

How local content differentiates a TRIBUS site from Zillow

TRIBUS’ pioneering collaborative search mechanism

How brokers can build their own iBuyer programs

Eric’s top advice for vendors on persistence and presence

Eric’s predictions on MLS consolidation + iBuyer success

 

Resources:

RESO Conference

Doyle Real Estate Team

LeadingRE

Blackstone


Connect with Eric:

TRIBUS

TRIBUS on Facebook

TRIBUS on Twitter

TRIBUS on LinkedIn

Eric on LinkedIn

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